Player Spotlight: Gibson “The many-named god” Greene

Giburetsu. Giberacci. Gibraltar. ジブレツ. Scorpion King. Giblets. Today we highlight the guy with maybe the most drive and passion for polo. As part of the club growth we experienced in 2015, Giblets came to the club with a ton of enthusiasm and good vibes. He works hard to be a team player, and an asset to the club. Even though he feels sometimes like he doesn’t, it’s been really great seeing him progress as a player, and even greater to see him traveling to tournaments. Keep up the good work Gibson!
We give you shit because we love you.

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How long have you been playing?
I think I’ve been playing for around 10 months now.

What’s your rig?
I have a pink steel frame from China with a lot of weird bends in it. It has a dodici polo fork running a TRP HY/RD disc brake and a Max Power disc guard. I have a milk mallet with a 4.5” head and some grip tape on the capped end to give me the illusion that I can get top shelf shots.

How did you get into Bike Polo?
I learned about polo from my friend Owen probably about a year and a half ago. I didn’t stay because of a certain personality. Then in September I went to Interbike and during that time there was a polo tournament called Crank Gamble which a couple of my friends were playing in. After watching two days of intense polo and one of the teams from our club winning the whole thing; I was hooked.

Why Bike Polo?
At Crank Gamble I saw something beautiful occur; a sense of camaraderie and inclusiveness filled the air. I remember when I first started to get involved in the bike community I had this same sense of awe but with polo it was so much more. Even though I didn’t play I was just as involved as the players and everyone made me feel welcome. The bike polo community is incredible and the sport is the most enjoyable activity I have been apart of. Also being a cyclist, I have always felt as it it was an individual effort even when apart of group rides while bike polo is quite the opposite of that; the best teams are the teams that play the best with each other. Without teamwork, you can’t win.

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Any words of advice to newcomers?
Play with Tina. She was huge in my willingness to come back and play, she was so supportive of all my efforts and never gave up on me. As I kept coming back, I realized everyone had that mentality and always wanted to see you achieve. Be open to feedback and see both sides of the picture, what you did well and what you need to improve on. Have fun too; that’s important.

Where do you think the sport will be in 5 years?
I’m not sure where the sport as a whole will be in five years but as a club I foresee us having a court of our own. I think if the bike polo scene is Salt Lake continues on the trend that I see we will be doing just fine.

Is there anything you would change to improve the sport?
Cameras on all three courts at Worlds. That’s it. I like how it is.

Favorite Bike Polo memory?
Going to Grand Junction and being able to play with all the folks I saw slaying at Crank Gamble. I was able to connect with more people in the polo scene and also solidify my relationships with my club. Also the drive back with Jimmy and Nico was dope.

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What do you do for work?
I got to school at Westminster. I’m majoring in English with a minor in Film Studies.

What do you for fun?
I like to overanalyze movies, recieve stupid nicknames, clean my apartment occasionally, hit balls with sticks and lay in bed eating a whole box of chocolates.

Gibson lives in downtown Salt Lake with a bunch of guitars.

-JA

Photos by Gabriel Mejia. Follow him on Instagram @gabemejia

 

The Buzz

How about 2016 so far? Pretty good! We’ve had a ton of coverage in print and online media, lots of tournament attendances, some podiums, and with our strong 3 nights per week, who could ask for more? Check out the following links/videos for the latest in club news.

Back in February, Les Beehive Boys travelled to Timaru, New Zealand for the World Championship, in which they made the top 16! Gabe made two videos of the whole trip.

 

Les Boys’ trip to NZ was highlighted n page 3 of the March 2016 Issue of Cycling Utah and in the May Issue of Slug Magazine.

In possibly the biggest news of our club, we hosted our first big tournament! Hopefully you were there, but on April 9-10 we hosted the Wasatch Open, a part of the Fixcraft Groundwork Series. Teams from all over, including Canada, came to play for the trophy. Mr. Done made this cool recap video.

