Tag Archive for DC bike polo

D.C. Says Farewell

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I asked Alias to write up his feelings on the loss of their home court in D.C. I’ve played on that court–I’ve drunk my drink and smoked my smokes there. It’s the first away-court I played at after my heart went bad, and the last away court I’ve played at currently. I think lots of cities lose their courts (it’s part of the sport, really), but it doesn’t make it any easier.  Consider this a eulogy to D.C.’s court, and the beginning of the search for a new one. 

I’m a sentimental guy. So Monday when I got the call that we were losing access to the park we play at, the realization that last night’s pick-up games would be our last hit me pretty hard.  We knew this moment was coming for some time.  The park and the school adjacent to it are a part of a large development project in northeast DC.  I have been our club’s point of contact with the developer as we’ve been lobbying them to build a multi-use court in the soon-to-be remodelled park.  So while we have made some good steps toward having that kind of facility, we knew that a reality of this situation would be that we’d be a displaced community for some time for a year to two years.

The court we played at wasn’t particularly nice, but it felt like home.  Once the news was out that it would be our last night at Brentwood Park, a lot of people replied that they weren’t planning on coming to polo, but felt compelled to come one last time.  In many ways it felt like any other night.  Lots of laughs, cheering, jeering, and yes, a little polo too.  We even had a random kid show up on a mountain bike pick up a mallet, and played like he had been playing for months.  It was that sort of polo magic that reminds you of your best times with your club.  The thought that this was our final time there actually left my mind.  So then, it was all that more devestating when I remembered as I was packing up at the end of the night.  It was hard to walk away.  I gave myself a moment to grieve, but then I decided that I’d need those feelings to motivate me to make sure we got our courts.  An early lesson I learned in bike polo is that when ou dab, it doesn’t matter if it was your fault or if you were fouled, what is important is getting back in the game.

We have a back up location, but it’s not great for practice.  It is very small.  However, in talking about this with others, I’ve been reminded about how fortunate we are in DC.  Many clubs don’t have as many dedicated members, and many play in worse situations.  That’s important perspective, but it didn’t make it suck any less.  So Brentwood Park, this isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later.  As for the region, you can expect to see more DC visitors on the weekends for the next two years.  To summarize my feelings, a quote:”Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggggg!  Shit!  NO!  You’re going the wrong way!  Dammit. Uhhhhhhhhgggggnnnnnn”
~Bruce (Warrior Poems Vol 8. 2013)

The 5 I learned: D.C. Adventure Edition

DC Bike Polo

This past weekend, I had the good fortune to travel down to D.C. to meet the President and discuss this matter of nationalizing bike polo play bike polo with the fine folks down that way.I haven’t played for a very long time thanks to ol’ mother nature, and when I got out of my car upon arriving to find a glorious, sunny, climbing-to-60ish day; wellsir, you could have knocked me down with a ultralight right then.

Robocop met me courtside and we rode down to the local market to get some Miller High Lifes (only $2.00! Apparently that’s cheap down in D.C.) with Alex, Alias, and Jess. After our starter fuel we headed back to the court where I was re-introduced to the sport.

This is what I learned/relearned:

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1. Bike polo is amazing: BIKE POLO IS AMAZING BIKE POLO IS AMAZING BIKE POLO IS AMAZING. THE PEOPLE WHO PLAY IT ARE GREAT. SCORING GOALS IS AMAZING. BIKE POLO IS AMAZING.

2. My heart was in it, even if my heart wasn’t in it: As you all know by my constant complaining about it, my ticker likes getting uppity sometimes. Well, I guess because of my completely lacking workout regimen over the winter, it wasn’t too keen on me going from potato to polo player all in one day. After a few games I felt it getting into too high a gear and needed to sit a few more games out than what I perhaps would have otherwise. Still, I didn’t die, so that’s a perk.

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3. There are places to be on the court: D.C. as a club is very focused on plays. Not necessarily on planned out, white-board plays, but more like “if I’m here you should be here” plays. To that end, I wasn’t necessarily, ahem, in the right place at the right time.

However, when I was in the right spot, it became apparently that someone would feed me the ball if I was indeed the most likely to make a decent shot. Likewise, after a few games I had a sort of intuition that if I passed the ball to a certain area, my team-mate would likely be there.  Read more

Lancaster Goes to DC

Well, some of Lancaster. The rest were too lame to make the hour long trip for funtime polo.

Troy, Karl, Yeager and I made the skip & jump down to DC this Sunday in order to play some very pleasant, very fun polo.

I mean, once their players started showing up. We were the first ones on the court and as such had the ancient right to put stickers on their goals and pee in various spots on the court. It appeared we were not the first ones to do so.

DC made us feel welcome (as always) and showed us a thing or two about how to play the sport. I had my first ever Empanada, too (which Jess explained to me as a clam hand motion when I asked her what it was–so that was helpful), and I gotta say those things are worth the trip down to DC.

We played simple pickup, and before my heart decided to get over-excited (with Bobby sweating all over the court, how couldn’t it?) I was having a blast. The court surface in DC is tennis paint, so it grips and holds just like we all grew up with. It’s a smaller court, to be sure, but not as small as what I’m used to at RVA. No, I think it was just about the perfect size for some good breakaways and clever mallet work.

After a full day of polo, Lancaster promptly left the city and hit traffic twice. But with good company in the car, who the hell cares about not moving for thirty or so minutes, amiright?

The Bruce Hustle

 

 

I love it when I get a series of pics like this.

Bruce