by Allie Leach
SECRET ORIGIN: Brooke Lo Turco was just an ordinary girl who snuck into a lab on a dare to skate around a particle accelerator. Little did she realize she'd be belted by gamma rays when the accelerator started up! When she emerged from the lab, the 4-foot-9-inch Italian mamacita discovered that she had developed a psychic rapport with her roller skates. Now she spins past the forces of evil—and her opponents in the roller-derby ring—as BAM Bina!
THE REAL STORY: Brooke Lo Turco is a massage therapist by day, and a Tucson Roller Derby chick by night. Decked out in a black helmet, a blue mouth guard, and knee and elbow pads, BAM Bina rolls for the Furious Truckstop Waitresses.
While BAM Bina has been playing Roller Derby since March 2010, she's loved to roller skate since childhood. "I used to skate around on my driveway while listening to Donna Summer," she said.
Initially, BAM Bina was intimidated by Roller Derby. "I had never played a sport in my life," she said. "But then I thought, 'I can't live my life afraid to take risks.'"
BAM Bina was so intent on pursuing Roller Derby that she sold her bike so she could afford new roller skates.
While the gear is important, and the outfits are cute, it takes more than fishnet tights to become a great player. "You need to be super-committed," she said. "It's tough both mentally and physically."
SUPER BESTS: "The Surly Wench Pub has a great vibe, amazing staff and tasty food—especially the 'Black and Bleu Derby Burger.'
"I love the Tucson Blonde at Barrio Brewing Co., and Plaza Liquors and Fine Wines has an incredibly knowledgeable and friendly staff and an excellent beer selection. I really like beer.
"Alchemista Aromatherapy Sanctuary and Spa is great. It is very new, just opened, and already, it's a favorite of mine. (It is) the perfect combination of relaxation and serious massage. They're perfect for a massage therapist/derby girl like me!
"The Red Garter Bar and Grill has been one of my favorite places to go for years now. They've got a great jukebox, a friendly staff and good food.
"Karuna's Thai Plate (has) the best Thai food I've had anywhere! When I have the night to myself, I love to get takeout and get comfy at home in front of the TV.
"Barb Trujillo (aka Barbicide, her Tucson Roller Derby name), is the stylist at Ahead of Style. She is the best! The salon is a cute little place just (off of) Fourth Avenue. Barb is not only an amazing derby player; she's also a fantastic hair stylist!
"Shrimp Chaperone is definitely my favorite local band. They play surf music, and they play it very well! They even have some awesome go-go dancers named Sis and Boots. They are a ton of fun!
"Skate Country is a derby girl's haven when she needs to get on eight wheels, and there is a monsoon on! You can often find us there grooving to some tunes and enjoying the smooth surface!
"Bookmans Entertainment Exchange. I've been going there since I was a kid. It's a Tucson staple: great vibe; the same people have been there forever; and Bob is super-cool!
"The trails on the back side of Gates Pass are my favorite places to hike. Tucson has amazing hiking all over, but when I don't have time to go far, and I feel nature calling, I head out and take a moment to just enjoy the air and the mountains. You can see all of Tucson from there. ... I love Tucson!
"The World Famous Frank Show, mornings on KLPX FM 96.1. These guys always have time for the girls of Tucson Roller Derby. They've got a lot of love for us, and the feeling is mutual!"