Tag Archives: roller skates


tank 1

Tank is a tremendous asset as a player and as a league member. A fierce competitor and a “roll” model athlete, Tank makes people want to be better. To support Tank’s journey as a Dolly Roger, please visit the Dolly Rogers’ gofundme page or keep an eye on the team’s schedule this season. Coming out to games is the best support we could ask for!

Name and number: Tank, 7

Why: During fresh meat and my first few Dolly Roger’s practices I wore this

ridiculous Boeri ski helmet from the 80s. Whips and Chaynes said I looked like Tank

Girl and it stuck. I loved the idea of being given a name rather than choosing one.

Likes: hummus, proving that size doesn’t matter, post game beer, anything agility

Dislikes: going slow, Chinese food

Why did you join roller derby: I grew up playing competitive soccer and hockey

from an early age and was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to boarding

school in Connecticut to finish high school and play sports. I really knew little else

but team life, camaraderie, training, and hard work until I said goodbye to team

sports after a year of lacrosse in college. Ten years and many miles travelled later, I

found myself back in Ottawa itching to be part of a team again and wanting a new

challenge. My wife encouraged me to give it a try and I can still remember grinning

like crazy at that Open House four years ago when I was skating around. I had found

just what I was looking for. It felt amazingly familiar yet new and exciting and

everyone was ridiculously welcoming.

How do you train: I don’t love traditional gyms. I’m a huge fan of plyometrics, HIIT

(high intensity interval training), tabata, interval running and yoga. I train fast and

hard focusing on speed, agility, and bursts of power. Small but mighty!


Why do you keep playing: I absolutely love team sports and the idea of different

people coming together to achieve a common goal. The camaraderie is great. This

sport allows me to embrace my competitiveness and also pushes me physically and

mentally to be the best athlete I can be. It’s inclusive and revolutionary and amazing

to be a part of.

Favorite derby moment: Beating the Montreal Sexpos this season because it was

great to see our hard work as Dolly Rogers pay off, and playing in the Team Canada

tryout scrimmage because it was a great learning opportunity and I felt honoured to

be on the track with Canada’s finest.

When I’m not playing derby: I love my team and this game but think balance is

important for my mental game. When I’m not practicing, playing, coaching the

Bacon Pirates or training, I’m hiking in the woods with my wife and crazy boxer,

eating delicious food, spending time with my nieces, planning my next adventure,

and studying/training to become a firefighter.

Pre-game ritual: I like to sleep in a bit and then go on a nice long walk with my dog

and wife. It gets my legs going and clears my mind. I do some yoga and stretching

and take my time packing my gear bag (I have to have the right socks). I drink coffee,

lots of water, and usually eat a sandwich. I can get worked up quickly so I try to stay

calm and mellow at the rink. And I always put my jersey on at the last second – game


What about gear: I’ve gone through a number of different skates. I have small feet

and tiny ankles and found it hard to find the perfect boot that wasn’t a hockey skate.

I skate on Antiks right now and I like them, but am still looking for that perfect boot.

I use Prodesigned kneepads,a Bauer hockey helmet, and the rest is Atom gear. As

Dawn Cherry knows, I’m still looking for the tiniest slimmest kneepad!

How has derby affected the way you live your life: At 31 I didn’t think I would be in

better shape than my 19 year old self. This game makes me want to be healthier and

stronger. I’m also learning how to curb my performance anger, something I never

addressed as a younger athlete, so I can be the best teammate I can be.


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Mounting New Plates

After skating on nylon plates since I first took up derby in 2009 I decided it was time for a change. Finally. Now, deciding it was time for a change and making the change are too different things. The world of derby and derby skates and all that go with them is a pretty specific market. It’s definitely challenging to try gear before you buy it, especially when it comes to skate plates.

So, of course I turned to the Internet to get some kind of definitive answer about plates… And discovered this is a bit like turning to “Doctor” Google when you have a headache and then become convinced that you are clearly about to die from an aneurysm. There is a whole whack of information out there about skate plates. So, the research began…. And then at derby events this past season I spent much downtime between games talking to different vendors and skate techs to get some input. This of course just showed me that if you ask three different people then you’re still getting three different opinions. Not much consensus on the whole and still not leaving me with any kind of clear decision or even a clear direction.

