After months more of crazy buzy (and rocking fun) life, I was able to put Sunday afternoon aside for some Polo. It was just as much fun as last time (way back in October!), but I wasn't quite so incompetent and even managed to score a couple of goals and be on a winning team for the first time. We hope to play again in 2 weeks - check this thread if you'd like to join us.
Because I still ride the Surly Dingle Cog which I got as a precaution for riding Taupo in 2007, I was able to ride over in my normal gear (48:17) and then switch lower (42:21) for the play itself. This is the first real use I've found for the switchability (since I never get offroad), but it was a real winner. The lower gear gave me heaps more acceleration and (importantly) braking, so I could get there fast with less risk of horrendous collisions*. Having all that control gave me confidence to get in tight, so in the end I had more crashes not fewer. The astroturf surface also helped - not so bad to fall on as tarmac (and fun to skid between games).
Way back in October their was a photographer watching us, who turned out to be from Remix magazine. The following shot turned up on a double spread of 'scene' photos**, and he was good enough to make a copy available.
Afficionados will observe that I've just released my brake lever to free up my mallet hand - having a gear low enough to ignore the brake simplified everything. The guy in the black jacket and jeans is Alex, who helped setup akfixed.com.
* I do run a brake, but it's on my mallet hand so it was good to forget about it.
** At a whopping 2" across, but there I am in print!