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Published on October 31st, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

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WFTDA Champs 2014: Nashville Survival Guide

By Dani Doom

The WFTDA roller derby Championships will be held in Music City, Nashville, TN this year.  Home of The Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman Auditorium, The Bluebird Cafe, all the honky-tonks on Broadway and about a thousand other venues where you can hear music every night.  However, almost all of you will be busy enjoying the absolute best derby in the world and the amazing after-parties hosted by the Nashville Rollergirls.  Here’s a little guide from a rollergirl and Nashville resident that may help during your visit.

One of the first things I do when I go to a tournament, as a skater or spectator, is scout out a good grocery store.  The Turnip Truck (www.theturniptruck.com970 Woodland St. Nashville, TN) is a locally owned natural foods store and great place to stock up on snacks and healthy/organic foods.  And while you’re there, you can go ahead and drop by Asphalt Beach Skate Shop (www.asphaltbeach.com).  Asphalt Beach is located directly across the street from Turnip Truck and no more than 10 blocks from the Championship’s venue at Municipal Auditorium.  Asphalt Beach has the largest derby department of any skate shop anywhere in the country.  It stocks size runs of Reidell, Bont, Luigino, and Antik skates and has a track in the store where you can try everything out.  They stock every wheel you can imagine.  They mount plates and do expert repair.  Plus, anyone affiliated with roller derby receives an automatic 10% derby discount.  This is a must see shop.

Another thing I like to do, barring i’m not skating in the tournament i’m attending, is map out where I can get in an outdoor skate and a gym workout.  There is no off-season when it comes to training to become the athlete I aspire to be.  Shelby Park (www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Nature-Cnters-and-Natural-Areas/Shelby-Bottoms-Nature-Center/Shelby-Park.aspx) has my favorite greenway.  There is a solid 8 mile loop that I skate 1-2 times around.  It’s beautiful, there are bridges, and quite frankly it’s just fun to skate while surrounded by nature.  After a great endurance workout, I like to hit the gym the next and even sometimes the same day.  Gym 5 (www.gym5.com) is a sponsor of the Nashville Rollergirls.  My teammates and I love this place.  It’s a full-service gym, only $9 for a day pass, just 10 minutes from the venue and nearby Turnip Truck and Asphalt Beach.

If you happen to have any country music cravings while you’re in NashVegas, Lower Broadway has more honky-tonks in 5 blocks than any other city.  Robert’s Western World (robertswesternworld.com) has the absolute best guitar pickers down there and they stick to that old country and western music like Hank played.  Only a few doors down is the famous Jack’s Bar-B-Q, which carries a variety of sweet and vinegar sauces.  YUM YUM!

Speaking of food, my four favorite restaurants in convenient proximity to Municipal Auditorium are:

5 Points Pizza (www.fivepointspizza.com), Koto (www.kotosushibar.com), Calypso Cafe (calypsocafe.com/home.htm), and Thai Phooket (at 207 Woodland St. Nashville,TN)

Last, but not least, my favorite place to get coffee and tea is Garage Coffee (garagecoffeecompanynashville.com) in historic Marathon Village, which is also the location of American Pickers’ Antique Archaeology.  Antique Archaeology is the TV show’s retail store.  Plus, there are several other neat shops to visit there while enjoying a hot cup of joe.

Hope everyone is able to make it out to Nashville! See ya there!

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