I had figured having skated for a couple years now on the nylon plates that I’d have a pretty good idea of what I wanted in a plate- and on one hand I do, but on the other hand before making the investment into plates I wanted to be able to try them. At the end of September I got that very opportunity.

I went to the Sugarbush Showdown in Essex Junction VT- WFTDA’s East Region Playoffs with U Kent Do That to enjoy a weekend of good derby. Pretty much watching the pros of the sport. Between games we wandered the vendors, and I started up with questions about plates. And what we found was that one of the booths, Crazy Skates (http://www.skatesus.com/store/index.php?cPath=91), actually came equipped. They had Crazy skates in all sizes with the Crazy Venus plate mounted (http://www.skatesus.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=91_107&products_id=351). Excitement to no end. The rep, Malice B. Stopless (http://www.facebook.com/people/Malice-B-Stopless/100001748125994), was awesome. U Kent Do That and I visited that booth repeatedly. We tried on the same skates over and over. Asked endless questions. And even brought in our own skates–because who leaves home without their skates?–and so I would wear one of my skates and one of the Crazy skates and do a direct comparison. Trying out transitions, turns, even the eagle. Malice answered all our questions and was more than patient with both of us every time we came over.

The funny thing to me about the Crazy Skates booth was that they were set up as a part of the Bruised Boutique (http://www.bruisedboutique.com/) store which is where I actually originally purchased my current derby skates a couple summers ago.

By the end of the weekend my decision regarding plates was made. Now, this wasn’t solely on just having been able to try them, there was a little more to it than that- hence all the questions and why I repeatedly tried the skates on. It’s much harder part to describe exactly why I went with these plates. It comes down to a few things like skating style, the positions you play in derby, what you want out of your skates etc., plus the nuances of how I skate and then in a sense the more abstract pieces, like the way that I walk, so the way that I balance myself. I have for most of my life walked on my tippy toes so that was a factor in picking plates and then what size of plate and then placement of plate. Just when you think you’ve got one piece of the plate puzzle figured out, up comes another…

A little DIY surgery, and a lot of patience

This Thanksgiving Monday I gave thanks by buying my Crazy Venus plates from the lovely Georgia W. Tush of Neon Skates (www.skateneon.com). Neon was also a vendor at Sugarbush Showdown and Georgia let me and U Kent Do That know that her store would be carrying Crazy Skates stock. And on Monday she found herself in Ottawa working on the soon to open in Ottawa Neon Skates.

For the actual drilling and physical mounting of the plates, I really have to give the full credit to U Kent Do That. The placement and positioning was certainly a team effort and for that I knew what wanted but the actual mounting was a whole other story indeed….

Of course I went back to the Internet to find out more about positioning and mounting. My best resources for mounting were this derby girl’s 2 blog entries on the topic- http://diaryofarollergirl.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/diy-big-kid-customization-part-i-selecting-roller-skate-plates/ and http://diaryofarollergirl.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/diy-big-kid-customization-part-ii-installing-roller-skate-plates/ plus Sin City DIY plate mounting http://www.sincityskates.com/images/downloads/sincity_diy_plate_mounting.pdf. These resources really gave me good handle on what needed to be done, and so I decided to also document this experiment.

So, the before pictures… skates sans wheels, all ready for surgery…. And clean wheels and clean bearings for afterwards…








My set of supplies

Pencil to mark where the position of the nylon plate

Rules to measure and find the new centre line

Polish to shine up my skates

Polyfilla for the holes

The next step was to trace the position of the original plate.

Then the removal of the old plates.

Four bolts on each skate holding in the plate. A screwdriver and a wrench as tools for plate removal. Plate off the first skate, no problem. Last bolt holding in the plate of the other skate would just not come off. Stripped the nut and the bolt in this struggle, before getting a Dremmel to just cut the bolt off. If you wind up with this problem- safety glasses are a must!!

