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 Shop events are the hub of our activities, and happen multiple times a month at various locations. Find an event on the map (below) or explore the events calendar for all of our events.
A recent post on Taking the Lane by Elly Blue got me thinking about "tooting your own horn."
A topic that kept coming up again and again is that when we are in male-dominated industries — like bicycling — we do not always feel free to express ourselves. We talked about different approaches to changing that, and I brought up the Portland Society, the nonprofit alliance I helped found of professional women who are passionate about bicycling. Our monthly breakfast meetings are geared towards professional development and expert speakers, but that the really life-changing part is the beginning when we go around the room and introduce ourselves — we ask everyone to also “toot your own horn,” each participant telling the group something we’ve done in the last month that we’re proud of.
Click through to read the whole story, but I like the concept of talking about something you're proud of in a group of women. It might start out awkward and shy, but I like that it can bring confidence and self-assurance.
Learning Ski Jumping takes courage, and this 4th grader has what it takes Ok seeing so many still question the title - This is a GIRL!
I think the young woman in this video deserves a million high-fives!
I've written a little about fear before, but I'm curious about how you process and deal with your fears.
When you're at the top of a 40' ski jump about to rocket down the slope, what do you say to yourself? "I got it. I can do this. Let's go." Or, "Don't be such a weenie. Everyone is looking at you. Don't screw this up!"
I'm always trying to figure out when "I'm scared! Just go faster!!" is better than, "This is scary... better take it easy." Things that scare me are unfamiliar roads with heavy traffic, less-than-perfect road surfaces, riding next to or behind someone I don't fully trust, and landing on my top tube. To name a few.
Why should you learn bad ass skills? The more control you have over your bike, the more bad ass you are. I don't even know how to bunny hop, so I'm super excited about this opportunity.
Mark is a mechanic at Sunrise Cyclery, and a touring BMX professional that has been competing in BMX competitions for 40+ years, and instructing for over a decade. He assures me that there will be something for all skill and comfort levels. You won't be pressured to do Mark's favorite trick if all you want to do is practice your track-standing balance. But if you want to try busting fat skids, GO FOR IT!
Mark told me that he is motivated to constantly learn new tricks because they are FUN. It also makes you a safer rider and increases your comfort level with your bike. Not to mention new skills mean new adventures! That curb will no longer stand in your way, and that ramp might start calling your name.
Sunday, June 3, meet at the Dunwoody College parking lot, we will start at noon and go until 2 or 3, depending on what people want.
Mark is prepared to teach us all sorts of bad ass things, but here's a list of skills we might cover...
Mystery Skill/ WTF's choice!
Bring a sturdy bike. Really any bike you are comfortable on will work, but you probably don't want to bring a cruiser. Fatter tires will be easiest. Make sure you have platform pedals (not clipless) on your bike, and please wear any safety gear that you need.
Disclaimer: Be bad ass at your own risk. We are not liable for any boo boos!
I've hung my tent to dry, I'm somewhat successfully resisting the urge to scratch my mozzie bites, and drinking lots of water while my cats make sure I'm recovering properly by sitting on me so I can't get off the couch. A fantastic opportunity to post a couple of photos, reflect, and ..I'M DEFINITELY NOT SCRATCHING.
Even with a threat of rain and thunderstorms, a crew of 20 rode out to Carver and 18 stayed to camp! How's that for impressive attendance? While I nervously watched the radar, sought out the nearest shelter (vault toilets!) in case of a weather emergency and got texts about hail in Minneapolis, our campground went relatively unscathed by the two red areas on the radar that skimmed us by mere miles. At one point I'm pretty sure I jumped into Erin's lap because the thunder that boomed directly over us. But instead of spending time in our tents waiting out the rain, we drank and ate and were merry around the fire. Brilliant luck.
We had at least six people that had never bike camped before, and I hope they had a great first time. It's all about teamwork and a positive attitude!
Some people made food, some provided firewood, some people used their bikes to anchor a tarp, people shared tents, hauled equipment for others... this was the most helpful, all-hands-on-deck group! People pulled 8-foot long trailers, all sorts of gear including three pounds of bacon and a whole lotta coffee. We had poppy seed pancakes and fresh fried fish and bacon and BACON and bratwurst.
Even though I gave sketchy routing directions and kind of missed the boat on getting a group camping site in time, I'm not sure I would change anything. I'm proud to say that all mechanical issues were dealt with efficiently and effectively, and that no tears of defeat were shed along the trail. In spite of the rain it appeared that everyone was outfitted and comfortable.
Do you have any suggestions for next year? (Because.. YES, there will be a next year!)