Grease Rag Ride & Wrench


We encourage and empower FTW (Femme/Trans/Women, Non-binary, Two-spirit) cyclists in a collaborative and fun learning environment through rides, discussions, shop nights and educational seminars in a safer space.

 

Grease Rag Open Shops are the hub of our activities and happen multiple times a month in Minneapolis and St. Paul (Minnesota). Find an open shop on the map (below) or explore the events calendar for all of our open shops and activities.

Find a Grease Rag open shop night near you

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This is our forum.

Connect to Grease Rag - Join this lively community in our Facebook group, organize and discuss Grease Rag on our Google Group, or follow us @greaseragmpls

Still have questions about what we do and who we are?  Read our FAQ!

03 Jul
2018

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2018 FTW Bike Camping Retreat

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on July 3, 2018   comments 0

Grease Rag is all about community. Gathering together is a sacred act of power and love. And on the full moon, too. What could be more magical?

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Grease Rag Group Camp August 25-26, 2018

Deadline to register: August 14

Mandatory planning meeting: August 17

Every year we host multiple bike camping trips. We try to do a lot, so you have to worry very little. We want our trips to be accessible to as many FTWs as possible! Inspired by NINE YEARS of successful camping trips, we wanted to host an FTW-only group camping retreat!

Low barriers!

Don't want to/can't bike? We are arranging a vehicle to get you to the camp site. Don't want to/can't pay $20? It is a sliding scale of $0-$20 fee. BIPOC camp FREE! Don't feel confident about your ability? You can do this! (Go on one of our  Our route is mostly flat, mostly on trails, at a casual pace, and we will have mechanical support on the ride. Don't have all the gear you need? We will hook you up with borrowed gear! Our community is mighty, and will provide us with everything we need.

Fun!

We will have a few ice breakers and casual get to know you activities before and after the ride. There will be games at camp, and nothing is more fun than being in the company of Grease Rag Friends! We will be taking care of the main meal and route planning and transporting gear so you all can focus on FUN!

Safer spaces!

We will have a quiet area of camp, designated people to help deescalate conflict, a safer spaces policy, and name tags with pronouns if people choose to share them. Any concerns or ideas on how we could make this a safer space? Hit us up!

Friendship!

Our goal for this trip is all of the things above, and to get to know each other better. We have space for 35 people on this trip. Not saying that I guarantee you'll meet a bff or anything... but the chances are good that you'll meet some rad FTWs you click with. Let's all be open to the experience of meeting new friends!

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Details about the trip

FTW-only! (If you are cis male and benefit from cis male privilege, you are not welcome on this trip.)

Reserve your spot

Femme/Trans/Women: Let's throw all of our camping gear into some vehicles, and take a chill ride from Powderhorn Park to Carver Park, 22 miles away. This trip is beginner friendly, and you don't even have to camp/bike! Don't have camping gear? No problem.

Sign up here until August 14 https://goo.gl/forms/osTHAORc6hOKqXwO2 If you do not sign up, you are not able to join us- space is limited! We will send out an email on August 16 to hook people up with gear, etc. Can't wait to camp with you all!

Meet up

Saturday, August 25, 12pm. Meet at Powderhorn Park, near the corner of 10th Ave S and E 34 1/2 St. Please arrive before 12:30. At the park we will have a welcome activity, and some stretches to warm us up. Roll out is 1p.

The ride

https://goo.gl/maps/a4hDTfuMhsR2

The ride is almost all on trails, and mostly very flat. There will be multiple ride leaders, mechanical support, and 35 of us riding together. This will be a great experience!

To get us to our campsite we will bike out on the Greenway, to Hopkins, where will will take our first break at Depot Coffee House. We will continue through Hopkins to the SW LRT trail to Excelsior, where we will stop. There is a brewery and a grocery store. We will continue on the trail until we reach our campsite.

Campsite

Zumbra 2: Capacity 35 people/5 vehicles
threeriversparks.org/index.php/location/carver-park-reserve
  • central fire pit
  • fishing access on Lake Zumbra (a short walk from the sites)
  • 20’ X 30’ stone barn shelter
  • water pump
  • picnic tables
  • pit latrines
  • fire ring

 

Food

We will be providing some meal basics (vegan, halal, rice and lentils), but you are responsible for bringing your own snacks and we welcome you to contribute to the dinner/dessert meal! We will be having a "salad bar" where we provide some lettuce, and you all can bring a protein, dressing, veggie... whatever you like! We will have a basic breakfast (granola and fruit) in the morning, with an optional brunch spot on the ride back. Please bring your own plate, bowl, napkin, fork, knife, spoon, mug, cup. We will not be providing these things unless you specifically reach out.

