EHBPC 2011 ResultsEvents Sports Cycling Urban Cycling
Barcelona played host a couple of weekends ago to the European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships. Geneva's L'Equipe came away with the title. Again. We would say "Bien joué, gentlemen" if we wished to sound pretentious.
Candy Coloured Clowns, Guns At A Knife Fight, Oh La La Schmoove, Team Fish Sticks and, um, King Salami all found themselves out of the picture early in proceedings, to the disappointment of match commentators, who were left to conjure with somewhat more prosaic monikers in the latter stages.
The tournament overview is here.
Extremely well captured moments are here.
A great personal account of the weekend with some footage is here.
Losing at any stage in the top half of the draw meant dropping into an ongoing sub-round of matches, which was continually replenished with new losers from "above", as it were.
As we can see, losing (or "Playing against L'Equipe", as it's euphemistically known in European Bike Polo circles) at any stage meant playing more games to have a chance of making the podium stage.
Which was kind of hard, but very fair. Brooks was a sponsor, and rather disappointed to see not a single England in use by competitors.
Of course, nobody's ever going to mix up Horsey Polo with Hardcourt Bike Polo. The playing surfaces, the vehicles, the steering of said vehicles, the saddles atop said vehicles, the levels of imagination used in coming up with team names... they're just different.
And as the bicycular variant of chasing around after a ball with a mallet slowly begins to eclipse its previously more popular equine cousin, the mutual disdain with which both camps have come to regard each other is now blatant, and often naked.
Two pieces of equipment they seem able to agree on are the socks, though.
There is, we gather, a pair of stockings available to buy which has been designed specifically to play polo in, and its makers aren't fussy about what you're getting around the field of play on.
Hussars do a range of polo socks which they say won't cause feet to overheat in a riding boot, and provide better pedal grip than a football sock, say, worn inside a sneaker.
They do a Wimbledon, a Harry, a Julian and an Adolfito among other patterns, but if Monkey Punch or Call Me Daddy want to get into, or broaden their lines of merchandise, Hussar do custom designs from an order as small as thirty pieces. Well, sixty, if you follow our meaning..