BBP Presents: A Polo Cat

Artwork by Michael McDuffee
Artwork by Michael McDuffee

Boston Bike Polo is hosting a Polo Cat Race on September 6th to help make some dough for our 4th Annual Commonwealth Classic. Study up on your Boston Bike Polo history for this race. Come out. Ride hard. Get weird. It’s going to be a ballin time for everyone. 

Race registration is $10 and gets you $1 buurs at the after party. Come out to support your favorite (and only) local bike polo club!

Meet at 4pm in Copley / Race starts at 5pm.

Ladies Army Tour Stop: Boston

As women across the polo-verse descended upon Toronto for Ladies Army 666, a few lucky gals traveled through Boston as part of their journeys to and from the tournament. First, Gitti (BER) and I reunited in Boston, almost exactly one year to the day since we last saw each another in Berlin. Next, Jessi (SEA) took an unexpected route to Toronto via Boston, and came by for a night of pickup before road-tripping to Toronto with  Gitti, Alan, Chrissy and I. On the tail end of Ladies Army, #3babesandnoplacetogo Julia (LDN/VAN/PAR/everywhere) Eryn (VAN) and Ali (BRI), woke up on Tuesday morning after the tournament and thought “Where should we go today?” “Boston!” DUH. And came through the Hub as the first pit stop on their epic journey across the northeast of North America (fabulously documented on instagram). Gitti and I traveled back together as well, and Gitti got to play at our Allston court one more time.

While Gitti was in Boston she took some amazing photos of the city, her companions, and Boston Bike Polo. Her photos capture the epitome of the Allston Court at the height of its New England summer glory. You can check out more of her incredible pictures of Boston and Ladies Army here.

Thanks to all the ladies who visited and made Boston apart of the Ladies Army tour. Come visit us again soon! -CF





How Did I Get Here?

I’ve had too much time on my hands and too little playing polo.

The first time I played polo was after some bike drag races in Quito, Ecuador. Bike Polo was new to Quito, and so at just about every bike event Xavi would bring mallets, cones, and a ball and encourage people to try it. I don’t think I hit the ball once the entire game, but like how most of us got here I was hooked. I came to polo from a mix of the fixie/alley-cat race scene and mountain biking, and slowly both of those have taken a backseat to polo. I haven’t raced an alley-cat since the Dock11 race, where I ‘raced’ with polo folks on polo bikes, and I don’t even want to think about the last time I went mountain biking. It makes me sad to think how long its been.

Anyways, on a bored night last week I drew up this drawing/chart of how we get to polo. Most of us arrived here through fixie/alley-cat/messenger culture, but of course, people come from all sorts of bike adventures. Humor me by filling out the poll below to gather some more info on how we all got to the holy grail of polo. – CF

[polldaddy poll=”7749100″]

(*PS – Just sayin, as a polo community I would like to see us step up our game with a rivalry with CycloCross. Srsly people. Cyclocross is continuing to grow and pull away polo players, and I have yet to meet anyone who has switched from cross to polo. Are you that mythical creature? Email me about it. I want to talk to you.)

What’s polo? Cool kids shovel.

If I see one more picture of Minneapolis’ indoor court I am going to smash my computer screen in anger (jk/not jk). It’s JANUARY and you are in the land of the POLAR VORTEX, you should be suffering and not playing polo. Every picture I see of people hanging out inside, drinking beers on couches, and mallets upon mallets lined up for pick-up makes me wonder why I ever left MSP makes me burn with rage.

Here in Boston, we don’t take winter polo lightly. We earn our court time. In fact, we’ve stop playing polo altogether. We just shovel out our court for the fun of it, and then watch it accumulate snow again. That’s the real way to get swol for the upcoming season. You should see our biceps.

This weekend we dug out the court on Sunday, and brought winter polo to a new level with two key additions.

Addison brought up a water pump to help speed up the process of emptying the court.

