Newcastle Bike Polo

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When I was initally invited to bike polo, via email, I assumed it was as a blogger and spectator. When the reply came back with “just bring your bike, we have mallets” I realised I would be playing too … I mentioned this to another player I knew and his response was “wear elbow guards”, so with some trepidation I set off to play last night.IMG_7853I didn’t know what to expect but was willing to try it out and after one of our recent very hot and windy Spring days, the cooler evening ride to the court was pleasant and a good warm up for the game.The game was fast and intense, varying between slow circling on the bike, fast sprints after the ball, and trying to stay well placed in front of the goal net. I found the rule of not touching the ground with feet to be the most challenging, especially when being closely passed or approached by another player, and at times the mallet felt more like a crutch to me as I used it to balance while still. IMG_7851Surprisingly, the game was mostly silent, often the only sound being the swooshing noise of tyres gliding on pavement. Goal victories were celebrated with the ringing of bells and there was the occasional call of “centre” to a fellow team member. There were no spills that I saw, but a few times a bike tangle (scrum?) would result from a particularly enthusiastic scuffle for control of the ball.IMG_7849I had heard of the bike polo group before and knew that they had their own T-shirts and logo, designed by a team member who works in marketing. All the players I know had talked about it with great enthusiasm and had become bike polo addicts in quite a short period of time, so I knew it would be fun. They had also spoken in awe of the visiting Sydney team who could do 180 degree turns on one wheel, a formidable skill to have in this game.

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