The Bike Polo season never seems to end, but nobody is complaining on a sunny 65 degree day in November. There were two Open tournaments (meaning no pre-qualifing required) held this past weekend, The Star City Open in Lafayette, IN and Turducken Open in Richmond, VA.
We sent three MKE teams down to Indiana to compete in what I would rate as one of the most fun tournaments of the year. My team, The Rangers, were able to pull off the win by defeating a mixed city (Bloomington, Indianapolis, Ann Arbor) team “Dock Ellis and the No-No’s” 4-2 in the final match. We brought down some of our newer players and they did great too, placing 5th and 7th in the field of 16. It is nice to see even our rookies playing well against other cities. These guys have a bright future continuing the winning tradition of Milwaukee Bike Polo.
Lafayette, the home of Purdue, is a great college town, and we always have lots of fun when we visit. We kicked off the tournament weekend at Virtuous Cycle Shop on Friday night with a party. The shop seems to be the hub for a number of new bike culture and exciting advocacy efforts in Lafayette, such as weekly family bike rides and a push for more on-street bike parking. Good luck to them on helping to make Lafayette a more bike-friendly city!
Sadly we missed seeing our favorite Lafayette DJ, Cap’n Dangerous, due to a double booking/cancellation by the bar. Next time we go to Lafayette we are dancing twice as hard to make up for it!
Further east this weekend in Richmond, VA, Team “Adonis/Babyface” consisting of our club’s elite player – Eric Kremin, MKE trained ex-pat living in San Francisco now – Brian Dillman, and a Richmond native and friend soon to move to MKE – JT, pulled off a win after losing the first final match in the double elimination bracket over another mixed city (MKE, LEX, Seattle) team in the finals featuring our newest polo transplant to MKE , Chris Simpson.
Our Milwaukee Polo Club is looking strong heading into the winter months, but we are always looking for new players. Any of you “polo curious” readers should feel free to come out to our courts in Washington Park (by the basketball courts and near the pool) with your bike and a helmet and we’ll loan you a mallet. We play Sundays from 1pm till dark when it’s not snowing or raining throughout the winter. Like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all club activities.
Bicycling by its very nature is local and helps strengthen communities. Bike Polo strengthens local communities by activating empty lots, playgrounds and parks with a healthy, low-cost sport. All it takes is a handful of people with bikes who want to give polo a try and some mallets. At the next level, Bike Polo brings players from across the country to cities big and small to gather for tournaments. This not only provides a chance to hang with friends and compete, but to see what exciting bike facilities and programs are happening in these tournament towns and cities across the country (and world).
Final word: These amazing tournaments would not be possible if it weren’t for the amazing local bicycle advocates and supportive sponsors in every town. I would like to send a big thank you out to all the local bike shops, parks departments, artists, musicians, and businesses that welcome bike polo players from across the country and world into your communities for these weekend events. It means a lot to us, and we couldn’t do what we do without all of you!