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.

Find a Grease Rag open shop night near you

Testing testing testing

 

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!

05 Feb
2017

1 Comments

Day 5 of Loving Winter 2017

by

on February 5, 2017   comments 1

 I #lovemnwinter!  Today, I love slowing down to speed up.

Staying active in an MN winter is a solid trick for keeping a body warm, bikes upright, and mental health in functional order through very dark months. When facing a super cold front or snowstorm, the #LOVEWINTER smarts kick in and you know to store that energy and stay put. Slowing down to rest, to evaluate options, to strategize your route… when you set out, you know you’re gonna be stronger and equipped with valuable energy to fortify your journey.

I recommend using this technique, slow down to speed up, before facing a particularily mean snowstorm, OR any terrible shitstorm, as you see fit.

This winter, I’ve been “hunkering down” as an opportunity to find my way out of a personal shitstorm of burn out and avoidance. I'm starting by catching up on some reading, ready to strategize a new route forward and it starts by sticking to the work of WTFs and POC authors in my #lovemnwinter reading list:

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America - by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History) - by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement - by Angela Y. Davis

Palante - by Young Lords Party

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - by Michelle Alexander

I’ve also taken some time to examine my financial influence divesting/invest accordingly:

http://www.ussif.org/sribasics

And most importantly, I’ve been plotting that path forward with leadership from my community.

Native Lives Matter

Anti-War Committe

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis

15 Now Minnesota

In these cold months of winter, how are you slowing down?  What are you plotting to do?

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

04 Feb
2017

1 Comments

Day 4 of Loving MN Winter

by

on February 4, 2017   comments 1

I #LoveMNWinter

An it's-ok-to-not-love-MN-winter story

mnwinter.jpg

By Lauren Johnson

I love MN winter. But love does not always look like excitement or appreciation.
 
Sometimes love looks like patience.
 
This January for me, love is skidding out on ice several times and getting up and putting your bike on the bus.
 
Love is taking a lift or a Lyft when you need it.
 
Love is making the hard choice to ride when you know it will feel brutal rather than invigorating.
 
Love is when you do it anyway because you want to reduce carbon emissions or because you want to keep your body strong and healthy or because you set a goal and you're invested in doing a thing.
 
Sometimes love is choosing to forego your immediate comfort to be pushed further or to work for something greater.
 
Other times it means staying home to read, reflect, and take care of yourself.
 
Sometimes I #lovemnwinter means recognizing it (winter) for what it is and doing the best you can with it.
 
Love looks a lot like resilience.
 
Ride on, brave friends! Take care of each other and yourselves no matter how you are feeling about the winter.
 
I'll see you out there!
 
Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

03 Feb
2017

1 Comments

Day 3 of Loving Winter 2017

by

on February 3, 2017   comments 1

I #lovemnwinter! 

This year, I love the fierceness of winter - the winds from the plains stinging my lungs and pushing back at me with every pedal forward. I love that no one can predict winter. We pretend to know what might follow today but really, who are we kidding. I love the dark on my commute, it is a quiet cloak I wrap myself in to think, plan, or maybe just be. I love the snow snarling and stopping the oil-guzzling traffic. I power through on my bicycle. Or perhaps my bike and I watch the chaos from a train window. The snow briefly gets the better of our cities. (Perhaps this a harbinger of things to come.)

I love the midwest winter because, more than ever, this is how I want to be: fierce, unpredictable in my tactics, disrupting the system so that there is space and fertile ground for new seeds to grow come spring.

IMG_1262.jpg

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

02 Feb
2017

0 Comments

Day 2 of Loving Winter 2017

by

on February 2, 2017   comments 0

Day 2 of Loving Winter 2017

I #lovemnwinter!  Today, I love winter wear.

I grew up in a warm place. A very warm place. And I am a cold human. A very cold human. Some have gone so far to wonder if I'm a snake or some other animal unable to regulate their own body temperature disguised as a human. So when I thought about continuing to bike through the winter before I moved to the Twin Cities, the idea seemed foolish and impossible. But then, through posts on Grease Rag, I discovered it was something Actual People Actually Did. In an effort to prove I am the badass I imagine myself to be, I started my quest to bike through a MN winter by gathering clothes that made me feel confident.

