Bike polo in Dalston

Thanks to a tip off from a very helpful President of the UK bike polo association, I turned up on Tuesday night at a hard-court football ground to have my shot at the little known spot of Bike Polo.

Cycle polo was started in Co. Wicklow, Ireland in 1891 and the hardcourt variation has seen a sharp increase in popularity since 2007. As a very friendly frenchman called Matthew, who meet me when I arrived, mentioned the sport gives the opportunity to travel around Europe in a tight knit community (well I suppose there isnt dozens of players, in fact I remember someone quoting me the figure of 60 active players in France…..but that could be just a made up flashback!) and always getting a place to crash! I suppose like ultimate frishbee (although much smaller) people start quite late in the sport and everyone is a friend of a friend. Importantly there is only 3 players on a team, not bad for a tour around Europe!

And so started a bit of hit-around….I was quite frankly useless. If you touch the floor with either foot you have to travel back to the halfway line, balance is a must I am afraid! However I was very interested to see these lads dribbling in and around the bike and no fear of getting a ball out of a corner! In the end only a couple of lads arrived, apparently the girls were at a all-girl tournament in the US……I of course mentioned why the hell they were in wet London, but apparently ‘supporting’ the girls would be a little pervey/predatorial…..probably a good point! If anyone is fascinated by this sport, the lads had a blog at – cosmicbikepolo.wordpress.com, enjoy!

Word from today is that I will be attempting a world record marathon in a fireman suit in the Cork City marathon in June. Stay tuned for that and Man vs Horse, World Naked Bike Ride etc!!!

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And lets begin

At some point in your life you really have to attempt something that if nothing else will be interesting to talk about when you are old & grey, at some random wedding table of a long-distance relative. Maybe this ‘thing’ will bring about life-time friends, some funny fb profiles, more than likely some epic sessions and of course something thats a little funny when a colleague asks ‘What did you do at the weekend?’. And maybe, just maybe, it can be funny enough (shall we say the word inspiring, oh go on), inspiring enough, that one day your old school, college, even a random business conference will give you the honor, pleasure to share your experiences.

So whats my ‘thing’? Well one afternoon many years ago, I was on a train and it struck me how lonely people really are, even with the HUGE amount of people we pass everyday. Maybe this was just my response after finishing my time as Ents Officer in Trinity College Dublin, were as a ‘party guy’ you meet literally hundreds of people in one night. But the more I mention this thought to people on buses, trains (had a very interesting chat with a Kiwi sheep-shearer! once) and planes, the more I begin to realise that it isnt such a crazy idea.

So where did that thought bring me. Well I thought, how could you, and what would happen, if you tried to meet a million people? At first I thought lets put a time limit on it, one year that sounded reasonable. That works out to be over 3000 people a day!….I mean how could you do that, high fiving people on the tube? No,no a little bit more thought had to go into this. Then I got into long distance running, and got this immense interest in random events of effort – Arch to Arc (look it up, a trialthlon using the English channel), Norseman, Death Valley Ultra marathon – and being a Ents Officer consequently an interest in funny events – Redneck games, underwater ice hockey, wife-carrying championships. Perhaps it would be idea to experience as many of these interesting events as possible AND have an aim of meeting a million people! If nothing else, my emails are certainly getting alot of attention. Of course worse case if you get nowhere near a million people at least it makes you look up funny events – I mean I am doing Bike Polo next week, I never even heard of it before, let alone join a training session!!
So here we are. I am setting out to meet a million people in the most interesting, random events I can find. Now before I list some of these events (or indeed activities in interesting places) let us define meet. You could say ‘meet’ is perhaps a first name and a hand shake, or perhaps a brief discussion. And you know what you are probably right. But I want to concentrate on meeting people naturally and not trying to make it very artifical. Orignally I had a counter, and indeed I turned up at an Oxford May Ball, meet officially 88 people – there was quite alot of drinking so could have been more and the morning part of the 24 hr period just wasnt happening with that hang over (I’ll right a blog on it all at some point). Above is a picture from the Great North Run last Sept (I suppose you would say event number II), man that was fun, only got 5 miles but a interesting 3 hours and meet something like 354 people!! However this counter just makes people uncomfortable and explaining this project just gets annoying after the 10 time. So to count the number of people I ‘meet’ I will take an estimate of how people I have effected, or impacted on . In terms of how I can effect people, it should be some form of meeting where by that person can recall our introduction, basically me. For example if I make a talk to 100 people about this project, then I have made an impact (whatever their opinion may be!). Maybe in the future I could do a facebook page where people add me, and in fact I will do this, but at the moment lets enjoy some random events and some funny photos!!

So lets put a sample of some of these events/activities and get going. I have no idea what order these can possibly done at, and this is only part of my notes, there is so many places and random events out there. Importantly its trying to link an interesting place with an activity. These arent really expanded upon but amusing to look at nonetheless!

