Damage Report: Taupo Tapout 2

Apparently there are quite a few little sharp bits on my new polo bike. It also does not turn quite as tight as the old one. The concrete in Taupo turns out to be pretty tough but I wasn’t about to give up the fight.

I now have two nicely busted up knees. Road rash covering most of my right elbow. Half a dozen cuts on my legs and some quite tender ribs. Oh, and I seem to have misplaced a largish bit of skin from my left big toe (How?!?).

Once again, Taupo Tapout was a huge success and the T-Town boys pulled it off without breaking a sweat despite the fact that one volcano had already erupted and a second was threatening to.

My trip started last Wednesday. 4am to ride to the airport and get checked in at Sydney which is notoriously fickle. I got threw mostly okay but my well loved passport is being called into question more and more. To the degree this time that I was offered an on the spot refund as she was convinced New Zealand would not let me in. The ride into Auckland was as unpleasant as last time, except I was on a smaller gearing so it took 2 hours.

I stayed with a friend in Auckland who lived in one of the coolest communal houses I’ve ever been to. I’ve lived in a couple communal houses that couldn’t touch this with a poo covered stick. Good people, good food and an overall sense of social responsibility.  Played some pickup that night, out for drink, repeat Thursday with beach and riding around Auckland.

Headed for Taupo Friday morning with some of the Auckland polo crew. Nice drive and stopped in, sorry to make you jealous, Hobbiton. Friday night pickups in T-Town and partied back at the hall.

The post tourny shenanigans is what really makes the Tapout of the best. Thermal springs in the river, thermal springs in the lake and all a close ride across town. And since there has been so much volcanic activity lately the lake was especially nice. Or probably just by comparison to gale force winds of last year.

Thats all I got. I’m hurt, I’m outta here. Posts coming soon, new touring bike, plans for Tasmania tour next month, next years NZ tour and a stupid plan to get one more stamp in my passport.

 

The Pigeon has Landed

image

This is some progress right here. I am happy to see more bike stations at airports. This one is at Auckland International. The first one I had seen was at PDX. Hopefully I will continue to see more. I am back in Auckland and headed down to Taupo this weekend for Taupo Tapout II. I placed second in this tourny last year with two noobies. Since then one of them has been training non-stop and I have the pleasure of having him on my team again. Taking up the third spot is Sydneys own V. Looking forward to a weekend of shinanigans with good friends.

Newcastle Polo Day

This weekend is Bike Fest up in Newcastle and they have organized a bike Polo exhibition. A couple people dropped out last second due “bad weather”. Meh. We have 4 at least which is fine for 2on2s on the smaller court. Hopefully the weather clears up there as we’re right on the water.

image

Melbourne Autumn Tourament

Three years after having my first tourny in Australia I have finally made it back to Melbournes lovely Flagstaff Gardens for another fantastic weekend of polo. Brook flew down from Sydney and I arrived Thursday morning after taking the train from Horsham (more on on why I was on the train later). I ran some errands Thursday & Friday. Stopping by Jetnikoff Bicycle co. to chat with William about building me up a loaner polo bike. We slapped it together Friday evening before I headed off with Rob Moss and enjoyed some of his fine homebrew while he got stuff together for the tourny. Then off to a party for one of the local players moving to Tokyo. Upon arrive at the party we immediately began heckling Benee to play with us and before even saying yes the smile on his face said it for him. Morgan, Brook & Benee: The Dog Particle.

We started Saturday morning off like being shot out of a still drunk particle accelerator. Despite all my efforts to be as hung over as possible it seemed nothing could upset the Particle.  7 games, 7 wins. The Dogaverse seemed unstoppable.

