BikePolo01At the beginning of May, the Glasgow Hardcourt Bike Polo Association celebrated the beginning of summer by taking a trip to the Isle of Cumbrae. Fuelled with Nardini’s ice cream from Largs, we boarded the ferry with our bikes and set off on the five-minute ocean voyage to Cumbrae. Some of us wild camped and some stayed at the Osprey Centre, and we all cooked delicious food and sat around the bonfire until the morning.

After a quick sweep of the court and some massive bags of stones to secure our goals against the strong wind, we started to play. Bike Polo is pretty much, as the name suggests, polo played on bikes instead of horses. Games are three players to a team and ten minutes long, during which time you can’t touch the floor with your feet. If you do, you have to ‘tap out’ at the side of the court before continuing to play.

BikePolo02You can use any bike to play polo; you just need to make sure your front brake is in the hand you don’t hold your mallet in. For right-handed players, this means swapping your front brake to the opposite side, and sometimes taking a trip over your handlebars if you forget and brake too quickly. Don’t worry, most of us wear helmets. We played a ‘shuffle tournament’, which meant that everyone got to play with everyone – complete beginners played with people with years of experience – which meant that everyone had fun.

BikePolo03Though you’re too late to catch the beautiful views and sea breeze of Cumbrae, if you would like to try out a game of bike polo in Glasgow, we play at the The Barn Youth Centre, 37 Abbotsford Place, Gorbals, G5 9QS on Wednesdays from 7pm and Sundays from 1pm. Keep up to date here: We have spare mallets and bikes, so all you need to bring is yourself.

Credit: Jessie Lawson – Writing & Photos