Water pumps people! That’s some next level shit. Doesn’t matter that it hardly made a dent in the flooded corners. It’s the thought that counts.

Howl rocked some Sram swag on his camping stove while making some tea off the court. Who needs whiskey when you can have tea? (I do.)

Finally we did get in half a game on Sunday as the sun was setting and people gingerly rode around piles of salt on the court. But then we realized it wasn’t as fun as clearing the court so we went home. The end. -CF


2014 Polo Resolutions

It’s that time of year – the time to make New Year’s resolutions, only to fail at them around the third week of January, make a half-hearted attempt to restart them in mid-February, and then totally abandon the resolutions all together by March. Maybe this year it will be different. Probably not. But either way, here are MY polo related resolutions for 2014:

– Master the Mateusz (of Berlin/Krakow) Goal. It’s that goal when you’re racing down the court and on the goal line you just tap the ball between the goalie’s wheels. I’m going to master it this year.

– Don’t break any more bones. (This is kinda a big one.)

– This is going to be the year of being that person. You know that person – the one who goes to the court on off days to hit around by themselves (ideally with some headphones listening to some sweet reggae tunez), shows up early to pick-up, and, you know, practices. I want to be that person this year. For once.


– Play tournaments in the northeast, and make northeast polo friends (I’m looking at you Eastside polo).

– Encourage more rad women to play polo in Boston.

– Be a good club member in Boston/help get shit done/be friendz.


I asked some of the other members of BBP for their goals, and this is what they said:


Radd I son’s Resolutions:

– be able to to put every shot (that i want) top shelf

– bring the radcaps lifestyle interstellar

– talk less shit to the refs (especially while i’m playing) (unless they deserve it)

– shotgun way more beers

– stay fully fanged


Alan’s Resolution:


I’d like to strengthen my off court relationships with my club mates. While not directly polo skill related, I think it’s something that can really affect what happens on the court. Also, I’d like to play in more tournaments and play in those tournaments with more players from other clubs.  


The game must go on
Bone Stimulation

(Amateur) Jav’s Resolutions:

-stay injury free

-go to nahbpc and maybe worlds

– improve shot accuracy

-teach Diego how to ride a push bike






Never lose my temper on the court

-Get on my bike and practice ball touches once a week, separately from pickup

-Qualify for NAs

-Qualify for worlds, even if i can’t afford to go

-Write cooler articles for the blog

-And alan i’m with you on hanging out with polo kids when not at polo.

YoungBlood said that he’s going to “actually play polo.”


Toby’s resolution

is to post a picture of his lunch everyday on our forum. This was his first one.

nom nom nom
nom nom nom

Taking Advantage of the Offseason

As if you need to read more Lancaster articles about what amateurs we polokins are of not having our shit together (“THANKS” MATT, see here and here … but this time not sarcastically: thanks), but srsly, lets face it: most polo clubs could be a bit more organized. Boston Bike Polo is no exception. We’re lucky to have a solid crew of people coming out to pick-up, and a sizable core that is dedicated to advancing the club in our city and in the Eastside region. And I’m proud to report that we are doing a pretty good job so far of taking advantage of the offseason to further our club and plan for the upcoming year (this may be premature, because lets be real – it’s barely December).

In that spirit, here is my (ideal) list of what every polo club should do this offseason.*

  1. Have a club meeting. Talk about what your club wants to accomplish in 2014 and how you’re going to do it. Maybe even hold elections for different positions in the club. In fact, polo elections are the only form of democracy where your vote really matters – we had a three-way tie here in Boston for one cabinet position – it then became a 3-man committee. Now that’s democracy at work. And as an added bonus, you can give people some time to ‘campaign’ and see what unfolds. It’ll be guaranteed to be hilarious.

