June 1st & 2nd –
Bench Minor is coming to L.A.!
Hosted in a different city in North America since 2010, the Bench Minor pits 6 teams of top-level polo players against each other in a weekend-long series of matches. Only one team will come out on top!
Whether you’ve never seen polo before or seen a thousand matches, this is gonna be the ish you don’t wanna miss!
6 GM’s have been selected and have drafted their team member picks. Only 48 players made the cut from the 200+ polo players registered for the draft. This year’s GM’s are:
Pistolero – LA
Ben Schultz – Chicago (MKE)
Eric Crandall – Portland
Cody Riggs – Seattle
Ngaihon Choo- Toronto
Eric Kremin – MKE
Check out the team rosters here: https://docs.google.com/
It’s gonna be a hot one!
Location:Recreation Park 401 Sheldon Street El Segundo, CA 90245 El Segundo, CA United States
Courtside games and half-time shenanigans!
Schedule of Events:
Wednesday: Pickup at the regular spot – Montecito Heights Rec. Ctr. 4545 Homer St. Highland Park (Fig & Ave 43)
Thursday: Pickup til party at No Manor, 9pm.
Homebrew, fire and some hott! local talent: Verbs & Mikey Wally.
Trust if you haven’t heard ‘em yet you’re in for a treat!!
Friday: Polo forever all day! At the regular spot^ … beach party at Dockweiler Beach. Bonfire. Brews. Buds.
Saturday: The real deal. Seeding rounds. Start time 10 a.m. Don’t be late! Beach party to follow.
Sunday: The Showdown. Start time 10 a.m. DON’T BE LATE! Play hard, play fast. SLAY TO WIN. More partying after.
Wanna volunteer? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in sponsoring? Please email ^, and thank you!
Our friend Nick at NearNut Productions stopped by the rink recently and put together this polo highlight reel. I think it does a good job of conveying some of the energy and excitement in polo, which can be a tough thing to capture.
By the time you wake up tomorrow, the 2012 World Hardcourt Bike Polo Champion will be known. The tournament kicked off in Geneva earlier this week, with a Wildcard tournament that qualified ten teams to advance to the championship competition. After the end of two days of seeding, the Guardians rank first, with a W/L/T record of 7/2/0 that just barely beats that of Call Me Daddy, France’s sweetheart team who earned the 2nd place podium spot at Worlds in 2011 and won the Euro title in their hometown.
So while the battle may well come down to a face off between Guardians and Call Me Daddy, there’s a few other teams that some of us have put our money on.
I’ve elaborated on the records and history of the top running teams (from a North American’s perspective) on this page. Links to live bracket results and streaming games can be found there as well. xo.
This winter is going to be a great time for the southwest. So far, we have 3 tournaments planned for the fall, and we’re expecting a couple more to be announced soon.
October 20-21, 2012
The 2012 Westside Invite
November 10-11, 2012
Ball Whacker’s Ball IV
December 1-2, 2012
Crank Gamble II
We also anticipate that Tempe, Sacramento, and/or Santa Cruz will announce tournaments for January and February. It’s gonna be a hot one!
Sometimes things get a little heated at polo, but at the end of the day we all the love the game and might as well just hug it out.
LA Bike Polo is super excited to announce our partnership with SoCalCross and UCI’s Spooky Cross to host our first tournament in a few years. It will be held at the L.A. County fairgrounds the weekend of October 20-21, 2012. Check out the tournament listing on League of Bike Polo. More details to follow. Please feel free to contact us if you’re interested in sponsoring the event.
Tim McGee crushes local race, LA Bike Polo Celebrates
By Scoop Newsworthy AP (Associated Polo)
LA Bike Polo was out in full force at the recent Wolfpack Hustle Midnight Drag Race in in Downtown Los Angeles. They came out to support the eventual winner, their very own Tim McGee. This was the 4th edition of the race, and the first incarnation to be 100% legit with the city. In the past, race organizers merely co-opted the course, a straight 1000-foot sprint through the 2nd street tunnel at night with the cars. While the course hasn’t changed, the size and organization have greatly improved. With electronic timers, bleachers, catering, and even police assistance — the race has gone from underground alleycat to nearly mainstream bicycle race.
Befitting such a noteworthy event, the level of talent at the current race has been raised. And best exemplifying this improvement was Young Timmy. Just a couple years ago he was banging the boards of the rink in NoHo, earning several podium finishes along the way. Long one of the best players in the city, Timmy has now achieved a role as a sponsored Velodrome racer. Just last week he won the California State Championship Trifecta on the track in San Diego, narrowly edging the longtime LA racer Jack Lindquist in Match Sprints. The two were set for a rematch but Big Jack threw that chance away when he was disqualified after only the first round of the single elimination bracket. He crossed the lane line while gloating over a lead he opened up, but that was only a part of the night’s drama.
