Chris Simpson, one of Ben's Cycles lead mechanics, went to Minnesota last weekend to promote Ben's at the National Hard Court Bike Polo Championships.
He ended up playing for the team that won the national championship.
Chris has been playing bike polo for years and used to live in Milwaukee. Eric Kremin, a former Ben's Cycle bike and wheel tech, and Brian Dillman were the nucleus of a national championship team called the Beavers based in Milwaukee three years ago.
Chris played with teams that were fierce rivals of the Beavers.
Kremin and Dillman moved out to San Francisco, they kept the Beavers team and continued the friendly rivalry. Kremin and the Beavers won the national championship again last year, making Kremin and Dillman repeat winners.
Chris left Ben's on Friday and brought bike polo equipment and extra products to support riders at the national championships. Milwaukee Bicycle Company has long been a sponsor of bike polo and makes the Bruiser, a bike specifically designed for hard court polo. Kremin and other Ben's employees played a big role in designing the bike.
But when Kremin fell hard on Saturday morning and broke his shoulder, Dillman called his old roommate to fill in. Chris was able to use Kremin's bike and equipment since he hadn't planned on playing.
"We finished two games on Saturday for seeding on Sunday," Chris said. "We won both of those games, and I spent a lot of time knocking the rust off."
Chris and his new teammates talked a lot on Saturday and by Sunday started to click together.
"Playing defense made it easier," Chris said. "It's more my style. This team works so well together that everyone knows what to do. It was really easy to jump into this team and play with these guys."
The team ended up winning all of the matches on Sunday and winning the national title. Since worlds are in France, Chris doubts the team is going to go.
Maybe Chris should bring his bike next time. Just in case he needs to help a team win another national championship.
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