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

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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!

31 Jul


Contribute to Taking the Lane #8


on July 31, 2012   comments 1

Grease Rag friend and bicycle activist Elly Blue just announced the theme for Taking the Lane #8: Childhood.  We are also collecting stories about Biking with Kidlets here at Grease Rag, so you know it's a hot topic.  Do you have a story you could share, either here, or with TTL?

Here are details about contributing to #8, from Taking the Lane:

It’s time to start working in earnest on the next issue. I recently emailed my zine subscribers with a call for submissions for #8, tentatively on the topic of “bicycle memories.” Several great essays came in immediately: An early childhood memory of running away from home by bicycle, and a mom’s meditation about her three kids learning to ride. I like that, (and I’m also inspired by Sarah Gilbert’s new literary magazine for parents) so I’m going to make that the theme.

So. It’s official. Taking the Lane Volume 8: Childhood is open for submissions. The family bicycling movement is huge, and I know that you cycling parents out there have a lot to say that’s funny, serious, sassy, important. Or maybe it’s your own childhood or your child-free family planning you want to write about. Or maybe it’s the kids you teach or the ones you see roll past your house on those adorable run bikes. It’s a big topic and I’ve got a big tent here.

Technical details: Send your nonfiction missives by August 15th to elly at takingthelane dot com. Under 1,000 words (very short is fine). Finished pieces or pitches are fine. Illustrations are also sought. Questions are great.


Elly Blue has put together a Kickstarter page which includes a video and some REALLY creative rewards for donating!  Give a dollar or twenty, you know this will be a quality project, given the quality of the other Taking the Lane Zines.  A fave of mine!

30 Jul


Como to Hmongtown Marketplace Ride


on July 30, 2012   comments 0

From Bike Walk Twin Cities' Facebook:

Join St. Paul Smart Trips on a guided group bike ride from the Como Lakeside Pavilion to the Hmongtown Marketplace Saturday, August 4th from 10 a.m. to noon. The ride will include a guided tour of the Marketplace and will showcase recent bike-friendly improvements along Como—bike lanes, bike signage and safer crosswalks—funded though Bike Walk Twin Cities.

The four-mile round-trip ride starts at the Como Lakeside Pavilion at 10 a.m. with a brief safety check and a review of the bike route. A tour guide at the Marketplace will help participants explore the flavors and culture of Southeast Asia. Experienced ride leaders will ensure that no one gets left behind—it’s a “no-drop ride.” 

The group will return to the Pavilion by noon. Participants should bring cash and a bag to carry purchases. Smart Trips will bring water and snacks to keep you fueled. Free gifts to the first 20 people!

We encourage RSVPs. Email or call 651-224-8555 #23

The bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Como are funded by Bike Walk Twin Cities, a program of Transit for Livable Communities, through the Federal Highway Administration. 

St. Paul Smart Trips is a local nonprofit that works to improve access and mobility for those who travel in and around St. Paul. Working with Bike Walk Move, Smart Trips has created a map highlighting the great destinations along Como, featuring the biking, walking and transit routes to reach those destinations from the Southeast Como neighborhood in Minneapolis all the way to the Capitol. The map is available at neighborhood businesses, district council offices, coffee shops and libraries along Como.

28 Jul


More thoughts on Cycle Chic


on July 28, 2012   comments 2

The Cycle Chic movement is perplexing to me.  I enjoyed the conversation that Elly Blue had with Elly Kristin Tieche in Momentum Magazine back in October, especially the points that Elly (I respect you as a professional, but is it cool if we are on a first name basis, E.B.?) made about cycle chic objectifying women and instead of getting more women on bikes, is focusing more on making us conscious of our body image while riding.  Elly revisits this topic in a recent post over at her blog, Taking the Lane.

I hypothesize that Cycle Chic’s true message and appeal is at its base, at least in North America, is that it seeks to normalize a gendered code of conduct that, sadly, still holds considerable appeal among both sexes. Its message is that bicycling can be a means of, rather than a barrier to, conforming to a certain set of standards of gender and class stereotypes. Access to these standards is far from universal.

In order to truly break down barriers to bicycling, it’s necessary to understand what those barriers are; which requires listening to people, rather than mocking them. It will also require, perhaps to the chagrin of Cycle Chic purists, a whole hell of a lot of activism. I don’t know about Denmark, but here in the US there’s a lot of work to be done on multiple fronts of gender parity and cycling policy, from the floors of community bike shops to the halls of Congress. Great things can certainly be achieved while wearing high heels, but never solely by doing so.

I really encourage you to visit Taking the Lane and read the rest of what Elly has to say.  And please, read the comments!  There are some really interesting discussions happening around the complex Cycle Chic movement, feminism, safety... what do you think??

26 Jul


Square Lake Festival 2012


on July 26, 2012   comments 0

The Square Lake Film & Music Festival, four years ago, was my first bike camping trip!  It is one of the highlights of my summer.  I hope you'll come along for the 10th Anniversary of the Festival- you won't regret it!

August 11-12

The BEST thing about the Festival, in addition to camping and music and dancing and films... are that it is only $5 if you bike from the Cities!  Tickets will sell out: Online advance tickets ($20), biker discount tickets ($5), and tickets at the door ($30). Kids 12 and under are free.

There is a SAG wagon that will take some of your gear out there for you if you register and meet up with one of the group rides:

Minneapolis bikers will meet at the HUB Bike COOP, 3020 Minnehaha Ave South, at 9:30 AM and depart at 10AM on Saturday the 11th. A sag wagon will be on hand to carry camping gear for registered riders.

St. Paul bikers will meet at Cycles For Change (formerly Sibley Bike Depot), 712 University Avenue St. Paul, at 10 AM and depart at approximately 10:30 AM when the Mpls bikers arrived. Summit will be on hand to transport camping gear for St. Paul bikers.

Icehouse will be catering the event this year.  (But I always bring snacks anyway!) BYOB.

This is the schedule for the Festival:

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25 Jul


Team Rêve Completes TDF Route!


on July 25, 2012   comments 0

Protected between the two vehicles, with the horns of both cars blaring, we rode six abreast for the final kilometer. Traffic flowed around us, sometimes honking support and sometimes just honking. The chaos was unimaginable and along the side of the road every person walking on the sidewalk stopped to take pictures, wave and cheer. Photographers darted out to get a better shot. The din was so surprising and overwhelming that all we could do was grin stupidly and look at each other every so often to confirm that it was really happening. Two blocks from the Arc de Triomphe we began to spot our families among the crowds and when we stopped pedaling, they mobbed us: Maria had 12 people fly in from Puerto Rico!

Following up our introduction to Team Rêve earlier this month, this is part of Heidi Swift's account of the final kilometer of the Tour de France route, which she finished alongside the other five women on her team, Kate Powlison, Jennifer Cree, Kym Fant, Kristen Peterson and Maria del Pilar Vazquez.  Read the rest of the exciting conclusion at The Oregonian.

Way to go, Team Rêve!  This was a massive physical undertaking for a group of amateur cyclists, and I'm sure the pressure was on to finish, and finish strong.  I love the visibility that they are getting, and I hope that their effort inspires other women to push the boundaries of what they think is possible.

If you have not checked out Heidi Swift's articles written on the Tour at peloton magazine, please read them.  They are spectacular pieces of writing and they make you feel like you're a part of the adventure.  I find it really amazing that Swift was able to write after some of the grueling stages that she and her team rode.  N'abandonne jamais!

The following is an excerpt from "REVE: Stage 13. Friday the 13th."

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