First came a few that were legacy items:

  • My mom's snow pants from the 80's! She gave them to me when I was 12, and is shocked I'm still using them.
  • A bright yellow and reflective engineer's jacket from when I lived in Eastern Oregon, and my boss throught it would be funny to get a jacket for the AmeriCorps volunteer that shivered working inside all day. (Jokes on you, Bob! I still use the jacket.)
  • Yellow snow boots with furry tops that keep my toes warm and block the wind. A Christmas present nearly 10 years ago, they still haven't gone out of style. Minnesotans routinely ask me if they are Mukluks, and no, they aren't, because I don't know what those are!
  • Child's ski goggles from my dad, that one time my family ventured out of the South to go skiing when I was 10. I love the red lens!
Then came some less-obvious-to-the-outsider items I found in Minnesota:
  • Fleece-lined leggings! Bless you, oh toasty leggings.
  • Balaclava! Props to the fine folks in Midwest Mountaineering that helped me find one when I came in on a particularly cold and windy day exclaiming "MY FACE HURTS!"
  • Choppers! Thanks to whoever left these on the campus connector... (you'll be glad to know the forces of public transit karma took these choppers from me on the Green Line a year later.)
Hilary_L_WinterWear.jpg
 
Some may say that I look a little overdressed in all my layers, perhaps like the michelin man or that kid from A Christmas Story. "Don't you get hot and sweat?! EW!"

Well yes, I do get toasty, covered in a fine layer of my own breath, and it is GLORIOUSLY WARM. My personal bike-powered sauna! I love wearing all my layers not only because they keep me warm, but because they remind me of all the friends and family that helped me be the badass I am today. Thanks, Grease Rag!
 

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge [http://greaserag.org/user_blogs/lowrah/29-days-of-loving-winter-2016/] to love one thing about winter everyday in February of 2016. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

 

 

 

01 Feb
2017

1 Comments

Day 1 of Loving MN Winter

by

on February 1, 2017   comments 1

In 2014, Low (an amazing Grease Rag founder) created a project to get them through the brutal Minnesota winter. For 29 days they posted stories and pictures and poems about riding through the difficult month of February. In 2015 and 2016 it grew into a beautiful collective effort, with dozens of WTFs sharing what makes them #LoveMnWinter. Follow along for this year's #LoveMNWinter series — and add your name to this list if you'd like to contribute!

I #LoveMNWinter! Today, I love bundling up.

Carolyn_S_scarf.jpgWhen people ask me where I'm from, I generally pause and say, "Well, nowhere really." I was born in Chicago but have bounced around the United States, with a stretch of my childhood in Switzerland and a stint during college in Australia.

Part of that meandering stuck me in the Lone Star State.

Now, I could say many things about Texas, but during a recent 18 months living in Austin I realized how much I love winter.

Austin is indeed a great cycling city — bike infrastructure all over, a wealth of different riding groups and nary a day under 60 degrees. Even I thought the ever-balmy temperatures would be one of the best things about living in the South. But it turned out to be one of the things I hated the most.

As a car-free commuter, having spent the majority of my adulthood riding in Kansas City and Washington, D.C. I had grown accustomed to — and had the wardrobe to match — a four-season climate. About six months into our residence in Austin, I remember putting on a tank top for the umpteenth time in November and telling my partner, "Ugh, this is ridiculous. I miss my scarf."

I honestly don't remember when and where I got my blue scarf — a thrift store sometime in my late teens or early twenties. But I love it. Like, really love it. Like, when I put it on it feels like some sort of Harry Potter thing happens and I'm cozy and safe and protected somehow.

I don't know if it's moving through the world as a woman that makes me feel subconsciously exposed at all times, but I like wearing sweaters and mittens and two pairs of pants. Maybe the layers make me feel bigger in a world that often makes me feel small — or more protected from the hurled insults we all defend against daily when we ride.

But there's also something about feeling... bulky that reminds me to slow down. When I was living a perpetual summer I felt a pressure to go go go all the time. The gray skies of winter remind me that we mammals need moments of hibernation to recharge. The slick streets mandate I slow my cadence and sometimes tell myself, "You know what? If you're late, everyone will not hate you and the world will not end." 

Many people looked at us sideways when we said we were moving from Texas to Minnesota. Why would you choose to live somewhere with such brutal winters, they wondered? For me, the winter was one of the biggest selling points.

And if you could see beneath my beloved blue scarf as I ride around the Twin Cities for my first full winter, you'd probably see me smiling. 

Rendered archive in 0.38965177536011 seconds