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!

18 Jul


“New Territory” Challenge- LGRAB Summer Games 2


on July 18, 2010   comments 0


I originally posted about the Summer Games 2 contest on the Grease Rag blog here. I am blogging about my participation in Let's Go Ride a Bike's Summer Games 2. Check out my first posts on "Social Cycling" or "Learning Experiences."  I hope they inspire you to try something new!

The third and final set of challenges involve "New Territory." From June 28- July 18 the challenges were to:

  • Ride a greenway
  • Have a bicycle picnic
  • If you don't normally ride to work, commute by bike or by bike/train or bike/ bus
  • If you do commute, take the long way home:  add distance to your usual ride
  • Explore a new part of town by bike

Cop-out/ disclaimer:  I have been having an issue with my knee, and have been taking it easy on the bike the past few weeks.  Luckily I was able to complete a few challenges before my injury started acting up, but this segment of the contest was a little bit of a fail.

Ride a greenway

I am so lucky to live in Minneapolis, where we have the Midtown 29th St. Greenway.  I ride it every day because I live two blocks north and one block east of the Bryant Ave. entrance and it is a nice east-west corridor without much vehicular cross-traffic or stops.  It can get congested with trail users on weekends and during rush hour, but how can you complain about TOO MANY people using bicycle and pedestrian facilities?!

After Grease Rag the other night I rode with my good friend Sarah down the Greenway, but it was too dark for a photo.  So here's a random photo of some WTFs and I riding the Greenway on our last camping trip.


If you are interested in volunteering to do a community watch over the Greenway (on your bike, of course!), contact, or call 612-879-0106.  There is also a Women on Wednesdays Trail Watch ride, organized by Grease Rag friend Susan.

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14 Jul


BFF 2010 WTF Night!


on July 14, 2010   comments 18

In a previous post I introduced the Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) and encouraged all of you WTFs and allies to come on out for a group ride and FREE showing of BFF films on Thursday, July 15th.

Here is another opportunity for WTF fun at BFF:

WTF Event at the BFF- Ride and Party!

Saturday, July 17th

Some of the women I know felt that there was a negative DUDE presence at the last few BFF after parties.  Instead of forgoing the party, a group of us are making a WTF Night on the last night of  BFF. Our goal is to create a safer space for all by showing up to BFF and the after party at One on One Bicycle Shop as a unified mass of fun-loving WTF bicyclists.

Come party with us!

Join us at 9 PM for the BFF Urban Bike Shorts program at the Cedar Cultural Center.  After the films (around 10:30 PM) we'll meet at the bus stop nearby before we roll to Gold Medal Park to meet each other, shake hands, bump fists, whatever, so we can all arrive at the One on One party as a unified group of WTF friends.

Once we get to the party we agree to support each other to create a positive, WTF-friendly space with our presence and camaraderie.

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13 Jul


Cycling Shorts: The Run-Down!


on July 13, 2010   comments 1

The first shorts were developed along with the safety cycle to minimize the drag caused by pantaloons and huge knickers. They were knitted wool shorts with a sheep-skin chamois. Thus, the name “chamois” (pronounced “sham-ee” or “sham-wa”) after the breed of sheep the produced the leather deemed softest and most wonderful against the buttocks. We have evolved this simple and timeless contraption into a highly technical piece of clothing. Made with lycra (spandex) and high tech wicking fabrics, cycling shorts now come in so many styles, shapes, and qualities it’s hard to decide what to get!

We return to diapers as cyclists and are more than happy to have that chamois between us and our saddle. It’s not as easy as getting any pair of shorts, however. Like everything adult, there are technicalities and geeky designs and an optimal pair for each unique butt. Let me give you a few metrics by which to judge your shorts.

1. They should fit tightly. The lycra should sit smoothly and the chamois should have no folding or bunching. Seams should be in the right place and not where they can cause terrible chafing. Also, do NOT wear underwear under your shorts. It negates the entire thing and causes massive discomfort. The point of bike shorts is to maximize a cushion that is right where you need it to be and eliminate things like seams. So go bare!

2. The waist and leg openings should fit comfortably and the chamois should match your body shape (ie. sits bones, pubis). Some shorts for women have a soft panel at the front of the waist so they’re more comfortable to wear when you’re bent over in an aerodynamic position. There are shorts, as well, that have minimal amounts of sticky rubber at the leg- a very nice feature if your skin gets irritated by the no slip hem. The con of the softer, no-grip hem is that the shorts will ride up as you move your legs. Professionals and fairly serious cyclists consider this to be bad form and prefer to wear shorts that stay put and ride smoothly. As far as chamois shape is concerned, women’s chamois tend to be wider in the rear, narrower in the front and shorter overall than men’s (just like women’s saddles!). The panels of the chamois are designed differently, too with a groove in the middle to “alleviate pressure on soft-tissue” (euphamism for “doesn’t hurt your vag”). Try on as many pairs as you can until you find a chamois that fits your body.

