Monday, February 2, 2009

Dingle Cog Perfect for Polo

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

* 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!


Antoine said...

Bike polo in Auckland, who wood a thunk it?

I've been wanting to set-up some bike polo matches with my mates on our local school fields (I'm coming at this from a mountainbiker's angle) but have not got around to organizing mallets.

Did you guys make your own?

I figured my friends are not very coordinated, and our kids will be playing as well, so a grass surface will result in less bloodshed. That's the theory anyway...

the Scarlet Manuka said...

Max and Jenna made the mallets, from ski poles and black, rubbery tubing. You can find them at the akfixed forums. I've been thinking that you should be able to make them from bamboo, and it would be good practise before making a bamboo bike, but that's a long way down my priority queue.

I've spilled a few times on the concrete, and grass would be better but requires wider tires. Most fixies seem to be set up with skinny tires, and they're certainly good for speed control when you need both hands to steer and play the ball. On the other hand, you're a mountainbiker and the local kids will have whatever sort of bike they have, eh?