Sponsors: FixcraftDZR ShoesVelocitySaturday CyclesMilk Bike PoloWelding on FireKryptoniteGreen BikeGSI OutdoorsLed by LiteGreen GuruNalgeneTimbuk2Crank SLCVelo City BagsUtah Food ServicesSkratch Labs

Pick up a copy of Salt Lake Magazine  to see a great article on the club and how to get involved with bike polo.

And last but not least… we’re Gephardt approved! Well, sort of haha. They made a really cool video about the club and polo in general. Check it out for some awesome local faces, and voices. Click Here to watch the video, and read the first ever (I think) bike polo poem.

-JA

 

 

Player Spotlight: Kevin “Southern Thunder” Greene

KG came to Salt Lake with his wife Turntup (Tina) and was an instant fit in the club. Fun-loving guy to the fullest, in between naps, of course. As an experienced player Kevin brought the level of bike polo in Salt Lake up to a new standard. His speed and ball handling skills make him a downright formidable opponent. The story of our friend KG continues below.

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How long have you been playing? 
I’m actually not 100% sure, Like six years?

What’s your rig? 
Pake with a Bruiser fork, and (gasp!) V-Brakes

How did you get into Bike Polo? 
Some dude from New Orleans polo posted a sketchy ad on craigslist to meet in a pizza joint parking lot. It sounded like the dumbest thing to me, but some of my friends tried it and badgered me to go for weeks. After much hesitation, I made the journey to the picklefish parking lot and was dragged out onto the court. It’s hard to explain the feeling, like maniacal joy.

Why Bike Polo?
The people, without a doubt.

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Any words of advice to newcomers?
Make sure fun is your first priority, don’t get too caught up in trying to improve your game. Ive had alot of newbs ask me like “what should i have done that game?” my guess is maybe smile more.

Where do you think the sport will be in 5 years?
Hard to say, Its kind of boring to watch on t.v. so I’m not sure about the spectator aspect (pro leagues, Olympics etc…) Honestly, I don’t think much will change. small friendly tourneys. larger scale more regulated events and so on.

Is there anything you would change to improve the sport?
It would be cool to try more players on a slightly larger court. There was a tournament in Florida that did 4v4 on a full size roller hockey court. It was actually super fun and the play-making increased I think.

Favorite Bike Polo memory?
My first tournament was insane, Our club rented a beach house in Pensacola for SESPI 2010. There were so many players from all over (Canada, Seattle, Austin etc…) I’d never seen anything like it! After that tournament polo became a huge part of my life. I also fondly recall practicing for NA’s with Bernard in a church parking lot by my house. We hung out and knocked the ball around almost every day and sometimes we’d be joined by Jacques, Tina and Porch. I also had a ridiculously good time at the polo meetup in Grand Junction. So rad.

Its also worth noting that I met my wife because of polo, but that’s more of a life memory.

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What do you do for work?
I work at the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective as a mechanic and I’m currently helping develop the incarcerated youth education program.

What do you for fun?
I like being outside. Mountain biking is a must! I also love skateboarding, even though I’m not very good at it. but then again, you are what you love, not what loves you.

KG lives with his wife Tina, cat Poptart, and dog Gertie in South Salt Lake.

-JA

All photos by Gabriel Mejia. Follow him on Instagram @gbot.media

Player Spotlight: Tina “Chicken of the Sea” Medley

Loved and feared by all, Tina needs no introduction. Her and her husband KG (another badass polo player) fit right in when they moved to SLC earlier this year, and we as a club couldn’t be happier. From starting “WTF Night” (Women, Trans, Femme) to helping newbies feel at home, Tina AKA “I’m getting too old for this shit” Medley has been an amazing addition to BBPC. Read on to find out a little more about miss “Big Sis”.

Don't be fooled, I WILL cut you

Don’t be fooled, I WILL cut you

How long have you been playing? 
I’ve been playing regularly for 7 years. (gasp!)

What’s your rig? 
Newly acquired Fixcraft Ad Astra. LOVE! It’s fast and nimble but still manages to keep me planted during the trickiest of times.