3. The more expensive the short, the longer the shorts should last and the denser the chamois will be. A denser chamois will get you through the longer/longest rides and a thinner one is perfect for hot, short rides or spinning. And sometimes, less is more! If you are looking for a short to wear commuting or under skirts during casual summer rides, you might even look into getting a pair of triathlon shorts. They will be a little cheaper and have very minimal padding. A $20-40 pair of shorts is a great investment if you’re doing 10-20mi/day and like to wear your shorts under something, like a skirt. The more expensive shorts, since they have a denser chamois, will feel diapery if you wear them walking around. You also don’t want to keep a pair of wet, sweaty shorts on for very long. Take care of your lady-parts and change!

4. No short is complete without chamois cream. Period. It seems gross at first, but trust me, you want an anti-chafing cream for those long rides. Regardless of how nicely your shorts fit, or how much money you invested in them, if they’re dry when your riding they will eventually become a sweaty chafing mess. Try Butt Butt’r if you want something simple and unscented. DZ Bliss is a high end cream for the ladies (DZ Nuts is the men’s version. It’s mentholated, so stay far far away from it, unless you like to have the tingles). Belljum Butter is an all natural cream that is paraben free and niiiice! If you have saddle-sores after your ride, use some zinc oxide cream overnight. It’s essentially baby-diaper cream (which you can use, too) without the baby-scent.

Go try on as many pairs of shorts as you can muster the patience for! If you are still unsure about wearing cycling shorts but are having problems with discomfort and chafing, there are a couple things you can do to help. Wear a wicking underwear, like the ExOfficio travel boy-shorts. Or you can wear stretch pants/shorts with no underwear to minimize the seam problem. Wearing skirts while in the city is also a breezy and classy way to aid in solving the sweaty nethers problem and will let you air out the parts during and after riding. All in all, ride in something comfortable and you’ll want to ride more! I highly encourage everyone to have at least 1 pair of nice cycling shorts in their closet. When someone suggests a longer ride, you won’t be held back by your wardrobe! Get out and have fun, go on adventures, and don’t hold back!

****Note: Yeast infections, UTI’s, and jock-itch are all related and upcoming articles! The prevalence of these conditions in the hot summer months is a confluence of saddle/shorts/overall health. Having nice shorts will help, but getting the right saddle is even more important!

11 Jul


BFF 2010


on July 11, 2010   comments 0

The Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) is in its tenth year, and some very dedicated people are organizing the Minneapolis leg of the fest beginning this Thursday, July 15th, and ending with a big party on Saturday, July 17th.  If you would like to know more about the BFF, visit the Minneapolis page here:

Grease Rag Group Ride to BFF @MIA!

To kick off the BFF there is an organized group ride meeting at Gold Medal Park at 5pm, rolling out to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) for a FREE showing of some BFF films.  The rest of BFF is unfree, so take advantage of this event!

Grease Rag will be at the group ride, wearing some green and white (ribbons, shirts, whatever you got)- come on out and show some solidarity.  I'll also have lots of extra ribbons on me.

Grease Rag is CANCELED for 7/15.  Don't fret, we'll be back on August 5th!

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07 Jul


Happy birthday!


on July 7, 2010   comments 0

Grease Rag turns one today!

Mmmm Cupcakes!!!
Via: / CC Attribution 2.0

Special birthday shout-outs to Dr. Durkee in SF, Jamie and Shayne +crew at Sunrise Cyclery, our skill-share facilitators, volunteer organizers (KatMargoat!  MA!  BruzoLeeSusanNickel!  ...too many to list here!), and most of all Grease Rag would like to shout out to the women/ trans/ femmes that come in on every 1st and 3rd Thursdays and make this thing happen.

In the past year we've created this blog, taught each other about riding in the winter, vehicular cycling and roadside repair.  You came for open shop nights twice a month ALL YEAR LONG to teach and learn about bicycle mechanics.  We've had the opportunity to ride together on group rides, and there's never a shortage of events for us to get down/ race/ eat cupcakes. If you missed any of this,we've done some documenting along the way.

We consider ourselves fortunate that we have so many friends and allies- It is amazing that we have been able to sustain Grease Rag for a year solely on your donations, time, and kindness.

Mosaic 3/6/2010

Here's to another year!  We will be benefiting from a sweet calendar project, racing in Babes in Bikeland, collaborating with other women and trans groups, and keepin' on with our 1st and 3rd Thursdays.

So... Is anyone interested in having a party?

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