Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Newspaper article on Decatur Bike Polo

DECATUR — For most cyclists, spring and summer are the times to mount up and ride. For them, once the days get shorter, the winds get crisper and the sound of the tires traveling over streets and sidewalks starts to resound with the crunch of leaves, it’s time to hang up the bike.

But not for some.

“For those who are going to be out on the road, it’s base layers,” said Scott Magruder, a manager at Decatur Bicycle Shoppe, referring to the underlayers of thermal clothing that hold in a cyclist’s body heat. “From your neck down to your ankles, there’s different protection you can get.”

Gloves are also a must, said Wes Hogan, another manager who joins Magruder at year-round bike polo games.

“A big part of it is just bundling up,” Hogan said.

Those sorts of protections are probably obvious, but there are precautions a winter rider might take where equipment is concerned, as well. In particular, Magruder said, winter tires for increased traction and riding with slightly lower tire pressure help minimize accidents.

For those truly dedicated to their training regimen but unwilling to brave Midwestern fall and winter temperatures, there are other options, he said.

“A lot of people don’t even do much outdoor riding,” Magruder said. “We use trainers, (a mechanism that) elevates your rear wheel, giving you a stationary bike at your house.”

Then, there’s the local bike polo team, which has plans to continue its twice-weekly regimen of games, even in the cold. The competition kept everybody warm enough Friday evening, as riders wielded their self-made mallets and rode the field of battle under lights at Garman Park. When the weather outside becomes truly frightful, Magruder said the games move to the Nelson Park Pavilion.

“That’s cool because of the fireplace in there,” Magruder said. “The trouble we run into is our fingers get cold, so we have to constantly pad up and use warmers.”

It’s unlikely the team is going to encounter worse conditions than they already have. Magruder said last winter saw some frigid games.

“We played last year in 2-degrees-below weather, and we couldn’t even feel the leather at our fingers,” Magruder said.

Diane Agans said this isn’t her time of year for street riding, but bike polo is still an effective workout, even when the weather turns frigid.

“It’s of course great cardio, which is why I do it,” she said. “I do it for the exercise, but I can’t speak for everybody.”

Keeping your body warm isn’t the only concern. Considering the effect of cold weather on equipment is also important.

“Your hands get cold, your mallet cracks,” she said. “Your brakes might not work as well because of condensation.”|421-7985

Read more: Cold weather doesn't have to end biking fun
From the Herald & Review

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Ran across this on the interwebs and loved seeing Decatur get some good press! I have yet to visit their permanent polo court, but hopefully they'll get some friendlies going on early next year. Also, i never posted it, but there's another article by the same newspaper located here and it's a pretty good read. So glad to see those boys movin' forward!

Now if we could just get them to travel more... don't worry though- the STL LOCK-IN is coming soon! And of course there will be plenty of good events in Indiana next year. Keep yr ear to the ground and eyes open.. we got so much shit going on we might even have our own little "tour"!