The Women’s bracket kicked it off with a close finish for another talented LA polo veteran, Krista Carlson. She qualified for the elimination round but was narrowly edged out of the tournament by the top-seeded Shelby Walter in a tense race. Further in, Beatriz “She Wolf” Rodriguez, Queen Bea of Wolfpack and a winner in previous years, took down Walter in a photo finish semi-final. In the Men’s semi-final, the Zaldua brothers, James and Tony, squared off in a head to head match for the right to be humbled by Timmy in the final, and each other at their next family gathering. Both brothers gave a good race that was within a few lengths of each other at the finish line.
Waiting for the faster of the two (James), with a grin as wide as the tunnel itself was Tim McGee. As upbeat as ever and his face betraying no emotion, Tim saddled up to see his teammate from Predator Cycles across from him at the start line. All night long the young racer had been burying his competition like a backhoe. Never trailing in any of his heats, he also posted the fastest race time of the night, earning him additional prizes. He incurred much confidence from bursting out to large leads over his earlier opponents, often in the first third of the race. This impressive racing of his was witnessed all the through the tunnel, and certainly amongst Timmy’s sizable cheering section of LA polo players. They were proportionately rowdy to Tim’s level of dominance over the field, and the enthusiasm was infectious. Even the announcer got in on the excitement, introducing “Tim McGee of LA Bike Polo”- as opposed to his official sponsor- when announcing his starts and times. A little over halfway in to the men’s final race the whole crowd was now erupting; Timmy had another lead he would not surrender.
In between heats he was interviewed by various media outlets, including the LA Times. Through it all, Young Timmy maintained his typical blend of humility, calm, and a youthful, almost cherubic grin. Even back when he was a Polo Stud he had the same attitude; and it certainly is great, if not refreshing to see that more success has not spoiled him. Congratulations, Tim!! Big Win!!!
This Sunday, 10 miles of LA streets were closed to car traffic, opening them up to thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians. Krista of LA Bike Polo found a perfect parking lot to play on, and worked tirelessly to Make It Happen, coordinating between the CicLAvia organizers, the lot owners, and a million other people involved.
Another huge thank you goes to Pomona Bike Polo for bringing out their boards to set up the court. Due to their hard work, we were set up and ready to play at 10 a.m. when the event officially began.
Throughout the event, hundreds of people stopped to watch, take pictures, and some even tried their first game of bike polo. Veteran players took a back seat as the court was filled with 2v2 games with first time players. Instead they worked the crowd, explaining the basics to interested passersby. You should definitely check out this video of Brick dancing with a traffic cone on his head.
After the event was over, we headed up to the Mosher court for a few hours of happy, exhausted polo in the traditional 3v3 format, even getting one of the spectators from the event to give it a try on the home court. Overall, a very long, fun day of polo. Thanks again to everyone who pitched in to make it happen.
Yeah, maybe that sounds pretentious, but we really do hold it down!
Over the weekend Brick’s bike was taken from the yard at No Manor (yes it was dumb to leave the bike in the yard). No Manor is L.A.’s super awesome polo house, by the way. The bike was discovered missing when we went to head out for Sunday polo and couldn’t find the bike. It’s not in basement. It’s not in the yard. It’s not in Brick’s room…OK, who hid Brick’s bike? We’ve got polo to get to!
So the bike is gone. Brick chooses not to freak out. I reluctantly go to polo without him. I feel so bad. Brick spends the day with a bottle of whiskey. Meanwhile, No Manor resident Davis hops on the train in downtown — and a dude with Brick’s bike walks right into the car he’s in!
Davis managed to get a picture and a little video of the guy, then he got caught filming and the took punched him. Davis posted his story on Reddit, with links to the photo/video: “Today I ran into the bike theives who stole my roommate’s bike”
So that was Sunday. On Monday Brick goes around the neighborhood to see if anyone knows this guy. Some guys on the street provide a little bit of info, and the neighbor who’s grown up around here talks to a handful of people and gets the guy’s address. We collaborate on a sound plan that doesn’t involve more assault or putting anyone else in danger. We learn that the dude is not all there mentally, so “Let’s go talk to his mom” is the final consensus. Yeah, we took it there.