    And take copious notes so you can remember what you decided for your offseason in the first place. Sometimes we’re a little too 420 friendly and stuff falls through the cracks ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  2. Do some court maintenance and clean-up. Before the snow falls (… BBP might have missed this deadline…) spend some time cleaning up the area around your court. Maybe even snap some pictures and make a big deal to your local park and rec department about what a nice, upstanding group of citizens you are. This way when you submit applications for permits for the tournaments you planned (see step #1), they’ll be all ‘oh wow! It’s those nice bike polo folks! We should totally grant them a permit. In fact, they’re so nice we’re not even going to charge them!’ (LULZ)
  3. Speaking of which, do us all a favor and post the dates of your tourneys now. This way we can all book tickets and see a light at the end of these dark, cold, polo-less nights.
  4. Be jealous of everyone who is going to play hott polo at the tournament in San Juan. Fuck you, you fucking fucks.
  5. Talk to shops and other bike organizations in your area about sponsorship and support. Not only could you potentially get a discount on parts for your bikes, but you’re also building relationships that are helpful when you want prizes for a tournament later in the year or a permit from the city. I think the whole bike polo community can benefit from these types of relationships.
  6. Have knife fights all the time.

*I agree that there is no real offseason if you bleed polo (like we do in Boston)– but we all gotta admit that we play less when the nights are wicked cold and it gets dark at 3:30pm. As humans, we have a natural inclination to hibernate and spend less time on the courts, so we can spend more time buffing up our collective organization game and our club’s treasury and “emergency” funds (i.e. escapist Hockey Town subsidary fund). -CF

Philly One-Day A/B Tourney

TipTop Playground: where dreams are born and prompty killed.  photo: @bearcat2004
TipTop Playground: where dreams are born and prompty killed.
photo: @bearcat2004

The Saturday after Thanksgiving Alan, Mars and I began the drive down to Philly to meet up with Zac to represent Boston Bike Polo at the one day Philly A/B tournament. After casserole at Mars’ parents house, too many hours on the New Jersey Turnpike, and failed attempts at eating baklava while driving, we arrived Saturday afternoon just in time to participate in judging Lori and Tucker’s chilli cook-off at the court (Lori won- duh).

To my surprise, Philly is such a polo court blessed city that when we arrived at the predetermined location, and the lights never came on, Drew rode to another court across town to find us an alternative spot for Saturday night pick-up. And though that court was slick as fuck, it also had beautifully curved boards, was the perfect size, and located under a highway exchange. We played some awesome pick-up as folks trickled in from Richmond, DC, New York, and other East Coast towns, until we finally shut it down after someone may or may have not broken their nose faceplanting trying to pick up their mallet (but he played the rest of the game like a champ).

You know… just some “art” n polo n cool light n stuff.
photo: IG @alanotallen

The cool thing about a one-day A/B tournament, is that everyone gets what they want: “A-class” slayers get a high intensity one-day gig playing good games, and “B” players get a chance to have more evenly matched (and arguably more fun) games all day. And after this awesome one-day single elim tournament, I may be a single elim convert. We got in 5 or 6 rounds of swiss rounds before we began the elimination bracket, meaning the seedings were pretty accurate, and just about every team got to play each other. Then the elim bracket went pretty fast, but each game was higher intensity because everyone knew it was sudden death. I often feel like teams don’t really begin to try hard until they’re in the losers bracket – and single elim eliminates that nonsense. But I’m just thinking out loud.

Mars, Alan and David (Lancaster) played awesome and came in second in the B bracket (fuck the A bracket, have no idea what went on there) losing to Puff Puff Pass from Lancaster in the finals. Zac, Jackie from NYC, and myself formed team Sparkle Motion and also lost to Puff Puff Pass in the semi’s. Let me just say that if I hadn’t BROKEN MY WRIST in the semi’s, and finished the game more or less stationary in goal on said broken wrist (in golden goal OT might I add!), we totes would have been in the final. JUST SAYIN’. I chipped the hamate bone in my wrist as a result of putting my mallet under my own front wheel going full speed, like a chump. I didn’t even realize my wrist hurt so goddamn much because I’d knocked the wind out of myself and was more concentrated on trying to reinflate my lungs (it’s actually the smallest, lamest injury ever in the history of bike polo). Point being, Puff Puff Pass – we’ll see you again, and next time we will not be denied victory!

