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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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!

02 Feb
2014

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Full Moon Ride- Chocolate Fondue Edition

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on February 2, 2014   comments 0

It is that time of the month again!  Full moon will be rising, and on the the auspicious February 14/ Valentines Day date.

This post explains what inspired us to start riding during the full moon, our bike soul sisters, the Ovarian Psycos.

Friday, February 14
Molten Chocolate Moon
Meet at Sunrise Cyclery at 7pm, roll out at 7:30

http://www.geekosystem.com/historical-figure-valentines/

Meet at 7p at Sunrise Cyclery, roll at 7:30.  Mostly trails, this ride is slow and steady, "Muppet speed," and is open to everyone!  Bring lights and a helmet.  DRESS WARMLY.  Bring some snacks or a beverage, respect our moon mother, and HOWL like you mean it.

RSVP on Facebook

 

Next Month- YOU LEAD THE RIDE! Read More

01 Feb
2014

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Day 1 of Loving Winter

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on February 1, 2014   comments 0

I #lovemnwinter!  Today, I love my igloo.

A couple weeks ago my friend Karl and I used an Ice Box kit to build an 11-foot igloo.  It's my snow globe house, and I love it!  We roped some friends into helping, and labored most of the day to complete it.  One reason I'm hoping it stays pretty cold this February is for the longevity of my igloo.

This is the kit we used

We finished building after dark!

It even has a door!  Adoorable!

I have been lucky enough to sleep in a few nights, and have some friends over, too.  I think I have increased the amount of natural light I get in a day, just by hanging out in the igloo!  It is pretty warm once we get a few candles going and people hanging out.  Comfy!

Come on by and check it out sometime!

Read about my personal challenge to love one thing about winter for every day in February, and post about it on this blog.

31 Jan
2014

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Winter- 28 Days of Love

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on January 31, 2014   comments 11

Real talk: February is the most brutal month for my mental health.

In Minnesota, we start to experience winter winds and dropping temperatures in November, and our bones don't thaw out until the sleet stops in April. Hopefully in April. With the climate changing and natural fluctuations from year to year... your guess is as good as Punxsutawney Phil's. Even though February is the shortest month of the year, something about it being smack dab in the middle of the long winter season, or that it follows January's act as the "Coldest Month of the Year," it always feels dreadfully long to me.

I'm writing this after a month of mornings at, or below zero temperatures. And a few of those days had 20-40mph gusting winds, blowing snow, precipitation... And I've been riding through it all. I've also gotten some rides, ridden a few buses, and walked a good amount, but mostly I've been riding my trusty Lotus with its studded tires and 42-18 gear ratio. I've been enjoying it, too! Every ride is an achievement for me, and I'm proud of myself for getting out there, and arriving safely.

However, I realized that my main focus while riding this past month has not been the beauty and poetry of riding outside everyday, but it has been getting where I need to go, safely, quickly and comfortably. In other words, I've been in survival mode: Suit up, gear up, roll out, ride it out. I sincerely enjoy myself, but only because there really is no other option. (Misery is not an option when you need to deal with the elements daily and winter is so very long.)

Last week, I nearly cried as I did my evening commute and was bathed in bright sun the entire way. The Entire Way. If you understand why I could get emotional about a simple seasonal indicator, we must share a similar latitude. That sun reminded me that there is more to winter than bearing down, pushing through, and surviving. I breathed the crisp air deeply through my scarf, I listened to the crunch of my tires on the snow, turned my cranks with my half-frozen thighs, and I felt ALIVE.

It's loooooove...

There are so many things that I love about winter that I forget to appreciate when I'm focused on survival and playing the mental game of "it looks worse than it is." For this month of February I want to focus on 28 things, in 28 days, that make living in Minnesota glorious in the winter. Some posts will be short, some long, some with pictures, some 140 characters.

Want to play along? Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls, or check out my #lovemnwinter blog posts.

