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Last chance to register for Shoreditch Invitational Polo Tournament
8.07.08 by Buffalo Bill

Despite some scepticism from some quarters, notably bikesnob and Jack Thurston of the Bike Show, bicycle polo is growing in popularity in London. There are now regular games 4 or 5 times a week (making a polo widow of Roxy!), and Sunday afternoons at the Brick Lane court (aka the Shacklewell Street playground), are very popular with many right-thinking cycling folk, with messengers amongst the regular players.

The informal nature of most polo games, with teams being formed at random, and playing together for one game only, would seem to militate against tournament play, but nevertheless teams are being formed, with certain players, notably Little Jon (aka Eggpie) being desired by more than one team. And not just because he looks fantastic in knee-high boots and a wig. So what is causing this fuss in London polo-land? The Shoreditch Invitational Polo Tournament, being held 17th August as part of the Shoreditch Festival, of which this useless ‘zine is a sponsor.

I believe that there is still time to register a team if you are really, really quick. More details on the London bike polo blog. Brooks are giving all the players a free saddle, and entry is free, so well worth the effort, we think.

  1. Go team Rollapaluza ! ! !

    — Jos    8 July 2008, 16:03    #
  2. rollapaluza muthalickers!
    come on MT!

    — overdrive    8 July 2008, 16:41    #
  3. Rollapaluza has a secret weapon(s)

    Winston    8 July 2008, 16:53    #
  4. I’ve been told watch out for the team called the pedalphiles. They mean business with over 30 messenger years experience between them

    — zack speedfast    8 July 2008, 17:07    #
  5. Not wanting to be a killjoy, but my only objection to the new hipster version played in car parks and kids’ playgrounds is that it’s really really slow and dull dull dull to watch.

    Mainly because of the over-emphasis on not putting a foot down, which I guess has its origins in the respek accorded to bike messengers and others who can track stand for hours on end.

    Compare this:


    with this:


    Key points: a big court, grass (reduces injuries as crashes are to be encouraged!), very very low ratio gearing, a fairly large ball. Now that’s how it should be done, no? I suggest a move up to Hackney Marshes at the earliest opportunity.

    Of course, bike polo has been going almost for as long as there’ve been bicycles, for a potted history take a look over here .

    Jack    8 July 2008, 21:34    #
  6. Whatever, Jack, I have played grass-court and hard-court, and I think they are both fun. The BIG draw-back of grass-court is that it is played on grass, and becomes pretty slow on a muddy pitch – the ball sticks and the bikes stick too!

    Of course the Brick Lane court is a bit small, and the fences – which prevent quick wall play – don’t help, but I find that the games are pretty quick and exciting to watch, and play most of the time.

    But the real question is: will there be a late entry from the bike show? Or are they going to stand on the side-lines pooh-poohing the hard-court-hoi-polloi?

    — Bill    8 July 2008, 22:04    #
  7. I’ll not be standing on the sidelines pooh-poohing anyone. But come mid August I’ll be out in the Alps acquainting myself with some hills.

    Jack    8 July 2008, 22:49    #
  8. …oh, and if getting stuck in the mud is your problem, a change up in tyre size is your solution. Might need to leave that track frame at home.

    Jack    8 July 2008, 22:52    #
  9. having played grass court at HH and recently hard court at Brick lane I would say they are both great fun and both make the adrenaline flow, however, hard court is a little “dainty” compared to the rough and tumble of grass…but it’s not about that is it? it’s about the fact that a bunch of people have revived the sport and are enjoying it!

    Winston    8 July 2008, 23:24    #
  10. hard court/grass court? I think you guys have been watching too much wombles of wimbledon. God damn my head is leaking i’ve got water on the brain after today crazy day…

    — zack speedfast    9 July 2008, 17:27    #
  11. Rollapaluza have rescued a load of the old grass-court bikes. More details and pics here

    — Bill    12 July 2008, 20:21    #
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