The first time, the neighbors in his building confirm his identity, but no one answers the door at his home. Back at No Manor, we strategize the next step. Provide the police with his address, since he’s already wanted for assault, and formally file a stolen bike/trespassing report. Then they head back to the dude’s apartment to leave a note for his mother. But this time the door is open and the guy walks right up to Brick. Of course he wants to beat the shit out of the guy. Instead he backs away and tells the dude the note’s for his mom, not to worry about it. Dude gets really aggressive really fast, while Brick attempts to stay more levelheaded than he ever has before. Then dude starts attacking Brick, who holds his own until the cops show up. Mom is present for the fight and concedes to compensate for the bike should it not be recovered. Well, once the cops are there the dude rats out his buddy, the one who purportedly actually did the trespassing and stealing. The cops take Brick and this dude down to find the other dude, who is pressed to lead everyone to the “bike shop” he took it to — a shady building adjacent to El Gran Burrito on Santa Monica and Vermont –but the shop was closed. The cops let the thief go (they’d already released the psycho dude when he took them to his friend) and then Brick ends up getting a ride towards home from one of the officers –but as they’re pulling off an older man flags them down. He says he’s the owner of the bike shop – an unnamed, obscure shop space. He offers to open the shop and, lo and behold, Brick’s bike is lying inside atop a pile of bikes. Brake lever has been removed, stickers have been removed, handlebars are off and have been painted; so has the stem. The shop owner says the bike was brought in for work…hmm….and so Brick rides his now-brakeless polo bike home after it’s 48-hour adventure from Highland Park to the bike district!
Major thanks are due to Davis and the neighbor, whose actions led to the recovery of Brick’s polo bike.
Know what else is awesome? Brick now belongs to the bike polo recovery club, which also includes Matt and I, who have both had our own polo-prevailing-over-evil brushes with bike thieves. In the words of the 818 Street Soldiers: “Don’t fuck with us!”
Helllooooooooo! OK, so this is long overdue, but the road has left little opportunity to post here, even my own blog update, The United States of Polomerica (a sort of ode to bike polo), was done via the WordPress mobile app on my phone! Unfortunately this site works a little bit different and I haven’t figured out how to update it from my celly.
Major congratulations to the Crazy Canucks!!!! Rory, Chris and Alex are a highly skilled, cohesive and professional team. Their game-play is incredibly fluid, bike-handling skills unmatched, and their attitudes are world-class. Going undefeated throughout the entire final day, there were many worthy contenders, but their place at the top of the podium is a testament to doing polo right.
Major kudos to Call Me Daddy (France, 2nd place) and the Guardians (Seattle, 3rd place), too! Stellar polo all around. Geneva’s Iron Ponies took 4th; they and L’Equipe (the EHBPC ’11 champs, who tied MKE’s Beaver Boys for 5th) will have an opportunity to compete for a place atop the world podium on their home turf next year, when they host the 2012 WHBPC (this is technically only a *strong* rumor at present). We’re looking forward to it, Geneva!
And now, whether you were there or not, you’ll want to watch this highlight reel over and over and over. Lots of great moments are captured. Peep Pistolero’s bloody arm and Eli’s “two-piece” bike early on in the vid.
An 18-minute extended version is available here: 2011 WHBPC Highlights
Then, today, Eli’s bike snapped in two. He was skidding sideways in a game -he torqued it in two!
I subbed in for the end of that game and one other game, and Eli borrowed a bike for the other games. Fatiguen & Sarah’s record was 2W/3L. I was a Fatigen stand-in for the win against Whole Hearted (Tif/LEX, Jill/PGH, Stiven/OLY). Every L.A. team needs a little lefty magic, after all.
Congratulations Guardians (SEA) for your victory in Calgary over this past weekend! From what I hear, the tournament went off without a hitch. Kudos to Trevor, Justin and everyone who helped make this event run smoothly.
Here’s the top 5 (6) placing teams:
1st – The Guardians (Julian/Seabass/Dustin Seattle)
2nd – Clobber Politics (Joe/Ben/Robbie CHI/OTT)
3rd – Crazy Canucks (Rory/Chris/Alex VAN)
4th – The Outsiders (Martin/Evan/Joker VAN/SEA/LA) (Woo!)
Tied for 5th:
Garçons Castor (Kremin/Brian/Pierre MKE/MAD)
DTGP (Kev/Greg/Ngaihon TO)
And congrats to all top 24 teams who qualified for WHBPC, Sept. 9-11!! See ya’ll in Seattle!
All 8 of the North American regional qualifier tournaments are now done with the completion of the Northside qualifier in Toronto, and the NAHBPC committee has announced that ALL top 12 teams from each of these tournaments will be admitted to the North American championship tournament (August 5-7) to be held in Calgary, B.C., and a wild card tournament will take place on August 4–registration for the wild card will be open to all. Registration for NAHBPC opens this Sunday, July 10 at 11 a.m. “Calgary time.”