At least I’m using my extra time to venture into more serious ‘photo editing.’ : )

The finals ended with only enough daylight left for Mars to get out the rest of his caffeinated energy in two pick-up games, before we packed up the car with an additional passenger – Graham from New Haven – and drove back to Boston. We avoided the New Jersey Turnpike mostly on principle, and because it was the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and we’re not complete idiots. And even though the whole adventure took less than 41 hours, and I (kinda) broke my wrist, it was still worth it for the fun road trip, vegan coffee shops, and laid back tournament. -CF

Sparkles be sparklin' on team Sparkle Motion!  photo: @bearcat2004
Sparkles be sparklin’ on team Sparkle Motion!
photo: @bearcat2004

Commonwealth Classic 2014: Dizzy Bat, Fireworks, and Bulged Nets


The weekend after Worlds, October 26-27, 14 teams descended on Boston for the 3rd annual Commonwealth Classic. We witnessed the future of bike polo – dizzy bat, watched Nico reverse enter a hammock on a fence (wtf. still don’t understand), and took heckling to the next level by adding some firecrackers behind those insults.

Photo Cred: Gus Hoiland
Photo Cred: Gus Hoiland
Photo Credit: Gus Hoiland
Photo Credit: Gus Hoiland

We kicked off the tournament Boston style – with bloody mary’s – and played some brisk fall polo during 5 rounds of swiss play on Saturday. Despite some complaining constructive feedback about how to deal with shuffle teams in the swiss rounds, Saturday ended with some beautiful displays of purple smoke-bombs and firecrackers on the court.

Saturday night while drinking some beer and watching some hockey, some New York dudes began to tell us some mystical tales of ‘dizzy bat.’ ‘It will save bike polo,’ they said, and although they tried to explain it to us, it wasn’t until double elims on Sunday that we saw it with our own eyes.

Thanks Zac, for this instragram magic.

Photo Cred: Gus Hoiland
Photo Cred: Gus Hoiland
Photo Cred: Gus Hoiland

Action stepped up another level on Sunday afternoon as Boston Pro Squad (Addison, Robby, Johan) went into golden goal OT versus Something Offensive (Kruse, Blackburn, Mumford), with Something Offensive going on to win the winners bracket. Something Offensive went into a double final versus Bulging Net (Hamersly, Norris, Toni), losing twice to a team they beat in the winner’s bracket. However, the most exciting part of the finals were the fireworks – nothing lights a game on fire, like literal fire and gun powder on the court.

Photo Cred: Gus Hoiland
Photo Cred: Gus Hoiland
Photo Cred: decog


Thus, by some bullshit of Toni bringing in out of town ringers, the Commonwealth Cup stays in Boston. Toni is currently letting his cats fondle the cup, and then doing what he does best – creating instagram masterpieces.

Next year the cup will stay in Boston with a full Boston team. COUNT IT.

Huge shout out to our sponsors – thanks for your support! And thanks for the photos Gus!

  • Vitacoco
  • SRAM
  • John Harvard Brewery
Vitacoco for the win!
Vitacoco for the win!


Photo cred: Alan
Thanks for the swag Sram! Photo cred: Alan


I don't know what Addison is doing in this picture. But he's going it with some free Sram swag on. And camo leggings.
I don’t know what Addison is doing in this picture. But he’s going it with some free Sram swag on. And camo leggings.

(also Vitacoco, you should know, that vitacoco+flat beer+whiskey = not as gross as you’d think. Thanks for the recipe, Deco.)

See y’all for Commonwealth Classic 2014 – fireworks guaranteed!