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

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!

16 Oct


5th Annual Winter Biking Skill Share


on October 16, 2013   comments 0

Are you curious about winter biking?  Looking for advice on how to ride a little longer this year?  Join us for the 5th Annual Winter Skill Share!

Sunday, November 3, 11a-4p
Blake School, 511 Kenwood Pkwy, Mpls

This event is FREE and open to all women, trans*, and femme cyclists!

RSVP to the Facebook event

Gear swap
Bike yoga
with Lindsay
 Bike Setups and Options
Discussion Panel, including topics like safety, gear, riding tips
Maintenance and Cleaning
Q & A 

The bike gear swap will begin at 11 am, and the yoga and presentations will start at 12 pm.  You are welcome to come and go as you please.  Map

If you'd like more information on winter biking or would like to see the kind of information we cover in our skill share, check out our recaps from past events.  2009, 2010, 2011, 2012  There are also lots of winter biking posts on this blog.

Our goal is to share experiences of winter biking with beginners, from different WTF perspectives.  Winter riding is fun and convenient!  We want to see you out there this winter, so please stop by, eat a cookie and drink some cider, and maybe win a prize.  Come with questions and leave feeling confident and ready to take on Minnesota's most challenging season!

The fundraising that we've done over the past year will help give a very small stipend to all of our presenters, who are volunteering their time and knowledge for this event.  Thank you to everyone that has given money to make that possible!  Donations (stipend, snacks), volunteers (facilitators, presenters), and community partnerships (space, tools) are making this happen.

08 Oct


Grease Rag NE is TONIGHT, 8 October!


on October 8, 2013   comments 0

It's that time again, Grease Raggers! Your GRNE Co-Facilitators are happy to invite you to our sixth (and possibly year's last?) installment of the official Pre-GRNE-Open-Shop GROUP RIDE at Recovery Bike Shop!  

Join us tonight at 2504 (NEW DIGS!) Central Ave NE for a little jaunt around our neighborhood's wonky streets. Our route is to-be-determined and the pace will be beginner-friendly. Meet at 530pm, roll out at 6pm.  ALL Women-Trans-Femme welcome!

After that, we'll end up back at Recovery Bike Shop's NEW LOCATION (2504 Central Ave NE) at 7pm for our discussion and open shop night.  From 7pm – 730pm we’ll be answering queries and candidly speaking about that looming thought in our minds (WINTER BIKING) as well as promoting Grease Rag's own upcoming Winter Skill Share! Open Shop starts up at 730p, so bring in your ride, your questions and your projects and let's get cranking!

Oh, and you know there will be coffee.

Hope to see you there! 

Location: Northeast

18 Sep


True Grit- Babes in Bikeland 7 Recap


on September 18, 2013   comments 1

Every year I get so excited for Babes in Bikeland, the largest all-female and transgender alley cat race in the country. An alley cat race is like a scavenger hunt on a bicycle, where you're given a list of stops and you have to find your own route between them. Every stop has a challenge or activity, staffed by friendly volunteers.

Nothing beats riding down a street with hundreds of other women and transgender cyclists, hollering and smiling.  I call this weekend my "Spiritual Bike Holiday."  I was excited from the start of the Pre-Babes Wanderabout, I woke up at the crack of dawn the day of the race, and I haven't stopped smiling since.

Photo by Bjorn, used with permission

Pre-Babes Wanderabout

The Pre-Babes Wanderabout on Friday night was about 62 riders strong. We did some go-arounds, gave short introductions to what alley cat racing is all about, and what to expect the day of Babes. Ginny, Lauren and I really want to make this event accessible to all kinds of WTF riders, and especially for people that don't have many friends that ride, and rookies that have never raced a bike race before. We are so happy to report that about 75% of the wanderers that showed up were rookies! Way to represent, newbies! Totally inspired by your eagerness to try something new and unfamiliar. So cool.

A small fraction of the Wanderers!  Photo by Carrie, used with permission

Rookies, I want to give you the highest of fives!  You are the reason we are so pumped to wander!  Veterans and experienced alley catters, thank you for offering your experiences and offering to answer questions.  Thank you to riders that helped us cork intersections and keep communication flowing as we wandered. I can't say thank you enough for making this a fun event by being fun people.  Wanderers, you are great!  If you ever see Ginny, Lauren, or me around town- holla!

Photo by Jennifer Lynn Kostroski, used with permission

 Thank you to all of the generous dollars in our donation cup, and the people that contributed to Grease Rag fundraisers earlier this year.  This is what we spend our money on: building community.  (Which sometimes means "pizza" and "beer.")

