Euan’s edit of the day’s games.
As part of our S.H.I.T. weekend (Scottish Hardcourt Intercity Tournament) Glasgow Bike Polo held its first alleycat through the streets of Glasgow. As you’ll see in Euan’s video, we had a beautiful night for it, and really appreciate everyone who came down to ride in it. Thanks guys, see you at the next one!
Friday night, while players from Manchester, Sheffield, Aberdeen and Edinburgh were making their way across the country in cars and trains, and as the sun set (quite beautifully) in Glasgow, the Growel in yer Bowel alleycat got underway. Aaron’s sub-10 mile route took us from our polo court in the West End right across town to the Merchant City, before heading back west to the final checkpoint/pub. Clues led us to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, a few of GBP’s favourite local businesses, and a quick chance for riders to have a go showing off their polo skills, scoring a goal with the help of/against Clem. Balloons, padlocks, pens to the face, pubs, squiggly bridges, a Tall ship, polo, a TARDIS, a big mad guy on a horse who can’t spell Afghanistan, and some IPA. The alleycat’s results are below, and each racer received some prizes donated by our sponsors, topping off a brilliant wee evening.
1st – Brickman
2nd – Ally
3rd – Ali
4th – Stuart
5th – Dunc
6th – Matt
Not long after the Alleycat wrapped up, Manchester blasted into town and we got down to some well earned catching up and beer quoffing. Then bed.
Glasgow, in September? And the sun was shining?! Yup, the weatherman brought us a bucket load of sunshine that lasted the whole day, which might have had something to do with the number of spectators we attracted throughout the day, who joined us for a chat or just sat on the grass and watched.
After sweeping the court and getting our new goals built up, we kicked off the tournament at a decent hour and played four swiss rounds, which seeded teams for the double-elim knockout. The Manchester guys were instrumental in organising the format, and games were switched over quickly and efficiently. As well as everything going exactly as according to plan, the atmosphere courtside was really relaxed and fun, and it was really nice seeing old old faces and new, and gabbing away in between games while munching a tonne of Tunnocks.
On the court there was some damn good polo being played, and an equally friendly and enthusiastic atmosphere. You could tell we all loved playing our polo.
Every team got at least seven games, which aint half bad for a one day, one court, ten team tournament, and due to a team having to pull out last minute, three players who hadn’t previously had a team got together and got a chance to play. (And their result wasn’t too shabby!)
In the end, Team Skuid of Edinburgh took home the much coveted, golden S.H.I.T. VII trophy. Congratulations to the guys! The full results are below.
2nd – Spokey Dokeys
3rd – Flowery Tw*ts
4th – Manchester B-Team
5th – Multiple Scoreg*sms
5th – The Beard’s Last Stand
7th – Lock Up Your Sisters
7th – Shuffle!
9th – Septic Tanks
DFL – Stevie’s Bearded Wonders
But the day was still not done; after trophy giving came the prizes, and thanks to the massive generosity of our sponsors (who you can see on our poster below), EVERY player went home with something, with teams winning cycling equipment from local and national businesses, and polo equipment from both Throw in Polo Co and Magic Bike Polo. It might not seem like much, but being able to thank players for traveling hundreds of miles and playing their hearts out with a mallet head, or a cycling cap, or a tshirt, is hugely appreciated, and really added to a great weekend.
Then of course we had a tap-out game by way of farewell to two of our Glasgow players; Trish, who joined us earlier in the year and will be missed when she leaves in October, and James, one of Glasgow’s founding players who has been guiding us through the beardy hallways of polo since 2008. This will be his last tournament as a Glasgow resident, and I hope we did him proud.
After we packed up, where did we go? Aye, where else?
We got the mezzanine booked off in Coopers up the road, and made sure we were properly fed and watered. It was an absolute pleasure spending the evening with such a great bunch of folk. Then, clad in glad rags, we hit the dancing.