Sunday started off oddly. There was something missing…. maybe that rhythmic pounding in my head that is usually the cadence at which I stumble through a tournament. Had gotten a good nights sleep done me in? Naaaahh, we did just fine.
First game was against The Narwhals. Poor DFL team, but they had good spirits about it.
Next up was Polo Beer. Bart still being a bit sore that we got Benee. Took them down as if The Dog Particle did not even know what physics was.
Then Melbourne WAnchor (I kid, I kid). We decided to get hella(!) pumped for this match. Threw on some Gamma Ray right before the start and I was off. Sadly my break could not seem to keep up with me. We where all over the place and got slapped down for it. 5-1 Anchor I think. Ouch.
This dropped us into the “Not Winners” bracket and we played Seagull Archy? They explained what it meant many times but I don’t think anyone got it. It just confirmed for me lefties have no souls (love ya!) and… I aint afraid of no lefty bullshit.
This is the part were we where in the final. The Dog Particle v. Melbourne Anchor. This was probably my favorite game of the tourny even though we lost. 3-5 but it was a fight. An enjoyable one at that. Probably should have heckled more. meh.

Great tournament once again. Thanks to Rob, Sam, Robbie, Belle and everyone else who helped out. Thanks to Benee for joining the Dogaverse, cannot wait for WWIII in June.

AHBPC 2012 – Part II

Wow. DOG SOCCER! Seeds 4th place overall? That is because we have the Dog Soccer. Saturday was a good day. Me, Tom and Brook played quite well together. I had never met Tom before last Tuesday so I didn’t know quite what to expect. I knew Brook was a top player and barring some weird conflict we’d play pretty well together. The suggestion to play with him actually came from TDR Ollie while we were in Tapou last November. Thanks for the tip bru.

Day two was a double elimination with a sort of seeded losers bracket. The bottom half of the group would play each other with the losers seeding the losers bracket and the winners playing the top half teams in a normal top-v-bottom* bracket.
* This means the first place team plays last place, second plays second to last, etc.

Stress and nervous tension are now serious social problems in all parts of the galaxy and it is in order that this situation should not be in any way exacerbated that the following facts will now be revealed in advanced: The city in question, is, in fact, Perth. The bike polo tournament shortly to be discussed will merely result in a referee being yelled at, and the untimely ejection of DOG SOCCER! and the goal stacking that led their opposing team to a championship. In order that some sense of mystery should still be preserved no revelation will yet be made concerning which referee was yelled at. This fact may safely be made the subject of suspense since it is of no significance whatsoever.

As mentioned the top half of the group received a buy. In the first round Samurai Polo Cats played Rejected Polo Monkeys. Samurai Cats took it and we faced them again in the next round. We took them 5-1. Next round was TDR after giving it too Hall ‘n’ Scrotes. TDR is on my checklist. I REMEMBER TAUPO! Sadly I did not get my revenge today. DOG SOCCER off to the not winners bracket.

There was a lot of debate going on over the weekend about where the next championships will be hosted, who will be there, and what exactly is this championships anyhow. Nationals? Australasian Championship? Dog Soccer Cup? What ever you want to call it, it was awesome having Kaohsiung Taiwan fielding a team. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark and Lee Yu (sorry if I have that wrong!) last August in Tainan. Great guys but we still had to send KBPA+ off. 4-3. HOJO HOJO HOJO!

TBA came next with the double lefty bullshit of Ray and Vive. Every time I hear some bitch about playing against lefties I have to laugh. Ever problem a righty has playing a against a left they have too. Use it to your advantage. This is especially true with a team that plays 2 lefties up. The end result was us 4-1 and TBA on Team Beer Break.

Things were staring to get pretty tense at this point. I was totally baffled (baffled) by how well we’d done already and things where just getting harder. Speaking of hard our next challenge was MPS. I cannot find the score but we won, I think 3-2 or 4-2.

Now that things are heating up we worked our way into a little Sydney on Sydney action. DOG SOCCER vs LSV. This was one of our toughest matches of the day. We went up 2-0 within about 5 minutes. Luckily we’d agreed at the start to play a 10 minute match rather than 15 due to time constraints. The heat was really starting to get to me and I was having trouble getting back into the game or keep on the ball. They ended up score and equalising over the next 5 and time ran out. We got a 2 minute breather then back to the joust. I lost the joust, the ball went loose, picked up a pass from Tom and stale breaded V in the first 5 seconds (think that’s how it went). I am so glad that game didn’t didn’t drag out.

