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!

09 Feb
2018

1 Comments

Day 9 of Loving MN Winter 2018

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on February 9, 2018   comments 1

I #LoveMnWinter! Today, I love reading.

By Lucy Roberts

Today I love Minnesota winter because it gives me the opportunity to spend hours at the library and get my reading game on.

I live in Hennepin County, and our library system rules! I could talk about the benefits of libraries forever. Most important to me, they are FREE places for community members to access a variety of resources and just spend time in a warm place. I’m grateful I can walk to my nearest library, so even when I’m feeling lazy I still have access to thousands of books, online resources and other humans with minimal effort on my end. 

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. I love how supportive they are of me (basically) loitering in their building for hours.

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*Actual footage of me walking home from the library with all my books 

I love reading! And the cold winter temps, darker and shorter days have provided me the opportunity to say “yes” to reading and expanding my mind and saying “no” to going out.

Here is a list of books I’ve checked out from the library since December. I don’t recommend all of them, some of them are just fluff to take my mind off the cold, but some of them have really changed my mindset and resulted in new rituals.

  • The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures, Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton
  • Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World, Rosalind Wiseman
  • The Blood of Emmett Till, Timothy B. Tyson
  • Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, Peggy Orenstein
  • What Happened, Hillary Clinton
  • Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!, Kris Carr
  • Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive, Kristen J. Sollee
  • Wheatgrass Nature's Finest Medicine: The Complete Guide to Using Grass Foods, Steve Meyerowitz; Robert Ross; Michael Parman; Nancy Flaxman
  • Unqualified, Anna Faris
    Why Suffer?: How I Overcame Illness & Pain Naturally, Ann Wigmore
  • The Curated Closet, Anuschka Rees
  • Year of No Sugar: A Memoir, Eve Schaub 


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.

07 Feb
2018

2 Comments

Day 7 of Love MN Winter 2018

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on February 7, 2018   comments 2

I #LoveMnWinter. Today, I love popcorn.

By Patrick Weber

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The past few weeks I have been trying to figure out how to sum up my first winter bike season. Popcorn. The smell of it as I heat up my hand warmers in the morning, and get ready to ride out at 5 a.m. in the darkness. I look forward to my morning commute — it's quiet, still, and always a new adventure with how the road conditions will be after a snowfall or a frigid night bringing icy roads. I enjoy dusting off the snow on my bike, and watching others on my street dust off snow on their cars and pre heating their vehicles as I heat up my own community with my own body. I keep in the back of my mind how the streets were so later on the Grease Rag road reports I can let my community know what to expect.

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Winter season views are the most beautiful, and I get to enjoy them more as I bike past the glitterly lights and snow. Stay calm and beautiful, Minnesota.

After opening my coffee shop for the day, I get to enjoy a latte or earl grey tea, and warm up slowly and watch people as they walk through the building trying to stay warm, and I remember not too long ago my fingers were almost frozen while the rest of my body was overheating a bit from an extra layer.

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Always fun to see who else joined me with biking on negative degree, snowy days. Some days, my bike is forever alone.

Going home for the day, I put my hand warmers in the microwave at work. Smell popcorn in the air, and ponder what I am going to do for the rest of the day. Maybe bike to a friend’s house. Enjoy the sun a bit more by talking a walk to get food. I get home and take off my gloves and popcorn smells remain on my hand and a smile is brought to my face.

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Shout-out to Juice So Good for providing me daily ginger shots! Honestly without them I may have gotten the winter crud five times by now.

Popcorn. A simple treat, just like winter biking. You can add more flavor to it, or keep the it at the basics of corn and butter. I chose to keep things simple this year, and ride my normal commute bike, just with some winter flare. 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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Oh yeah. Lookin’ good.

Thank you Grease Rag, and thank you to my big sister Carolyn for showing me the world of winter biking through community support, open shops, and sending me supplies. I look forward to riding out the rest of the season with you all, and enjoying that first day of spring together. Maybe we can have a group ride to an outdoor movie and enjoy some popcorn together.

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.

06 Feb
2018

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Day 6 of Loving Winter 2018

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on February 6, 2018   comments 0

Day 6 of Loving Winter 2018

I #lovemnwinter! Today, I shamelessly love winter!

