Tag Archive for bike polo story

Pick-up Yesterday Was…New.


Yesterday’s pickup was missing the majority of the sons of bitches that make pickup days so challenging a lot of our polo elders. As such, the people that remained were the folks who are a bit more easy-going, fun-time centric. You know, the rest of us.

Point in fact, we had two fresh-faced players (Chewie, a guy I work with, and Tony, a student of Trace’s wife). Both were excited to play, and both added that ever important element of newness to the game.

But, as many of you know already, even one new player can change the chemistry of a pickup day. With two, each game basically became a clinic on the fundamentals and were not at all fast paced-which is fine, really, for all of us. Since the top players were out and about doing whatever it is they do when they don’t come to polo, it was up to the rest of our club to define the day–and define it we did:

We, by way of example, didn’t reshuffle teams as is so often the case when the big boy players think a game will be one sided. The net result was a few one sided games. But, it taught the new and newer players how to defend against a stronger force, which is a lesson every bike polo player should learn.

We also spent time letting new players learn instead of rushing them or giving them a free break on shooting or putting their feet down. The relaxed day allowed for a larger focus on learning rather than on just keeping up. I think this also allowed for some pretty spectacular playing (Tony getting a goal on me–a legitimate goal–Sabrina locking down the goal like crazy and basically becoming my mortal enemy, and Chewie trying like hell to get a goal but bending his fork in the process).

I learned that, eventually, I’ll get fed up with how slow the games are being played. Yeah, I know, I know. But really, it’s hard to be used to at least a few intense games and then spending an entire day only pedaling at half speed and stopping yourself from getting frustrated by poor plays. And I get it, the majority of players are new/ newer in the club, and I’m not at all frustrated by them. By the end of the day I just wanted to pack up and hope that the next pickup day would be a little more intense.

To that same point, however, it was awesome to see us have a full bench of newer players. Sure, some old hands here and there, but  a great amount of newer players, and that speaks to the health of our club and our sport. It is comforting, if nothing else, to see so many new faces.

So what it comes down to, really, is that I was happy to have a relaxed day where our new players weren’t getting tossed around by the A players of our club, and I can see the value of having B/C days of play. That being said, I sure missed being out-gunned and learning from it, too.

Where’d You Get That Name? (Best Nickname Story Contest)


Hey all,

Well, we haven’t had an event together in quite a while, so I’m going to run an impromptu contest today! and it’s the



The rules are super simple: write up your nickname and how you got it in the comments below. The one that is the most interesting/funny/weird to me wins.

And what do you win?

You (you lucky devil you) get to either have your interview put up on this illustrious site, or you can pose a topic for yourself and I to debate/conversate about, the results of which will go up on Lancaterpolo (it could be any sort of topic loosely or closely bound to bike polo. I don’t care.).

If neither of those prizes really do it for you (but you still want to share your story), feel free to share anyway–I’m not gonna force you into anything, baby.

Okay, I’ll start:

Crusher: well, I like to say that my name comes from the fact that I was very physical when I first started playing, but that’s not why I got the name. There were a few nicknames that were being assigned to me by the club including bear jew (I’m Jewish and hairy), Lefty (duh), and Moustache Matt (again, duh), but none of them really stuck. Then Lumberjack posted a video featuring “The Crusher” from an old Looney Tunes cartoon, and that name stuck immediately. So basically my name comes from a cartoon character.

See, see how easy it is? We’ll see if this contest turns into a horrible flaming crash of an effort of if you goons and goonets join in–I’m hoping you do.

Anyway, leave your nickname story below. I look forward to reading it!

Watching pickup sucks


I went to polo on Sunday expecting to at least get a post out of it. Maybe something to do with the value of watching your club play and learning a little about the observation of the game.

Instead, I got all sorts of sweaty, my heart started getting tired, and I realized watching pickup is just about as boring as polo can get. It’s like watching people eat food. You can appreciate the act, but not taking part is kinda boring and borders on disgusting.

So I left early (after building a mallet up for Magpie, which was kinda nice to do, really), and I wandered back to the polo war room to enjoy the much-to-small-for-the-space air conditioning.

Eventually I zonked out for a half hour or so. That was fun, I guess.  I woke up and watched a few minutes of the South Central Regional Qualifiers until I realized it made my heart race, and then I felt compelled to turn it off.

Anyway – I figure my posts will become more strategic or philosophical until they work out what the hell is going on with my ticker. But for right now I’m just coming to terms with watching my polo bike pick up my mallet and run to the door.

…no, girl. No we aren’t going out to crush today.

I can tell you that it was humid as hell today at pickup, and that nobody was terribly pleased by that. We had a light drizzle which felt amazing, and…uh…some pistachios to eat…?

I’m going to go play with my Tagamagrams. Good day.




Not everyone loves bike polo? Porque?

I had this come up in my Google alerts – apparently someone at Landlords Cycling  (they sometimes write books on the subject of bike messengers, so you know what they have to say is good stuff) is none too pleased with local bike polo players coming onto the scene a’la West Side Story and pushing around kids playing stickball and learning to ride bikes.

I was struck by a particular point in the story where the author provided some dialogue via what they heard the polo players say:

(imagine this: some guy with a cardboard disc wheel with a skull magic markered on it getting all aggravated- liberalish, faux-messenger, white dude style. “Hey kids listen OK? Like we have a permit to play here man, and if you don’t get out man I’m going to have to get the Park Ranger. I don’t want to, I’m cool you know, but I will get him and send you to jail and call your moms or grandmas or whoever takes care of you.”)

and also this little feature here:

I used to be able to sit and read the paper and listen to birds and bums fighting in peace-then it all ended because some losers felt the need to impose their dumb ass team vs team jock point mentality on bikes.

(Hey man awesome shot! Totaallly cool brahhhh.)

I get it, you couldn’t make it on the high school football team and you feel the need to compensate-maybe call your mom, tell her you scored the match point in the big, really important E Williamsburg Buttflaps vs the Industrial Park Disc Wheelers bike polo grudge match.

Am I judging? Not in the least. Just thought I’d bring it up so we could reflect on the true nature of our sport in the world.

Read the whole post here, aptly titled Anti-Bike Polo