More information is available at 2011nahbpc.org
Click play below see what kind of trouble Jinxy, Quinny (Ann Arbor, MI), and I got into at Ladies Army III in Austin.
Here is another video from Bench Minor 2; this time it’s a peek of Joker and his squad in a halftime huddle.
Check out some more videos from Bench Minor 2 by Keith Evans at Vimeo.com.
Congratulations to Team Puffin, Bench Minor II Champs! These guys OWNED IT in the final game, a well-deserved win by any measure.
Team Puffin was composed of the following players:
GM: Julian Aristeo (SEA)
Cody Riggs (SEA)
Mark Capriotti (Philly)
Zach Blackburn (NY)
Nick Reagan (Boston)
Here is an eloquent clip from this past weekend’s Bench Minor 2 in Chicago, where the cream of the crop in North American bike polo (plus a couple Frenchies) came to give it their all to stand as champions after two days of intense, hard-fought games. Music by Ennio Morricone.
Additional standings are:
2nd: Birdie (Meddlers)
Team Rosters available here
Bike polo has been around for a good minute.
Here is an article on bike polo from the New York Times from July of 1902 (click image to see article text).
And here we are today, keeping the dream alive!
Happy Birthday Joker, we love ya!
…when we get all kinds of busy playing polo, so we neglect writing about it.
LA’s been out spreading the No Manners way of life lately. No Love’s been in Austin (he’s visiting til Thursday though, so come play at the NELA spot Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.), Matt’s moved out to Denver, and Krista and Donnie are wandering through Cascadia. I just got back from Dallas, where they’re ever so slowly getting better at polo.
We recently spent a couple weekends playing in San Fransisco, where Valleros won their Ghetto Tourney, and a new standard was set for drunken polo. After that Krista and Jinxy went to Austin to visit Jeremy to go to Ladies Army III. The next weekend, 6 of us went to Portland for the Cascadian Regional Qualifier. Alex placed third with Martin (E. Van) and Evan (Seattle), and David, Eli, and I placed 7th as the only all LA team. David got MVP. And last weekend, Phoenix came out for Memorial Day, and we had some awesome fun times picnicking in Runyon Canyon and generally screwing around at Choppercabras. More and pics to follow!
The Infest warehouse in downtown is our new Wednesday night polo spot. We’ve been playing here on Thursdays since December and now we’re moving it to Wednesdays, so take note.
The warehouse is an awesome community space and we are 1000% grateful that they’ve been so welcoming to us. The Infest crew is a great group of people to boot, and they are always working on lots of different events and projects from art shows to punk shows to spoken word to womens’ dodgeball and firedancers. Outside they have a fantastic garden, though we haven’t been able to see much of it since we are there at night – but take a moment and check it out; they are growing all sorts of things and using stacked car tires to house potato plants.
As a community space, they subsist on donations, so any time you are here, to play polo or otherwise, dig into your pockets and give what you can to keep the Infest alive. Also, please be kind and gentle to all the doggies running around.
For photos of bike polo at Infest, check out Mikey Walley’s website – he’s come out a few times to get some snaps of the games in color and black & white; including this fantastic shot of Eli & Jinxy’s joust standoff.
You can also find detailed shots of Joker’s Surly 1×1 and some pix from the games in NELA too. Thanks Mikey!
In case you’ve been under a rock and haven’t heard by now, On January 31st L.A.’s Valleros won first place at the Desert Polo Invite for the third year straight. HELL YES! The Seattle-on-Seattle showdown for a trip to the finals was a priceless game to watch as well; Whachadoobin (Seabass, Julian and Polony) emerged victorious from that standoff, leaving the Oddballs (Leon, Drew, Mike) to settle into 3rd place.
The desert rolled out another milestone in North American Hardcourt Bike Polo, serving as the first ever official “qualifier tournament” to secure a spot at the North American Bike Polo Championship. Yeah, it’s like that now. The tournament ran smoothly on three courts in perfect weather conditions — maybe a bit on the warm side for the northern folk.
The tournament pioneered the registration process, bracketing software; a new official ruleset for 2011 tournaments; and acted as the battleground for 3X teams to compete for that coveted spot in the top 8. Congrats to them all!
We’d like to give a huge thank you to Chunk Clothing Co. for sponsoring L.A. Bike Polo.
SF Whacker’s Ball 2010 1st Place Champs – L.A.’s “Los Valleros”