On this episode of Hi Wheel Scene Tries, we’re talking about bicycle polo! So yesterday I decided it would be a cool idea to go meet up with the Boston Bike Polo scene to see what it’s all about.
The backstory is that I’ve known about bike polo, at some capacity, for a few years. Perhaps the first place I heard about it was through some TV commercial that featured it; although I feel like I knew about it on some level even before that. Regardless, randomly a few months ago I thought of it and did a Google search to see if there was any sort of bike polo organization in the Boston area.
This is not the commercial I was talking about but it still serves a good purpose, to tell about Bike Polo. Plus, I’m pretty sure that the dude in the Red Sox hat is this guy Addison who I met last night… weird.
Sure enough, there was, so, I found out when they meet up and put it on my Reminders list on my phone for that Wednesday night. I then preceded to move it back week after week, putting it off for various reasons; work, the weather, or the fact that Wednesday is my karaoke night. However, after several weeks of procrastination, I finally got around to making the trek out to Allston to see what it’s all about.
I showed up a little after 6:30, the time that the “beginners night” was set to start. Upon my arrival, I met Nick (I think that was his name) and Charlotte. They introduced themselves and told me that thus far, I was the only newb who had shown up. I explained my deal; how I’m not really competitive and how I’m just there to meet new people, put another activity on my itinerary, and have a good time. They were totally down and soon we were all riding around the court with balls and mallets.
It is a lot more difficult than it looks. I mean I am pretty terrible at sports anyway and pretty slow to pick things up, but I just could not get the hang of it. Occasionally I would go on a pretty good run with the ball, but then inevitably I would go to shoot and fuck it up. On top of that, in spite of the fact that there were only three of us, there were several near misses and a few not-so-bad collisions. If that was the case with so few of us, I can just imagine how fuct I’d be with a full court of cyclists hustling after the ball.
I found that there were several problems I ran into. 1) I am right handed and only have a rear brake. This means that I can either hold a mallet or hit the brakes, I can’t do both. This is not a good position to be in when you find yourself heading full speed towards a wall. Charlotte did offer to switch the brake over to the left side, but I didn’t want to bother with it as I am still feeling it out. Another problem with being right handed is that whenever the ball was to my left I had to make a circle to try and get another shot at it.
Another issue is that I have shitty aim. I had to keep my eye on the ball the whole time to keep it going, but, upon doing this I would sometimes lose my bearings and run into a wall or almost into one of the other players. I feel like there were more issues, but that’s probably enough for now. I certainly have a lot to learn. I fell a few times and had a couple nice run ins with the wall. If I continue to participate, I see broken wrists and squished testicles in my future.
A little later this girl (whose name I for get; sorry) showed up; I think she’s Nick’s girlfriend. A little while later this dude Addison showed up. We all sat and chatted and chilled for a bit. After that Nick and his GF peaced out and then me, Addison and Charlotte tooled around for a bit longer before calling it quits for the night at around 8:30.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to grab any pictures. I mean, I’m sure I could have but there wasn’t much interesting going on. Plus, being the narcissistic fuck that I am, I wanted someone to grab a picture of me. Oh well. Regardless, I really just went there for fun and to, at the very least, say I tried it out. I don’t give too much of a shit if I ever play on a team, although I do feel like Suicycles would make for a great team name. I can certainly say mission accomplished and I am definitely interested in going back.
On the ride home this bro with a longboard complimented my bike while exiting the train. Also, some dude near me asked me about the bike; how I liked it and how it’s held up. This made me feel pretty good; it’s always nice getting compliments from strangers.