Tag Archives: Bath

Monumental update

I’m still here! Just been doing SO MANY derby things all my free time has been spent sleeping and doing my actual day job (booo). But stand by for the most enormous of updates!

berlin_bombshells_bear_city• WAY back in November, Petra, HellCat, Conway and I went to BERLIN to a bootcamp with the gorgeous Berlin Bombshells. I learnt how to hockey stop, and promptly forgot/couldn’t do it on our home floor. Whilst in Berlin, we stayed in Isy’s friend’s awesome converted warehouse, visited Master Blaster’s Skate shop and stroked Marylin Monroe’s furry eyebrows in Roses Bar.

 

Drying out our pads at the venue...

Drying out our pads at the venue…

 

• January saw the arrival of more brand new Fresh Meat – and their subsequent graduation in March, complete with donkey and jockey costumes… I am now both scared and impressed at the rate with which our new rookies are rocketing through minimum skills. In the absolute best way, I feel like I need to up my own game if I want to keep my place on the team, eek!

 

donkey derby

donkey derby 2

• At the end of January, five of us went to BRUGES for Derby Revolution. It was a non-stop skills-fest with coaches like Suzy Hotrod, Sarah Hipel and Mickispeedia (omg!). Amazing classes, sticky as hell concrete floor (with drains and holes to make it more exciting) and a whole ton of amazing skaters. I learnt what happens when you belly flop on concrete (ow), and that ‘intermediate’ means a lot of different things – but most importantly, that over 20 hours of skating in two days is just about the best thing ever. Doubly good as a way of breaking in new skates. This post is so late in the making that they’re actually doing their Summer Revolution RIGHT NOW, and I am incredibly sad not to be there…

That time we met Suzy Hotrod...

That time we met Suzy Hotrod…

Copyright Ian Roofthooft 2014

Copyright Ian Roofthooft 2014

• April was a particularly exciting month – Bath Roller Derby Girls went to PORTUGAL where we played Lisbon Grrrls in our very first public game. Ranked, with the brand new rule set and a proper crowd – it was such a fun game! The final score was 151-132 to Bath, which shot us into the European rankings at 260. Here are some clips from the game, as featured on Portugese youth show ‘Outdoors’:

You can also hear us on BBC Radio Bristol here:

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• Following our public debut we’ve bouted a few more times, both publicly and closed. South Wales has a delicious little cluster of roller derby teams who’ve been great fun to play, and following some hard-fought games with both Portsmouth and Swansea Bs we bounced out – and back in – to the rankings, now sitting at a stable 269.

npt

• Fundraisers have been at an all time high, with pub quizzes, car boot sales, clothes swaps and film screenings, including a showing of Murderdrome (complete with zombie usherettes) and a Fresh Meat film by our very own Trevlock Holmes.

Zombie Usherettes!

Zombie Usherettes!

• May brought us the South Coast Roll, where lots of us enjoyed a day’s skate around Goodwood Motor Circuit. S’Mac Down Angel skated a marathon, just for funsies…

sc-roll

• And most recently, we’ve been getting our bootcamp on again! As well as attending Tiger Bay Brawlers’ excellent Double Threat Tour in Newport, we’ve had an introduction to reffing with Sleaze and Rollin’ Rat, and guest coaching from Team USA’s Juke Boxx…

Photo: Sam Bolderson

Double Threat Tour with Tiger Bay Brawlers. Photo: Sam Bolderson

Photo: Daisy Offer

Team Sleaze! Photo: Daisy Offer

ref training with sleaze

Rookie – and not-so-rookie zebras. A terrifying herd – pretty sure there were more refs than players!

It’s been a hell of a year so far, but no resting just yet – the end of this Summer will bring with it special event… stay tuned for details!

Oh, and here’s the treat I promised for reading all the way down. A positively adorable comic from my most favourite comic writer just now, Lucy Knisley.

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All work and no sleep makes Jack get injured.

Result of a comedy moment in which a wooden bench was brutally assaulted by my shin.

