After several months of showing up at bike polo but only watching and taking photos (photographing bike polo seems to be a good way of picking up taking very quick shots) I finally decided to start playing. It just looked too darn fun to keep standing on the sidelines.
So this past Sunday I packed up the Flaming Meatball and headed over to Ann Arbor. This was my first experience really riding the FM, other than just tooling around the apartment parking lot, and it seemed to go fairly well. There's still a bit of trouble getting into that second rat trap, and balance when stopping pedalling is impossible is still a bit wonkey (although, it is certainly much easier to do a track stand when you can use a polo mallet as a cane....
I'm not sure I aided much in the game — I'm not fleet enough to dash in front of the ball to block it (although I did have one memorable block with my knee, that was all luck). But I can try to get in the way of people, which has some utility, at least. All in all, pretty fun.
I was totally exhausted afterwards, though. After two-and -a-half hours I basically had enough energy to pick up a quart of some hippie fruit juice and the makings for a giant sandwich, eat it, watch a few episodes of Good Eats (my recent YouTube obsession) and fall asleep at the certifiably Old Man Mode time of 9 pm. I wasn't nearly as sore the next day as I thought --- I could tell when I got up that I had moved about a lot the previous day, but once I started moving around I limbered up and that quickly passed. Part of my butt is a bit tender, but not painfully so, and I suspect that once I become accustomed to the saddle I have on the FM that will pass. It was remarkably comfortable otherwise.
I was also struck with enough inspiration and gumption the previous week to create a logo for the Ann Arbor Bike Polo group, and print out several, have them laminated and cut them out into spoke cards. The wheel graphic is some modified freeware SVG graphic, but the rest was mangled by me, with some helpful advice from my friend Bas in Vermont. Since it is an obnoxiously large graphic to throw up here, you can see it here