portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

bikes/transportation | community building | police / legal

Bicycle Polo Banned

Portland Parks and Recreation targeted bicycle fun for unspecified reasons. You can help by watching and supporting bike polo this Sunday at Alberta Park
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:

Mark Warrington
Security Manager
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

homepage: homepage: http://axlesofevil.org

This is really fucked 31.Jul.2004 19:05

A friend

Last during Bike Summer the regional championship was held and the city gave a free alcohol permit. This is absolutely stupid harrassment and I would like to know whose decision it was.

I'll be there to support

So what happened 01.Aug.2004 20:21

in suspense

Any problems today at the park?

polo=good 02.Aug.2004 08:38


mabey bike polo should be played in front of mark warringtons house

how big of a court is needed 02.Aug.2004 15:27


how big of a court is needed to play bike polo? i'm a homeowner with a VERY oversized driveway (was like that when i bought the house) and no car. chalk lines? just an idea.

The horse's mouth. 02.Aug.2004 16:14


I called Mark at PPandR, and he said that although he hasn't been fully breifed by the people directly involved, that the people who were ejected from the park were sent away because they had alcohol there without a permit, and not because they were playing bicycle polo. He went on to say that PPandR fuly supports alternative sports such as bicycle polo, and that over the course of the past year they have been trying to work with the players to better facilitate their activities. Whether this is true, half-true, not-true I dunno, but there it is from the horse's mouth. He also said that yesterday, there was some dialougue between rangers and BP participants, but it was a completely civilized discussion and as far as he knew there were no ejections or exclusions at Sunday's game. He completely denies that PPandR "has it out" for BP or that there is any anti-BP policy going on. He says that it is perfectly allowed, and that the main source of conflict between players and rangers has been alcohol violations.<p>

here is the info that I have been able to get 03.Aug.2004 10:13


Adding to what clamydia said: I talked to Mark Warrington today, he said that he didn't make the decision for Bike Polo to be ejected but that it was his understanding that alcohol was involved. He said he couldn't be sure. He suggested that it would have been the decision of Mark Cline (Park Ranger Supervisor) who doesn't seem to be on the "contacts" page of Parks & Rec website but his phone # is 823-1637. I've left a message. As far as Bike Polo being allowed to continue using the park, it would seem that it is up to Mark Cline (not removing them from park), Bob Downing 823-1619 who is the manager (if I have that right) of Parks Maintenance, and Gretchen Newberry 823-2516 at the permit center. Still trying to find out under what conditions Bike Polo could continue at the park.

response to "me" about using driveway 03.Aug.2004 10:31


In response to your question, the game could be played on just about any size court, but after a certain minimum size there isn't much room for maneuvering. How large is the driveway? Anyone interested in offering a space as a potential court could I'm sure go to the Axles of Evil website and use the contact info there to start a discussion about it. I sure hope that you do, as private property would be the ideal playing scenario. Bill's contact info is under the "design" link.

What neighborhood do you live in, by the way?

Here is a good summary of the latest on the Axles website:

The Truth is Right Here 03.Aug.2004 11:05

BillDozer bill@axlesofevil.org

Boy this is exciting. I have also talked to Mark Warrington in the last day, and he has said exactly to me what he has also said to the rest of you, it seems. In our discussion, I contested the claim that alcohol was the reason for our removal, citing three separate instances (7/14, 7/25, and 8/1) in which there was no alcohol present, and we were asked to leave because the rangers had been instructed by Mr. Cline to do so. There was no mention of alcohol by the rangers at any of these instances, and the phrase was routinely repeated, "Mr. Cline has told us you are not to play here." We wer told that they would not answer any questions, and that any and all questions or concerns were to be directed to Mr. Cline or Ms. Newberry. I have told Mr. Warrington that I believe the reports that we were ejected for alcohol were both false and eerily convenient. With any luck, we'll be sitting down to a discussion within the next week. In the meantime, a new venue would certainly be appreciated, although the Alberta Park court suits our needs so perfectly. Therefore we'll continue to fight for this until we get what we want: to play and to be left alone.

By the way, this is the first time I've heard of Mr. Bob Downing being at all involved. I'd also like to have a word with him in regards to the Alberta Park court.

get some bike polo 06.Aug.2004 20:34

bike polo supporter

be sneaky about the drinking if there is drinking to be done. If it's the alcohol, I understand sort of. I know I have seen other people play frisbee and drink in the parks, do they get harrassed?! It's not as if there are people fighting over the tennis courts or as if you playing bike polo is interupting someone elses football game. How many times has someone else been injured due to the bike polo gsmes? never? That's what I thought. How often do people use the parks you play in for anything? They should be glad that someone is using the park. I don't see why suddenly this has become a problem, did someone complain about it? Well anyway I hope you win, this is Portland for fucks sake.

... they kick people out of the parks in portland??? 06.Aug.2004 23:20


then howcome, could you tell me please, every time i go to penninsula park there's a huge fight with at least 40 teenagers involved? and i've never seen anyone forcibly ejected from that park.

or the huge crowds of degenerates who hang out at the gazeebo in...is it dawson's park? the one on n. williams.