1) This past Sunday I played my first Pick Up game of Bike Polo. As expected, I was terrible at it. I fell several times, crashed a few more, and got more in the way than actually contributing to the game. However, none of that would have been possible if it weren’t for the hospitable crew of gents who helped me. Someone let me borrow their mallet. I had my own bike, but, like I said before, the brake is on the wrong side so I kept running into problems. When they saw I was struggling, someone else let me borrow their bike which had the brake on the proper side.
Though this was better to stop with, it was hard for me to use because I was having trouble reaching the pedals. When they saw that the seat was too high, they called me over mid game to adjust it for me. Everyone was very accommodating and I met a bunch of new guys who were all really cool and easy to get along with. After the game was over, someone else lent me a tool so I could switch my brake over to the proper side for the next game. Unfortunately for me, there was no next game.
Towards the end of the day there were seven of us and when it came time to toss in a mallet to join, I had no mallet to toss in (order to show my interest in playing). I stuck around to watch for a bit and was going to see if there would be one more game, or if everyone was gonna head out to a bar or something, but by that time the mosquitos were out in full force, so I just bounced.
2-a) That however leads me to my second point; getting/making a mallet. One of the first things I did upon arriving was to ask where to procure a mallet. This led to two answers, make one or buy one, the latter of which will be covered in point #3. (I also asked where I could buy a Boston Bike Polo t-shirt but got less of a solid answer).
When I was told how simple it was to make them, I thought [once home] to do something I should have thought of from the start; Google “how to make a bike polo mallet.” The search lead me to this “how to” video from Legit Bike Polo.
2-b) This “Quick n’ Dirty” guide was exactly what I was looking for and so the next day, I began my search. All I needed were some used ski poles, a few nuts and bolts, hockey tape, and ABS pipe. Simple enough, right? This has actually proved to be more difficult than I imagined.
On Monday I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to see if they had any BP equipment. The woman I spoke to had no idea what I was talking about, but the trip wasn’t a complete loss, I ended up buying some street hockey balls to practice with and some hockey tape (for the mallet grip). I then went to REI which was [also] useless. Lastly, I went to Play It Again Sports but they were closed for the holiday.
So today, I went to Play It Again first thing and was able to grab a pair of used ski poles for $9. I then went to Lowes, two Home Depots, and a local hardware store in search of ABS pipe, only to come back empty handed. Well, that’s not true. I did buy the nuts, bolts and washers I needed, but the key ingredient, the piping needed for the mallet head was/is missing. So, I ended up just ordering some pipe on Amazon.
I worked on as much as I could, hacking the ends off the poles, taping up the grips, and sticker-ing & spray painting them respectively. For now it’s a work in progress until the ABS arrives. I’ll update you when the mallets are finished. I realize I only need one mallet, but a) the poles came in a pair, b) I’m going to have left over pipe anyway, and c) I can either have the second one as a spare, have it to let others borrow, or I can sell it.
3) Lastly, the aforementioned BP retailer, Fix Craft. Fix Craft is a great site that was recommended to me by Nick and has all things Bike Polo. I could have bought a mallet head and shaft (very phallic sounding) from them and put it together on my own. The reason I didn’t is because a) it is more expensive and b) I think it’s more badass to make your own. Plus, since I still don’t know how committed I am, I don’t want to drop a bunch of cash on something that I might be bored with in a week or two, you know?