Grease Rag Ride & Wrench


We encourage and empower women/ trans/ femme (WTF) 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.

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03 Dec
2009

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Winter Bicycle Maintenance and Cleaning Recap

by

on December 3, 2009   comments 0

It's snowing outside today, the perfect time to post a recap on our winter bicycle maintenance and cleaning segment.  Thank you for the demonstration and write-up, Shayne!

Winter Bicycle Maintenance and Cleaning Recap
Keeping your bike clean is the key to ensuring your ride doesn’t fall apart before spring and it will save you money on costly repairs. Most people have a “winter shitter” that they use during the snowy months. It’s a good idea to have a second bike for the winter season. But if you don’t, that’s okay. It just means you’ll want to clean and maintain your bike more often and more thoroughly.

Every few days
You want to do a basic cleaning every couple of days to remove all the salt and grime. SALT IS YOUR WORST ENEMY! It will rust and destroy everything. The main things you want to clean are:

1. The frame- Every inch of the frame should be cleaned off to remove the nasty salt. Spray down the whole bike and wipe off with a rag. Handlebars, fork and around the headset, frame, pedals, cranks, wheels. You can purchase a bike cleaner spray from your local bike shop or the Simple Green brand spray works well too.
2. All gears- Remove all the built up grease and grime with a rag. Old toothbrushes and q-tips work well too.
3. The chain- Clean the chain with a rag and degreaser then re-lube it. Running it through all the gears after. If there's a lot of  built up gunk on your chain, use q-tips to get in between each link.
4. Wheels- The rims of the wheels need to be scrubbed well.  Don't forget to clean your spokes! Keeping the spokes free of salt will extend the life or your wheel set. Putting a drop or two of  lube where the nipple meets the rim will also help remove/repel salt. Also, clean the hub with a rag. Shoving a rag inside the spokes works well.
5. The cranks- Be sure to get inside and around the bottom bracket. Again, q-tips work wonders here.
6. Fenders- If you have fenders, clean em. Snow salt and grime get built up underneath.

Every two weeks
Every two weeks or so you want to do a more thorough cleaning. Start by doing the basic cleaning steps above.

1. Remove the stem, clean off old grease and apply new grease.
2. Remove the seat post, clean off old grease on the post and inside the frame. Apply new grease to the inside of the frame.
3. Remove the cranks if you have a crank puller, reapply grease and reattach the cranks. If you don’t have a crank puller, no worries. This will be done when you bring your bike in for a spring over-haul.

End of the season
Once the snow stops falling, bring your bike in for an over-haul!

There you have it. The longer your bike stays clean, the longer life it will have. A well-maintained bike also means a smoother ride for you.

-Shayne

26 Nov
2009

1 Comments

The Lone Rider Rides Alone: Learning to Ride with a Group

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on November 26, 2009   comments 1

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! An example of what kind of team-player I am! I started a post on how to ride in a group and never finished it. Sorry, to busy being solo!

Anyhow. Riding in a group was my challenge of the summer. I've been a LONE RIDER for a very long time. Usually 'cycling in a group for me is an exercise in nerves. I either follow and stay off the back or head to the front, waaay to the front, or am a nervous wreck just waiting for the person in front of me to decide to slow-down quickly, stop, swerve, decide to speed up suddenly, or just derby me. I know, I sound frantic and suspicious...but there are a lot of shitty bike-handlers out there and you never know. My philosophy- it's better to be wary than not.

That being said, riding with people can be very rewarding. It's nice to have someone to chat with while you're pedaling along, it's also nice to have someone to draft when it's windy... and no, I did not learn my group riding skills from drafting strange 'cycling dudes on the Greenway! Although you personally have little control over the person next to you, you do have control over yourself and your bike, so here's a few tips by season.

Read through for tips on riding with a group.

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21 Nov
2009

1 Comments

Winter Maintenance Session= Win!

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on November 21, 2009   comments 1

Thank you so much to everyone that came out for the Grease Rag Winter Maintenance Session! 

It was AWESOME to see so many ladies gearing up to ride this winter.  We had about 13 people come out, and by my count there were six new ladies! BIG THANK YOU to Kat, Alex, Margot and Shayne, and Jamie of Sunrise Cyclery!!

There are photos up in a set here, please check them out!  http://www.flickr.com/photos/greaseragmpls/sets/72157622844833683/

There were a few requests at the Grease Rag event: Kat, Alex, Margot and Shayne will be posting short recaps of the information we covered on Thursday. We will be posting some online resources for cyclists, including information about the Guaranteed Ride Home program.

  1. Cleaning and maintaining your ride- Shayne
  2. Tires and fenders recap- Kat
  3. Road safety and tips- Alex
  4. Body warming- Margot
  5. Free online resources- Lowrah

21 Nov
2009

1 Comments

Free Online Resources for Cyclists in the Twin Cities

by

on November 21, 2009   comments 1

These are free online programs and resources that I use as a cyclist in the Twin Cities.   A general list of helpful links for biking in the metro area can be found on the Metro Transit website and includes information on bicycles on trains and buses, bike lockers, maps, and a list of bicycle shops:  http://metrotransit.org/bike/resources.asp

Via: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisgallevo / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you know of other resources, post them in the comments!!

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20 Nov
2009

1 Comments

Comfortable Riding Recap!

by

on November 20, 2009   comments 1

Hello Ladies!  Thank you to all who came out and made last night an awesome Grease Rag!  This post is just a quick recap of how to stay comfortable on your bike during your winter rides - not too cold, not too sweaty!

#1:  Keep track of the weather. What's the temp?  Is it sunny?  Is it overcast?  Are conditions going to stay the same throughout the day?  If you consider these things before you hop on your wheels, you will have a good idea of what to put on to stay dry and comfy.

#2:  Start out cool. Biking generates heat, so don't put on too many clothes!  You can regulate your heat by how fast/slow you go, so if you notice you're a bit chilly, pick up the pace, if you're starting to overheat, slow down a bit.  Generally, when you first step outside, you want to feel a little cold because soon you'll be working hard and you'll be nice and toasty then, but it's no fun to be wet and sweaty when it's cold outside.

Sweat in the winter = ice!

Sweat in the winter = ICE!

#3:  Kick the cotton to the curb! As a rule, anything absorbant is going to make a winter ride muggy and uncomfortable.  You sweat, the cotton/other absorbant material soaks up the sweat, gets wet, and keeps you wet.  Opt for wicking materials next to your skin and use synthetic and other natural fibers like wool that will allow you to stay warm and dry.

#4:  Consider how you ride and the conditions of where you will ride. Are you a commuter?  Are you going for a joy ride?  Are you looking to get in a nice workout?  Where will you be riding?  Roads?  Trails?  All of these things will affect what you want to wear on your ride.

#5:  Listen to your body. When you're riding, note how you feel and the conditions.  Are you comfortable?  Take note of what you're wearing and remember that for next time when conditions are similar.

#6:  Windproof outer layer. I can't express how much I love my windproof outer layer.  It's pretty much a staple in my biking wardrobe from late October until May.  This layer is also usually waterproof/resistant, and therefore perfect for rain/snow/sleet/everything mother nature wants to put in your way to keep you from riding.

#7:  Protect your extremities! Fingers, toes, ears, nose, these things will get colder than your core body.  Make sure you have gear to keep them warm and happy - appropriate socks, skull cap, face covering, gloves.  Frostbite is a bitch.

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