I didn't see this feller out there?

This weekend saw the Adelaide Bicycle Polo Club play host to the Australasian Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championships in the East Park Lands.

If you haven’t seen this sport, you should get down to the parklands one Sunday afternoon, and have a look at these guys playing. There is a massive mix of bikes out there, some that you can see have been rescued from the hard waste and brought back to life, others that the owners have spent some serious coin on. There doesn’t seem to be too many rules about the type of bike, but I would say that all of them are single speed or fixed, even a few unicycles thrown in.

The front wheels generally have a corflute cover to protect the spokes from stray mallets, thus saving the rider from flipping over the handlebars! If you look closely at some of these covers, you may even recognise the faces of some of the local pollies! If you do head down there and are taking the kids with you, better brace yourself, sometimes the language can get colourful on the courts, and some of the spokecards I saw today, well they certainly appealed to me, but even SBS wouldn’t show some of those pictures!

Now the game itself seems to be played with few rules, but allegedly this is not the case. There are some rules, with one of the main rules being “Don’t be a dick”. It would seem that you can not deliberately ram another players bike, nor can you deliberately jam your mallet in the opponents spokes! The mallets themselves are a lightweight material, so that if players are accidentally struck by one, it won’t cause as much damage!

There are two teams of three, and to start the game, the ball is placed in the centre of the court, and the opponents line up alongside their own goals. When the umpire, (yes, there’s even an umpire!), blows the whistle, two of the riders charge for the centre, and the third moves his bike in to protect the goal. These guys and girls certainly know how to handle their bikes on a small court, and can make them stop, spin, turn around and control the ball with ease. Some use the mallet as an extension, and will actually pivot their bike around the mallet quite nicely.

They will always make you feel welcome down there too, but be careful, on the normal Sundays, if you start to look too interested, they will even offer you their bike and mallet so that you can have a go too!

I didn’t stay watching too long today though, as I was fully decked out in my roadie gear, with my road bike. If I had have been on one of the other bikes, I certainly would have stayed longer to watch and enjoy the spectacle of it all. If I had stayed longer though, I think I would have had to have done it like this feller, the perfect bike polo watching position!

Best spectator seat in the house!

I have uploaded a few photos from today on the SmudgeMonkees Facebook page.