Unfortunately, the weather was just too damn Scottish for us to do our planned Polo BBQ the next morning, but we poured ourselves out of bed and headed down to our friends Siempre for some all day breakfast and great coffee.
Thank you to everyone who put it together, including the weatherman, all our sponsors, and to everyone who came to play polo with us. I hope you had as much fun as we did. It was absolutely awesome, and you’ll always be welcome in Glasgow. There will be even more photos on their way, and a video is being edited together for your pleasure as we speak. If you have any snaps, share them on the facebook page!
See you all at S.H.I.T. VIII!
Love from Glasgow.
I guess my first post on the blog is way overdue but what better time to do it just as i come up to roughly one year of playing bike polo.
Hell, I’ll save you all the boring ‘how i got into it through fixed gear’ crap and how i started on an old early 90s Dawes mountain bike with no brakes.
I will however take you back a few years to my school days. I captained the boys volleyball team, the football b team and was the 1st choice goalkeeper for the field hockey squad. I was also selected to train with the Malawi national pool team after a string of impressive performances in an amateur pool league.
I left home and saw my relationship with sports completely disintegrate. The occasional 5-a-side match with the lads from work, pool in the pub and frisbee in the park was about as close I came to sports.
Showing up at polo to watch was incredible. My passion for riding bikes had recently been restored and was fresh. The idea I could channel passion and sport together was incredible. I caught on pretty quick and everyone was so welcoming that it was easy to just slot in and get playing week in week out.
I got my first tournament under my belt and that only drove me on. Desire to improve, to get a new bike and to get to more tournaments just kept growing. I can imagine its the same for everyone. Since then i have been present at every tournament Glasgow Bike Polo have been at. I also have a custom built bike and all the fancy gear. I must add my thanks to Brickman due to his driving skills and legendary kindness to offer to take many of us round the country in his little car. Epic times.
I have considered what to talk about in this post. Whether or not i reflect on the past year and all the good times. The birthday bash, Jo and Slywia in Manchester, the Jamesie zone, #brickman, I’m Braw, Brickmans Skid Skid Kids, Team Glasgow, boring! and all the good times at throwins but i figured what i look forward to the most is the future of Glasgow Bike Polo and all the great things to come; so my post is going to move onwards and upwards.
I guess the main event is going to be the sad departure of our president James. Glasgow Bike Polo is his legacy and he will always be one of the first founders of it in this city. He has seen it grow and I believe the only way we can carry his legacy on is to help it continue to grow for our own benefit but also to make our beardy friend proud. Don’t go James!
Next up is the upcoming Scottish Hardcourt Intercity Tournament: S.H.I.T VII which is bound to be epic. Lots planned and hopefully its going to be a lot of fun. We cant wait to welcome all our guests and play some FUN polo.
The London open in two weeks is one of the worlds biggest polo tournaments in the world. Dan, Brickman and myself will be playing again and hoping to do Glasgow proud. At the UK Champs, someone watching a match of ours shouted: “Glasgow are shit!!!” That really got to some of us and we are really going out there to prove them wrong. I’ve learned a hell of a lot since the last tournament and I’m out to really change people’s opinion of the standard of polo up in Glasgow and Scotland. We know a lot of you will be supporting us and trying your best to follow our progress and we really appreciate all the messages of support we get from you guys. We only we wish we had a polo bus to take you down with us to heckle all our opponents.
Uni is about to start up again and I’m planning to target students to try and come and play bike polo. We need new recruits and after a summer that has been full of some fantastic throw-in sessions i feel its important to get some new folk to keep the momentum up through the winter as well just generally getting the word out about bike polo.
2014 and the Commonwealth Games are being held in Glasgow. Its going to be amazing. We have big plans!!! Whether or not we can pull it off remains to be seen but if we do it could be legen…. wait for it…. dary. That’s all I can say really, don’t want to give too much away.
What excites me the most though is the dawn of a second year playing polo with people i absolutely love.