Next we really messed up by not taking a long enough break even though I don’t think it would have made a difference. We played against Perths NASFWG. I think that stands for Na, Stacked Full With Goalies. I don’t know the score on this one, it was 4-1 or 5-1, it wasn’t good. The goal was stack, they had 2 keepers almost all the time and 3 when it wasn’t. How tired we where was starting to show. We quit talking and where shooting on the keepers rather that breaking up the blockade. We where done. But extremely happy with our success. 3rd fucking place. Qualified for the Worlds. Going to Geneva. Dog Soccer.

The final was TDR vs NASFWG. Goal stacked, Perth took it.

This was a great weekend and the Perth crew did a fantastic job. I have to thank Wall (who’s computer I’m on right now) for putting everyone up on Thursday night and me again before leaving on tour. Mattie for organising all the hardware (shitty about the barriers) and Henry for running the brackets. Its a good sign when your organisers are not running around with the eyes bugged out.

Thanks Perth! Thanks for the good time. Off to sort out a courier for my polo bike back to Sydney, head down to the beach for a dip and enjoy my last day in Perth before riding back to Sydney.

2012: On The Radar

This coming year is going to be packed full of exciting events. I hope to visit at least two new countries this year (China and Russia). Play a million games of pickup. Organise some intercity challenges in Australia. Do several big tours. Get back into racing alleycats. Kill it in CX in Australia this year. Race on the track a lot more then I have in the past 3 years.

Alright, here are things I’m defiantly doing. Feel free to throw some suggestions out in the comments.

NAHBS 2012

Joining my boys of Broakland once again for a shenanigans will weekend. Jason of El Camino Fab is already in town and enjoying the beautiful Bay Area winter.

 

Wolfpack Hustle: Marathon Crash Race 2012

 

AHBPC 2012

Really excited for this one. I played in the AHBPC in 2009 in Melbourne and had a blast. This is going to be a hectic week. I’m flying from Los Angeles about 15 hours after the Wolfpacks Crash Race to Sydney then flying to Perth the next day.

 

After this I will be on my bike for about 1.5-2 months (no hurry) touring from Perth back to Sydney. Once back in Sydney it will be lots of pickup and not really having an agenda.

Next major event I’m definitely in for would be WHBPC 2012 in Geneva. Dates are not 100% yet but it is looking like middle or 3rd weekend of August. One of the loose plans for this would be visiting my brother in Yunnan, China in July as he is finishing up work there. We’d travel together north through China and take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Nokhodka, Russia to Moscow. Where I would likely tour to Berlin or given enough time all the way to Geneva.

What have I missed? I will be in Australia through July at least so will hit any polo event in the region. What is in other people plans post Worlds? I am still in consideration if I will head back to Australia then, maybe head back to Germany for a while or something I have not even thought about yet.

DOG SOCCER!!!!!

This past weekend I was (questionably) fortunate enough to visit the lovely bunch of knuckle heads that are Santa Cruz Bike Polo. The Shit Fest 2012 was by no other description a total shit fest (shit show if you prefer). As I spent last week moving into homelessness I wasn’t able to head up to Santa Cruz until Saturday morning, after a night of drinking and having to wake up early, get my polo bike out of storage and put it back together. Ffffuuunnn. Showing up at the courts about 30 minutes before the draft I was met with the lovely faces of California bike polo regulars. LA sent up 2 of my favorite ladies of CA polo. Sacramento had the usual hooligans. I was especially happy to see some folks coming out from Fresno and San Luis Obispo seems to be picking up players.

This tourny was a 2 day bench minor with 7 teams. Some suckers (Susan, Shriver, dunno, Sacto Joe, another person, Krista, derp) stepped up to be captains and started picking. Top pick was….. fuck if I know. My team was Krista (LA), Shitty (SC), Me (SF), Brad (Pittsburg), Nikola (SC?), Santiago (SLO), Leon (SC). Hopefully that was everyone.

A lot of people could not hang out for both days. So day two the worst two teams where disolved and redrafted into the remaining four for a double elimination. Dog Soccer, having won the spirit award the day before was obvious choice to be knocked out first. So we where.

In the end, thank you very much Santa Cruz a pleasure as usual. See you all in 2 weeks for my Shit Fest Continued Blowout Pickup Afternoon Extravaganza.