Payment

This is a sliding scale cost trip, with a suggested donation of $20. If you are not able or unwilling to donate, Grease Rag funds will be used to cover the cost of your spot! We want all FTWs to camp with us! We are able to have 35 people on the site. Please consider donating to cover the cost of someone who might not be able to pay! Thank you!

Email questions to greaseragmpls at gmail.com with the subject "Grease Rag Camping Retreat."

20 Jun
2018

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2018 Grease Rag's Intermediate Bike Camping Trip

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on June 20, 2018   comments 0

Grease Rag's Intermediate Bike Camping Trip

July 14-15

Minneapolis to William O'Brien State Park 

This trip is intended for femme/trans/women (FTW) who have some experience bike camping and are comfortable riding 40 miles two days in a row. If you are looking for a more beginner friendly trip, save the date for our FTW Bike Camping Retreat, August 25-26

What to expect?

Friendship and Fun!

We only have space for 12 people on this trip. We will do some icebreaker activities and have some games at camp.  Let's all be open to the experience of meeting new friends!

Details about the trip

FTW-only! (If you are a cis-male who benefits from cis male privilege, please do not register for this trip.)

Reserve your spot

Sign up here until July 1https://goo.gl/forms/ZH1cLm7XpwpuSfRr2

You MUST sign up to go- space is limited! We will send out an email on July 3 to coordinate food, etc. We're asking for a $7 contribution to cover the cost of the campsite and fire wood. We have scholarships available if that is a barrier for you. Your spot will be confirmed when I've received payment (cash, check, or Venmo) or request for scholarship. 

Meet up

Saturday, July 14, 12:30pm. Our planned roll out is 1p.

Meet at the Hub Bike Coop (3016 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406). 

The ride

https://goo.gl/maps/QJzehqGpKTK2

The ride will be on a combination of city streets, separated bike paths, and country roads. There are a few significant hills closer to camp. Expect about 39 miles at 10-15 miles per hour.

There will be a few planned stops along the way: Around mile 17, there is a water fountain and porta potties. At Pine Point Park, about 30 miles in, there are (gendered) bathrooms and a water fountain. The last stop will be Marine General Store, a place to get last minute snacks before heading into the park. 

Food

We will be collaborating on dinner and breakfast. There will be an email after registration is closed to coordinate the logistics. Please bring your own plate, bowl, napkin, fork, knife, spoon, mug, cup. We will not be providing these things unless you specifically reach out.

Email questions to kathleen.orourke@gmail.com with the subject "Grease Rag Camping Trip."

11 Apr
2018

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Fundraising Party for New Website!

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on April 11, 2018   comments 0

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From wrenching tips to ride recaps to safe spaces for discussions about gender and identity, Grease Rag has been creating community by sharing stories and lifting up the voices of FTW riders in the Twin Cities for nearly 9 years. But as technology has evolved and our group has expanded, we've outgrown our website. 

Help us raise $2,500 to launch our NEW WEBSITE that will make it faster, easier and more engaging to tap into our collective knowledge and connect to the incredible stories in our FTW community.

In true Grease Rag fashion, we're throwing a party, of course! Join us on Saturday, April 28 in Minneapolis for fellowship and festivities that will include crafts, cake (from Dulceria Bakery!), cocktails, and more! 

Plus, we'll have a silent auction with items from: 

RSVP to the Facebook event here and please share with folx in your networks!

Want to volunteer? Please contact Carolyn at carolyn.szczepanski@gmail.com!

03 Mar
2018

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2018 #LoveMnWinter Recap!

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on March 3, 2018   comments 0

It's not the gray days or the cold temperatures that make me feel melancholy. But this time of year is tough. It's not the winter season but the transition to the new year that preoccupies me with the frustration of things I didn't accomplish in the previous 365 days and the anxious weight of my self-inflicted expectations for the next journey around the sun.

And this year has been more difficult than usual. My feelings of inadequacy in my job, my relationships and showing up in the community have felt particularly accute. Being the steward of the #LoveMnWinter series made me feel less alone.   

Yes, there was humor and joy and badass empowerment in this year's posts but there was also vulnerability. Candid acknowledgment that sometimes we struggle to summon the strength to do any more than just make it through another day — and we don't have the pretend that it's not hard. That we all need moments of stillness and silence and straight-up surviving until the internal and external weather warms.  