How did you get into Bike Polo? 
The year was 2006. It was winter in Milwaukee. My boyfriend played on occasion so I’d go and hang with our friends on the sidelines. No women played at the time. Freezing my ass off sitting in a parking garage wasn’t my idea of fun. My friend Meg Lee wanted to start playing and caught wind that I did too. She encouraged me to jump in some games with her and invited me to practice in parking lots. And so we did. And so we made MKE Bike Polo co-ed.
We are still great friends.

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Why Bike Polo?
Team sports, hang with buds, and drink beer. +++ All three in one go is a dream come true! Also, the polo community is awesome.

Any words of advice to newcomers?
Solo polo and practice between games. There isn’t enough time in a game to really get the hang of it.
Learn how to use your brakes in a bind without racking yourself or flying over your handlebars. That is painful, for you and for people who witness it. Ouch!
Use your peripheral. It will save you.
Don’t be so hard on yourself! If your attitude starts going south, sip on a beer and pick one thing to improve. There’s a lot going on in a game and it’s hard to work on everything at once.

Where do you think the sport will be in 5 years?
Clubs around the world will grow exponentially. More women will play. Every club will have a city-sanctioned court, with lights and electronic scoreboards. There will be kids’ polo programs so the sport will move forward with the next generation.Everyone will have brakes that work.

I’m an idealist.

Don't mind me while I hold this for days

Don’t mind me while I hold this for days

Is there anything you would change to improve the sport?
I would make checking illegal. Why hurt your friends? It usually has a poor outcome for all parties involved and is a real turn-off for new players. Maybe there should be a polo sect for people who want to kill each other.

Favorite Bike Polo memory?
My favorite bike polo memories are from Ladies Army, the North American all-womens tournament. I cannot describe how amazing it is to be surrounded by so many talented, strong, badass women from all over the world, playing this crazy sport we all love. Jeez I’m getting misty just thinking about all the heartfelt hugs.

Oh yeah, AND one time I met a special boy at a Halloween tournament in Austin, TX. I liked him because he was cute and funny. After a bunch a cheap beer and some thick Southern charm, he won me over. We’re married now.

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What do you do for work?
I’m an Account Coordinator at Jack Nadel International (a promotional advertising company).

What do you for fun?
Polo takes up most of my free time but I like doing granny stuff, like baking
and crafting. I love being outside. I love to go dancing at dives. I also just started climbing which is THE COOLEST (besides polo).

Tina lives in Sugarhouse with her husband KG, dog Gerty, and cat Pop Tart.

-JA

All photos by Gabe Mejia. Follow him on Instagram @gbot.media

Player Spotlight: Carlos “MVP” Garcia

This week’s spotlight is on burrito man himself. Carlos burst on the polo scene in Salt Lake last year and was one for the runner ups for Rookie of the Year. He has been progressing so quickly that he will be attending his first tournament next month in Las Vegas! His enthusiasm and dedication are such that he got our glorious logo tattooed on his leg. Without further ado, I present you Carlos AKA “catlos”, AKA “sadlos”, AKA “MV-fuckin-P” García.
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How long have you been playing?
I started playing bike polo in the summer of 2014 Off and on but this year I been busting ass trying to get better.

What’s your rig?
I have a specialized hard rock full rigid, rocking clipless pedals (best decision ever) and double breaks.

How did you get into Bike Polo?
Just some cool cats around town (gabe, jimmy, Anthony)

Why Bike Polo?
I love biking activities and when I found out about this I got hooked real quick. It’s intense, you gotta put a lot of effort into it and keeps you in shape if you’re bustin ass in the court.

Any words of advice to newcomers?
Keep coming, get back up when you fall, don’t forget to have fun.

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Where do you think the sport will be in 5 years?
Um, not sure but hopefully we get a place to call home and have tournaments n stuff.

Is there anything you would change to improve the sport?
Nothing really.

Favorite Bike Polo memory?
When we played in the warehouse and had that tournament and our team won. ( I love winning)

What do you do for work?
I deliver packages for a livin.

