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!

15 Nov
2017

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2017 WSS: Self-Care Write Up!

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on November 15, 2017   comments 0

The 2017 Winter Skill Share was a smashing success, with over 60 participants coming to learn and share with awesome local femme, transgender, and women cyclists. Presenters covered a wide range of topics, including self care! Grease Rag participant Joanne did an incredible write up of self-care, which I've posted below. I have also included a link to the handout that Ali included with their presentation here

 

Thank you both!

_________

  

FTW-Style Self Care

Self care can be equally as important as mechanical maintenance when it comes to biking. To preface the session Lo reminded us "not to let shame or bad feelings get in the way" and that sometimes, when the weather is just too cold or you are feeling too tired,  the best thing to do might be to "give yourselfpermission to take the bus".  

 

Biking can make you feel good, but a holistic self care strategy is crucial sustaining your own emotional and physical health, which feedback into one another. Lo suggests using physical movement (move your body, get those endorphins pumping!), outdoor experiences (Vitamin D!), getting together with friends, and attending Grease Rag events. These experiences can in turn promote emotional health, your feeling of belonging in a group, framing your own experience in a larger context, and maybe even a little "tree therapy" will pull you out of that winter time slump that kept you in bed in the first place.

 

Stretching

Next Lo explored more ways to take care of your body both inside and out. Evening or morning stretching and movements throughout the day will prevent soreness and give you a moment for reflection to check in with your emotional health. You can do some of these favorite stretches, or try following a simple YouTube stretching sequence.

 

Machine generated alternative text: Standing stretch Quad bend Butterfly
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What's On the Body

Your living and working environment can effect your physical and emotional health too. When biking in cold weather, temperature regulation is crucial. Staying hydrated and dressing in layers can help prevent both over and underdressing. Also pay attention for open windows and cold air leakages in your own home, and invest in a humidifier if you are prone to dry and creaky joints.

 

Need a little more body care? Try soaking your feet or entire body in Epson salts (mix a few drops of essential oil for added aromatherapy benefits), and rubbing balms and oils on dry weathered skin. Aly suggests using Coconut, Almond, or Olive oil (good for those with nut/seed allergies) combined with essential oils to make your own balm using this simple recipe:

 

Basic Body Balm

.2 oz beeswax

1 oz coconut oil

1 oz almond oil

12-24 drops essential oil (optional)

 

Heat the beeswax in a double boiler over low heat, When the wax is melted, mix in oil, mix until uniform, remove from heat and add essential oil. Transfer balm to a clean sealable container.

 

Not sure what oils to use? Aly suggests these ones:

 

  • Eucalyptus - cool and refreshing, it stimulates the immune system, acts as a decongestant, anti-inflammatory, and relaxes the muscles.

  • Rosemary - invigorating, it improves circulation, relaxes muscles soothes joint pain and calms headaches.

  • Citrus (lemon, orange, grapefruit) - cheerful, energizing and uplifting.

  • Lemongrass - uplifting and muscle soothing

  • Mint - stimulating and uplifting, it helps with breathing, soothing headaches and muscles.

  • Clove & Ginger -  spicy and warming, it improves circulation, soothes joins and pains.

 

What's In the Body

What you eat affects how you feel, and in colder weather it is important to consume warming foods (use spices like tumeric, cumin, and chilli) and fueling fats (butter, oils, fish, seeds and nuts). It may be helpful to also take supplements like Vitamin D and magnesium (found in leafy dark greens, dairy and fish) or other minerals if you still flee sluggish. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietician to figure out what would be helpful for you. Aly shared her recipe for Chicken Ginger Soup as a warming mean that is good for fighting off the cold and viruses.

 

Ginger Chicken Soup

  • 1 oz dried shitake mushrooms

  • 3 cups boiling water

  • 1 lbs chicken

  • 1 inch piece grated ginger

  • 2 minced garlic cloves

  • I head chopped bok choy

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • Cayenne pepper to taste

  • 2-3 chopped green onions

 

Pre soak mushrooms (follow package directions). Add everything except green onions in a pot, bring to boil and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. If using pre cooked chicken or meat alternative - substitute vegetable/chicken stock for water. Garnish with green onions.

 

How do you self care?

