Bike Polo at Open Streets St. Pete was rad! It was a beautiful Sunday and a great time. Thank you’s to everyone that came to play, help, hustle, and hang out. My only regret is that this only happens once a year.
Here’s a more detailed map of things happening at this Sunday’s event.
On Sunday October 28th from 11am-4pm our club will be participating in the Open Streets St. Pete event. If you’re otherwise unfamiliar, Open Streets is a closing of public streets to motor vehicle traffic and an ambulatory carnival of community vendors set up. It’s a family oriented day for walking, riding, scooting, skating, and most importantly fun! We’ll be setting up a small court for some 1 on 1 style games for fun and small prizes. Look for us at the Al Lang Stadium parking lot where the Saturday Morning markets usually take place. We look forward to seeing you there!
This past weekend (9/28/18-9/30/18) Dana and I (St. Pete club mates) had the opportunity to compete in the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships which was hosted in Milwaukee, WI. Our team, Ursa Minor, consisted of players from around the southeastern United States. I’ve been playing bike polo since 2007 and have tried earnestly to qualify into this event. Some times I did qualify but could not go because either the rest of my team could not attend or general “life things” happened that took priority.
It feels a little surreal to finally go, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my teammates; Melanie Annis, Joel Crandel, Bob Delgado, Dana Gordon, Jimmy Gunderson, Liz Solomon, and Danny Wood. Not all of them could attend the tournament in Milwaukee but they were there in spirit and they were certainly missed.
It was a roller coaster of a weekend. We played through some brisk temperatures and rain at times which made for some interesting games. Special thanks to the teams that we played against. You were awesome! In the end we placed 9th out of the 24 teams in the tournament. Not too shabby! The host club did an unbelievable amount of work to renovate the courts, provide lights, and procure other amenities to make this a top notch event. There was a web broadcast from one of the courts throughout the weekend. It makes for some entertaining stuff.
For more information about the sport and the tournament and link to the broadcast:
Here’s our first recorded match from the tournament, a game against Judgement. It’s worth watching for the wonderful play by play commentary by Alexander Kado:
Then you can follow that up with our game against Paul’s Bunyans. A real close one:
Last Saturday night was a great night! We had a number of people new to bike polo come out and give it a try. We always try to have spare gear for people to borrow, but for anyone that would like to invest in their own stuff here’s some handy links where you can shop for mallets, balls, parts, and bikes.
For a variety of stuff try Heckler’s Alley. They’ve got almost anything you’d need to get rolling.
For mallets and shafts check out Donata Bike Polo.
For everything second hand, there’s a group on Facebook.
Here’s a short list of bike frames that are purpose built for bike polo:
Great article in the New York Times about the current state of polo and where many would like to see it go.
“The sport is also feeling the pressure to evolve, with many of the game’s early innovators now in their thirties or forties. Teams (like bands and other indie group efforts) fall apart when people marry, start families, move away, or just get tired. The challenge is to bring new blood in while honoring the original culture of the game.”
Get ready everyone, we’ll be bringing bike polo to Open streets St. Pete. On Sunday, October 28th from 11am-4pm enjoy a family friendly event with FOOD, MUSIC and FUN IN THE STREET! “Experience car-free roads connecting to the Pinellas Trail and protected bike lanes. Come bike, stroll, and roll! Welcome Area is at Albert Whitted Park!” More details forthcoming. Until then, check out the proposed street closings:
Get pumped by watching the final game from the last World Championships in Timaru, New Zealand. Call Me Daddy (Europe)(Current World Champs) vs Outlawz Birds (Europe).
The Bikery will be having a drink special for our event. Beer in bottles and cans for $3, plus a selection on tap for $6. They’ll also have hot dogs 🌭! PLAY BALL!!