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.
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.