I play bike polo

This June, my bike polo team 5G came 5th at the UK Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships in Birmingham. This was the culmination of five months of training and analysis since the formation of the team and personally, two years of playing bike polo.

My younger brother Osian (whose team Skull Attack came 9th this year) introduced me to bike polo on a summer evening at Maindy Sports Centre in Cardiff. Ten people on whatever bikes they had assembled with beers in hand and knocked the ball around a sloping court. My brother and I were sharing what had in a previous life been my first mountainbike, converted to fixed gear, and a heavy mallet made using a broom handle. I injured myself on that first evening. The ball went under my front wheel and with one hand on the bars and no experience, I fell forwards onto my hands, softening the blow of the uncapped bar end against my abdomen. I was back in play after two beers and that injury healed within a week. My sprained shoulder took three.

Bike polo has always been a social sport and the shorter hardcourt game and its informal setting encourages this aspect. The traveling circus that assembles at National Series events, championships and other tournaments such as the London Open will make you one of the crowd if you're willing to join in.

We'll even lend you our bikes.