Read More

23 Jan
2014

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Rule #3 for Winter Biking

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on January 23, 2014   comments 20

This morning I was whining and whinging like a colicky baby about how I didn't want to get out of bed.  I didn't want to put pants on.  I didn't want to ride my bike into work.  Because I was getting distracted by the numbers: -17, -37, 9.  That's air temperature (F), windchill, and the speed of the NW wind this morning.

After much hemming and hawing I said forget the numbers and I got suited, saddled, and rolled out to beat my own personal record for coldest weather I've commuted in.  (That is not important and shouldn't matter to anyone, but I like to celebrate my small successes even if I am totally aware that commuting is not a competition!)

STOP!  Selfie time!

And you know what?  IT WASN'T THAT BAD!  I'm not just saying that, either!  I showed up nice and toasty with a big, frosty smile.  I celebrated my successful commute with a "frost beard" selfie!  Selfies are admittedly an indulgent act, but I love to take photos of myself conquering simple things like a short bike ride.  When I look back at these photos, it makes me feel proud of myself for pushing my limits, and bonus! I send them to my out-of-state family so they can see what a nut/ bad ass I am.  =]  

#feministselfie

In retrospect, I shouldn't have been such a Negative Nelly this morning.  I should have known I would have been fine.  I mean, Rule #3...

My Rules* for Winter Riding

*Rules?!  Screw rules.  I like to keep these things in mind when the going gets tough, but by all means, come up with your own "rules!"

#1 Dress appropriately for your body and gear up for the conditions in 8 hours

You know you.  If you need a down-filled puffy jacket, or you need earmuffs or bar mitts to stay comfortable on your ride... wear that!  For maximum preparedness, pack your bag with gear that is going to help you deal with conditions at the other end of the day. Always better to be warm and dry, than sorry.

#2 Know your boundaries (And then push them a little)

If you know that your feet get cold after a certain temperature, and you've tried all the boot tricks you know, that's a boundary you should respect! But if there's something you haven't tried just because you're not sure you can get it right the first try... push yourself! The reward is completely worth a little fear.

#3 It always looks worse than it is outside

The most difficult part of the journey is taking the first step.  You can do this.

 

My coworker took this.  They are very accepting of my nerdcore dorkfabulous lifestyle.

My outfit

Lazer Genesis helmet, 45N wool cap with ear flaps, felted sweater bandanna, fleece neck gaiter.
Wicking Craft sports bra, Craft windproof-front base layer, wool wrist warmers, leather chopper mittens.
Fleece thermal tights, medium wool tights, rain paints, wool mini skirt, gaiters, rag wool socks, Red Wing work boots.
 
PIT ZIPS ALL THE WAY OPEN.  The gaiter and the wrist warmers are my secret weapons against cold.  I was too hot and got sweaty, but I also MOVED up Marshall and into work!  A+ would commute again.

14 Jan
2014

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Grease Rag NE is TONIGHT, January 13!

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on January 14, 2014   comments 0

Howdy, Grease Raggers,

Join us tonight at 2504 Central Ave NE for what promises to be a happenin' edition of Grease Rag. FYI - no group ride tonight.

Meet at the Recovery Bike Shop at 7pm for our discussion and open shop night!  From 7pm – 730pm we’ll be quick demo on the DRIVETRAIN, including the ever-important chain maintenance, freewheel failure and a quick talk on ratio's. COME AND DOMINATE WINTER by tackling your projects and questions on gearing. Open Shop starts up at 730p, so bring in your ride, your questions and your projects and let's get cranking!

It is worth noting, Recovery's awesome new digs are set up quite well for open shops, so it is highly likely you will have immediate access to a stand if you come tonight (or to any NE Grease Rag!).

...and, ahem, just to let you know, Winter is the best time to build a bike, so if you've been thinking on that at all, come in and let's make it happen.

Oh, and you know there will be coffee.

See you there, friends. 

Location: Northeast

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