Apr 202011

No, really. How far would you go for roller derby? Would you drive 30 minutes to and from every practice? An hour? An hour and a half? With leagues seemingly popping up all over the place, it seems no one should have to drive too far to get to derby, but depending on where you live, you very well may have to.

Very soon I will be moving back to California for my husband to go to school. I will be leaving my league for a new one. I’m not committed to anyone yet, but I’ve got my eye on Bay Area Derby. Between their practice location and the neighborhoods we are looking at to position my husband close to school I could be driving about 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic to and from practices. That sucks. Big time. But it’s what I’m going to have to do.

For the record, I hate driving. It is important to me (if I must own a vehicle) to own a car that I can sleep in comfortably. So I drive a minivan. The gas bill is devastating (but road trips are soooo nice). How far would it have to be for me to decide it isn’t worth it? Would I get my own separate “commuter apartment” away from my husband to be closer to roller derby? Will I sleep in my car? Would I (gasp!) trade in my luxury sleeper car for a sensible commuter? Would I demand that he commute to school so that I don’t have to commute to practice? I won’t know until I’ve been doing it for awhile. It all seems a little ridiculous. Moving is already a pain in the ass and logistically, this will be a nightmare. But I am so focused on where and how I am going to skate that I am probably neglecting the bigger issues.

Is this the part where roller derby starts to put strain on my relationship? If it takes me 90 minutes to get to and from a 90 minute practice, will I start to be a flake? It’s making me a little anxious.

Me and my happy home team, The Cog Blockers. Awesome photo by Kim Lincoln.

Perhaps the anxiety about commuting is a disguise for something else. Perhaps I am insecure about going to a new place with new people and asking them to accept and like me. The Bellingham Roller Betties was my introduction to roller derby. Usually I feel it’s more “dysfunctional” than “family” but after 2 years I have sort of found my place in the league. I’ve become comfortable with my committee role and I know how meetings are going to begin and end. Switching leagues is like changing elementary schools. I’m not going to have any friends!!

I do realize this isn’t the first time a girl has moved to a new league. I just want it to be easy. Would someone please make this easy for me? While I’m working in Alaska this summer find me a nice apartment walking distance to the practice location of a competitive derby league and cycling distance from Cal Maritime? Thanks.



  6 Responses to “How far would you go?”

  1. I drive two hours and fifteen minutes each way to training, and I have done for the past year and a half. Don’t worry, you get used to the commute, and you spend the time in the car on the way there thinking about what you will do well tonight, and on the way back thinking about what you DID well that night. It’s a great way to train while you drive :) Good luck with the move!

  2. Thank you!
    I hope you get some kind of award for supreme dedication!

  3. You ALWAYS have friends in derby. I have been stranded at an airport with my team-mates only to have a total stranger who received a 3rd party e-mail about our predicament come to the airport to retrieve us, welcome is into her home, take us to dinner, provide bedding for the night, and become unforgettable to me, forever. Skaters all over the country reached out to skaters in New Orleans at the time of Katrina and gave housing, clothes, everything. You always have a friend in derby.

  4. I typically drive 1 hour to practice. Actually, there are at least 5 leagues that practice within an hour from my house, and over a dozen within 2 hours. I’ve been known to travel up to 3 hours to practice with other leagues.

    When the volcano spewed ash into the air, London Rollergirls were stuck here…and they whole derby community rallied together to find them housing until flights were restored to Europe. Marquee is totally right; You always have a friend in derby.

  5. Well, living in Belgium, I used to do Brussels-Antwerpen 3 times a week: 20 minute subway, 40 minutes train, 15minutes tramway, then 7 minute walk (or run :D ) to the practice place.
    But because of my study-schedule, I couldn’t keep it up during the week, so I just did a league in Brussels. And now it takes me only 30 minutes.

    Good luck with your move to a new league. All you’ve got to put in your mind is that they’re your derbysisters who share the same amount of derby love and dedication as any other league in the world. You’re just meeting them in person for the first time :D

  6. For 6 months I decided that travelling a grand total of 9-10 hours/540 miles every Sunday for training was a brilliant idea. I had moved away and couldnt bare to leave my team! The drive took away all my money and spare time so there was nothing else for it but to start a league near to where I moved to. Moving to new leagues are scary but its just a whole group of new friends you havent met yet!

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

What is 3 * 5?