Finally, the old plates were off and the skates actually cleaned up. Polyfilla in to fill the existing holes and give us a ‘blank’ canvas to work on.

Now came the time for the placement of the new plates. First was determining the centerline for my boots. Best resources for that- http://quadskating.com/skates/centering-plates.htm. Basically, it comes down to where the space between your second and third toe are. So, out came the ruler and the markings. We fine tuned my centerline by measuring between two points of where the old plates were and then joining up those two points with a centerline offset by the centerline between my second and third toe.

Next, the position of the mount. After much talking and reading I had come to the conclusion that I might (would?) benefit from a forward mount.

I’d’ve chosen a short forward mount- essentially getting a plate that’s smaller than what you would normally skate on and then mounting them more towards the front of your boot to force you to stay on the balls of your feet. However, since I was already on the smallest plate this wasn’t something I could do. In effect there wasn’t all that much space to play with.

So, in that respect I had it a little easy, I have little feet, therefore little skates, and therefore the smallest plate available so less agonizing about whether of not I should do a forward mount or a short forward mount. Even with a forward mount, it’s not too dramatic and there isn’t that much empty space at my heel ultimately.

A little information on where to mount plates-



We taped my new plates in place- trucks, wheels, stopper, and all. And I stood up and pranced around trying to get as best a feel as I could. Up on my toes and all the rest. So far, so good.

I honestly thought that at this point the hard part was over and that drilling the holes and fitting the plate was going to be a quick job. Hahahahaha, goes to show what I know!

Ultimately, it just comes down to the mounting hardware and probably not ever having done it before. U Kent Do that and I dove right into this. I held the skate steady while he drilled and then it came to trying to fit (aka shove) all the bolts through the new holes and fitting. The one good thing was that all the holes in the skate boot were properly aligned with the holes in the plate (yay!).

More difficult was getting the hole just wide enough to get everything all the way through so the plate could actually bolted to the skate. Out came the Dremmel again to widen the tops of the holes.

Now, the mounting hardware that came with the Venus plates included shorter bolts than what typically come with mounting hardware for other plates. Crazy had wanted make life easier for people who would mount plates and so had cut down the bolts already thus hopefully saving people from having to saw off the extra bit of bolt with a Dremmel or other bolt saw. And I’m sure the bolts are a perfect size for a Crazy boot, but I have a Riedell 265 boot. So, unfortunately, this meant that the bolts had to be just so if we wanted to fit the washer and the bolt on and actually finish the mounting. And this is where U Kent Do That very patiently went about the small adjustments to make the bolts fit just right.

With one skate pretty much done and mounted we called it a night for mounting. My suggestion on this was before going at my other skate the next day that a trip to the hardware store could save us (and by ‘us’ I meant my skate tech…) a little frustration. But a longer bolt that’d still fit the plate and then use the Dremmel to trim off the extra at the end…

And the next day U Kent Do That was back at it. A little under the gun by me since we had practice in Rockland that night… eeek! No luck on getting a longer bolt so right back at the skate the same way as the day before. But with yesterday’s knowledge the assembly went better. Both skates all ready for practice.

Eastern Block’her

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Season Closer

I can’t believe that summer’s wrapping up. Cooler nights have snuck in and the A/C barely runs. ALL OF WHICH IS AWESOME FOR DERBY. Seriously, arenas are not air conditioned in the summer so the fans get hot and smelly, which kind of makes the players feel a little less self-conscious. So, even though our last home game is this SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 at 7:00 P.M. at the JEAN-MARC LALONDE ARENA in Rockland on 1450 DU PARC AVE, we’re excited to be playing in slightly more tolerable conditions.

CCDD’s Dolly Rogers will be taking on the Oz Roller Girls. It’ll be a first meeting for these teams, but they have similar records so it’ll be a tight bout…and that’s exactly what the people wanna see. So. COME ON OUT. Watch some awesome derby before we pack it in for the winter and start training new players.

Suicide seating available: bring a chair if you wanna get comfy.

