Time has been going by so slowly and quick all at the same time.
It feels likes ages ago yet it was just a week.
I attended San Francisco's recent Young Blood Inaugural sun. April 12, 2009. I was so excited to see this Greater Cascadia bout! I feel like I might fight someone for the title of number one sfbikepolo fan. I was exposed to bike polo in Portland in the magical year of 2002. That is when many awesome things happened in the Portland bicycle history. This is a tangent, but two thousand two was a year that not only Zoobomb, but Axles of Evil bike polo, Shift to Bikes organization, and C.H.U.N.K. 666 held a Chunkathalon. Midnight Mystery rides. Everything came out of the year of Bike Summer.
Since then, it has been my viewing pleasure to witness many a West Side Invites, Slaughteramas, Dead Baby Downhills, and NACCC's. Also local teams gearing up with the new bully, Seattle giving Portland a run for their money, introducing us to it, I hear.
There has always at least been a MEGA rivalry between Portland and Seattle. Witnessing how my new homefront held up was key. And I was thougoughly impressed. Kim and Laird with precision shots, and Xian with an ungodly left handed lean.
I spent my first five years being a professional fan of Cascadia bike polo. My friend and I lived mere blocks away from the Sunday games, and frequently went over, Sparks in tow, picking up mallets to make fire spinning routines with while we were cheering on the carnage. These days we just sat in the bleachers and discussed the playing like a fine wine tasting mixed with the set of an urban, street-slanged lisp and sudden outbursts of fury/acclaim.
I was cheering on my homie Casey on Team Cascadia because I know he has mastered the snake style. some have come close, but none have harnessed it like he has. He was one of the original Portland bikepolo kids, and you can tell he has been putting in his work.
I found myself cheering for LA's 818 because I have a thing for cholos and they had some fine latinos representing so-cal. Then of course, who I had thought would win, but didn't, was the bikeshopcrewcrew with Xian, Laird, and Kim's team. They had been practicing and scheming. The last few weeks at polo the courts were tense and huddled, with know teams who used to be together, now beefing up their skills as a team to dominate all. I heard so many little whisper circles about playing styles and tendencies. Bike ninjas honing their skills of awareness for tournament.
I had spent the late night hours before the morning's event using a nose hair trimmer to carve lightning bolts into Xian's sideburns. We also gave him a double handlebar. It took three hours and three girls hacking away. Maybe in hindsight he should have rested up instead of entertained four girls wanting to play beauty parlor. Oh well, the ride there was B E A utiful! Sunny spring day, prizes lined up at the bbq stand, shade perfectly fell on the bleachers for the diehard fans and quick outers.
That is why bike polo players don't have numbers. Because everyone wants both teams to win. We're all homies. If you travel more than a state to play one of the bloodiest, underrated extreme sports, then you are family. Kindred Spirit.
That is what I saw on Sunday. Each team took turns cheering for their homies, then their victors.
I am beginning to see certain moves that really help if you can pull them off in polo.
I will keep them secret until I decide I won't ever play. Until then I will keep them for my own future polo exploration.
I had a fabulous turkey burger, donated towards some chilled beers, and helped carry the champion crystal mallets with large feathers and ninja scroll wrapping, to the prize pile. yeah. That sounds important, huh?
I am going to do some self hazing to prove that I am the number one bike polo fan.
Look for wacky stunts incredibly terribly pulled off.
Probably will manifest in cheers and slang for when people score. Idioms, if you will.
If you think of any, let me know.
And tons of stomp claps. After all, this area birthed hyphy. Let's make like gentrifiers and collectivize culture.
Anyway, the gladiators threw their mallets around, rolled out of the impossible, held every whimper back even when the sun was beating down on the sprinting steed legs. Oh it is my most favorite sport. In fact the only one I am truly able to yell uncontrollably or say funny ironic/moronic thing towards. It is sexy as hell. The stop and go, the ball play, the gnarly wipeouts and incredible leans. Oh it is such a turn on. Some ladies have a thing for football players and I thought I was above that. But now I am knee deep in yearning for the sport. No matter who is playing, as long as it plays. It might become like a nervous person and their chill playlist on I tunes. Protective and addicted. I look so excitedly forward to Monday nights where I can watch my new velofam get better and craftier at this sport that has only caught sail in the last few years. And most of that is due to the awesome network of bikers who are always pleasant to be around, no matter where we are from or where we are going. There is a common place that brings us comfortably close to each other, separated by pedals from another saddle.
Check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcas/sets/72157616521440044/