You wait for ages for an interesting short documentary about the one of the various cycling tribes attracted to Brooks saddles and two come along at once – this one has a pretty good stab at explaining the attraction of bike polo. In this second film (see it below) commissioned by saddle maker Brooks, the cameras were given over to bike polo players in Europe and North America to record highlights of the 2009 seasons and for various of their number, including Recep Yesil of Fixie Inc to explain just why the game is so addictive.
Certainly the film, maybe because it was made by the players themselves manages to catch both bike polo's excitement and its addictive nature. Many cyclists dismiss the sport and its players as a joke sport played by urban trendies this film powerfully makes the point that it is a lot more than that. So if you've ever wondered what it is all about and you'd like to know more, just hit "play".
One thing that becomes clear is that bike polo is a game that has changed markedly on a number of occasions during the course of its over 100 year history. The game was an exhibition sport at the 1908 Olympics, but was almost lost during the First World War before enjoying a resurgence, particularly in London, during the Twenties and Thirties. Various players and tournament organisers from across Europe and the US testify to their love of the game, but probably the most interesting person featured is “Graham” formerly of the Chelsea Peddlers a team we're guessing that must have been playing up until the Sixties or Seventies, Graham shows pictures of himself playing against his dad, and of his dad playing Prince Phillip in an exhibition game at Windsor in front of the Queen in 1967, he also mentions Hal Richards who was condidered the “George Best” of bike polo.
Graham it is who delivers a quick bike polo history lesson and who makes the point about it being a game that has constantly been re-invented, most recently by players in the US. As he points out it's certainly not the game that he played, even so he's happy to see people playing on bikes and playing the latest form of the game.
In the release that Brooks announcing the new video Brooks say that the video “Serves as a portrait to mark the beginning of what is sure to be an enduring tradition,” what it actually demonstrates is that like Brooks, bike polo already has an enduring tradition.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.