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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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!

22 Feb
2018

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Day 22 of Loving MN Winter

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on February 22, 2018   comments 0

I #LoveMnWinter! Today, I love making healing foods.

By Low Kling

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I love making healing foods for myself and others. Sometimes I do it with my small business, Pickle Witch (picklewitch.org). 

Flu and sickness season has descended upon us. It seems as though the flu is manifesting itself as an upper respiratory virus this year, and I am seeing my community going down right and left! 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.

One of the things I have been selling a lot this cold/flu season is "fire cider." I have 16 oz of fire cider, with the option of a 6 oz container of grade A, local, raw honey. Everything you need to help your body combat illness! (Email picklewitchmagic@gmail.com if you'd like to order some.)

What is fire cider?

“Fire cider” is a bunch of good stuff, steeped in organic apple cider vinegar. It’s a warming tonic, a home remedy, that boosts your immune system and has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-oxidant properties. And it tastes good!

What's so great about raw honey?

Some brands put honey in the tonic, but I know that everyone likes a different level of sweetness, and some of you don’t do honey as a part of a commitment to cruelty free ethics. So I offer #sidehoney.

This honey is extremely local, and very special. Beez Kneez (thebeezkneezdelivery.com/) is a woman-owned business in Minneapolis that does amazing work to educate and advocate for pollinators. They extract their honey using bicycles, deliver their honey by bike, and even bike deliver to your home! They are committed to raw honey- no heat/pasteurization is used, which means more natural goodness for us.

This honey is “zip sourced” in the 55406, thanks to hive host Ghandi Mahal- a Minneapolis restaurant with amazing food, first closed-loop aquaponics system ever installed in a Minnesota restaurant, very supportive of urban agriculture. This is all made possible by Beez Kneez partnering with different urban institutions to host bees, teach, and advocate for the health of our pollinator friends.

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How should I consume fire cider?

Fire cider is not a “cider,” but an apple cider vinegar tonic. Drink it in small amounts, either straight up, added to water or juice, or as a vinegar replacement in recipes.

I typically put a half a shot to a couple shots (1-2oz or 1-4 tablespoons) into a glass of warm water with a big spoonful of raw honey, once or twice a day. Smaller doses throughout the day are recommended if you feel a cold coming on.

Is fire cider for everyone? All the time?

I certainly enjoy drinking my fire cider, but it is not for everyone. If you don’t like it, or it doesn’t make you feel good- don’t drink it! If you drink it straight, be sure to chase it with some water, because the acidity can be bad for your teeth. For some people, drinking a large amount of apple cider vinegar can cause diarrhea. I don’t like to drink it at night, because the spiciness doesn’t agree with me close to bedtime. But every body is different! So take it slow, try it out, and remember to drink plenty of water.

What is in Pickle Witch fire cider?

Because fire cider is a home remedy, there are many many variations on the classic “ginger-garlic-chili-citrus-apple cider vinegar” recipe. It is really important to use organic/chemical-free ingredients because, after a month of steeping, the end product is saturated with whatever you put into it. This is my favorite recipe! (Medicinal information mostly gleaned from Rosemary Gladstar’s work.)

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Raw, unpasteurized, organic apple cider vinegar
The base of this tonic, acv contains beneficial probiotics and is good for digestive health.

Turmeric
Anti-inflammatory, warming, and supports your immune system.

Horseradish
This makes the air around you SPICY! Great for clearing your sinuses

Ginger
Good for upset stomachs, and in general warms up and gets your digestion moving. It is also an anti-inflammatory.

Garlic
Antibacterial, and good for your blood system. There’s not much I don’t use garlic for.

Onions
They produce a viscous substance that is antibacterial and soothing for throats and sinuses.

Rosemary
Antibacterial, boosts the immune and circulatory system.

Citrus
Good source of vitamin C, and good for your skin and mood.

Jalapenos
Emerging research shows the antibacterial properties of capsaicin. Peppers are also good for warming, clearing sinuses, and hear health.

Honey
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, honey is especially nutritious when raw. (Heat destroys some of its natural healing properties.) And it is delicious!

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I love making these kinds of things for and with my community. Health is wealth, Friends!

 

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and sign up to share a post in 2018 here. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

21 Feb
2018

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Day 21 of Loving MN Winter

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on February 21, 2018   comments 1

I #LoveMnWinter! Today, I love Grease Rag!

By Kat McCarthy
 
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Do you know why I love biking in winter? Because of you! Because of Grease Rag! Because of this incredible community we have created, nurtured, and grown! Y'all breathe life into me daily with your positivity, comradery, and encouragement! Seriously!  
 
These are a few of my favorite things... 
 
Let's start with the Grease Rag Winter Skill Share: This event has happened every November for the last NINE years! This is where we get new riders prepared for the changing seasons. We cover how to dress, how to maintain your bike, how to keep your mind and body healthy, and how to stay seen and stay safe! Thank you to all our organizers and presenters for sharing your skills and labor to grow our community. 

