Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011...What a Year...

The Lock-In was a week and a half ago, and I am still not sure what to think of it. After nine days, my brain is still a little on the fritz after attempting to polo and party for 24 hours.

I wanted to write a recap of what happened in and around the Skatium on that cold January weekend, but I am not exactly sure where to start.

I guess I need to start by saying that I love St. Louis Bike Polo. The sport of bike polo and the people that play in St. Louis have all become cherished parts of my life. The idea of playing anywhere else pales in comparison. A club that plays tough polo and leaves it all on the floor of the nearest party is rare and nothing to take lightly. Having fun is easy. And having fun with STL Bike Polo is even easier. St. Louis Bike Polo knows how to play good polo and have a great time.

Who better to host a 24-hour bike polo party??

A 24-hour polo party is brilliant idea, but it is also an insane endurance challenge. I walked into the Skatium this year with the cocky attitude that after surviving the 2010 Lock-In, 2011 would be a walk in the party park. I was a quickly handed a dose of reality as my energy reserves were drained soon after sunset on the 15th. Can after can of Mountain Dew could not keep me from stumbling around the Skatium like a bum drunk on sleep deprivation. My memories of the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In become a blur around the 2am mark. Some of my favorite memories up until the point of me sleepwalking around the party are listed below:

The Skatium. The Skatium is dirty, dingy, and drafty. But it is also a rare gem that needs to be cherished. It is a clubhouse that we get to use for one 24-hour span each year. You do realize that almost ANYTHING goes at The Skatium, right?! Hell, Ross and I were riding motorcycles around inside that place. If you ever find an indoor establishment that does not raise an eyebrow when you roll out your Honda XR50 and start riding it around inside, note its existence and visit as often as possible. Mouse, his son, and Robert, the Skatium's owner, run that place like an underpaid babysitter. As long as you do not die inside the Skatium, feel free to do whatever you like. The Skatium is one of the many gems in St. Louis' crown of jewels.

Have you ever crammed 45 pizzas in your car? I have. The smell of pizzas and minibikes still taints my car's interior. When it's below freezing outside and you have 45 steaming pizzas in the back of your car, it is a race back to the party before you windows completely fog on the inside. Nick and I made it back to the Skatium before the last little section of my windshield fogged over and completely obscured my view from behind the wheel. If you have the chance, go to Dominos, tell them that you need 45 pizzas in seven days, and have a pizza party with 70 of your closest polo pals.

Playing footdown with 65 friends. Normally, this silly game is played with a handful of bored friends on bikes. But when you combine 65 people, parking cones, and kicker ramps to your standard game of footdown, you have yourself a grand ole time...And a lone victor from Lafayette, Indiana.

Before the 2010 STL Bike Polo Lock-In, if you told me that adults got excited about pinatas, I probably would have doubted your suggestion. But after watching a bunch of 20 and 30somethings bust open a Party Van pinata and an Andrew W.K. pinata, I am happy to say that there are still fun-loving adults out there.

Beer. Lots of it. We invited 65 friends to party with us in St. Louis. Nick secured 2 kegs from O'Fallon brewery. Jake secured 10 cases of 16oz cans from PBR. Plus, I had a few cases of Busch that were left over from the Lock-In last year. All in all, we had a ton of free beer for your enjoyment. And it was all gone by 8am. Wow. Good job boys and girls. PS: Be sure to check out Colt45 BLAST when it hits shelves in the near future.

Rollerskating! Honestly, the hour of rollerskating was probably my favorite experience at the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In. Skating is a blast. Why do we not do it more often? Turn the lights off, cue the disco ball, and pump the disco. If we do the Lock-In again, I hope we are smart enough to have a rollerskating hour again.

Underwear games.

All-girl games.

DJ Cole.

The Soul Train at 5am.

Watching Jordan, while attempting to sleep, roll down the bleachers, slam into the floor, and eventually resume sleeping.

The Lock-In applications.

Gabe's closing of the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In. If you stayed until the very end, you witnessed Gabe shred his guitar in the middle of the rink. Guitar feedback and the Star Spangled Banner screamed throughout the Skatium around 10am. Decked-out in his custom American flag outfit, Gabe perfectly recreated Jimi Hendrix's famous rendition of our country's national anthem. It was an amazing way to close the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In, and I hope the tradition of starting and ending polo events with the Star Spangled Banner catches on around the country and world this year.

The 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In was an experience from which I am still attempting to recover.

Thank you to everyone that came and had fun. Sorry to anyone I was not able to personally say "goodbye" to. Please visit again soon.


Monday, January 17, 2011

24 Hours of Partying!!

I'll be honest, I was not totally convinced that having a 2011 St. Louis Bike Polo Lock-In was a good idea. For me, the first lock in was a life changing experience. By the end I had completely lost my capacity to speak, and mostly lost my desire to sleep. It was fun overload.

Lucky's idea was brilliantly conceived and flawlessly, while seemingly effortlessly executed. St. Louis Bike Polo showed the rest of the polo-verse what we are about. Having fun, applying energy and being inclusive. The people who showed up fell right in and, I would like to think, everyone there had an amazing time. For me it was perfect.

So when it came time to think about planing a 2011 Lock-In, I was hesitant. They say lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice. I was afraid that anything less than perfection in 2011 would somehow take away from 2010. Thankfully, the rest of the club didn't share my reservations.