We are sponsored by Beau’s Beer. Bring ID for access to the Beer Garden.

Tickets: $10 in advance, $5 for kiddies under 10. If you’d like to buy at the door, it’ll be $12, $7 for the under 10s.

See you there!



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Cooperation at its finest

Saturday, August 18, 2012, started off as a game day for CCDD’s Dolly Rogers. They were supposed to pack their gear and head to Kingston to play the Kingston Derby Girls’ (KDG) Skateful Dead. In other derby news, the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTAR) Derby Debutantes were supposed to travel to Ottawa and play Rideau Valley Roller Girls’ (RVRG) Riot Squad on Saturday, August 18, 2012. Both of these games would have been blow-outs. No disrespect intended here: the Skateful Dead are KDG’s second B team and the Debutantes are GTAR’s B team. The Dolly Rogers beat KDG’s other B team by a significant margin earlier in the season and while a great time was had by all, there was a skills gap. Due to roster changes, the Debutantes found themselves with quite a few new players and at a tournament in July, the Debutantes lost to a CCDD-Limestone Crushers mash-up team of new players, strongly suggesting a skills gap between the Debs and Riot Squad that would make for a predictable game. The teams involved were pretty unaware of the similar situations facing both teams, until the Ottawa men’s derby team got talking about their game, which is also on August 18. Busy day. Thing about the men’s team is that two of it’s players are CCDD’s head coach and head ref. If they’re in Kingston, how’s the men’s game going to happen?

Enter Red. CCDD’s coach.

He looked at the facts and concluded the following:

1. the Dolly Rogers are going to beat Kingston;

2. Riot Squad is going to beat the Debutantes; and

3. there can be no men’s game if the men are scattered around the province coaching/reffing their respective women’s games.

The solution: pretty obvious. The Debs play the Skateful Dead. Riot Squad and the Dolly Rogers stay in Ottawa. The men’s game is on. We call this an ideal solution. Blow-outs are no fun. They’re great for the players because the learning opportunity is priceless, but the crowd is not so entertained. Moreover, it’s hard to raise the profile of men’s derby when the men can’t have a game. Finally, there’s so much great derby in this city that why travel when you can have a helluva night right in your own city?


Except that GTAR can’t roster a team for Kingston. And the Skateful Dead need an opponent. And it’s on us to do something about it. And so something is exactly what we did. We asked our newer players how they felt about bouting, and following a positive response from a number of players, we were on our way to a roster. But there were still gaps that needed to be filled; gaps that are being filled by RVRG. There are still some details to sort out, but August 18th is turning out to be quite a day:

1. RVRG is playing CCDD;

2. the men’s team is made up of CCDD and RVRG members (our boys count as league members); and

3. CCDD and RVRG are playing together in Kingston.

This is the truest sense of cooperation. For those of you who don’t play derby or know much about its history in Ottawa, things haven’t always been this easy. In fact, it’s been a long, hard road but this last year, with its freezing cold practices out in Rockland, represented a noticeable shift in derby culture in Ottawa. The development of a friendship off the track, the opportunity to nurture a healthy and positive rivalry on the track, and the fostering of a sense of team cooperation in Kingston make August 18 a great day.

Don’t miss it. BUY TICKETS TODAY.

See you there!

xo Plow’her

Brewer Brouhaha

Best night of your life!

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Derby Blow-outs

They totally happen.

The Dolly Rogers were on the other side of a blow-out at the end of last season. The experience was mostly humbling. We were finishing an extraordinary first season and frankly, we needed to learn a little lesson. Getting that badly beaten showed us that not only was it important to consider what we’d achieved all season, but that we needed to establish some goals based on what are truly endless possibilities. Witnessing some of those possibilities helped us gain a lot of focus, which brought new meaning to our winter training. But this is derby. And the sport is still in its infancy. And the tools that track what teams are doing are still rudimentary. There are no divisions, no classes, no in-depth rankings and no standard training approaches. It’s not for a lack of effort; there are lots of amazing people out there, painstakingly tracking games, scores, trying to centralize information and attempting to develop more sophisticated means of painting a clearer picture of the derby scene. But despite all the work, there are still mismatches. As much as these mismatches are great for teams, they’re not so amazing for the spectator. And because we depend so heavily on revenue from games to bring us through our winter training, we’re not exactly in a position to mess with spectators. So when we plan our season, we try to schedule close games.