Man versus Horse – 9th June in Llwanyrtd in Wales – entered in fact!
The Royal Shrovetide Football Match on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England – the goal posts are 3 miles apart and there is no limit on players!
Bognor Birdman – like flugtag you run off a pier and try to ‘fly’ as far as possible in a ‘plane’
Underwater Ice Hockey – played upside-down underneath frozen lakes….the first world cup was held in Weissensee, Austria, in Feb 2007….ome training maybe necessary
World bathtubbing championship – You jump in a bath and start paddling
Le Tour du Lac – a non-stop 160km rowing race in Lake Genev
World Naked Bike Ride – a nude cycling protest around the world
Wing-walking……no explanation necessary on why you would!
London to Brighton Classic car run
Conduct an orchestra
Spring Break Beer Pong Tournament
Life model
Go to the airport and get the first flight
Do the Denzies to Westminister Kayaking race
More than likely throw up in a fighter jet
Search a shipwreck in a submarine
Go to Sealand -a World War II military base in the North Sea which claims independence
Sheep shearing championship
Everest marathon race
Honda 50 run in Ireland
Spartathlon – 150 mile race from Athens to Sparta
Tough Guy
Deca Ironman
The Scotland Island 500 – On Christmas Eve its a swimming race with a dog!
Be the voice of God at a conference…..now which one…..
World’s biggest water fight in Changmail during the Thai new year
Make a graduation speech
Throw out the first pitch at a major league baseball game
Nude Olympics – its in Australia at Maslin beach
Stonehenge during the summer solistice….winter, well maybe, its bloody cold
Henley on Todd Regatta – in Alice Springs in Australia in Sept, its a race along a dry river bed ing boats of all sorts with no bottom – people run along inside them!
Swamp soccer world championships in Finland
Dynamite fishing
Urban beekeeping
Be a window cleaner on a skyscraper
Get a comment from a top social media CEO
Go to clown college
Be a TV news anchor on a midwest american TV channel]
Underwater rugby
Australian Plunge for Distance Diving Championship – you know when you hold your breath and swim as far as possible
Join a colleage jailbreak
Be a body part model – my ass is good right?
Paint the Golden Gate Bridge
Roadkill cook-off – its in Marlington in West Virginia…there is loads of these weird events in the states
The Cowal highland gathering – lets throw some trees in Scotland!
World pea shooting championship
Calcio Storico -is a medevil ‘football’ match in Florence
Drag Olympics
World Ice Golf Championships
European Rabbit hoppping championships
International chess boxing match
Glamour Stiletto Run in Amsterdam – 100m sprint
Bog triathlon
Take part in Santa Claus World Championship – there has to be a race right?
Up Helly Aa – a Viking festival in Lerwick, Shetland
Coal-carrying championships
The world famous cheese rolling event
Air Guitar World Championship
Pillow fighting – there is actually tournaments in Austria on this!
Castellers de Vilafranca – human towers in Catalonia!
Gastronomy Ski World Championships – Ischgl, Austria
Eton Wall Game on St Andrews Day
Buzkashi – you know that dead goat game in Rocky III?
Bossaball – aka trampoline volleyball
Shin-kicking in the Cotswold
Hovercraft racing
Lawn mover world champioship in Krautsand, Germany
Extreme Ironing championships
World Beard and Moustache Champioships
World Nettle Eating Championships
Tedfest in Ireland!
Tandem World Championships – happened in 2011, will have to keep a look out!
Fancy dress paragliding at the Icarus Cup
Battle of oranges in Iazza di Citta, Ivrea, Italy
Fire-walking – The Anastenaria, Greece
Midget throwing contest……or is that too unpc!
Twister chasing in the US
Elephant polo
Mascot at a college football match
Be part of a pit crew
Voice over for a cartoon
Train/or shall I say commute pusher in Tokyo
Golf ball diver
Stay in a monk monastery in the Himalayas
Give a toast at the main beerhall at Oktoberfest
Climb an active Volcano
Dragonboat racing
Control bomb squad robot
Keg Race – Bay to Breakers – in May in San Fran
Redneck games
Burning man
Annual furniture race at the big mountain resort
Typewriting throwing championship
Lumberjack World Championship
Rock Paper Scissors World Championship
Pirate week in George Town
Snow sculpturing in Kiruna Snow festival in Sweden
Biathlon during Holmenkollen ski festival near Oslo
Reindeer racing
Ski marathon
Jousting/Knights attendent at Gotland Medieval week
Hot-dog eating championships
Take part in a gameshow, maybe Total Wipeout
Sweden Island hopping race
Couchsurfing on a pacific island
Get in a shark cage
Alien festival at Roswell
Astronuant training – there is a REALLY deep pool in Belgium
Launch rocket at Yasothon rocket festival!
Tall ship race – be in the crows nest
Exhibit at an adventure/travel show
Car football!
Bungee jump from a helicopter
Movie extra – a battle scene or in Bollywood…there must be a middle ground
Oxygen bar in Toyko
Some kind of Dart Championship……why do people get so excited by darts…must be the drinking
Land a sea plane
Ride in a superbowl blimp
Announce this idea at the half time of a major college sports event in the US
Travel on top of a train in India
Take part in a drag race
Be attacked by a police dog hopefully in a padded suit!
Volunteer at a soup kitchen

etc etc etc etc etc