The Winter Gear Swap: This has been such an important addition to our annual skillshare. Accumulating winter biking gear can be expensive, and the gear swap aims to provide more people with access to gently used clothing and accessories to make winter riding easier. If you bought something to try this winter, but didn't end up using it, bring it in to the next swap so someone else can give it a try! 

Full Moon Rides and Craft Nights: What a great excuse to get out and ride, appreciate the moon, warm up with a hot drink. Thank you to our ride leaders and destination hosts.

Open Shops and Cleaning Parties: How else are you going to keep your winter ride in good condition? Our open shop nights happen all year round and are a great place to let your bike dry out and give it the attention it deserves. Thank you to our facilitators and partner shops for keeping the doors open and accessible!
 
Grease Rag Facebook Group: Y'all contribute so much good content! Need to know the road conditions for your morning commute? Need some advice on which gloves to buy or how to keep your skin moisturized? Want to give a fellow commuter a shout out? Want to make sure you're not alone and that you've got this?  Check the group!  
 
Selfies! I love them! Keep 'em coming!  

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. 

And lastly, the #ILoveMNWinter blog series: Such a heartwarming, uplifting daily stream, when we all need it most: February. Thanks for starting the tradition, Low! Thanks Carolyn for uploading the content! 
 
Photo by Ellie Kingsbury
 

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and sign up to share a post in 2018 here. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

 

20 Feb
2018

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Day 20 of Loving MN Winter

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on February 20, 2018   comments 1

I #LoveMnWinter! Today, I love our community. 

By Shruthi Kamisetty

shruthi-cropped.jpgWinter can wear you out! And, as someone who didn't grow up with Minnesota winters, living in the region for the last seven years has been quite an experience.

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.

I'm thankful for my community here, Grease Rag for the wisdom and skill sharing and appreciating the way winter tranforms our city. I love to #FemmeItup with large earrings, bright lipsticks and my loyal grapeseed oil moisturizer that keeps me healthy biking and feeling good!! I have so much appreciation for this community, for all us badasses out there biking, taking the bus, walking, rolling and driving!

I've grown to love the satisfaction that comes with finding a soft rut in the snow I can bike in after a fresh snow fall, the sound of biking over shallow ice on the greenway, biking on fresh snow and for all winter things! Our bodies are resilient and I've found more balance in these winter months — taking time for myself, self reflection, healing, resting and just being.


Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and sign up to share a post in 2018 here. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

19 Feb
2018

1 Comments

Day 19 of Love MN Winter

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on February 19, 2018   comments 1

I #LoveMnWinter! Today, I love bike-joring!  

By Tina Cho

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A joy shared is a joy doubled!

Winter is a less than easy time for me; the (significant) additional considerations brought on by plummeting temperatures and non-Hawaii weather are a weighty addition to gallivanting around outside. For me, I've found that that finding ways to add a "pro" to my list of "why I should leave my apartment" list can far outweigh the "con" column.

Cue: Bike-joring!

This winter, my wonderful fiancee cajoled me into trying a new sport/activity: giving each other joy rides on a sled dragged behind our bikes! The fun of this activity is compounded by e-bikes (although the e-bikey-ness in no way diminishes the physical effort required to drag an adult around on a sled!) Check out the POV video shot by Anna Min!

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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. Stay warm, friends!

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Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and sign up to share a post in 2018 here. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

18 Feb
2018

1 Comments

Day 18 of Loving MN Winter

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on February 18, 2018   comments 1

I #LoveMnWinter! Today I love stripping away the excess.

By Elissa Schufman, she/her/hers

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There’s no room on my bike for extra layers of clothes, for more weight in my panniers. In the summer I throw in whatever I might need — a change of clothes, a water bottle or two, a book in case I get there early. Winter demands a price for thoughtless overload. I pay it every time I put on one layer too many and arrive at my destination soaking wet, smelling like the cold. The payment returns as a lesson, and the next time I know better.

There’s no autopilot on my winter bike. The dark, cold days force me to think ahead, plan my route, check the weather, charge my lights. I peer at the road on sunny 25-degree days, wondering what’s ice and what’s water. I leave work early whenever I can to catch a ride home in the sunlight. I brace myself for everything: popping a tube, getting stuck, falling down, uncontrolled cars, late buses. I am unequivocally, unapologetically aware.

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. They force me to ask myself: What lifts me up? Who brings me energy? Why do I give my time away to people and things I don’t even like, that don’t even matter? When faced with my limits, what do I choose? Can I choose myself? Do I even know how?

There are no illusions. Everything narrows. I say no to others, then no to myself. I imagine I have the time, but there’s never enough energy. My reservoir comes up empty, and I am challenged to find ways to keep it full. I listen to the rhythm of the dryer as it tosses my clothes. I lay on the floor and stretch my arms above my head. I devour book after book after book. I actually eat breakfast.

There are no regrets. I fall down, and I get up again. I test my limits. I give myself permission to rest. I laugh uncontrollably when my body is sore. I watch the snowfall. I stop on the bridge and marvel at the sunset. I walk through the slush. I carry the bounty of endless gratitude. I remind myself be grateful, to fight for more, to be present. I listen to myself, and say over and over and over again, I have arrived.


Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and sign up to share a post in 2018 here. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

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