Other Grease Rag people shared their own self care tactics like scheduling regular dinner date appointments with friends, planning outings in advance to hold yourself accountable to showing up, going to the gym or library, opening your blinds early each morning to let the sun light in or investing in artificial sun lamps, going on walks outside, playing with kids, surrounding yourself with bright colors and comfy fabrics, practicing yoga, getting body work done (i.e. massage, reiki, or acupuncture), and prioritizing your own mental health. Try out some of these awesome FTW-owned resources:

 

Am'l K & Kim at Constellation

Zum bars from Indigo Wild

Mizashima at the People's Movement Center

Sarah at Village Healing Arts

 


06 Nov
2017

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Vote November 7 in Local Elections

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on November 6, 2017   comments 0

Tuesday, November 7 is election day in Minneapolis

Races you can vote on: Mayor, City Council, and Park Board

I would recommend voting in all of the races.

If you haven't voted, it's been awhile, or you just want to know more, here's my voting guide for Minneapolis.

  • Polls are open 7am-8pm Tuesday
    • Be in line at your polling place at 8p
    • Find where you vote here
    • Get your sample ballot here
      • I HIGHLY recommend looking at/printing a sample ballot before going to the polls. Why spend any more time there than you have to?
  • Are you registered to vote?
    • Register to vote, day-of, at the polls
      • Minnesota is one of those magical states where you don't need an ID to vote, and you can register day-of. I will vouch for you if you live in Ward 9! Check your registration here.
Read More

10 Oct
2017

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9th Annual Winter Skill Share!

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on October 10, 2017   comments 0

The leaves are falling and the air is cool - winter is right around the corner! Curious about winter biking? Looking for advice on how to ride a little longer into the cool weather this year? Do you like door prizes, yoga, and FUN in a relaxed and inclusive environment?! Then join Grease Rag for the...


9th Annual FTW Winter Skill Share and Gear Swap!


9th Annual WSS Flyer (1).jpg




Winter riding is fun and convenient! At the Winter Skill Share, participants can learn from and share their own winter biking experiences with other femme, transgender, and women cyclists. Come with questions and leave feeling confident and ready to take on Minnesota's most challenging season!


This event is FREE and open to femme, transgender, non-binary, two-spirit people and women. If you are a cis man, please respect this space and do not attend.


You are welcome to come and go as you please. Here is a tentative schedule for the day:


Schedule:


10:30 - 11am: Sign In and Snacks


11am: Welcome and small group go-arounds


11:30am - 12:30pm Session 1 (one hour):

Room 1: Bike Maintenance and Bike Set-Up Options

Room 2: Self-Care


12:30pm: BYO Lunch, quick post lunch stretch


1:15 - 2:15pm Session 2 (one hour):

Room 1: Safety, Handling and Routing

Room 2: What to Wear


2:15 - 3:30pm:

Panel Q&A and Community Announcements


3:30 - 4:00pm:


Gear Swap

After spending the day learning about the joys of winater biking, you’ll have the chance to score some new and gently used gear to get you where you need to be! The gear swap will include some wonderful items created at our craft event (more details below!) as well as gear and clothing donated by our generous community members. Clear out your closet and bring winter clothing, gear, bike stuff in good condition to share with other femme, transgender, and women cyclists. Nothing to donate? No problem! The Gear Swap is free and everyone is welcome to participate, even if you don't bring anything to swap. Anything leftover will be donated.

 

Related Events & Activities

Looking for more ways to participate in the in the 9th Annual Winter Skill Share? Here’s how!

Our pre-event craft night will be held on Sunday, October 22 from 11am - 4pm at  Our Streets Minneapolis. Get more details and RSVP on the Facebook event page here.

Join us for the November Full Moon ride and roll slow with rad femme, trans, and women cyclists. Connect with our awesome community and build new friendships to help you through the winter. Watch our Facebook page for details!

 

Volunteers

The winter skill share is an annual event that centers the voices and experiences of femme, transgender, and women cyclists. It’s a friendly and supportive space where we share our wisdom and perspective, give away small prizes, swap gear, and inspire each other as we head into the winter biking season. But it’s only possible with the help of volunteers!

 

We are still looking for volunteers!

We need people for pre-event organizing and well as day-of support!

 

We need pre-event organizers to help coordinate food, prizes, and volunteers. Interested? Sign up here.