I guess everyone knows how keen i am about polo and i know i take it too far sometimes but you guys have encouraged me and supported me and totally understood my approach and have got used to it and respected it. All the advice and help has been immense, especially James’ pep talk at the UK Champs!!!
What a month May was! Parties, tournaments, injuries, developments, sunshine, goodbyes, nudity and Polo.
Ignoring the odd stormy evening, we’ve been enjoying a bit of a heatwave here in Glasgow, which meant just one thing; Polo, lots of Polo. As well as our regular Wednesday and Sunday sessions some of us have been meeting up midweek to go through some drills and have a knock around. The longer days have also meant that we can continue to play right into the evening, no matter which court we play on. With our only floodlit court becoming busier and busier with the improved weather, this makes a huge difference.
Not only was the polo flowing throughout May, so were a few other things. With polo bikes, picnic, and our favourite Mancunian poloer, Sylwia, packed, a wee day trip to Loch Lomond got going. Glasgow Bike Polo Association was escorted off the various golf courses it found its way onto…
With 4 of us celebrating birthdays this month, we then took things up a notch with a joint birthday night out, donning our glad rags and enjoying a meal in Nanakusa, wherein we stuffed our faces with food, including a cake lovingly crafted by Donnie, who also made sure the birthday fairies delivered some gifts to the rest of the birthday boys. We then marched onward towards the dancing. Shapes were thrown.
Once fully recovered, we hit the polo court the next
morning afternoon for some fun and games. But not just any games… I give you, the Wheel of Polo. I think at this point images will speak louder than any words could. (My favourite was Pirate Polo, depth perception is overrated).
Wacky Races Polo.
Buny Hop Competition
One week later, we bade farewell to our beloved Biscuit, Celia, who after a year studying in Glasgow was returning back home to Annecy, France. We marked this occasion with a classic Glasgow day in the sun; BBQ, a few Beers, and some Polo (what else). Celia put together this video of the day with her GoPro;
We also put together a wee parting gift for her on her last day; a special calendar, featuring all of us.
And the polo just wouldn’t stop! On the 31st, we sent a crack team of polo players down to cambridge for the UK championships. Clem, Dan and Brickman represented Glasgow and Scotland fantastically (even though they’re all English). They came 23rd out of 30, which considering the level of competition, and the fact that this was their first ever tournament together, is really impressive.
For their Trip, Lizzy put together some really cool team tshirts and polo shirts, which will be available to buy very soon! Purple is quickly becoming Glasgow’s team colour.
And that’s just the beginning of what’s been going on. We’re working on a few possible routes towards a permanent place to play polo, we’re gearing up to host a summer tournament or two, and have our sights set on a pretty big event next year. This summer could possibly be the best Glasgow Bike Polo has ever seen.
Get well soon to all our injured players! (We need you on the court!)
Sunday was Celia’s last afternoon of Polo before her bike got boxed up and shipped off home to Annecy, France. So we fired up the BBQ, necked the gnôle, and gave her a proper polo send off.
Celia brought her GoPro, so click play to see her win her tap-out game, Ally fall over, Lizzy score goals, Donnie save goals, and Trish cook meat.
Nous t’aimons, Celia!
As Seen at Polo
As predicted by some, Aaron’s bamboo mallet shaft snapped after a few throw-in sessions. However, he and Brickman came up with what I think is a pretty genius solution and definite improvement to the design.
The shaft snapped at its base where it is screwed onto the head with a wood screw. This is probably the shaft’s weakest point, as the forces applied by the screw to pull the shaft down into the head and keep everything in place also push outwards against the inner face of the bamboo, increasing the likelihood of it splitting.
With a previously discarded length of aluminium pole slid over the end of and sitting flush against the shaft, the force from the screw now compresses the bamboo against the aluminium; preventing splitting, improving the screw’s grip, and strengthening the shaft’s weakest point.
I thought this was a brilliant bodge, and it might just keep the bamboo shaft alive for a while longer.