Meet my shinjury. The most disappointingly disproportionate pain-to-bruise ratio ever. (It’s fine for walking/skating on, but OHMYGOD if something touches it, flames literally engulf my body in a cornucopia of raging dragon-vomit pain hell.)

Other than that, June has been an excellent month for skating! BRDG have taken a real leap forwards in the last four weeks: every session is reaching the point now where I’m slightly scared to push harder. Which is absolutely a good thing. I think the mixture of ace coaching, scrimmaging with refs, TBB’s bootcamp and some really hard work from the BRDGs themselves have seen a gradual shift from sessions being fun and exciting, to being hard, fast, and incredibly rewarding.

The Fresh Meat course is also in full swing and the newbies are coming along wonderfully. I can’t believe it’s been 6 whole months since it was me lacing up my skates to meet BRDG for the first time. It’s great talking to the excited newbies, especially knowing that I still feel just as excited about the game as when I started – maybe even more so now!

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Sweet mother of Jurassica!

I don’t even

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*Hyperventilates*

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ALL THE THINGS.

Ah man, I haven’t posted in like, a million years. Which is bad because two million things have happened in the last month and now you have a massive post to wade through 🙂

After the somewhat demoralising oh-look-more-minimum-skills-‘kay? situation, Bath had the delightful news that we have more scrimmages and shared training coming up! Our first full practise scrimmage is tomorrow with Devon Clotted Screamers, and I’m 100% excited and 101% terrified.

I totally stole this from Roller Derby City who are printing our shirts.

I totally stole this pic of our shirts from Roller Derby City who printed them for us.

But wait, what’s that you say? SCRIMMAGE KIT? In SUNSHINE YELLOW? With logo and derby names and numbers?! Steady breathing now.
I am SO excited – roller derby awesomeness aside, I’ve always always wanted a shirt with my name on the back – ever since I was a 6-year-old football-obsessed tomboy and my Mum banned me from having my name on my Arsenal shirt in case I got abducted or something. And not only is this one named and numbered, I ACTUALLY GET TO WEAR IT FOR MY ACTUAL TEAM. 😀  The shirts are currently sitting in Hannah’s house waiting for tomorrow, when we will put them on and I suspect never ever take them off.

Next in the two million things that have happened lately: BRDG are opening up the doors to Fresh Meat in a mere 20 days! Really looking forward to meeting all the new skaters; we’ve already had lots of interest from people wanting to skate in the league, but also refs and NSOs. Delight!

Finally for now (as it’s bedtime and I refuse to be tired for tomorrow’s scrim), about a hundred years ago back in April, some of us skated the new Two Tunnels route between Bath and Midford. About 5 miles in total, starting at Linear Park and going all the way through the tunnels to Midford and back. It’s all brand new tarmac so it’s smooth as hell, and being an old railway line it’s flat flat flat and straight. Sorta feels like you’re going downhill both ways. I’ve put some photos below, but what they don’t show is the awesome darkness and ambient music that plays as you go through the two long tunnels. Also it’s considerably less blurry and grainy IRL, even when you’re on skates and using a camera phone as your eyes. 😀

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Life is what happens while you’re busy playing roller derby

Everything seems to be going double-speed at the moment. In two weeks I’ve worked nearly 100 hours, headed my first big design project in my day job (scary), been treated to another delightful rollergirl meal (yum!), put a deposit on a house (also scary), passed my minimum skills(!!!), and hit a decent few Bath Digifest events. And all the while I can’t stop thinking about roller derby! It’s like my life is forcing me to become a grown-up, while the rest of me is screaming ‘NO! GO WEAR WHEELS ON YOUR FEET AND PANTS ON YOUR HEAD, AND HIT GIRLS!’

I’m totally not complaining though; in the grand scheme of things, this week rates highly as one of the actual best ever.

Scruffy skates

Skates update: the poor Suregrips appear to have taken a bit of a beating, with a snapped lace and some rather well-worn boot padding… sorry little skates!

