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SS Rodeo Roadtrip-arama

“Do you want to go on a road trip with a bunch of derby girls to California?” asked Robin Banks aka Ainsley Mosienko. I thought about it for approximately two seconds: “Hell’s YES!”

I am a sucker for road trips, especially those that involve a bunch of roller derby ladies and somewhere I haven’t been to before. Derby has taken me many places, but California hadn’t been one of them… until now.

The plan was to drive down to the Dustbowl Tournament in Bakersfield with a stop off in San Francisco to take in the sights and skate the Golden Gate Bridge. It all started late on Wednesday night when 10 tired rollergirls from interior BC turned up on my doorstep and proceeded to crash on my floor. We started out bright and early the next day with introductions at 6am and it all headed south from then on.

Highlights of the trip:
– Walking around BEAUTIFUL San Francisco in the blazing sunshine
– 14 rollergirls in one van making it up the hills of San Fran (sorry tailpipe!)
– Skating the Golden Gate bridge.. well at least half of it (check out the video below!)
– Watching a team that has barely skated together give it their all, have fun and put what they were learning into practice in just one hour of games
– Fixing the tailpipe and headlight on the van in the Wal Mart parking lot
– Shoe derby warmup before our second game (“what are those crazy Canadians doing now?”)
– Watching Banks’ bro play hockey and then trying to dodge the security guards afterwards to go see him
– Singing the Canadian National Anthem ourselves after the hosts forgot it at the intro – take that Americans! I hope someone got that on video btw.

Lowlights of the trip:
– Hitting a blizzard through the mountains as we entered California at 11pm (jackknifed semi anyone?)
– Getting escorted off the Golden Gate bridge by a 3 wheeled bridge patrol car
– Wheelies off the bridge – “Will they make the exit?”
– The Chihuahua factory beside the hotel in Bakersfield (OK I am not sure whether it really was a Chihuahua factory, but it sure sounded like those little guys were going at it at 3am!)

Derby road trips are definitely not glamourous or restful and most of the skaters that we talked to at the tournament thought we were nuts for driving all the way there. But they are pretty fun and you never know what adventures you are going to bump into along the way.

Thanks to Banks, Bush, Six Pac, Half Cut, Bane, Evol, Lynch, Millie, Heartless, Chainsaw, Maude, Rusty – my new derby road trip friends πŸ™‚ And special thanks to the incredible Eight Mean Wheeler for her professional cat herding skills and 16 hours of driving on the way back to Canada (are you sure you weren’t a trucker before derby?)

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