Bike Polo is a fairly-underground game that involves riding your bike and, well, playing polo. For those of you unfamiliar with polo, it is traditionally played on horseback by rich people, I'd imagine. There are growing bike polo scenes and leagues in cities across the country, and a fairly big group that plays regularly on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I asked one bike jockey to give me some tips, and here is what he shared:
1. Get comfortable on your bike. Just as you would want to be a competent horse-rider before playing traditional polo, you are going to want your bike to act as an extension of you. The player shouldn't be focusing on riding the bike during the game, but rather, smashing the ball into the goal like a young Theo Fleury. Except on a bike.
2. Don't always be looking for the shot on goal. Look to your teammates to set up plays. Just like other sports like soccer or lacrosse, passing should be the first thing on your mind. The shots should come when there is a good opportunity. Opportunities come from making passes and capitalizing on opponent's mistakes. So look first, shoot second.
3. Be prepared for injuries. When you're on a bike, flailing a mallet around like a maniac, things will get bloody. Fully expect your shins to come out looking beat up. And wear a good pair of shoes. Some players wear shin guards, but that's for nancy-boys. Wearing a helmet wouldn't kill you either.
See if your city has a local hang out where bike polo takes place. It could be hard to find, but grab a hot dog and watch them play. Maybe even join in. You'll get some laughs at the very least!