The most exciting roller news for Bath this week is that we have our very first closed-door scrimmage booked in for June! Which is like, ONLY TWO MONTHS AWAY. I’m equal parts super-excited and terrified – but hopefully two months means lots of time to practise. Having never scrimmaged as a Bath team there is vague potential for actual death occurring (especially with my clumsy limbs involved, (and my cousin’s wedding the night before)), but it’ll be a great opportunity for our team to learn loads, and I really really can’t wait. Two of us are now min skills passed, and loads of others as-good-as-passed – I’m hoping we can start internally scrimmaging really soon so we can at least remain upright during the closed bout! Eeeeeeeeeeee!

The only thing that could make next week better than this one is a certain cupcake-related event that might just’ve had some input from a derby girl across the pond… Details soon!

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Accursed driving test.

Soooo it turns out you actually need to know how to navigate roundabouts in order to pass a driving test. Gah. Think I might just skate everywhere from now on!

Another great derby session with the Bath girls on Sunday, and I’ve started checking off my minimum skills – so far, almost all stops and falls (except the baseball fall – still yet to learn that mythical beast). We did some endurance stuff too, and given that I have the muscle tone of a comatose slug, my feeble 90 seconds of planking felt like a real achievement. Really need to work on core strength, but my leg muscles are finally gaining some stamina, and I can now sprint for 10 minutes non-stop with drills in between.

I’ve almost stopped being scared of pushing my speed, even during the horrible few seconds where my feet sometimes slip out on crossovers. Practising on Bath’s range of floors is amazing (though pretty slippy on Sunday), and as much as I miss Dorset’s warm, smooth training space, Bath’s venues have real character.

An amazing group of skaters too – everyone is really friendly, and seem dedicated to making something with Bath’s Roller Derby team. Bring on Sunday! (And curse my lack of driving certificate that means I miss tonight’s training. Grr.)

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Bath-time for Fresh Meat

logoHad my first Fresh Meat session with the Bath league last night, and it was awesome! My thighs were protesting slightly this morning, but I’ve come to accept that thigh hangovers are a good thing, because it means I’m skating lower. (Or more likely that my thighs just hate me for making them work after all this time.) I think I only skated for an hour as well – that’ll teach me to not warm up properly!

Ahh I loved it so much – Bath are a pretty new league so it feels like everyone is learning together, which is ace, and there’s a great friendly atmosphere.

The practise space was really different to Dorset’s – I was a bit scared at first of the painted concrete floor, but I soon realised that the only painful falls would be backwards ones (and I’m hoping not to do too much of that anyway!). The track was about half-size I think, but being circular it felt like the skating was much tighter and closer. I guess this will be really good for tightening up skills and movement, as there is literally very little room for error!

Ahhhhhh, can’t wait for Sunday!

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Moving out –> Tokzilla boobs

Seems like I need to learn time-management. After a month of procrastinating (and eating), I’ve left myself two days to pack up, move out, start a new job, finish my current job, give a 2-hour Photoshop lesson, move in, join the Bath Roller Girls, meet a newborn baby and re-take my driving test. Hmm.

Most importantly I found the car I want!

Soon, my pretty.

Soon, my pretty. Soon.

I’m really excited about my new job…internship…thing. (By excited I also mean terrified.) The studio essentially consists of four shiny Macs, nice design books and three super-cool guys. So there’s lots of pressure on me to be a) not a clumsy oaf-child and b) good at lunchtime keepy-uppies. In my interview I think they thought I was a boy so probably I have to keep up the pretence by knowing about manly things like wrestling and blacksmithing. In my head I’m Mulan.

And Fresh Meat – I’m suddenly nervous about skating in front of new people! I’ve heard that the Bath team are lovely but I’m worried I’ll either be embarrassingly bad, or the weird one who can kind of already skate but not at team standard and I’ll be all left out… I might wear my Tokzilla t-shirt in case. No-one can hate a girl with a fictional monster on her boobs, right?

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