My past #ilovemnwinter top ten lists highlighted the noblest of ideas (starting a book club, knitting, meditating) while leaving some of the most honest reasons behind. This year, I’m sharing the dregs of those lists, the “not ready for publishing” reasons, the bottom ten that I probably shouldn’t share but they are really real reasons to #lovemnwinter.

 

In winter, I shamelessly love:

10. Looking in your windows

The long dark nights of winter let me peer into other people’s houses. I check out their furnishings, what they’re eating for dinner, and hope that I see something super weird or mysterious. One of these times, I’ll save someone’s life or solve a murder mystery.

 

9. Avocados

These buggers are bougie AF! But, avocados become more affordable when they are in season! 3/$3 at CUB Foods!

 

8. Excuses

These are abundant this time of year. “My car won’t start.” “I have a cough.” “It’s too dangerous to go out.”

 

7. Touching

There is nothing more satisfying than for someone with icicle feet to shove their cold appendages into the warm crevasses and folds of a warmer human being’s body.

 

6. Leaving the dog poop under piles and piles of beautiful white snow blankets

What poop?

 

5. Doing nothing important

Crank up the water heater and boil water for two hour baths. Follow this with pajamas all day, drinking heavy beer while marathon watching Lord of the Rings extended versions and ordering take-out. #livingmybestme

 

4. Sparkly gifs

Who makes these things? Why do they exist? Why can’t I stop looking at them?

 

3. Not washing my clothes

Since there is NO WAY my body stench is permeating 3 layers of long johns, four tops, and a dozen socks, I'm just gonna keep wearing that outer shell without washing it for weeks/months.

 

2. Killing winter free-time

MN Summer weekends/days are too sacred to spend them anywhere but here. But, what harm is it to miss out on a blustery February day in MN to visit family in North Dakota, Iowa, or Milwakee? Why not schedule that surgery that will take weeks to recover from in the middle of our harshest months? Dentist appointments? Schedule it all for a MN winter!

 

1. Lying to myself

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.

 


Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February of 2016. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

05 Feb
2018

1 Comments

Day 5 of Loving MN Winter 2018

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on February 5, 2018   comments 1

I #LoveMnWinter! Today, I love the dark.

By Carolyn Szczepanski

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I’ve always been an early riser.

I love the way the world feels at 5 a.m., still slumbering but with the undercurrent of dreams conjuring the hopeful trajectory of what the day will bring.

In winter, those pre-dawn hours feel all the more magical with the bright outline of snow edging the dark buildings, the tiny footprints of rabbits criss-crossing the yard, the soft crunch of powder and ice under my boots, the delicate strength of tree branches crackling against the sky like metallic lace, and the ritual of bundling up to meet nature at her most pointed.

But most of all 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. 

 

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.

04 Feb
2018

0 Comments

Day 4 of Loving Winter 2018

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on February 4, 2018   comments 0

I #lovemnwinter!  Today, I love difficulty.

Last night, my partner and I got two rather ominous fortune cookies:

  • A dose of adversity is often as needful as a dose of medicine.
  • All things are difficult before they are easy.

Biking in winter is a challenge, it takes preparation, fortitude, and a certain level of physical well-being. Early this winter I suffered an embarrassing short-term injury (unrelated to biking) that required time and rest to fully heal. Often seeing cyclists while making trips across the cities by foot and by bus made me feel so jealous and impatient for my body to heal. My internal monologue was overtaken by shouted “Should” phrases when I saw cyclists:


I should be on that bike!

I should be able to do that now!

I should be moving my body staying warm instead of waiting for this bus in the wind!


Getting back on my bike after I healed felt both like the light at the end of the tunnel and the beginning of a whole second tunnel. 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. I’ve heard this is called Type 2 fun, fun after the fact-- fun to accomplish. Watching cyclists push through and often walk through my forever-unplowed bike boulevard street during the last 1-foot snowfall reminded me that everyone shares the difficulty and the joy of accomplishment.

Winter is a great teacher, and this winter is teaching me that the difficult things are always going to be there, and they often become easier with practice and patience.


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