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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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!

07 May
2013

1 Comments

Body Glide

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on May 7, 2013   comments 1

A guest post by Nickey Robare, dropping humorous truth about preventing thigh chafing.

Like perhaps 80% of human beings, my thighs rub together when I walk. Despite the fact that there is a weird craze for "thigh gap" among fitness bloggers, I have never cared about it one way or another. Honestly, it's just another lovely piece of body diversity. Plus, the more I bike, the bigger my thighs get as I pack on the muscle.

Unfortunately, though, my thighs are the bane of my existence in the summer. It wasn't so bad when I lived in the Pacific Northwest and the temperature rarely went above 80 with little to no humidity- I just wore pants or leggings and had no problems. But last summer, my first in the Midwest in over a decade, I quickly realized that summer pants were unbearable  but when it was hot, my thighs would rub together and create a small, raw, painful fire in my nether regions, whether riding my bike or walking. In the past I used Lanacain or Monistat Anti-Chafe Cream (femme sidenote: these products also work great as makeup primer!). Those were ok, but they needed to be reapplied regularly and didn't work very well in the humidity. Then I discovered… BODYGLIDE.

BodyGlide changed my damn life. I bought a package of it at the Runners Room in St. Paul after reading about it in a comment (!) on The Hairpin. It's shocking to me that the wonders of this product are not better known to non-runners, but this stuff is made of goddam magic. It was about $12, which sort of seemed like a lot (it comes in a deodorant sized stick), but it's a year later and I still have a ton left. A little goes a long way.

The "glide" in the name is a bit of a misnomer, as glide implies, like, some sort of slickness. No, BodyGlide forms a waxy protective barrier that stops your skin from getting too sweaty or sticky or friction-y so you don't get chafed. You will not be slip-sliding around as I feared. I've only ever used it on my thighs, but I hear it's also great for shoes that pinch, bras that rub, etc. 

Using BodyGlide means I can spend the summer wearing clothes that feel good without unwanted pain. It means I can be a proud chubby lady wearing whatever the heck I please while I show off my glorious (un-chafed) thighs. Even if you don't have a lot of chub rub when you walk, maybe your thighs rub on your bike saddle when you wear short shorts and it doesn't feel good- well, now your problems are solved!

So, friends, go forth and enjoy a summer of mini-skirts. You can thank me later.

02 May
2013

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Another "30 Days" in the books

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on May 2, 2013   comments 0

30 Days of Biking

Did you take the pledge to bike for 30 days this April?

30 Days of Biking, whose fourth year begins April 1, has one rule: Bike somewhere every day for 30 days—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online. We advocate daily bicycling because we believe it enriches lives and preserves the Earth. A worldwide, thousands-strong community of joyful cyclists has been forming around that idea since April 2010—and will further amass in 2013! We ride our bikes every day.

-30 Days of Biking

I took the pledge!  And then I failed miserably, as far as "every day for 30 days" went, but my bronchitis was not going to allow such activity.  I tweeted when I did ride @greaseragmpls, and you can see I was doing pretty well until I got sick on days 8-15.  I had a lot of fun participating, and I enjoyed seeing other tweets and posts from WTFs biking all April.  (And this April was a toughie, too!)

30 (okay, 22) Days of Biking, from Storify

30 Days of Biking: End Party this Friday, May 3, 9pm at One on One Bike Shop to celebrate biking:

You pledged to ride. Now pledge to celebrate.

Join our community of joyful cyclists in toasting the biggest, most meteorologically bizarre edition of 30 Days of Biking yet. DJ Power Mountain, of Estate, will spin tunes as we sip gratis grain-based beverages aplenty—all within the warm, welcoming confines of North Loop's signature bike shop. Dancing shoes recommended though not required. (We also have many sponsor-licious items to raffle off!)

National Bike Month

Did you know that May is National Bike Month?  The days are warming up, and it is a perfect time to celebrate your bicycle!

National Bike to School Day: May 8

National Bike to Work Week: May 13-17

National Bike to Work Day: May 17

Bike Walk Week, the Minnesota version of National Bike to Work Week, is taking place on June 9-15 this year.  Bike Walk to Work Day will be Wednesday, June 12 this year!  Start planning your bike buses and plan on attending an event in the morning or evening.  It is so cool to see so many people out commuting on one day!

National Bike Challenge

I could tell you all about the National Bike Challenge, but instead, I'll let this incredibly awkward video do it for me.  (Did they record this with a potato?)

YouTube

I'm not normally into tracking trips and miles, but I think I'll give it a try and see how many miles I can track between May 1 and September 30.  Apparently there are prizes and teams, if you're into that kind of thing.  Also.. there's an app you can download.

What else is going on in May??

02 May
2013

1 Comments

Getting excited for bike camping!

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on May 2, 2013   comments 1

Photos from a bike tour

You might recognize this beautiful person, Natalia, especially if you bike in Minneapolis or shop at the West Bank Freewheel Bike Shop where she works.

Photo: Randall Dietel

Gear Junkie just published some photos from Natalia Mendez and Randall Dietel's 400+ mile bike camping trip through WI.  The photos are great, and it looks like a fantastic adventure!

Get pumped

As the last (?) of the spring snow leaves the Twin Cities region, I'm getting PUMPED to go bike camping.  Photos and stories like the one above get me excited to pack up my gear, hop on my bike, and leave my life behind for a day or two.

