Walk around Alberta Park on a Thursday evening, and you’ll probably see what you would expect: little kids running around on the play structure, a couple walking their dogs and a group playing a pickup game of basketball. You might also see something you don’t expect: a group of 12 or so guys riding around playing unicycle polo. That group would be the Unicycle Bastards, Portland’s most (and also least) fearsome unicycle gang.
Formed in 2007, the Bastards (unicyclebastards.tumblr.com) organize group rides through the city as well as off-road or long-distance rides on mountain biking trails in Sandy Ridge and in Washington. But they’re best known for an anarchic one-wheeled version of bike polo. “There’s not really any rules per se,” Hamilton says of the games, which are open to anyone with a unicycle. “We don’t really discourage each other from cheating. We try to have a good time.” The games admittedly attract more spectators than new players, but, according to Hamilton, they advance the Bastards’ mission of getting the word out about unicycling in Portland. “That’s our other thing,” he says. “We like attention.” KAITIE TODD.