I Hate Bike Polo, Too

Today isn’t even over and it already sucks.

The first link I clicked on this morning was www.hatingonbikepolo.com, where I was greeted with an excellently written, well-thought out argument against playing bike polo entirely. And it was shared all over the internet— by my friends! Who all love playing bike polo more than they love their parents. Was it an inside joke? Because I don’t know if I entirely “get” it. Was it a manifesto? Because it had some very poignant arguments that really forced me to reevaluate my priorities. Was it a rant? Because this page was written in a very upsetting tone, to which I can certainly relate. Well guess what, friends: sometimes I fucking hate bike polo too.

This new blog accomplished everything it set out to achieve: it left me feeling kind of empty inside, like all the money and sweat and blood I’ve spent over the last two years was for nothing. Suddenly, all my experiences with the awesome people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at tournaments and events were meaningless. What am I doing? Why am I doing this to myself? Is there anything to be gained from my involvement in this young, dumb, [relatively] poorly organized sport? And as a NAH rep, am I part of the problem?

You're not the only one who hates bike polo. We all hate bike polo, you were just the first person to put it into writing.
You’re not the only one who hates bike polo. We all hate bike polo, you were just the first person to put it into writing.

I don’t always love bike polo, in fact sometimes I hate it. I hate that no matter how hard I try, I am still not good enough to win a tournament, or oftentimes even just a pickup game. I hate that I feel like I have dropped several large stacks of $20 bills into a paper shredder for a bike that will likely snap in half while I’m riding it. I hate the rules and the regulations and the refs. I hate the people that make bike polo hate-able: the stuck-up bike snobs that call me “butt hurt” when I express frustration, the renegade pricks that threaten my well-being with dangerous and irresponsible play, and the care-free veterans that make me feel bad for trying or caring. Maybe I do care too much. Maybe I am trying too hard. Maybe I’m not macho or drunk or stoned enough. Maybe, paradoxically, I’m not invested enough, even though I write these blog posts about the best polo bike or the coolest video of a “pro” game. [Maybe I’m just feeling under-appreciated, and I’ll completely regret this post tomorrow.] But seriously, tell me, what does it take to get good at bike polo?

I can’t stop playing bike polo, I won’t stop playing. I’m too invested— monetarily, emotionally, physically. I’ve put in too much time to care whether or not I will win a tournament, a prize, or an award. And if I’m being 100% honest with myself, I’ve grown too much as a person to stop playing. I’m reading, writing, thinking and doing more than I ever have in my entire life. I have learned more about myself in a year than I had learned in the previous ten. And even though I doubt bike polo will ever have corporate sponsors or be featured at the X Games, I’ll know that I did something active, different, and interesting with my Sunday afternoons, instead of watching football, singing karaoke, and playing board games. I can do all that stuff any other night of the week. -ZS

3 Replies to “I Hate Bike Polo, Too”

  1. I feel you.. this past year gas been tough for me as I havent been able to play a lot. You made so many references to thing I wonder and am frustated with as well. I really thought your points on dealing with getting better or being harassed by vets was something I was only dealing with. Glad im not alone. For me its whether I continue to play as I get older more broken and await starting a family or do I give it up?

    1. hey man, i say do what feels right. i’ve taken nights and weeks off from polo; one time i went three weeks without touching a mallet because i was so bummed out about it.

      the one thing that always brings me back is leaving Boston and meeting all the great kids that play in other cities. i find that the people you’re closest to are the people who can get under your skin the quickest.

      i’m gonna keep playing polo until i have a better reason not to.

  2. YES fuck bike polo and everything about it!
    There are always going to be people and events in your life that will make you turn around an look at yourself and ask “why did i just waste 2,3, even 5 years of my life?” and i may have only been playing for just over a year but i know enough to say that this sport is a giant waste of time and money. but still we do it and i can’t speak for everyone but when i think of why i play the answer is plain and simple, its the people and what everyone brings to the table. I LOVE MY POLO FAMILY!!! maybe ill never be the world champ of faggot-bike-golf but i still love to play because i can do it with people i care about. Their is nothing i would rather do on my thursnight than dink a beer, smoke a bowl and dick off on my POS Pàke in hopes to destroy the other team. it makes me feel like a child inside when i see my line to pass and durp the ball right to the other team. but don’t take it too serious, remember to laugh at yourself when you do something stupid. I’m not the only one that has said ‘I don’t know where i would be if not for polo” but recently i realized when i say that I’m missing a word. i don’t know where would be if not for my polo family! for that I’m not planing on quitting anytime soon. if your truly thinking of quitting I’m not going to tell you not to but maybe you should ask the people that know you best and care about you.

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