Enter our inter-league liaison, Eastern Block’her. She has a tough job. She’s responsible for finding teams willing to travel to Ottawa. She starts this in January, because that’s when we apply to the City of Ottawa for space. Ottawa typically doesn’t get back to us until April so Eastern has to balance the teams willing to come to Ottawa with the dates the City eventually gets back to us on and the dates these teams can travel on. Moreover, when finding these teams, Eastern doesn’t have many tools at her disposal to determine whether the game will be close enough to be interesting…or not. There’s still months of training ahead, there are only a few past scores, some basic rankings, but as we’ve all experienced first-hand, these things don’t mean much. We’ve gone from 12th to 47th to 37th to 26th in the flat track rankings in a matter of weeks. Take our last game against Peterborough. Our leagues got off the ground around the same time. Peterborough had a great coach from the start. We were coachless for months and we didn’t even have enough players to roster a team until DAYS before our first season started. Things fell into place quickly with us. We got a coach and managed to get through a season. CCDD and Peterborough are into their respective second seasons. Both teams have new players. On paper, it looked like a good match and that’s the best we could do. Peterborough was awesome. They played right until the final whistle went. They fell, they got right back up. They laughed and joked on the line and said wonderful things to us during and after the game. They took the whole experience as a learning one. All around, both teams were pretty happy and the after-party had a happy and positive tone.

But, we got some tweets about maybe having a closer game next time. Which is fair. Because when you’re coming to see a game, it’s so much better when you have NO idea what’s going to happen until the last few seconds. And it’s what we try to do, because for us, as much as the basic rankings mean a lot to us, and can represent a point of pride, the ranking system is not sophisticated enough to recognize what happens when you beat a team that should have creamed you. It doesn’t take into account how long you’ve been playing. Or even how many games you’ve played. If you’ve only played one game and you won by 500 points, you’ll stay at the top all season. So, while we’re paying attention to where we are, we don’t want to set-up a season that involves huge and easy wins. We’re not going to improve if we don’t challenge ourselves and we’re not going to promote any sustained interest in a sport if we routinely steam roll the competition.

We appreciate the tremendous support we’ve had this year from Ottawa residents. The word on roller derby is getting louder. We have great crowds at our games, we have great support from sponsors and local businesses who’ve put up our posters and offered to sell tickets for us. We had SuzieQ Doughnuts, the Merry Dairy truck, and Beau’s Beer at our last game and this desire to get involved in derby gives us a lot of hope for the future. Every game we play gives our supporters the opportunity to learn more about a sport that’s growing every day. It’s not an easy sport to wrap your head around, but once you’ve seen a bout, you gain a rapid understanding of the intense strategy and physical demands posed by roller derby. Ottawa, we appreciate your support and our next game will be something special. We played a team a year ago at a tournament in Moncton. We spent most of the game down by some serious points, when suddenly, we came back and went on to win by a very narrow margin. The ladies from the Fog City Rollers want a rematch. We don’t blame them. It could have gone either way. They’re travelling all the way from St. John, New Brunswick, to set the record straight. On Saturday, September 8, we’ll be facing each other again at the Jean-Marc Lalonde Arena in Rockland. Yeah, Rockland is a bit of a drive, but they don’t flood their surface in the winter so we can play on a concrete slab. We practised there all winter and the Rockland community is really looking forward to having a game in their neck of the woods.

We still have quite a season ahead of us. You can learn all about us at our brand new website. We still haven’t loaded all the potential content, but it’s on its way. You can also check out our facebook page and follow our twitter feed.


CCDD on facebook

Our Twitter handle @CCDerbyDolls

xo Plow’her

Dolly Rogers

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What am I going to do this weekend?

This. You’re going to do this:


You’re going to do this for many wonderful reasons.

