Posted on November 28, 2009
by Holly Hitsville
Bytch Ryder skates with her heart and for the Pistolwhippers. She was bred for roller derby, after all. Fresh off of an injury and a tough derby decision, Bytch talks about her love of the sport, her team’s solidarity, and her upcoming competition.
There’s some old school roller derby history in your family. Tell us about it.
My pops skated professional roller derby through the 60’s and 70’s. He played amongst some of the great derby icons, traveling throughout the US and overseas. It is inspiring to have him here at the bouts; of course he’s sure to remind me what could have been done better.
Why do you play roller derby?
Simply…for the love of the game. I have been on skates all my life, I love to skate and I have always been a physical competitor. The ability to put the two together while surrounding myself with a bunch of great gals…wouldn’t you do it?
In May, the Pistolwhippers played the D-Funk Allstars in the championship bout of the season. At halftime, your team was up by 39-points but then the tides changed. D-Funk came back hard with a one-point lead going into the final jam. At the last minute the Pistolwhippers were able to rack up a few points and win the game, 86-82.
What did you learn from that specific bout?
During the second half we made some changes to our lines because we were feeling confident. That game was a good reminder not to underestimate our competition. You have to play with heart too and see it through to the end.
What do you think of the D-Funk Allstars?
One word comes to mind. Spunk. They have some key players and they have managed to retain a core roster now. I am looking forward to seeing great things from them this season. I don’t think underdog is a title they will carry for too much longer…go get ‘em ladies!
You’re just coming off of an injury. What happened and how is your recuperation going? I tore my left quad while attempting to make a hit on the jammer, just one of those fluke things. It was a severe tear and given the amount of blood and swelling around the muscle they decided against surgery. Recovery has been tough; I can say this is one of the most painful injuries I have ever sustained, but I’m working through it and trying to stay positive.
Recently you made the decision to stop skating with the DDG Travel Team. Was this a tough choice to make and have you had any second thoughts about it?
It was an extremely difficult decision which I sat on the fence about for weeks. When you train at that level, the only payoff you have for your dedication is to play at nationals. Unfortunately, after tearing my quad that goal was not realistic for me. I wouldn’t say I have second thoughts exactly, though I do miss it and I did not want to let down my team; I know the choice I made was best for my injury. Maybe I’ll skate again for the Travel Team soon.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Pistolwhipper?
My favorite thing is being part of a team that has massive respect for one another. We are sisters that come together to do something we love, we recognize that everyone makes sacrifices to be part of our team and we all have a voice. Pistolwhippers play together, we win together, and sometimes lose together, but we do it as a team.
Action Shots by Colin Johnson.