Machine Politics vs L'Équipe, August 2010. Photo by Steph Simcox
Sunday at 9:30AM Wed. at 6PM
Yeah Cheyenne!! Met one of you guys yesterday at the bike swap. Glad to see you on here. Catch up on all the gear innovations and stuff over the years in the forums... once you wade in there's enough discussion in there to have you reading for months.
We'll be sure to let you know when/if we throw another tournament, or another otherwise good reason for heading down to play.
- Duncan from Boulder Polo
Bike Polo on Sunday now starts at 9:30am.
Rick with Cheyenne Bike Polo
Cheyenne Bike Polo
Wyoming Tribune Eagle
By Alex Riley
CHEYENNE - The spark came from a YouTube video. That translated into phone calls and emails, which, in turn, became curiosity.
Now, it's a Sunday morning tradition for a small group of Cheyenne men.
Wake up early enough and mosey over to the roller hockey court by Pioneer Park on any given Sunday and you'll likely see the group - bicyclists, pedaling around, swinging mallets, trying to whack a little orange ball into a net.
The game is bike polo. Yes, the same polo played on horses, often referred to as "the sport of kings." Only this version involves bicycles, a concrete playing surface and your average everyman.
"One of our friends, Rick Carpenter, said, 'I think we should try bike polo. It looks fun on YouTube,'" George Anadiotis said. "He played earlier in his life a little, called us all up, and we were like, 'Sure, we'll try it.'"
Carpenter got the team started on a state government parking lot on 24th Street last November, but the game moved to the Pioneer Park hardtop earlier this year.
The riders are a varying demographic of ages and experience. The youngest player is not even in his 20s, but most of the men are in their late to mid-40s, if not older.
The game itself is simple at its core - put a ball in a net with a mallet while riding a bike. Teams generally consist of three players each, but the guys will allow two players, depending on who shows up. The first team to five points wins.
Anadiotis, the owner of Rock on Wheels bicycle shop, points out that most players ride a single-speed bike, and thicker tires are better for controlling balance and pace. Mallets are either store bought or homemade, usually consisting of a ski stick or golf shaft with a piece of PVC pipe attached to the end.
The group features riders with experience in mountain and road biking, as well as BMX.
Experience on two wheels is nice, but, to twist a phrase, it's not just as easy as riding a bike.
"As soon as you tell (a new rider) he's got to put a mallet in one hand, things change a little bit," Jeff Sherman joked. "It's kind of funny sometimes. You get that young kid who comes in (thinking), 'I can play with these old men' with his chest puffed out. Then it's like, 'Oh crap, this is kind of hard.' You need two sets of skills. It's that second one that usually gets them."
The one thing they have in common is they've fallen in love with this game.
"We came out and gave it a try. It's good exercise; it's kind of challenging. You do kind of get a little bruised up here and there," Paul Bailey said with a smile, pointing to a brace on his knee.
While injury might happen and the sport might sound obscure, the riders from Cheyenne are not alone.
Bike polo has been played since the late 1800s but back then it was on grass. A group of cycling messengers in Seattle developed the game on asphalt back in the 90s.
Since then, teams of bike polo enthusiasts have popped up all over the country, and even the world. Since 2009, there have been world, North American and European championships.
Cheyenne's players have battled with a team from Fort Collins, Colo., several times as a change of pace from playing each other.
The group usually plays Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, but as colder weather and early sunsets arrive, the mid-week games are likely to disappear.
Still, everyone insists that as long as they can get the lot cleared and it's not too cold, they'll keep playing into the winter as long as they can. The group has hopes of hosting a 12- to 15-team tournament sometime in May, with teams from Wyoming and Colorado taking part.
Ultimately, winning and losing have very little to do with the game. As the matches move along, the trash talk picks up a little speed, but so does the sportsmanship.
"It's fun. It's good to hang out with a bunch of friends here and still play and be aggressive. And at the end of the day, we all respect each other," Anadiotis said.
Cheyenne Bike Polo Inaugural Tournament
May 20, 2012
$20. per player
First 10 teams, 3 on 3
Guaranteed 3 games
Second court for pickup games
fyi Wy is invited to the Wild West Bench minor in NM. dates look like memorial day May 26/27. Hit us up let us know whatcha think
All your shots are block by I.
did you guys play through the winter? are you playing now? is the schedule the same?
-Brian in Casper
We play all winter if the weather permitting. Sunday at 8:30 am, Wed if we get enough players at 5pm
playing this wednesday?
We went down to Fort Collins. I think we will be playing next Wed in Fort Collins. This Sunday start at 8:30 am at 1331 Talbot Court in Cheyenne. See you on the May 20th at the tournament.
Rick with Cheyenne Bike Polo