Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

Posted on January 4, 2011 by

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Oh its back ONNN!  Via every form of communication known to modern gal, I begged and pleaded my insurance company to allow me to re-buy my stolen skates prior to them finalising the claim.  Karma did a complete 180 and worked my way for a change and the first day of my holidays yielded a shopping trip resulting in a brand spanking new pair of Riedell Vixens!

Riedell Vixens!

So what do derby wannabes do when they have new skates and free time?  I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count – you got it, we feed our obsession by skating our backsides off!  (Quite literally in some instances!).  The result: a mere 65km travelled in one week!  There are way too many highlights to mention them all but here’s some of my faves.

Feeling rather festive on Christmas Eve, after a few St Hellier ciders, it seemed like a good idea to use my hallway for skate practice!

Feeling Festive!

The Boxing Day holiday found us rolling around on a roof top car park.  It has an awesome concrete surface with a few obstacles to jump.  We managed to navigate steep ramps, jumping each other’s legs, speed humps and kerb edges!

Very Cool High Speed Ramp

Em, Erica, Bundy and I set out on a city to sea skadventure to conquer the 30km round trip of hills, bridges, roads, pavers and other random surfaces to seek out breakfast by the sea.  We made it!  After a leisurely breakfast at Stella in Henley Square we bumped into Baby Cakes, Bone Shaker and Champion Ruby of ADRD’s Mile Die Club.  They invited us to travel part of the return trip with them as they knew the “back streets” to get back onto the bike track. We were quite stoked to be in the presence of real derby chicks and proceeded to follow.  I set out to be uber cool and make a “good impression” however this was quite short lived as, at the very first set of lights while waiting poised on my toe stops, I somehow managed to dump myself unceremoniously on my backside – geeees I wasn’t even moving at the time!!!  Hmmmm sooo cool huh– right in front of two derby chicks and a crowded cafe…

But I was not the only one.

Buns... of... Steel!!

As breakfast is totally my favourite meal of the day I set out on another breakfast skadventure.  This time I was in the company of the lovely Letta Loose of ADRD’s Road Train Rollers.  Our journey took us on another 25km round trip along a bike track from the suburbs to the city outskirts.  Letta is a veteran skater and I was looking forward to getting some skate tips from her along the way.  We set out with a leisurely pace taking hills, sticks and blind corners in our stride.  Part way we encountered a few hills which looked a little trickier.  Now I have this confidence thing going on it seems.  If I regard someone else as a better skater than me then I blindly trust their judgement.  So, when Letta paused part way down a steep hill I assumed that if she was hesitating then I should be at the point of soiling myself.  Accordingly, I decided it best that I throw myself off the track and try and skate UP a steep, leaf covered, dirt embankment to break the pace.  In retrospect I wouldn’t recommend this move as it resulted in a harsh knee slam, two hand guards full of dirt and a somersault finale, much to the shock and surprise of a startled onlooker and Letta!

Nevertheless, the funniest moment had to be on another such “steep descent” I’d let Letta go in front and could see her waiting at the bottom.  I started down the hill, quickly gained momentum and was rocketing along at a face-smashing pace.  I could see Letta drifting backward into my path of travel and shouted “DON’T stop me”!!!  My intention was to warn her to get the hell out of my way as the only thing that was going to slow me down was gravity.  The next thing I see is her open her arms as in a “come to mama, I’ll save you” move. I recall thinking “wow, does she know some cool derby manoeuvre that could work in this situation”?  I personally considered I was going waaaaay too fast for a sudden stop that would not result in both of us winding up crashing spectacularly through the wooden railing and ending up broken and bleeding at the bottom of the 20m drop-off to the rocks below!  Fortunately, she hastily re-assessed the situation and quickly retracted the offer of assistance and instead pointed to the nearby grass as an option (given I’d already tried this manoeuvre twice already)!  I careened past, laughing like a woman possessed, until I eventually stopped (remaining upright this time!).  Still laughing hard enough to wet my pants I gasped “what were you thinking??!”.  She’d thought I’d said “stop me” not “don’t stop me”!!  Bless her for trying!

Face-smashing Descent!

So here’s what I learned.  When you’re skating – commit to the moment. If you’re about to fly like a mad thing down a hill – make the decision and then DO IT.  Commit.  Own it.  Get into a low derby stance, stabilise and ride it out.  Trying to back out half way only results in a mouth full of dirt, soiled underwear and a dent in your dignity (or worse!).

As in the lyrics of Limp Bizkit, keep rollin, rollin, rollin!

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