Ben took the reigns and did what St. Louis bike polo does best, started a blog. Then he secured the venue, tiny liquor bottles, pinata, small motorcycles, Mountain Dew, playground balls and tens of thousands of ounces of beer that it takes to make a bike polo lock-in a success. The people came. They played polo. They partied. They danced. They bleed. They hit the kicker ramp. They smashed the Pinata. They earned merit badges. And they had a blast. Thanks to everyone involved.

Fuck lightning, We'll make our own.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Things to consider...Updated 1/14/2011

With the big day approaching, here are a few things to consider:

-Helmets are not required. You are an adult. We are not your parents. If you need a helmet, wear one. If you don't want to wear one, that's fine with us. We're not going to make you wear a helmet.

-Eat before you arrive at the Lock-In. The first meal we provide you won't show up until many hours after the start of the Lock-In. So enjoy a big breakfast/lunch/brunch before arriving at the Skatium. Also feel free to bring snacks and drinks. Leave them in your car or backpack them into the Skatium. Do what you need to do to survive the 24-hour party.

-You will be required to surrender extra mallets at the door. For 24-hours, you will only have access to one of your mallets. You can leave extras in your car or surrender them to us when you check in. Once you have surrendered your extra mallets, you will be required to put a name tag on your mallet shaft. The purpose of this it so we can call out your name if you're taking too long to get on the court for your game. Mallets without name tags will be tossed to the side and ignored. If your mallet breaks, you must come to an STL player, show him/her your broken mallet, and you will get a new name tag and one of your spare mallets back.

-We will throw you out if you are a dick. Anyone causing trouble...putting more than one mallet in the next-game-piles...destroying property...or being what we determine to be "a dick" will be thrown out of the Skatium. We are not bluffing. I will happily remove anyone that is ruining the Lock-In experience for anyone else.

-There will be punishments for things like own goals and spilling drinks. Punishments will probably be on a case by case basis. But if you witness an own goal or spilled drink, notify an STL member ASAP.

-Take lots of pictures. Reliving polo events through photography is something I truly enjoy. If you take pictures this weekend, be sure to upload and share them.

-Dress warm. Bring clothes for the winter weather outside. Also bring a few layers to the Skatium. It's a little drafty. A t-shirt and jeans will leave you wanting inside the Skatium.

-Be open minded and flexible. Having fun is easy. If you're too cool to have fun, you probably shouldn't show up on Saturday.

...I'll keep adding to this list as I think of new things. Check the comments too. I'm sure some STL players will chime in with things that I've forgotten.

The 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In is so close...I can almost taste that beer you spit in my face in the heat of partying.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday Night...

If you are getting in to St. Louis on Friday and you need housing, remember to contact Nick at LOCKINHOUSING@gmail.com.

Also, if you are getting into St. Louis on Friday, and you are looking for something fun to do, we will be playing polo at our Maplewood rink from 6pm-10pm. The Maplewood rink can be found at 7601 Manchester Road - Saint Louis, MO 63143-2840 behind the police station. This probably isn't happening...Thanks to the recent snow storm, and despite our best efforts, all of our outdoor rinks are snowy, icy messes. Just go to Handlebar and enjoy cheap drinks.

After polo, we will be heading to HandleBar for cheap drinks until 3am in celebration of Jake's birthday. HandleBar can be found at 4127 Manchester Road - Saint Louis, MO 63110. Order yourself a dose of Wheeler's Tall Bike - A double decker shot special available until midnight.

After staying out too late and drinking too much on Friday night, we will all meet at The Skatuim on Saturday to experience a true, dead-of-winter Bike Polo Lock-In.

Check in for the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In starts at Noon on the 15th. The Skatium's address is 120 Catalan Street - Saint Louis, MO 63111.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Updates, Limits, and Housing

As of right now, 30 people have paid for their spot at the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In. 30 people are all set to have the time of their lives on the third weekend of January. With those 30 spots spoken and paid for, 35 spots remain unclaimed.

I think we accepted around 90 applications, but we promised to keep the number of people in attendance at the Lock-In around 65. Obviously, everyone that sent in an application will not be able to attend our 24-hour party. If you have yet to pay or send us an email expressing your desire to pay at the door on January 15, you are on the outside looking in at the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In! Read that last sentence again...I'll wait. If you want to be on the inside, you need to pay your $25 entrance fee -OR- send us an email stating the following:

"I, (your name here), will be paying for my spot at the Lock-In on January 15, 2011."

Starting RIGHT NOW, the first 35 people to pay or email us promising to pay at the door will officially be part of the Lock-In. The number of available spots are going to be listed below. When the number reaches zero, the 2011 STL Bike Polo Lock-In will be full, and no amount of begging or bribing will get you through the doors if you miss the cut. Okay? Good.

Number of Lock-In spots available: ZERO (updated 01/12/2011 at 5:08pm cst)

On another important note: If you need a place to sleep on Friday night (January 14th), you need to send an email to LOCKINHOUSING@gmail.com and politely tell Nick that you need a little floorspace. We do not have a ton of space for out-of-towners to crash, but if you ask nicely, I am sure the STL club can find a little section of floor where you can rest your weary eyes before stepping foot inside of our 24-hour circus.

So some of you have some work to do as fast as humanly possible: 1.) Pay or promise to pay at the door. 2.) Politely email Nick and ask for a place to sleep on Friday, January 14th if you need it.

Does all of that make sense? I hope so. If you have any questions, post a comment or email us. We will get back to you as fast as possible.