Monthly Archives: June 2018

Bike polo

Cycling itself is a way to practice sport. Cyclists have been ridden from important races like the Tour of France to local, unofficial ones for ages. Again, cyclist is not only a sport but a source of additional ideas by mixing it with existing ones. One of them is the bike polo also known as cycle polo. In essence, it consists in practicing polo but on a bike instead of on a horse. Bike polo can be practiced on grass and in a hardcourt, being this last one the most popular. The interest on this sport has been increasing across the world since 2007.

How can I play bike polo? Well, the rules vary by city. In general, every team is composed by 3 members who are not substituted. Thus, every member remains on the court at all times. A street hockey ball is used and matches are played until one team scores 5 points. One match can also last until time expires if any team does not score the 5 points. Every tournament has a play limit, for instance 10 minutes, and this figure is used to maximize the number of rounds during the very day.

In regards of the rules, bike polo has 3 rules:

  • Every time a player touches the ball with a foot, that player ride to mid-court and hit a designated area with their mallet (the stick). Conveniently, there is usually a tap-out located on either side of the court.
  • To score one point, the offensive player must hit the ball across the goal line using the narrow end of the mallet.
  • Once a team scores a goal, you wait back in your end for the other team to cross half before engaging in play again.

The international bicycle polo championship has been won by India, Canada and the USA. Moreover, France is a world power. In this kind of tournaments sometimes the bicycles used and the money raised are donated to local schools and social clubs, and the money is used for charity, in comparison with what happens in some other sports.


Cargo bikes

I know we have already talked about cargo bikes. I also know the use of this kind of bikes will increase in the coming years as a result of optimizing deliveries in cities. Laws will restrict the use of cars and vans to deliver goods specially in downtown areas. In addition, both environmental and economic costs reduction will make it essential. Moreover, the reduction of noises is appreciated by neighbors. What is not always well known is the high diversity in cargo bikes.

In the picture bellow, one can see a variety of them. Some can carry objects in the rear, whereas some others can do it in the front. Furthermore, some cargo bikes allow to transport merchandises in the back as well as in the front. The fact of allowing removable elements makes them incredibly versatile. For those companies specialized in deliveries, cargo bikes with fixed elements constitute a good solution for the day-to-day activities. Ideally there is a cargo bike for every need.

A damned curve

Shared streets between bikes and pedestrians are usually problematic. Distractions or lack of awareness are common causes for accidents. I talked about why bike-lines should not be on sidewalks without a physical barrier to make it clear on what part pedestrians walk and on what zone bicycles should ride. The height of hypocrisy is highlighted in situations like this:


On the photo one can see a shared sidewalk (blue signal) which is itself a potential cause of accident and the awful route with the corner with no visibility whatsoever. If this was a street only for pedestrians or in other words bikes do not ride on it, it would be right. But the moment somebody decided bikes should invade this space, a potential chaos can be done. In addition, the avenue next to it has four car lines for each direction. The solution here would be creating a bike-line by transforming one car line. This way every actor in the scene (pedestrians, bikes and cars) would have its own space physically separated so that accidents would be virtually zero.