Polo Club

Bike Polo in Dolores Park

When you hear polo, you think of collared shirts, princes on horseback and that scene from Pretty Woman.

No more.

Well, OK, that's probably too dramatic. But there's a scruffier, two-wheeled option we think you should know about, even if you don't actually feel like participating.

Say hello to San Francisco Hardtop Bike Polo, hosting pickup games every Monday night at Dolores Park.

More like roller hockey than equestrian-style polo, hardtop is the do-it-yourself, action-sport version of the genteel lawn game of royals. Here's how it works: Teams play three on three, and players use makeshift mallets (everything from ski poles to broomsticks rigged with PVC pipe) to bat a street-hockey-like ball through small goals. There aren't many rules, but the two big ones are to avoid foot-to-ground and mallet-on-bike contact. (Mallet-on-mallet and bike-on-bike contact are both fine…within reason.)

As far as your bike, anything from cruisers to mountain bikes to fixed gears are good, but leave your carbon road bike at home unless you consider it your beater.

After a few Monday evenings, you'll have amassed a trick-bag-full of cycling skills, like one-armed handling, backwards riding and changing direction on a dime.

Not to mention glory. Unspeakable glory.

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