What do you for fun?
I love to bike, play soccer, hang out with homies, eat pizza (or any kind of food) just random things, some photography and collect cat shirts.

Carlos lives in West Valley with his family.

carlos-09733

-JA
All photos by Gabe Mejia. Follow him on Instagram @gbot.media

Player Spotlight: David “Dove” Barthod

This week’s spotlight is all about Mr. French. David came to the club last year and quickly burrowed his way into our hearts. His skills on the court are exquisite, as are his tastes in cheese. A class act on and off the court, Dove loves polo and his enthusiasm for it is very easy to see. Read on to find out more about one of the dudes that upped the level of play in BBPC.

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How long have you been playing?
I started playing bike polo in France (Annecy) in May 2013. Two months later I was playing at the French Nationals and we did not finish last! It’s been more than 2 years now. I joined BBPC last November when I moved to Utah and I am so stoked to have found these guys!

What’s your rig?
The story says that when moving from France to Utah my wish was to buy a brand new polo specific bike only if the Harcourt scene was there. Beehive Bike Polo Club didn’t even give me a choice…

After 1.5 years riding a 700cc Pompino On-One with pretty basic components, I finally moved to an awesome polo specific 26’ Hija de la Coneja frameset XL. My rims are the Mavic EX 721 36H built with Hope Trial Evo2 hubs and DT Swiss Competition spokes. My tires are the Schwalbe Marathon. Then I have a Shimano hydraulic front disc, Shimano Zee 175mm crankset and a Brooks B17 Imperial to support my butt for long polo sessions!

How did you get into Bike Polo?
My French buddy Rata talked up hardcourt and its spirit all the time! He started playing in Annecy beginning of 2013 with a group of 8/10 players. They were playing every Monday evening and I finally decided to watch a training session. A week later I was riding an old Raleigh road bike on the court trying to use my brain to pedal, break, turn and shoot the ball with this long and strange stick! The first weeks were tough. Once I was getting better I moved to clipless pedals. Then it was tough again for weeks… Now it’s such an addiction!

Every Tuesday during the winter 2013 we were really lucky to be hosted by Geneva Velo Polo for some crazy games with some of the most experienced players in the world. And I am really grateful for that. It’s no secret, their court is world-class!

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Why Bike Polo?
Because BIKE. I was riding my fixed gear daily and riding became more and more integrated to my lifestyle. Bike Polo was another way to get more involved in the bike community.

Because TEAM. I played grass hockey and soccer for years. I really enjoyed the team spirit you can have when trying to win together, to plan strategies, to celebrate, etc. Bike polo brings me back into this spirit.

Because FRIENDS. I always compare hardcourt to skateboarding as we are practicing in a really friendly environment. We are not teammates we are friends, we are not opponents we are buddies. We are just playing games, having beers and laughing all together. 

Any words of advice to newcomers?
Sure!

  • Don’t stop training and you will see improvements coming faster than you could imagine.
  • Never stop pedaling or you will be late.
  • Do not play to straightforward and go back when you feel in danger or when you want to reorganize an offense.
  • Get involved into tournaments to have more fun and more experience
  • Watch world-class games on Mr. Do Video

Where do you think the sport will be in 5 years?
It’s a tough question everyone is wondering. The thoughts are so different from one polo player to another. Moving from Europe to Utah gave me a chance to have a better overview of the world polo scene. In my opinion bike polo is definitely growing and the games are getting faster and cleaner thanks to the specific gear and thanks to the rules which are updated annually.

In 5 years I am not sure this will be really different than today because we also want to keep this spirit. But I hope hardcourt will have better structure to play in Salt Lake City but also everywhere people are involved. We already have national, continental and world tournaments, this is already AWESOME!

Is there anything you would change to improve the sport?
Not that much and this is why I choose this sport rather than curling or horse riding. As I said it’s more a matter of getting considered by the cities in order to have better infrastructure. I also think that having different groups of level is helping everyone to improve himself – especially when you’ve got big skill gap between players.