Also, our climate is changing. The weird weather we've been having is a symptom of systems being affected by global warming/ greenhouse gases.  In general, this fact gives me anxiety... but it also (weirdly enough) motivates me to get outside and enjoy nature.  Because who is to say when we will reach a point where our environment is no longer recognizable as the outdoors we remember from our childhoods?  This may be dramatic, but being aware of climate change has given me a sense of urgency when it comes to experiencing the outdoors.

That was a really weird segue to tell you... I really want to bike camp with you.

3rd Annual Grease Rag Camping Trip

June 15-16, Carver Park Reserve

Remember our past trips?  (2010, 2012)  This trip is going to be perfect for beginners!  Stay tuned, y'all.  It's going to be a fun time.

Update: Changed the date to June 22-23.

23 Apr
2013

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Spring events- Need volunteers!

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on April 23, 2013   comments 0

You know it is spring when we start getting an increase in requests for Grease Rag Ride & Wrench to participate in events!  I would like to present a few of these opportunities here, and see if anyone in the group has interest in volunteering.  Please leave a comment below or email greaseragmpls@gmail.com.  If we have enough volunteer interest, I can answer these requests and start organizing the event.

"Learn to bike"

A woman contacted me and is interested in learning how to bike, with 3-4 of her friends.  They do not have bicycles.  

To make this event happen we would need a location to learn to ride, bikes, and 2-4 volunteers.  I have ideas for locations.  As for bikes, we have several community partners that would be candidates for providing bicycles for a few hours.  These volunteers would not need to have any experience teaching people how to ride, because I have experience and would be very willing to help you teach!  Ideally, "learn to ride" classes should be a series, but because we do not have that capacity (unless a community partner wants to create a series) this will be a 2-4 hour event.

Beeyond a Bike Workshop

May 25Beeyond a Bike will teach a wheel-building class.  Beeyond a Bike, a Canadian woman passionate about bicycles, social justice, women and outreach, is traveling on a mobile bike shop across North America, then the length of Africa offering inclusive bike mechanic education and workshops as she goes.

To make this event happen we need to partner with a space, sell tickets, purchase supplies, and the time of 2 or more volunteers.

If there is not enough interest in the workshop, Beeyond a Bike is interested in other ideas for the mobile bike shop, including a "Learn & Ride": 30-45 minutes learning how to do a quick tune up then bike as a group to a fun destination, etc.

"Spring Into Biking"

Saturday, June 1, 11-4p Freewheel, the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and the Midtown Greenway Coalition are planning a "Spring Into Biking" event similar to Freewheel's Winter Bike Expo, with the goal of getting warm weather cyclists excited about biking again.  There will be safety, equipment, and cyclist's rights, etc. classes all day, in addition to live music, bike demos, fat bike course, activities for kids, info tables, etc.

How would we like to be involved?  A bike tune-up station with our community partners, tabling, a demo, a group ride?  They are open to suggestions.

Girl Scouts- Bike maintenance and handling

Sunday, June 2, 2-4p, at Brookview Park in Golden Valley, a Girl Scout troop of 33+ K-4th grade girls would like to have us teach them about how to use gears, bike sizing, safety, and some maintenance.  This group includes 21, 7-8 year olds, and 12, 9-11 year olds, and there may be an additional troop of 5-7 year olds that join.

To make this event happen they have requested that we have 1 instructor: 3 participants, and volunteers would need to be able to come before 2 to set up and stay after 4 to clean up.

Corcoran GROWS- Local Economy Fair

Saturday, July 20, Corcoran GROWS, a local transition town initiative, is hosting a Local Economy Fair, which is going to include a variety of Do-It-Yourself workshops for neighbors.  They would like Grease Rag to lead some kind of bike repair clinic in Corcoran Park.

To make this event happen we would need 2 volunteers.  I can provide a script for giving a presentation and practice with volunteers if they don't feel confident presenting, but topics can be things like, "How to lube your chain," and, "How to clean your bike," or, "How to change a flat."  I can provide tools and a bike stand if necessary.  They are also open to having us do something else at the fair.

23 Apr
2013

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What would a nerd wear?

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on April 23, 2013   comments 0

It is not unusual for me to develop a blog crush.  So many smart and talented people write about what they are passionate about, for no other payment than the satisfaction of connecting with people through the mighty intertubes.

What Would a Nerd Wear

Although the blog has not been updated in a year, I still go back and flip through the posts.  Tania started taking photos of her outfits and posting everything from, "Hi, Mom!" to book recommendations ("nerd"= bibliophile), as "an experiment for [herself], to try to dress a little more creatively with a limited wardrobe and budget."

And the best part?

"I ride my bicycle pretty much everywhere, so most of my outfits are bike-friendly."

Score!

She wrote a guest post on Simply Bike about bike dates, and I love that she says,

While all of these dates have been special to me, I think it’s our daily bicycle date–our easy 2 mile route to campus together–which has become my favorite of all. It’s our chance every morning to breathe in the fresh air together, watch the leaves turn and the weather change, and catch up with one another. We ride together in the rain, on the crisp fall days, through the roasting humid days of summer and every day through the winter when we are so bundled in our balaclavas and hats that we can barely hear each other. Some of our best and sweetest conversations have been side by side on our bicycles on our daily route to campus.

Only by bicycle can a commute become a date. And I’m lucky enough to date the handsomest commuter on the road.

Dawwww...

For inspiration, check out some of her "winter (it must be a little warmer there) favorites",

and some of her "spring favorites", because we can't really decide which season it is yet.

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