Do you like riding a bike? Enjoy competition? Looking for a good time? You might want to check out Chicago Bike Polo.
"It's a cycling sport that isn't racing," says Brian Bolles, who got involved about six years ago. "You don't have to be the fastest person on Earth, the strongest rider. You just need to get out there on the bike. It's fun from the start."
Bike polo traces its origins to the bike messenger culture in Seattle, Bolles says, "with a bunch of bike messengers who were bored during their downtime."
Anywhere from a dozen to 20 enthusiasts usually show up.
"It's a contact sport and it's competitive, but we're friends," he says. "So were not gonna hurt each other. ... It's like anything else. A person could get hurt. But you run the risk of getting hurt walking down stairs. We just take a slightly elevated risk to have fun."
Prospective participants are invited to watch. Or play. Club members are happy to explain the rules and lend equipment. No fancy ride is needed either.
"Honestly, a rickety mountain bike that has been sitting in the garage for years will do the job. You just need brakes and wheels."
For more information, go to chicagobikepolo.com.