David-8245

Favorite Bike Polo memory?
There are so many! But there are mostly trips to tournaments. I will give you one in Europe and one in the U.S.

The one in Europe was probably the European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships trip to Padova, Italy with my team Bleuséphine. We only played the Wildcards but we watched so many great games and have so much fun with the European polo scene. Cherry on the top, we escaped few days to Venice with Sarah – my wife!

The one in the U.S is our weekend with Jimmy, Gabe and Sarah in Folsom, CA where we qualified for the Nationals after 2 really intense and hot days fighting to be in the 5th. We ended up 4th and we drove 20 hours in 2 days!

What do you do for work?
I am eCommerce Manager for a Finish sport watches brand, Suunto (Amer Sports – Ogden).

What do you for fun?
I love outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, ski-touring, surfing, etc. I also travel as much as possible to discover the world. I like cheese and wine as you can imagine and of course I love all my bikes especially my polo one!

David lives in the Avenues with his wife Sarah.

-JA

All photos by Gabe Mejia. Follow him on Instagram @gbot.media

Player Spotlight: Nico “The Kid” Araneda

After quite a few tries, I got my brother to try bike polo this year. See what you were missing, Nico? Part of our efforts at the club in the past year have been to boost numbers and get more notoriety, and The Kid is just one fruit of that labor. In just a short time on a bike, Nico is playing like he was born to. Passing, receiving, and scoring alongside the more seasoned players. As one of the more consistent players this year, you can usually find him at the courts twice a week. Read on for a little more Nico.
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How long have you been playing? 
I have been playing for about 5 months and I try to make to the Tuesday and Sunday games as often as I can.

What’s your rig?
I use a specialized mountain bike with a trials fork and 700c wheels. Milk mallet I got from David. 

How did you get into Bike Polo?
My brother had been telling me about polo for quite a while, but I never really gave it much attention. I remember watching him play once and thinking that it was a bit dumb, haha. Boy, was I wrong! When I finally played for the first I immediately loved it, and have been playing ever since.

Why Bike Polo?
Because it’s really fun! You get to ride bikes and meet cool people and just be part of a community. I like that people don’t take themselves too seriously even when they are very skilled. If you’re not very good, there is still a place for you and that’s why I really like it.

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Any words of advice to newcomers?
For the people that have been playing for less time than I have I would tell them to first learn how to keep the ball close to you and to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t get cocky because there’s always going to be someone better than you. Also, to watch the more experienced players and to replicate what they’re doing as best as you can. I think the first couple of times it’s going to be very frustrating because you will fall. A lot. But eventually, with practice, things will fall into place and you will be able to better yourself. The thing helped me the most was taking advice from everyone. During the games they will tell you where to be and how to move and when it’s best to shoot at the goal or when it’s best to pass. Sometimes they’ll be on your ass a lot but that’s the best way to learn.

Where do you think the sport will be in 5 years?
I think the sport will be played at some kind of professional level. It is now being played worldwide and getting more and more attention each year. In Salt Lake, I hope to see a growth of new players trying
out the sport and more support from the city to have our own space to play.

Is there anything you would change to improve the sport?
Not really. It is a great sport that has the perfect amount of physical contact and enough rules to keep it from being total mayhem. Too many rules would take away the beauty of the sport.

Favorite Bike Polo memory?
My favorite memory would have to be playing at the warehouse. I improved so much playing there. Honestly, I think everyone improved their game playing there! It was so nice playing until all hours of the night driking beers (and eating those evil cherries), listening to music and just having a good time with everybody! Also, my first goal was a really good memory, I think I celebrated it a little too much, haha.

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What do you do for work?
I’m a Medical Assistant at Intermountain WorkMed and I am currently in Nursing School at Westminster College.

What do you for fun?
For fun? What do you mean? POLO! that’s what I do for fun! haha. I also play bass in a metal band and I’ve been going hiking lately.

Nico lives with his girlfriend and dog Snoopie in West Valley.

-JA

All photos by Paul Shin. Follow him on Instagram @_PWRDBYKIMCHI_