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Bike polo puts fresh twist on classic sport

October 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
We're accustomed to seeing people riding horses and playing polo, but bike polo is a fresh twist on the classic sport, and it's growing in popularity.

"Polo is definitely becoming more and more popular. There's clubs in every city," said Krista Carlson, organizer of L.A. Bike Polo.

It's a bit like traditional polo, except it's on a bike and has another set of rules.

One of the most important rules in bike polo is to not let your feet touch the ground. So what they actually do is balance on their mallets.

"The other main rule is like-on-like contact. The rules are body to body, bike to bike, and mallet to mallet," Carlson said.

Most of the time, they wear the usual bike safety equipment, but the wheel covers aren't just for looks.

"They keep things from getting stuck in our wheels like balls, pedals, mallets, feet," Carlson said.

To those who are curious, the welcome mat is out. A good day to start is rookie nights on Tuesday, Carlson said. And if you don't have a bike, don't worry.

"Everyone pretty much is willing to lend their equipment," said one player.

If you're interested in seeing bike polo in person, there is a tournament coming up later this month. The tournament is part of the L.A. County Bicycle Fest on Oct. 20-21.


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