 

We need day-of volunteers to help set-up, greet participants, time sessions, and more! Interested? Sign up here!

 

Questions?  Please ask in the comments!  


Remember, this event happens the day daylight savings ends! Don't forget to "fall back" and enjoy an extra hour of sleep.


See ya there! :)


07 Sep
2017

4 Comments

#FTWWeekend 2017

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on September 7, 2017   comments 4

After 10 years, Babes in Bikeland is taking a break. In the absence of a super awesome alley-cat bike event this summer, Grease Rag is hosting #FTWWeekend! Join us for a whole weekend of fun FTW (femme, trans, women) ONLY events September 29-October 1.

FTW_WEEKEND.jpg

Please join us for #FTWweekend! We have so much fun stuff planned for you. We will be focusing on positivity, FTW community, Friendship, and slow rolls that explore the city. Invite your friends! 

Get this Swag!

Update: online sales are closed!

Represent Grease Rag and help fund #FTWweekend! Buy a t-shirt and make a donation to Grease Rag. Thank you to artist BrieAnna for this awesome shirt design! Shirts will be available for pick up at FTW events. If there are any shirts that aren't pre-ordered, they will be sold at #FTWweekend events!

ftwwanderaboutshirt.jpg

Short Sleeve shirt, white with black, XS-L sizes

ftwshirtshort.jpg

Long Sleeve shirt, white with black, XS-XXL sizes

ftwshirtlong.jpg

size_chart_ftwweekend.pngDon't want a shirt, but want to donate to Grease Rag and #FTWweekend?  No problem! You can donate here:

Update: Online donations are closed!

#FTWweekend Events!

FTW Cheers! Ride

Friday, September 29

View the Facebook event details here

Cheers_ride.jpg

6th Annual FTW Wanderabout Ride

Saturday, September 30

View the Facebook event details here

6th_Annual.jpg

FTW Brunch!

Sunday, October 1

View the Facebook event details here

FTW_Brunch_Fb_event_cover.jpg

 

 

06 Sep
2017

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It's Not All Downhill

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on September 6, 2017   comments 0

itsnotalldownhill.jpg Check this out, Grease Rag!

9 years ago, Alisa Hoven, Betsy Popelka Massnick, and Sarah Broich rode their bicycles from Minnesota to New Orleans. And then they wrote a book about it!

Generously, they have decided to donate all their profits from their book (available here) to Grease Rag to support FTW bike tours. How rad is that?!

__________________

In the fall of 2008, Sarah, Betsy and Alisa packed up their bicycles and rode the length of the Mississippi River--from the headwaters in Minnesota to New Orleans, about 2,300 miles. It took them two months, they took their time, they lingered and listened to the river along the way. They gathered stories of life along the river, visited farms and cities and small towns and flooded out fields. They were curious about life along the river, and with the stories and people they met, they put together a book. A travelogue, of sorts, with short stories, poems, rants and their most humble sketches of their (mis)adventures. The book is titled It's Not all Downhill--which they self published and put together as three writers the year after they returned from the trip. In an effort to share their experiences, they've sold books here and there, and gave many away to folks they met along the river--but almost 10 years later--they are ready to donate the profit they've made from the book sales to Grease Rag!

Why Grease Rag?! Because we love FTW spaces! One of the most common occurring, infuriating comments we received along the trip was this: "Why don't you have any men with you?! You're not safe alone out here." It was a daily struggle to validate ourselves and claim the space we needed to have this experience, as folks who identify as women, without men protecting and guiding us. We are safe, brilliant, brave and powerful and we challenged a lot of folks who were socialized to believe we needed a male presence on this trip. We reflected on this--and appreciated the fem-space we created; a supportive learning environment in navigating the route and fixing our bikes, we made decisions collectively as to our pace and rhythm and our goals, we leaned into each other's strengths and challenged each other to grow where we needed to.  We weren't afraid to say "I don't know" or "I need help." We believe this kind of environment is critical and special and magical--and it is often challenged within the patriarchal system--so to make space and hold it--that is what made our trip what it was. And that is why we want to support Grease Rag!  We want to support the magic that happens when we come together and hold space--and get a little grease under our finger nails, take a new route and take risks together.  We are happy to donate and support Grease Rag!

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