Dolores Park Bike Polo Crackdown

Police and rangers the other night shut down a bike polo match in the tennis courts at Dolores Park. Players were fined for participating in an “unauthorized athletic activity.” Dolores Park View has the full story, including comment from the accused. Read on.

Photo by Chris8301.

49 thoughts on “Dolores Park Bike Polo Crackdown”

  1. ’tis a sad day for entitled hipster doofuses. after a long day manicuring the facial hair and fondling the fixie, what’s a doofus to do?

    1. On the other hand, “doofus” is a new one! Sorta gives the whole thing a schoolyard tinge. Also, extra originality points for omitting any mention of skinny jeans or PBR. I give this hipster zinger a 7.5

    2. Actually, very few of us ride fixed. Most of us ride mountain bikes– bigger tires, lower gear ratios improve our bike polo playing. But way to assume…

  2. They leave broken glass, spilled beer and wine and cigarette butts all over the court… I think they should be able to stay, but just clean up after yourselves.

    1. Every night I’ve been there, we’ve leave the court clearner than we found it. Often, we improve on the relative taughtness of the net when we leave.

      Your comment on glass doesn’t make sense. We remove glass – glass punctures tires.

      It’s a very good point that people should clean up after themselves. Personally, a bit of spilled beer which might happen is far less offensive to my olfactory than dog pee.

  3. There aren’t any skinny jeans or fixes involved in bike polo. Bike nerds – yes. Hipsters – no. And I’m not defending them as one of them. They just seem like a nice bunch of dudes enjoying some wholesome fun. If it messes up the surface of the courts that blows but there are way more pressing issues in the Mission that should demand the cop’s attention, are there not?

    1. multiple people getting mugged at gunpoint in one night is kosher, but dudes playing an unauthorized sport, that’s a serious police matter

  4. i love getting drunk and narrating these guys! i have dozens of names for all of them! baby huey, tee-hee-tummy-tums, richard avedon, lil, kim, leibowitz, schaefer, and all the others, i’ll miss you!

  5. Why can’t the beardo fixie PBR tight-pantsted (did I get em all?) hipster heroes go do their polo bidness in a parking lot somewhere?

    No, that wouldn’t be cool, cause unless we can trash DopePark, it’s just no fun, and the hater nazis just want to tell us Mission Rebels what to do!

  6. There are 22 tennis courts in district 8. Tennis is overly represented with public space, relative to any other sport.

    The fence keeps the ball in play.

    Some of the generalizations that have been thrown out here reflect too much web 2.0, and too little conversations with the real people in the park.

    We care for the court, and the park,

    bike nerd

    1. How is it overly represented? If you used tennis courts for tennis you’d find you’re hard pressed to find a court to play on in the city, unless you go pay $6 for an hour and a half at ggp (despite what you may think, not all tennis players are old, rich douchebags, some of us are young and broke). You’re all some lucky sons of bitches, or liars, if you say you’re able to find 2 or 3 (how many do you assholes take up anyway?) free courts on your first try.
      I’m sure the readers on here don’t give a shit or are in favor of bikes displacing tennis players so let me bring up something that might appeal to your white guilt: these guys also play at the tennis courts and cemented soccer courts in the mission (around folsom and 20th?) thus displacing (*gasp*) the mexicans. So maybe now you all can rally against these clowns that think they can take over a tennis court because no one happens to be playing on it when they show up.
      And seriously, bike polo? Go play some other lame amalgamated sport like frolf or some shit. You all look like some fucking geezers out there rolling around at negative 5 mph while almost falling over every 2 seconds.

      1. Thanks for your constructive input. See my personal website link. And post a time and location near Dolores park if you’d like to meet in person and have a real conversation. Any time Sunday morning works for me.

      2. If you’re looking for constructive criticism join a creative writing workshop, or AA. If you’re looking for a fight go join Gold’s Gym. Either way I have no interest in meeting you or visiting your web site. Fact is, polobro, the tennis courts are already too crowded with tennis players to accommodate bikebros with mallets. Are there really no empty lots in the city for you and your polobros to play? Do you really have to ruin it for the rest of us? I know you’d like to think you’re the victim ’cause there aren’t any places for your whimsical sport, but the fact is, it’s the soccer and tennis players that are losing their courts. I know entitlement is a tough pill to swallow, but in this case I as a tennis player, or George as a soccer player kinda trump you and your brohams when it comes to playing on the tennis and soccer courts.

      3. I’m not asking for criticism; certainly not a fight. Just name a time and place if you want to talk about this in person. Maybe we can look at the court together. I’m still free tomorrow morning.

      4. Are you the designated spokesperson for bike polo in the city? If I strike a deal with you will there be some sort of mass compromise struck between polobros and tennis players across the city? If we meet will you open my eyes to the beauty of your sport which will have me whistling dixie all the way to ye’ old mallet shop? Get over yourself and your perceived ability to “make a difference.” As you haven’t addressed one of the points I’ve brought up (like tennis players being entitled to play on tennis courts), please at least tell me what good a meeting would do?

      5. There is a way for you to find out. Outside of this online forum.

        Finger could ride 5 mph backwards until he switched from fixed to a freewheel. Top speed is about the same as a sprint to the net in tennis. I’d say 15 mph (for a brief instant, so better to say about 20 feet per second).

      6. 1 court. ONE COURT! out of 175+ public tennis courts in this town. And we don’t even want that ‘reserved’ 24×7- We’re happy to put the net back up to show the local tennis community that we’re willing to share. Why is this a problem? Just because you don’t play polo means that we can’t use a *public* use area for our own ends? You should drop the name calling, racist bullshit, accusations of entitlement and ease up on the haterage.

