The following comes from the very awesome Junk Punch.

Ok………… so……….. this is Junk’s attempt at a derby story. These things are not exactly my thing, I can’t do it like most people and talk about my “feelings” in regard to skating, I’ve not really been one for talking about those publicly. I have always had an envy for those who could share them openly and as a result inspire people. SO, that disclaimer aside, here’s a lil’ story about one of my biggest achievements in skating to date.

Today I did the majority of the Lake Burley Griffin Loop, on quads, and boy am I wrecked! I guesstimate the journey to have been about 20km, given the whole loop is 28km, and I did it in just under 2 hours. But what a thrill! It started off just being a regular “I’m gonna skate bridge to bridge” skate. But as the Kings Ave bridge loomed nearer, I started thinking about my assignments I’d have to do this afternoon and a thought popped into my head “I could just keep going…………..” and well, I did!

Soon after this photo was taken, the girls discovered the value of kneepads.

The first hurdle was one I’ve thought about a lot in the last few months. That monster mother of a hill just outside of the ANU turn off on the bike path.  And funnily enough, my first stack was on that hill. However not (as one might assume) from going down it, but because of these stupid little corrugations on the uphill side. Face plant. Learning my lesson and using my toe stops for the next set of corrugations, I then began my “breakneck speed” downwards. Now by breakneck I’d put it at about 7kph. I ploughed and toe-stopped the shit outta that hill. Not so impressive, but at least I got down without injury. Little did I know I had at least 4 more major hills to conquer on this route 😀

The amazing thing was, by the third hill, I was positively comfortable with a) going fast and b) controlling my speed with ploughs. My toe stops became somewhat redundant by the end of the journey.

Also I should point out that most of the other people doing the loop (cyclists and a few pedestrians) were all really cool and friendly. A group of ladies even invited me to coffee with them when they stopped at Yarralumla, but I politely declined. I feared stopping at this point would turn my legs to jelly and finishing the loop would be impossible. One thing I thought constantly during the skate was ” If we ever get international derby girls come visit us, we HAVE to take them skating here”. It’s an awesome showcase of Aussie scenery.

May include traces of baby swan

Look how pretty it is! You know you want to skate here.

Anyway that’s probably all I can say about it, other than I wholeheartedly think everyone in the league needs to give it a go at some point. There was such a difference in my confidence by the end of the loop, which is why I felt the need to tell my story. It’s kinda like being on a rollercoaster – some bits aren’t fun ( I swear I thought my ass would fall off on some of those huge uphills, and yes, dammit I don’t care what people think, they are massive!), but you’re strapped in and you gotta grin and bear it, then at the end you feel an overwhelming sense of pride that you didn’t puke!

much love- Junk Punch