I have been a bike commuter since I was able to pedal. But I didn’t really understand how you can connect yourself to a bike, how it can be an extension of your will, and how tasks that seem difficult or dangerous on a bicycle to some can be exhilarating and easy to an experienced rider, until I found bike polo, in 2009, in Columbia, Mo.
[This story was submitted by northeast Portland resident and president of Portland Bike Polo, Sasha Friedman.]
Portland Bike Polo has progressed over the past ten years from an offshoot of an indie messenger sport to a large group of athletes practicing year-round for national and international tournaments and putting on community outreach programs. Every week in Portland, rain or shine, twenty to fifty people come out to play a fun and challenging team sport on the pavement that combines individual bike riding ability with the ability to work and compete as a team.
Portland’s bike polo players and advocates have been selected to host a qualifying tournament for the Cascadia region. Bike polo teams from across the Pacific Northwest will come to Portland May 21-22 for the event. To help with event costs, Portland Bike Polo is selling banner space on billboards that will be placed around their court at Rose City Park. See the image above for more details and email cecilyu [at] gmail [dot] com to purchase space and ask questions.
BikePortland has already bought some space. Bike polo is a growing and very awesome sport and it deserves our support! Learn more about the local polo scene in our recent photo essay or in an article we published last April, Bike polo grows up in Portland (and beyond)
(Photos © J. Maus)
Hard court bike polo is surging in Portland and the sport is maturing well beyond its roots. Local veterans like Ben Miller (known as “Ringer” to friends), who have been playing for nearly a decade say they’ve never seen so many fresh faces showing up to weekly game nights.
Back on March 8th, the tennis courts at Northeast Portland’s Alberta Park hosted the nation’s best bike polo players at the first annual Oregon Bike Polo Championships.
For the uninitiated, bike polo is like traditional polo on horseback, except it’s played on a bike. The bikes are usually modified to have only one brake (usually on the left side so your strong hand can swing the mallet) and one, easy gear (so you can speed up quickly). Many players add covers to their wheels to keep mallets from flying through them, to deflect a competitor’s shot, or to bank their own shots. (more…)
Get your mallets ready bike polo fans, Portland is set host the first-ever Oregon Bike Polo Championships.
On the weekend of March 7th – 9th, the best bike polo players from all over the Northwest will vie for the championship crown. Organizer Drew Kinney says qualifying matches will be determined at Pier Park in North Portland on Saturday and then the finals will be held at Alberta Park on Sunday. Kinney expects polo players from Corvallis, Eugene, Seattle, and Canada to compete at the event. (more…)
Bike polo is a time-honored tradition here in Portland and our very own Axles of Evil is a team/club full of some of the most skilled and respected players anywhere.
Their home base is the tennis courts at Alberta Park in Northeast Portland, and now they’ve taken their game onto the grass. Below is an article on this new version of bike polo from local legend Dabby McCrashalot.
spoils of victory (a key to the City).
(All photos © Jonathan Maus)
I’m back from Vancouver BC. I intended to post more stories throughout the weekend, but that didn’t work out. Instead, here’s a full wrap-up of all the action…
(L to R) Bjorn, Ringer, Mason
Photo: Bjorn Warloe
Portland’s Axles of Evil bike polo team made a trip up to Vancouver BC over the weekend to compete in The Last Riders of the APOLOclypse, an event put on by East Van Bike Polo.
The team of northeast Portland residents, Bjorn, Ringer, and Mason beat out a team from Seattle in the finals 5-4 to bring home the coveted Golden Plate, and further cemented Portland’s great reputation for bike polo.