The burgeoning sport of bike polo is capturing the hearts of bike aficionados in neighborhoods all across the country.
The burgeoning sport of bike polo is capturing the hearts of bike aficionados in neighborhoods all across the country, from Portland, Oregon, to Lexington, Kentucky, and is now played in pockets all over the world. The game is modeled after traditional polo, though there are only three members on each team and there are fewer rules. And unlike the horse-riding players of its predecessor, bike polo players aren't required to be wealthy members of society's elite. They are everyday folk who love bikes and competition—and aren't afraid of the occasional crash (they happen).
The photographer Cecily Upton, who lives and works in Portland, first started shooting the sport two years ago in New York City at the recommendation of a friend of a friend. "After a little while, one of the players I was photographing says, 'You can only keep coming by here so many times before you have to start playing,'" says Upton. "Once I started, it was love at first mallot. Now, whenever I travel, and I try to connect with local players and get a game in or take some photos."
What follows is a selection from Cecily Upton's "Bike Polo."\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n
Karlsruhe; taken at the European Hardcourt Bike Polo Showdown, Zurich; 2008
|Mark, Philadelphia Bike Polo; taken at the East Van Crown, Vancouver; 2009|
Symmetry; taken at the European Hardcourt Bike Polo Showdown, Zurich; 2008
|Birdie, Madison Bike Polo; taken in Madison, Wisconsin; 2008|
|Disc Covers; taken at the Bicycle Film Festival Paris Bike Polo Tournament, Paris; 2008|
|Joe Burge Taps Out; taken at the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships, Seattle; 2009|
|Meg and Shane, D.C. Bike Polo; taken in Boston, Massachusetts; 2009|
Fiona Watches; taken at the CMWC Bike Polo Championships, Toronto; 2008
|Johnny Bandages Jonny; taken at the CMWC Bike Polo Championships, Toronto; 2008|
|Balls Deep versus Beaver Boys; taken at the East Side Polo Invite, Boston; 2009|
|Ian, Richmond Bike Polo; taken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 2009|
Drew Digs; taken at the East Van Crown, Vancouver; 2009
|Chris, Lexington Bike Polo; Taken in Lexington, Kentucky; 2009|
|Paris Polo; taken at the BFF Paris Bike Polo Tournament; Paris; 2009|
|Ken, East Van Bike Polo; taken in Vancouver, British Columbia; 2009|