So we’ve decided since we have gotten so many awesome new players in the last few months, we want to highlight them each week!
Name: Jason (aka – “Stretch”)
Born: Green Bay, WI
Current location: Logan Square, Chicago (since 2001)
Age: 373 months
Height: 193 cm
Weight: 68 kilograms
Likes: bourbon, Autumn, wool
Dislikes: brake squeal, karaoke, diet soda
You and Polo-What’s that about? I found out about bike polo via the internet. I dig hockey and bikes (and good times) so I put some feelers out there in a couple of forums, and from there Chris, Rob and Dave encouraged me to come out and play. I built up a cheap hybrid off Craigslist and fashioned a ski-pole mallet, practiced a bit on my own, and then finally came out to Garfield Park on a rainy Wednesday evening in early October. Rob and Kelly were there to teach & initiate a ragtag crew of newbies – Dan, Louis, Jackson and myself. It was a ton of fun, which ended with a ton of blood. Louis somehow ripped the entire nail off of his pinky finger and had to get some stitches, so we called it a night. The most memorable moment from that night was watching Rob enthusiastically rub his mallet head in Louis’ blood while saying something about “good juju”. I was instantly addicted to bike polo and have been coming out to the courts regularly ever since.
The thing I love most about bike polo is the sense of community/family. Literally everyone has been super encouraging and welcoming. It’s a bit intimidating to roll up and tell a group of (seemingly) wild/rowdy polo players that you’d like to join in and be a part of their scene, but they welcomed all of us rookies with open arms. Jerod & Chris helped me with bike parts/work/expertise, and Kelly even loaned me the keys to her car on one of the very first nights we ever hung out. The generosity and love exuded by the Chicago Bike Polo crew is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. There isn’t enough room/time for shout-outs to everyone who has helped me along, but I’m extremely proud to be involved and I look forward to figuring out wtf I’m doing out there…