Newcastle’s Fastest Growing Sport


Between 2pm and 2.30pm today, Newcastle’s bicycle polo fraternity grew by 400%, from just me at 2; to Hamish and me at 2.10; to Hamish, Egor and me at 2.15; and finally to include Hamish, Egor, Roberto and me by 2.30pm. Start of play was delayed by Egor’s insisting on binding his conduit/handle with some handlebar tape he happened to have handy. Oh and of course council would forget to open the grounds, as they had assured me they would do for our arrival. However, all has been sorted. De minimis non curat lex, as we say.

The rules to bicycle polo as we understand them are straight forward in the extreme. Two teams. Two sets of goals. When half time was called it was Roberto and Hamish 3, Egor and myself 5. 

During half time we surveyed our new club house, kindly donated to Newcastle Gentleman’s Bicycle Polo by… (could someone perhaps tell me who donated the clubhouse?) In the background to these photos you will notice evidence of a little vandalism over the weekend, but nothing to dampen our spirits upon beholding that view! My goodness! The best view of any bicycle polo clubhouse… in the world!
 
Clockwise from left: Roberto (aka Mole), Hamish (aka Toad)
             Egor (aka wise Badger) and me, Rupert (aka Ratty)

When play resumed, Egor and I consolidated then stretched out our lead to the point where calling a draw was the only polite way to bring things to an end without fistycuffs. With whackers over our shoulders, we rode down the hill past Esta Bar like a marauding hoard of barbarians to my place for espressos, beers and a debrief.

And that, dear children, is how NGBP came into being. 2pm Sundays. Whackers provided. Overlooking beautiful King Edward Park.

14 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Newcastle Gentleman’s Bicycle Polo Clubhouse- best in the world

    That clubhouse looks as cheery as the Villa Savoye in its nadir.

    NGBP is growing at a truly breakneck speed. Is it too late to be a founding member?

    • Steven says:

      Re: Newcastle Gentleman’s Bicycle Polo Clubhouse- best in the world

      founding memberships, life memberships, memberships to the Order of Newcastle Bicycle Polo, or any kind of membership you should desire, is yours just for turning up any Sunday at 2.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was there.

    I came for the chicken sandwiches and lemonade. What I got was warm water from an old juice bottle and NOTHING to eat!

    Come on ladies! Let’s put on a better show next week, eh?

    Remember, careers won’t give you fulfilment. Dreams and goals are Satan’s way of distracting you from making sandwiches and lemonade.

    Love to all my fans,

    Hamish

    • Anonymous says:

      Who ever said ladies can’t play!

      I have absolutely no idea where this has come from, but I was accused today of sexual discrimination, for — get this! — not welcoming women into the bicycle polo fraternity. Allow me to be absolutely clear now: Newcastle Gentleman’s Bicycle Polo welcomes anyone with a love for the sport, irrespective of race, religion and especially gender.
      Our only quirk is we don’t allow Catholics… or Christians. But otherwise, come hither all who can cycle.

    • Anonymous says:

      catering

      How dare you complain about the warm water from an empty juice container! May I remind you that the bearers of said container were also the bearers of a socket-set allowing easy access to the polo field!

    • Steven says:

      Re: catering

      Now now, there are other forums on the web for confrontational exchanges. The provision of sockets, warm water and photographic services were greatly appreciated. While I do not excuse Hamish’s arrogance, it is also a product of youth and and aristocratic upbringing. If we were characters in a childrens book, I might be Ratty, Roberto Mole, Egor wise Badger and Hamish, god bless him, Toad of Toad Hall.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Hamish, it is my son’s birthday this sunday, but thereafter I can’t think of anything more satisfying than serving the Lord by providing you hungry, sporty gentlemen with chicken sandwiches and lemonade. I am sorry for letting Satan distract me on the grand opening of such a fine sport here in Newcastle.

      Cordially yours
      Primrose

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was there 2!!!

    What a miraculous occasion!!!

    Maybe a working bee to get the clubhouse shipshape …?

    Roberto (my whacker was a golf club)

  4. Steven says:

    Gentlemen prefer fewer rules

    At our discretion, and with due regard to individuals’ sensitivities, NGBP will play bicycle polo according to some of these rules
    http://www.polo-velo.net/english/rules/reglesaxlesofevil.htm

    but virtually none of the following:
    http://www.bicyclepolo.org/bprules.html
    http://www.bicyclepolo.org/ibpfrule.htm

    • Re: Gentlemen prefer fewer rules

      Helloooo Behooving,

      That looks like great fun, the bike polo I mean, wading through 4 feet of pidgeon shit and syringes in the clubhouse, less so. So mtb’s are the weapon of choice it would seem. Did anyone get a whacker through their spokes?

    • Steven says:

      Re: Gentlemen prefer fewer rules

      Welcome back wecanridegiants. While the specter of spoke or tooth damage must be acknowledged, a mood of restraint is prevailing thus far. I’ve heard bicycle polo brings much joy to fixie enthusiasts, allowing them, as the sport does, to ride backwards and so forth. So long as they don’t bore us with talk of rules or regulation whackers, we look forward to welcoming some pedaling pedants on their fix wheeled machines (on that point I should note a rumour that reached me during the week of someone working at Sprocket Cafe who has purchased some “mallets”). The ideal weapon of choice would be a circus bike actually. Failing that an old mountain bike stuck in a very low gear. Failing that, a Kronan on which you might burl your way over and through. Hope to see you next Sunday!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Polo for the ladies

    I have heard a rumour that the NGBPC is not female friendly. Well ladies, let me tell you – I witnessed the superbly athletic, skillful and courageous gents of the NGPBC and would strongly urge any ladies to do the same. Female support, and supply of a refreshing and fortifying afternoon tea, would be greatly appreciated I am assured. I know when my husband next lets me out I shall certainly go along.

    (Steven – is this the sort of promotion to ladies you had in mind?)

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: Polo for the ladies

      Hi, who is Steven?
      But anyhow, yes indeedy weedy, fortifying afternoon teas would be most welcome, and from the providers’ points of view would no doubt be a step toward domestic cohesion.

  6. Steven says:

    Progress on making of whackers

    Wise badger writes:

    Indeed it is the plan that mallets be supplied.

    If you want to bored by my progress so far: there are 4 more heads (shaped a little more like equestrain polo mallets) ready to be drilled and 4 more conduit sticks ready to be inserted. Cost for these works out at under $3 each and takes me less than 10 minutes a piece to make, which is cool because I could make hundreds… They haven’t been assembled because I think a bit of experimentation with poles is in order. I’ve just returned from a mission to the local ski shop to check out ski poles. I didn’t buy the second-hand pair offered at $20 because Bunnings (yesterday’s reconnoiter) sell aluminium tubing far cheaper, and in either case the stiffness of aluminium would appear to be totally out of order (according to the equestrian mallet gurus – and my dual-suspension steed is is about to be renamed Prancer). Also, after I click send on this email I’m heading out on my bike to see if I can find a bamboo patch. The top equestrian mallets are only recently starting to move away from cane towards some sort of cane composite, so some of the 4 new mallets might be all natural materials (sorry Stephen). One other experiment I’m planning is to angle the head (75 to 80 degrees I believe is the standard) on at least one of them..

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