1. It’s an inexpensive night out.

2. You’re supporting local athletes.

3. The beer is cheap. It’s Beau’s. And can be expensive. It’s not. We’re awesome like that.

4. You can sit right by the track and risk having someone thrown into your lap.

5. If you have kids, you can bring them.

6. The parking is free.

7. There’s music, we have a great announcer and there’s a happy buzz all night long.

8. You can sample the AH-MAY-ZING SuzieQ Doughnuts. They’re gourmet. Your friends will be jealous. Don’t let that happen. Bring your friends.

9. It’s roller derby. Once you get how it’s done, it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever seen. You can’t even imagine your life without it. So don’t deprive yourself. Buy tickets.

10. It’s Delicate Plow’her’s birthday. Well, that’s on Sunday, but once the after party’s in full swing, which is at the Burbs Pub and Eatery, it’ll be her birthday. It’s a bout, an afterparty and a birthday party rolled into one fabulous night out.

So there you have it. Your plans are made. Your Saturday night is going to be filled with wonder. And, in the event you’re at work and don’t have much to do right now, please feel free to check out the following:

www.capitalcityderbydolls.com (for general info and tickets)

https://www.facebook.com/CapitalCityDerbyDolls (for pictures and silliness)

@CCDerbyDolls (to talk to us)

See you this Saturday!

xo Plow’her

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It is now time…

…for you to click here: www.capitalcityderbydolls.com.

There’s still a lot of effort being poured in, but you can follow us to the finish line.

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CCDD is at it again. Their travel team, the Dolly Rogers, will be taking on the Kingston Derby Girls’ (KDG) Rogue Warriors on Saturday June 2 at Jack Charron Arena in Kanata. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., the whistle drops at 7:30. For a measly $7.00 (in advance), you get to watch two super competitive teams fight to dominate the flat track.


Address: 10 McKitrick Drive, Kanata

Suicide seats: bring a chair and sit as close to the track as you dare.

Tickets: $7.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door, $5 if you’re under 10.

Details: we’re sponsored by Beau’s and have a 19+ section with $3.50 refreshments (IS THAT AWESOME, OR WHAT?) so bring ID if you want to get in on that.

Email us if you have any questions: capitalcityderbydolls@gmail.com

CCDD and KDG merchandise will be available. You know you wanna look like us.

The greatest night of your life

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SEASON OPENER (‘Bout time!)

CCDD’s travel team, the Dolly Rogers, are getting ready for their season opener, happening Saturday, May 5, 2012. They’ll be facing Roller Derby Québec’s Les Duchesses. After a winter spent training, it’s time to see what the Dolly Rogers are made of. Don’t miss it!

Get your tickets here, or find your favourite derby girl. Tickets will also be available at the door. CCDD is sponsored by Beaus’ Beer, so don’t forget to bring ID. Free parking and family fun!

Check out our stiff competition, Les Duchesses.

'Bout time

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It’s time to try roller derby…

Learn to Skate with CCDD

On Saturday, February 4, 2012 and Saturday, February 11, 2012, the Capital City Derby Dolls will be opening their doors to anyone who wants to give roller derby a try. While there’s no doubt that it’s a tough sport, we all have to start somewhere. Starting with CCDD means a fresh start. We know you can’t play yet! Heck, we’re even clear on the fact that most people haven’t even been on roller skates before. So, we want to make it easy on you, give you a chance to get your feet wet before you dive right in.

Start by registering for our open houses. Pick one Saturday. Or come to both. Get some skates on. See what our coaches are all about. When you fall in love with it, you can register for our Learn to Skate Program. This is a 12-week initiative designed to provide you with all the fundamentals you need to in order to stay safe, get strong and learn all there is to learn about derby.


Participation fee: $10

Roller skate rental fee: $10

Must bring: helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, lots of water, smiles

*You must be at least 18 years old to participate.

Open house registration here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGcxeXhCZG1VcE02UU9JZjZyLVN1ZFE6MQ

See you on the track!


Delicate Plow’her

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