Necessity may be the mother of invention, but the Rat City Roller Girls can trace their roots to a different source: minute rice and lamb stir-fry. In April of 2004, a few friends gathered for a dinner party. Over plates of lamb and rice, the conversation turned towards a roller derby resurgence that was taking place in Texas. The conversation stayed on their minds, and within weeks, these friends had founded the first flat-track derby league to the Northwest. Nearly a decade later, the Rat City Roller Girls—named after the neighborhood where the league first gathered, not the underground metropolis where cheese is more valuable than gold—has grown to encompass four teams who rock KeyArena with hard-hitting bouts throughout the year. For special events and tournaments, the top players from the league join forces to form the Rat City All-Stars and represent their home against elite squads from across the country.
Away from the rink, the players who make up Dockyard Derby Dames could be seen as teachers, accountants, nurses, journalists, and moms. But once they strap on a pair of skates, these women become warriors of the track—impassioned athletes with a thirst for victory who wear bruises like badges of honor. The league was founded in 2005 by a small group of skaters, and has since grown to include four teams. Today, it even boasts a travel team that treks across the country to face other squads and make sure the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans both have enough water in them. Dedicated as they are to the sport, though, the ladies of Dockyard Derby Dames are equally committed to giving back to the community by sponsoring charities and participating in community outreach events.
The Cascade Bicycle Club bolsters the Puget Sound biking community through educational programs, community action, and organized events and rides. A 14,000-rider-strong nonprofit organization, the club advocates cycling as a worthy alternative for fitness routines, daily commutes, and backup power generators. Every year, volunteers lead more than 1,000 free club rides, ranging from short joyrides to multiple-day tours, in addition to their yearly schedule of special events, including the Seattle Bicycle Expo in March, the Bike Month Commute Challenge in May, and the High Pass Challenge in September.