First off was a jam packed Bike Polo invitational hosted by Los Marcos. 4 or so fomer Luche Libre stars from LosMarcostan flew into town, were detained at the airport and were able to judge their own polo competition even though one of their founding members was doored by an irate driver, punching a hole in his chest with the tip of the car door.
photo by john prolly
But the show went on. Two days of bike polo here in NYC at what is now being called the polo grounds of Broome and Chrystie street. For those who don’t know there is a massive movement of people getting on bikes and hitting a ball into a goal with homemade mallets of ski poles and pvc pipe.
Just take a look at the myspace pages alone of polo sites:
And there is a lot more.
I was talking with Pieter Blockker from Vancouver and he mentioned the infectious nature of bike polo…
“you don’t choose bike polo…it chooses you”
It was hard to dispute meeting people who had traveled all over the country just to play bike polo in NYC for a bunch of dudes wearing Mexican wrestling masks and American Apparel underwear.
Saturday, the 20th, people took the court around Noon and began playing pickup games, giving the individual teams a chance to square off and see weather fixed gears were better than freewheels for stick handling.
Then there was a 2 on 2 showdown and the points began. Los Marcos had a very loose system of keeping score, or maybe it was just too complicated for me to understand but cheating was incouraged and througout the weekend participants scored points by bribing the judges, stealing their bikes and doing what ever they could to gain their approval.
Around 7:30pm the polocat began, a nightime alleycat race for the polo teams through lower Manhattan, polo mallets were required at all times and several of the checkpoints involved hitting balls, including the bull stature in Wall Street.
Some went on to a massive party in BedSty but I head over to the St. Mark’s Chuch for a Freewheels event: the Zombie ride.
All the zombies gathered at the St. Marks Church and rode through the streets, critical mass style. We had no police bothering us, thankfully…and had a nice tour of Lower Manhattan with the occasional stop to tell ghost stories and point out historical sites in NYC which had hauntings.
Then we rode to Washington Square park and then over the Manhattan bridge to a park in Fort Greene to make smores by a bon fire.
The Los Marcos bike polo championships were well underway when I arrived around 2:00pm. Being extremely hung over from the nights partying may have been a handicap but the polo went on.