      7. what an idiotic comment you made and mentality you have. YOU are calling others entitled? wow. I live on that block of Dolores and have watched the bike polo a lot; I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen them play in the evening when there was NOT an open court. 20 people enjoying an interesting evening of sport vs. 2…seems like a easy call to me. ..but apparently not to some wanker with a chip on his shoulder (you).

  7. I don’t care one way or the other, because I
    don’t live near the park, nor do I use it all that often (although it is my designated meeting place after the big earthquake). Which suggests likely suspects as the complainants: people who live near the park. Likely REAL complaint — let’s differentiate it from the fancied complaints of people who comment on this blog — would probably be NOISE. I note that the picture shows that play goes on after dark. Ask yourselves, bike polo players, how noisy you are. Do you keep a running commentary going during play, and are you very excited? Team sports tend to be noisy; tennis (aside from the odd grunt), not so much.

    1. too true. sometimes we can hear ourselves over the cars dragging up and down 18th, or the ulta-quiet muni trains going by. We’ll try to be more conscientious.

      1. This is 18th street and Church, across from Mission High School, next to a B Ball court and the J Train. Homeless guys camp out next to the court.

      2. I think you underestimate the ability of people to ignore persistent mechanical noise AND the dB level of mixed human voices competing with each other to be heard.

        Not that I really believe you’re one of the polo-players, troll-boy.

      1. Did you selectively read my comment? Did you miss the part where I said “the picture shows that play goes on after dark”?

  8. Good point ye ol curmudgeon. *smiles*

    I think that people weigh the benefits and drawbacks of living on a park when they move there. The lights do go off at 10pm sharp though – for the basketball, dodgeball, and other creative team recreators.

    Also, no one has ever approached us in person (or those other groups while we were around) to ask for a quieter game. I think we’re too quiet actually. Should be communicating more.

    1. It is true that Hard Top Bike Polo was displaced when the Potrero De Sol Park was renovated and the addition of a skate park was installed. It has moved several times over the years, typically finding a home in courts that are scheduled to be renovated. Despite the cracks in the Dolores Park court it has been an ideal location for the sport to flourish and introduce new players, with its high visibility and central location. As interest increases it may be time for the sport to follow the example of the skaters and get a dedicated court.

      1. A dedicated court would detract from the ironic appropriation of your parents’ bourgie sporting facilities, so the appeal would be lost.

  9. I think it’s pretty funny that people assume that anyone who tries to have fun at dolores park is automatically a hipster. This is a community of people, who come in all shapes and sizes, yes many of them care about fashion but who cares. I saw the cops hassling those people last week as I walked by, I was wondering why. It seems maybe the cops should stick around that area during the day when all the super cracked out people are sleeping on the grass and doing drugs, that seems like a real problem especially across from the school. I can describe at least 3 people who are there all the time, one of them being a girl who likes to walk around naked in the summer. If she wasn’t so cracked out she might even look like a hipster, she is well dressed for a homeless gal.

      1. I could care less about the sleeping, it’s the blatant drug use and shopping carts full of crap that are sprawled across the sidewalks that are a huge eyesore. The police should spend their time worrying about real problems like drugs and crime.

        In funnier news, I saw some little kids (with their dad) riding their bikes (with training wheels) in the tennis court yesterday, I was hoping to see some cops give them a ticket. I took a photo to remember them by! :)

  10. As a single father,a resident of district X a small business owner and a Bike Polo player in San Francisco I should like to thank everyone for their untrue negative comments and wishes to oust us from Dolores Park. I feel even cooler now and a definite step or two above on the evoloutionaryAs a single father, a small business owner and a Bike Polo player in San Francisco I should like to thank everyone for their untrue negative comments and wishes to oust us from Dolores Park. I feel even cooler now and a definite step or two above on the evoloutiary

    1. Aren’t people so great on here! I am always intrigued when I walk by and see you guys playing, it seems really fun and a neat way to get people together and enjoy the park. I’m sorry the cops/city/whoever made the choice to be assholes and crack down. It’s nice to see people using the park facilities in a positive way instead of leaving trash and causing ruckus.

  11. A few days ago my boyfriend and I approached a group of bike polo players at the Mission Playground Tennis Courts on 19th st and Linda, and asked them if we could use half of the tennis area to hit a few balls back and forth. Not only were they very courteous and welcoming, but they were also very friendly and warm with the local children on the playground who were interested in their sport.

    $103 tickets for using an athletic court for an athletic activity is ridiculous, especially since there were 8 players on the court vs the 2 or 4 players who would’ve been participating in athletics via tennis.

    1. You paint a very rosy picture of this beautiful day when all was right with the world. Did you guys sing Kumbaya while giving each other handjobs?
      And being “friendly and warm with the local children” is against the law.
      Also, it’s not about how many people you can fit on the court. If there were 50 people on the court would that have made it even more just?

  12. If the bikes damage the tennis court surface, then there is a problem. You can’t make this a personal judgment about whether tennis is more or less important than bike polo. It’s a tennis court, and as long as the city is maintaining it as such, I think it’s a problem to be damaging the surface doing something other than tennis. Could you use the basketball court instead? Bring some padding to wrap the polls or something? I think it’s great that you guys are using the space, but you have to agree that it’s for a purpose that is not intended.

    1. maybe they should just stop playing altogether because to my knowledge bikes are not intended to be used for playing polo… maybe all forms of creativity should be banned?

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