Shanghai Bike Polo

April 25th, 2009: China, Shanghai

image
Bike Polo time!

On Saturday, J. and I met A., D., and M. for some Shanghai bike polo. The boys had played the previous weekend and raved about it, so we thought it was worth a shot. This weekend was the third organized set of games, and the crowd was healthy. Most of the people were foreigners living in Shanghai, but there were a few locals. Most of the bikes were fancy fixed gears, though all bike were welcome.
image
The organizer.
image
A. and D.
image
Rollerblader.
image
Security struts.
image
Traditional sports nearby.

The games started at 1PM near a wide set of steps leading up to Shanghai Stadium. A few played in earnest, but two security guards dressed in grey suits were passive aggressively trying to get them to leave. The guards nabbed balls, blocked the goals. They claimed to be kicking us out because of a soccer game that afternoon, but a similar shooing had happened the week before. I think it was more of a power trip.

After some deliberation, the group paraded to a vacant parking lot behind an ice skating rink on the northwest corner of the complex. The area was a little more inconspicuous, partially shaded, and security approved. This will be the grounds for the future games.

Games were played with two teams of three riders each. The goals were made from orange cones spaced one bike apart. Little walls were built with stones from a rubble pile to keep the balls from rolling away on shot attempts. They weren’t very effective and kept getting plowed into by riders. Each game went to five points. They seemed pretty slow and awkward looking from the sidelines, but were much more frantic to play.
image
Apartments.
image
Ball control.
image
The heat of the game.
image
Mr. Cool.
image
Spectators and the tap out point.
image
Blue bike, blue clothes, red wall.

I played three games, scoring a few goals and setting up a few others. It was incredible hard to not touch the ground, control a ball with a mallet, and not crash into other bikers. If you touched the ground, you had to bike over to a large soccer ball shaped kiosk to tap out before going into the game again. There were a few spectacular crashes that day, though I wasn’t involved in any. I did T-bone someone and fall of my seat a few times though.
image
Me trying to get the dang ball under control.
image
Me getting the ball unstuck from behind the goal.
image
More playing.

Music played from a ghetto blaster on the sidelines. I brought the feather for some kicking fun. There were drinks, friends, spectators. The games went well into the early evening. It was a great way to spend a Saturday.
image
Ghetto blaster.
image
The sun gets low.

For more information on Shanghai bike polo, visit the Shanghai fixed gear blog or read the Smart Shanghai interview with the organizer.

Earlier on Saturday, J. and rode northward to eat lunch at a cafe called Pier 39. J. had a craving for clam chowder in a bread bowl. I had a craving for a vegetable sandwich. The food was a little pricy, but good. But the highlight by far was the rooftop deck. The weather was perfect and sunny. The deck overlooked a dense neighborhood of old buildings surrounded by high-rises.
image
Construction on the driveway of our apartment.
image
Building washers.
image
Rooftop view from Pier 39 Cafe..
image
Dense old homes.
image
Man putting clothes up to dry.
image
Old lady on her sunny porch.
image
Snap peas.
image
Clothes dying.
image
Plants on a balcony.
image
The thoughtful man of Shanghai.
image
Bread bowl.
image
Veggie sandwich.
image
The diners.

I could have spent the whole day sitting up there.

J.’s take on the day is right here on her blog.

3 Responses


Radio said:

“Building Washers” is my favourite. :)

i can only imagine how bad i’d be at bicycle polo, but it does look like fun. and that boom box rocks!

also wish the window washers at my office would wear awesome red jump suits!

anne

Drew said:

Great to see the Strong bike in action!

Leave a Reply

About this blog

This journal helps me remember how little I do and how pointless my life is, share my mundane experiences with others, and improve my writing and photography. If you’re not a Nigerian finance minister or in possession of Viagra deals, feel free to leave your comments.

For the full story, click here »

Search

Categories

Bangkok (8)
Bay Area (26)
Cambodia (12)
Chiang Mai (68)
China (72)
Dallas (20)
Dordles (61)
India (14)
Indonesia (2)
Japan (10)
Kauai (7)
London (5)
Los Angeles (17)
Malaysia (4)
Mexico City (5)
Minecraft (3)
N. America (28)
New York (5)
Oaxaca (8)
Portland (93)
Prague (4)
Projects (38)
San Francisco (95)
Santa Fe (4)
Seattle (7)
Second Life (4)
Seoul (6)
Shanghai (59)
Taiwan (5)
Thailand (85)
Uncategorized (24)
Writing (11)
Year in Review (5)

Archives

December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014 (2)
July 2014 (1)
June 2014 (1)
May 2014 (2)
April 2014 (1)
March 2014 (4)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (1)
December 2013 (1)
November 2013 (3)
October 2013 (1)
September 2013 (2)
August 2013 (2)
July 2013 (2)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (1)
March 2013 (3)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (1)
December 2012 (2)
November 2012 (10)
October 2012 (1)
September 2012 (1)
August 2012 (6)
July 2012 (1)
June 2012 (1)
May 2012 (3)
April 2012 (2)
March 2012 (2)
February 2012 (3)
January 2012 (2)

Full Archives, since 2005 »