I’m sure that many of you have seen – or at least heard of – bicycle polo. But soccer on a bike takes the cake. And I’m not talking about lobbing a ball around with your feet as you pedal by on your bike. No – these guys are using their bikes – usually the front wheel – to stop and “kick” the ball. If you think that doing track stands at stoplights shows your mad skillz, well, you’ve got to see one of these games.
Thanks to @blair_houghton for tweeting about a live match as it was being streamed at http://www.cpm24.tv/. Not sure if they archive their videos – if they do you should check it out – Czechoslovakian vs. German team.
The other amazing part about this, aside from what looks like a demanding sport, is the large crowds the sport is attracting. This probably goes a long way to illustrate the differences – culturally – between the United States and many European nations regarding their opinions on cycling.
The sport is officially called ‘Cycle Ball’, and despite my ignorance of its existence, it has apparently been around for a very long time. I was able to find some folks (see next video below) that claim they’ve been playing for over 30 years.
It is played on purpose-built bikes with specific geometry. The most visually noticable differences are the tall, upright facing handlebars and the saddle mounted to the end of a top-tube extension directly over the rear axle.
And guess what – it is a UCI sanction sport. Who knew?!?
Check out this video – subtitled in English – for a great, short primer on the sport.