Brussels Bike Polo returned to Place Morichar, and I’m sure glad it did. While cars were nowhere to be seen on the roads last Sunday, a round robin tournament of fixed-gear cyclists could be seen zipping around a plywood-sided court that was constructed the previous morning.
If you only passed by in between matches, you might think a bike polo tournament was just a bunch of hipsters in cut-off Carhartts with makeshift bikes who enjoyed a hand-rolled cigarette every now and then. That’s not untrue. What you would have missed, however, and the far more impressive bit, is the sheer athleticism these girls and guys exhibited as they flew around the court, stopped on a dime, and wheelied around 180 degrees to quickly change direction. And that’s while trying to hit a baseball-sized piece of plastic with their homemade mallets (picture a golf shaft and golf grip with a piece of plastic about the size of a 16 oz. can attached at the end). Oh, and you can’t let your feet touch the playing surface otherwise you need to cycle to mid-court to tap the wall.
It was incredible to watch, the crowds were great, and can’t wait for next year. Enjoy the shots!
My vote for the MVPs of the tournament were Ben on the Blue Team, Tall Kid on the Gold Bike, and The Mountain (“Not in front of my goal”).