Sunday, September 27, 2009

明日の私を信じたい だから今 頑張れるの

In case you hadn't heard the Old Capitol City Roller Girls went down in defeat; albeit a very game one, to the Quad City Rollers on Saturday. The final score was 122-109; and the OCCRGs closed quite a bit of ground in the second half to give the Quad City Rollers a real run for their money. It was a super preview of our October 30th bout in which we hope to turn the tables on our more-experienced rivals. We had a pretty good turnout of over 100 people and I'd like to personally thank those who came out and cheered us on.

[Just as fun was the after-party at Studio 13, who sponsored the scrimmage. Lots of alcohol, cage-dancing and even a roller skate-shaped birthday cake (thanks to Killer Baker) for our own Bat R Up, whose birthday was Saturday. Regrettably, the public spectacle of myself dancing exposed my secret of being the only black girl without rhythm ever, as my black dancing gene is cruelly repressed.]

Team stars of the evening were Ophelia Fracture (of course), Bat R Up (in her competitive debut), Left 4 Deadwards and Shelby Flyin'; the latter ending her run with a fantastic grand slam. Bear with me, I'm still working on digging up some actual photos of the scrimmage but I did find this shot of me leading the warm-up in all my rainbow glory:


On a personal level I thought my performance was just okay. I made lead jammer once was able to score a few points while shutting out the Quad City jammer I was up against. But I think I could have done a lot better. I will have to work harder on better deflecting/avoiding hard blocks and hesitating less when trying to find a way through the pack. It does make me a lot hungrier to improve during practices; I am trying to give 110% though right now that is hard to do while simultaneously breaking in my new skates -- I have the cuts and blisters to prove it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The waiting game

The Old Capitol City Roller Girls' first home scrimmage is only two days away! We will be taking on the Quad City Rollers at the Robert E. Lee Recreation Center (intersection of Burlington and Gilbert in Iowa City) at 8 PM. It should be a rabble-rousing event and tickets are only $5, with kids 10 and under getting in free.

I think the team, bias withstanding, is sitting on a very big effort. Plus we have new super cute uniforms (HOT PANTS + RAINBOWS = TRIP ♥).

In other news, OCCRG has the following on their agenda:

September 25th -- OCCRG will be doing meet-and-greet at West Liberty Raceway from 5:30-7:30.

September 26th -- Aforementioned scrimmage versus the Quad City Rollers, followed by a Studio 13-hosted after-party.

October 23rd -- OCCRG will be serving $1 jello shots all night long at Shakespeare's in Iowa City.

October 30th -- OCCRG hosts their first home bout against the Quad City Rollers (location to be determined).

December 11th -- Meet and skate with the team at the Wellman Skating Rink.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breaking new ground

It's been a strange last few weeks for the Old Capitol City Roller Girls, who are scrambling to get everything in order for next Saturday's scrimmage (see previous post) against the Quad City Roller Girls.

This means more jamming during practices --Woo!-- and more challenging pack drills. But what's most pleasing is see the "fresh meat" (i.e. newer girls) really blossoming. They're getting so good lately that it almost seems unfair to keep calling them fresh meat. They're faster, more cognizant in the pack and just all around hungrier these days. Several of them will be making their debuts in the upcoming scrimmage and they sure are training lights out. Not to turn into a total cheeseball, but I am really proud to have them on the team.

Half of our practices lately have been back at the Robert E. Lee Recreation Center, which might be for the best as we are getting reacquainted with the newly polished hardwood floor there.

I was particularly excited about last night's practice as my new skates --Riedell Black Widows (695)-- had just come in the mail the day before, and I was eager to break them in. The 695 boot was designed for fast-twitch or jam skaters, and I even upgraded them with Swiss Bone bearings and new Sugar wheels. But it was simply not to be.

I was able to get three wheels on each boot but the fourth wheels simply would not slide all the way down on the axle. In fact, they were stuck because it turns out that both trucks had defective axles that were too wide for my bearings. So two roiled phone calls later I was resigned to skating in my old boot and waiting in the mail for my new trucks to arrive.

Once I did calm down --patience has never been my strong suit-- I was able to appreciate the smoothness of the Swiss Bones, and the 'grippiness' of the Sugar wheels. Now I don't expend more energy than necessary when cornering, since I am no longer fighting drifting out and losing ground.

Case in point: The Women's Flat Track Derby Association requires that all skaters be able to complete five laps in under a minute. We did five timed 5-lap sets nearly back-to-back. I averaged 37 seconds for my (5) five-lap sets. It's a bit striking to think back how, many moons ago when I first started derby, I could barely shade under a minute for five laps.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

She'll be gone


It's been business as usual for the Old Capitol City Rollers, save for the fact that we quite suddenly decided to invite the Quad City Rollers out for a Studio 13-sponsored scrimmage on Saturday, September 26th. It will be held at the Robert E. Lee Recreation Center in downtown Iowa City and will begin promptly at 8 PM. All of you local derby fans who have been hungering for a match; here's your chance to see it in your own backyard! This should be an excellent preview of our upcoming official first home bout slated for the end of next month, and is sporting the theme 'Alice in Derbyland.' Super schway.

The tentative line-up is slated to include: Toxic Sugar, Sweet Abattoir, Shelby Flyin', Fonda Cuffs, Killer Baker, Ophelia Fracture, Furious George, Hellyna Bucket, Bat R Up, Animal Mother, Left 4 Deadwards, Triple D. Zaster, Fast Bettie and Quantum Bombshell.

Referees will be T-Bird, DeeVious Doll and Crash Carelli.

In other news, I am beginning to have dreams about derby (in addition to eating and breathing it when I am awake). I'm not sure if I should be alarmed or not, but I thought it was worth noting. Hopefully it's a good omen.

And after about a month of comparison shopping, reading reviews and agonizing over different boots I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade from my trusty SureGrip Rebels to the Riedell Black Widow, better known as the 695 model. It should be a good fit for me --both literally and figuratively-- as it is a newer model with a 3/4-inch heel for "fast twitch (jam) skaters" and comes with aluminum trucks and bolted plate. To enhance the boot I am also adding Swiss Bone bearings and new Sugar wheels, so this girl should be absolutely flying in a fortnight or so.