Doing it Derby Style!

Posted on December 15, 2010 by


First up, thanks for voting me in – I’m feeling the derby love!

Bouncing off Emshazzam’s fashion comments in the previous entry Time to Share the Derby Love I’d like to continue this vein.  The lovely Emma bought Erica and I socks as “sorry we didn’t make it into league” gifts.  These socks are not only cheer me ups, they are now symbols of a new era – the quest for derby domination!  Emma has black and white checks, Erica has socks with bows (bows are her THING) and I have blue and white stripes due to my love of the Road Train Rollers who were my first ever derby experience.

To initiate the commencement of achieving our goals stated in the What Next entry we decided on having a tribute roll in our new attire (well socks).  This incidentally coincided with our attempt at achieving one of our goals (No. 6 Conquering the River Torrens City loop on skates).  My dog, Bundy, and I have run this track millions of times before in flats but never on wheels.  The main risk causing some concern was the possibility of ending up at the bottom of the Torrens, ICK!

This “tribute roll” raised other issues for me as I HAD to find an outfit to match my new socks and which was also suitable to skate in.  At a recent family Christmas do I discovered the socks went perfectly with my dress but, upon having a test roll on my parents back verandah, I established the outfit was unsuited due to frequent, accidental exposure of my rear end – kinda inappropriate I thought given the audience and my choice of underwear for that day…  And yes, the OSD is again rearing it’s pretty little head, of course it IS appropriate to wear skates at the dinner table, right?

So this brings me to my actual point – what to wear when rolling?  I’m an ex-fitness instructor so am used to lycra of all forms (and no, fortunately I missed the era where it was deemed appropriate to have your underwear on the outside like some sort of superhero gone wrong).  Lycra sports gear that “wicks sweat away” is awesome if you’re sweating.  While its super comfortable it doesn’t fit the derby “fashion” does it?  So, in an attempt to style up, I’m on a quest to find the ultimate derby attire for casual rolls, training and fitness the objectives being function, fashion and comfort.

Emma and Erica unknowingly wound up with similar, hot black and white outfits (very Destiny’s Child!).  I opted for a blue and white theme to match my socks – significantly less hot but simple!  


Once we got over the epic excitement of our socks we set off to achieve one of our goals.  Great weather, great company and, with Bundy in tow, we set off from the Convention Centre to see how far we could get.  After the initial terror of hill no 1 (which occurred in the first 30 seconds and resulted in Erica performing a rather spectacular triple roll on the grass and Emma executing a rather tidy knee slide) we continued on what ended up being approximately a 22km round trip!

Sizzling in black and white

Highlights were the many hills encountered and the under-bridge-paths made of a combination of bitumen and then wood.  Picture this: after careening full pelt down a hill from bright sunlight we hit the dark tunnel unable to see what surface lay before us.  Blindly entering said tunnel at a ridiculous rate of knots only to hit rather uneven wooden slats.  End results = wobbling, flailing, screams, squeals and a heap of raucous laughter.  One, two, three mad chicks and a very excited dog come hurtling from the dark out into the sunlight to shock startled families and elderly onlookers.  The other side of the tunnel yielded the brewery Christmas display with some rather peaceful, operatic, Christmas carols – well, they were peaceful until we appeared…

Derby Style

So what does this have to do with derby?  Well I’m sure we gained much experience in achieving better balance down undulating slopes and over ever-changing surfaces.  Plus side-stepping, hopping and jumping over tree roots, twigs, Bundy and each other.  And in typical derby style there were the thrills, mentioned previously, and a few spills – prickles in the backside, a shoelace sandpapered away by a magnificent knee slide on bitumen and a half sommersault over one’s own skates.  I’ll let you guess who is responsible for which spill!