Trace is someone who’s been playing longer than I have, and as you may know, was the first fellow I hurt on the court. After learning that he was literally one of the nicest human beings on the earth, I felt as if my damaging of his body/bike was a hollow victory.
But it was a victory, dear reader.
You’ve already shared how you got started in polo (which you can read here), but what keeps you playing?
I really do not like ‘organized’ sports. One could argue that bicycle polo is not an organized sport, and I say, all the better. On a more visceral level, the adrenalin rush of sprinting for a loose ball, banging someone into the boards, and finding that impossible angle to put the ball in the net just can’t be found anywhere else. Oh yeah, and LUBP is a stupendous group of bicycle freaks.
What’s your current setup (Frame, gagetry, mallet, equipment, etc).
Steel Windsor El Cheapo single speed frame with an aluminum ‘cross fork and front linear pull brakes. 18t freewheel x 33t chainring. 48 hole Eigth-Inch Julians. Selle Italia Turbo saddle from the ‘80’s (my first love). Go to mallet is a ski pole with a St. Cago capped head.
You are often seen sporting a chest protector – what happened there?
Ah yes, the chest protector. When your club has someone who goes by the name Crusher and another person named Eugene Gallagher, an ounce of prevention is worth way more than a pound of cure. That and having already had two bruised/cracked/damaged ribs from playing this stoopid game has driven me to this piece of protection.
What’s your best skill? What’s a skill you wish you had more of?
Best skill? Jousting? Although not in the following instance. One evening at polo it started to rain. Cleverly I flipped my rear wheel around so I could ride fixed since my brakes were worthless. I like to joust. I went out hard. I won the joust. I forgot I was fixed. I attempted to coast. I met the teacher. I feebly called out “Sub.”
I do wish I had half the bike control that Karl and Horse have and could routinely whip out laser-guided passes. A well-earned assist is every bit as thrilling as a goal.
Do you find Polo leaking into other areas of your life (watching polo videos or thinking about strategy at work?)
Do polo players stand next to the boards and pee?
If you had to give 3 bits of advice to someone who has been playing for a long time, what would it be?
For a long time player I would challenge them to:
- Diversify. Participate in other aspects of cycling culture. It will make you a better human and a better polokin.
- Do resistance training. After my second rib injury I decided to try and strengthen my upper body as a way to cut down on injury. An unexpected perk has been a more consistent and controlled shot.
- Next time you are frustrated on the court think back to the way you giggled like a little girl the first time you played polo. It is fun. Don’t forget it.
You know, there is just something therapeutic about throwing stuff. And like my mom always said, if you are gonna throw stuff do it outside and around people who are wearing helmets and facemasks. What was the question?
If you could change one thing about your current polo experience, what would it be?
Life/Polo balance is a hard one. But the solution is simple. There needs to be an eighth day added to the week so the week would look something like this:
Monday-Tuesday-Poloday-Wednesday-Thursday-Poloday-Friday-Poloday-Saturday-Poloday-Sunday. That is eight days, right?
Do you have anything else to add?
I hate beer.