POV

Renegade Bike Polo

On a normal Sunday, it’s a group of guys hanging out and playing three-on-three pick up games, but today I ran into a full blown tournament; what a pleasant surprise.

Story and Photos by Andrew Rodriguez - andrew@kodezero.com

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Despite the hangover that I woke up with from Saturday night, I was determined to spend my day outside.  So I popped some Excedrin and hopped on my bike. On my way to meet up with some friends, I noticed a larger then normal crowd at “The Pit” on Chrystie and Broome Street.

If you’ve never passed by the pit on Sundays, then you probably haven’t seen the bike polo that goes on.  It’s not your everyday sport that you can go anywhere to play like basketball, and if you’re into bikes like I am then you should stop by to see what it’s all about. Players use single speed bikes with low gear ratios, carry special polo sticks and some choose to wear protective gear like hockey helmets, gloves and kneepads.

Red Menace photo©Andrew Rodriguez

On a normal Sunday, it’s a group of guys hanging out and playing three-on-three pick up games, but today I ran into a full blown tournament; what a pleasant surprise.  Based on the original sport of polo played on horses, bike polo bears a similar resemblance to hockey, and the competitiveness is paralleled as well. With only the best players making up the teams from each city, these guys were clearly better then usual which made for more entertaining games to watch. Yes, when I say city, I mean different cities from the east coast. People actually traveled for this tournament!

Waiting for the line change photo©Andrew Rodiguez

I stopped by to watch during the last semi-final game, which was Philly versus NYC. The game started out evenly with the score only being separated by one point. Soon enough though, NYC started putting points on the board with a really strong offense. They were getting a lot of shots on net, and making the most out of them, which led them to win the game. Unfortunately, I filled up my memory card taking pictures of this game and couldn’t capture the final game.  It was NYC vs. RVA (Richmond Virginia) and it was close. RVA took the win twelve-eleven and won the whole thing.

The final results were:

First Place: RVA (qualified for Continental Championship Tournament)
Second Place: NYC (qualified for Continental Championship Tournament)
Third Place: Philadelphia (qualified for Continental Championship Tournament)
Fourth Place: Boston

I have to say, being a hockey fan, it does make me happy to see Philly and Boston below us since we have rivalries against these cities.

If you think you’d be interested in bike polo (I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t be), stop by The Pit on Chrystie and Broome. I’ve been told the regulars would have no problem letting new people interested in playing give it a try. They may even be nice enough to lend you some gear and a bike.

photo©Andrew Rodriguez

One Response to “Renegade Bike Polo”

  1. Brynell says:

    Your article was excellent and erudite.