Bike Polo is a sport played on bikes with mallets where opposing teams try and score by hitting a small ball though a goal. Last Sunday Portland Parks and Recreation (PPandR) ejected those playing bicycle polo from their court in Alberta Park.
"Parks and Rec. told us that bicycle polo is not allowed on public parks." Said Bill Dozer, of the Axles of Evil, a bike polo club in Portland. "They gave no specific reasons for removing us, only that they were under specific orders to remove us from the park."
"This seems to be another example of bike culture being harassed." Said Ben Ringer, another polo player. "I remember when the Zoobombers were being hassled by the man, and all the problems they had to go though just to ride little bikes downhill. I guess they had some noise complaints or something. As far as I know we have never had any complaints from anyone. All the people in the neighborhood like us, and some really enjoy watching the sport."
"Uh basically it's fucked," said Kenichi, another regular poloist. "We have had permission to play on this court; due to upkeep it can't be used for tennis and hasn't had a net set up for as long as we have played here... over two years. I would think they would be happy someone was using it."
The court in question is in Alberta Park on 21st and Killingsworth. The Axles of Evil plan to play their normal game like they have for the prior 100 plus Sunday afternoons.
"We tried to work on a comprimise." Said Dozer. "They wanted us to get insurance because they see us as a league. But we have to official schedule, we have to set roster. These are pickup games and no insurance company can touch pick up games. It's a real catch-22."
"Unfortunately we expect Portland Parks to eject us from the court again," said Dozer. "We hope that people reading this will be there to witness the harassment and will tell their friends and witness what could be the last polo ever played on public parks. Maybe if there is a good turnout of spectators this Sunday Parks and Rec will see that we are a community institution worth supporting."
If you want to contact PPandR and discuss this issue personally:
Portland Parks & Recreation
Axles of Evil website: http://axlesofevil.org
They play this Sunday 8/1/04 starting at 2-3pm at Alberta park, NE 21st and Killingworth