So huge thanks to everyone who contributed; I know I'm not the only one who took strength and solidarity in your knowledge and contributions to the Grease Rag community! In case you missed a post, here's a recap / run-down with some of my favorite phrases or tips!

Day 1: Snow goof!

Day 2: Jump up and down and shake all of the feelings out of your body. Leave them there... Remember that we are deserving of love, kindness, comfort, hugs, compassion, & dumplings. 

Day 3: Collected winter memories...

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Day 4: Often the hardest part of winter biking for me is deciding to do it — getting dressed and getting out the door with enough time to make my trip without feeling rushed and panicked. The difficulty, both of the deciding to do and the actual doing, is part of what makes winter biking so much fun. 

Day 5: I love turning on my blinky lights and gliding out into the empty streets like a tiny human shooting star, pedaling into the still unknown with endless possibility.

Day 6: Winter is my favorite time to drink port wine and tell myself I’m going to become a writer, a poet, or chess master. I've never bothered with these sorts of lies in June, July, or August. 

Day 7: People view me as a badass, while I view myself as someone who is just living their life, and enjoying a new adventure with new friends and old friends.

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Day 9: This winter, I have been summoning my inner Matilda* and have spent so much time in the stacks that I have even developed relationships with some of the library staff.

Day 10: "Stay loose, flexible but firm," kept going through my head, from the wisdom of Grease Rag(gers). That trifecta got me through a terrifying but thrilling ride.

Day 11: This is a season of letting go, stripping down. Trees have let go of their flowers and leaves, we’ve put our gardens to bed. There isn’t an outward sign of growth — the work is underneath, in our roots.

Day 12: My winter body gets to transform. It gets its own sensations that my sumer body will never understand. 

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Day 13: This winter, I radically accept reality. Bad days are a fact of life. I am allowed to feel cold and lonely and wonder if the snow will ever melt. Because those feelings are just as real as the exhilaration of arriving at work after a commute I was ready and excited for.

Day 14: When I’m biking, I’m truly by myself. There is no one to entertain, no calls or messages I can answer. It’s just me and the bike. 

Day 16: A few weeks ago, on a snowy February night, I leisurely scanned the colorful cards, smiling at the beautiful and silly sentiments from dozens of fellow cycling enthusiasts.

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Day 17: I have been working to balance when it is important to honor these moments of low energy by cuddling up and hunkering down. And, I’ve also been working to notice when I have the urge to rattle this stuck-ness, by boosting my energy and pulling myself into a different headspace... Almost always, the first step is getting on my bike.

Day 18: There’s no time for bullshit. On the brutally cold days, I come home and it is all I can do to eat and go to sleep. I live more essentially, thinking not of wants but of needs. The clarity of it stuns me, when my body and my heart demand that they come first.

Day 19: Pretty much everything is more fun and enjoyable when shared with a loved one, whether they be your significant other, friend, or even random stranger that gives you a thumbs up for slogging in the opposite direction through salty slush. 

Day 20: Biking in the winter has changed my life. It's not always easy and has tested my limits — physically, mentally, emotionally — but, I know I'm better for it! I'm thankful for the bright sun on cold winter days, for how my body has adapted to weather changes, getting time outside, learning how to layer and thinking about how I spend my time differently. 

shruthi-cropped.jpgDay 21: NO SHAME! Seriously! If I feel like taking the bus, or driving, or staying home, no one shames me for not being "hard core" enough. You all understand that we need to listen to our bodies and do what is right because winter is harsh. 

Day 22: Besides washing your hands and drinking lots of water, what else can you do to give your body its best chance at warding off illness? Fire cider and raw honey.

Day 23: Warmer days and green things coming from the ground is coming soon. Today is February 23, and there are 26 days until the first day of spring.

Day 24: It's weird that a few months ago the trail had so many people on it, and there were the sounds of nature. I had to strip down to my sports bra because of the heat. Today I was praying my hand warmers would last a bit longer, and wishing there were more people around me to enjoy the trail and view.

Day 25: All of these things started off as a tiny ice cube, but I started exploring and discovered a whole iceberg of things to learn and people to meet. Did anything get produced? "Done?" Not really. But my relationships are growing, my brain is being fed, and I wouldn't have had the attention span in the full swing of summer. I love winter for being a blank canvas for my busy mind.

Day 26: I love walking through fresh snow when it's late at night and you're alone.

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Day 27: In summer, I like beer and kool aid. In winter, I like booze and coco.

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