Photo by Ginny Marie Herman, used with permission

Babes in Bikeland

On Saturday, after cleaning my bike, checking the weather radar and then packing some dry clothes and race essentials into a dry bag, I headed to Powderhorn Park. I was on the early side, but there were already so many riders gathered, routing and mingling.  I saw so many Wanderers from the night before!  I got to talk to a lot of you, and one of you even shared your hot pink lipstick with me.  Thank you!  Most people were focusing on routing, but there was still a party atmosphere as people said hello to friends and milled around the field.  

Photo by Bjorn, used with permission

When all 335 of us lined up at the starting line, Kat (Babes in Bikeland organizer, Grease Rag facilitator) gathered us and said a few words about safety, fun, and asked us to remember the Babes that could not be there with us.

Photo by Bjorn, used with permission

This year, three Minneapolis women have lost their lives in collisions with cars.  Elyse SternClaudia Rhodes, and Jessica Hanson.  Our friend Shaina Briscoe is in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury from a crash with a car which occurred during a bike race.  These women were definitely in my mind as the rain started to fall an hour before the race, and didn't let up until well into the after party.  The roads were greasy, and I didn't let myself take very many chances with my slick tires in traffic.  Underneath my red cape I wore the Cinelli jersey that my friend Jennifer gave me after we had ridden BiB together two years in a row.  Jennifer died of brain cancer in July of this year.  I thought of my friends that are happy and healthy, but unable to race this year because they've moved away.  (Buzo, Durkee, Charlotte, Recker- you're my Babes!)

From the word, "GO!"  Janni and I were a great team!  We only made one costly mistake, and we both had the same attitude and racing style and we accomplished both of our goals, 1. Try hard, and 2. No sad tears.  (We added "sad" because I cried about eight times from jubilation and because I always get weepy when I get 100 soggy hugs from people I love.)  I'm so proud of us!  Smiles for 20 slippery miles!

Photo by Calhoun Cycles, used with permission

One thing that makes me proud?  288.  Out of the 335 Babes that started the race, 288 finished with complete manifests.  TRUE GRIT.  And a lot of those Babes were rookies.  Chew on that for a moment.  True grit, Babes.  So proud of you.  Pat yourself on the back and know you earned it.

Photo by Ellie Kingsbury, used with permission

I danced, giggled and laughed my way through the awards and after party.  I met new friends and poured a lot of beer.  I had wet feet and it didn't matter.  I was so thrilled to see the gigantic smiles on the winner's faces as Kat presented them with their prizes, and I was really happy to see a "Masters" (50+) category this year!  I love the costume prize, and the speed category, but every year my heart melts when a Rookie Wins Babes.  Speed is not the most important part of Babes, but to see someone win the first race they've ever ridden... I cry every time.

Photo by Ellie Kingsbury, used with permission

Gratitude, Love, Respect

I want to give a special thank you to Kat.  I AM SO PROUD OF YOU.  I know it takes a village to make Babes happen, and you had help, but let's celebrate your success!  I saw first hand how much heart and energy and attention you gave to organizing this race, and it all paid off.  I know you wanted to give the winners the fanfare they deserved at the podium, but you did a good job of getting winners prizes and letting people go home to get dry.  Many people stuck around to dance and enjoy the party that you helped make happen, and we had a great time.  Can't wait to see what you come up with for next year.

Photo by Daniel Patrick Murphy, used with permission
Read More

17 Sep


Full Moon Ride- Harvest Moon


on September 17, 2013   comments 0

NEIL YOUNG - Harvest Moon -

Il mio primo progetto

But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.
-Neil Young, "Harvest Moon" (1992)


Thursday, September 19
Harvest Moon
Meet at Sunrise Cyclery at 9pm, roll out at 9:30

It's that time of the month again, my Friends. There is a nip in the air, so dress warmly, bring your lights, and let's howl at that harvest moon. This is a ride for WTF cyclists, and cool, supportive allies are invited to join us for a slowwwww cruise.

I'm probably going to bring some corn cakes. =] I'm excited to share this moon with you!

In traditional skylore, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, and depending on the year, the Harvest Moon can come anywhere from two weeks before to two weeks after the autumnal equinox. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the 2013 autumnal equinox comes on September 22, so the September 19 full moon counts as the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon.

When a full moon happens close to the autumnal equinox, the moon rises only about 30 to 35 minutes later (as opposed to the average of 50 minutes later) daily for several days before and after the full Harvest moon due to the moon's ecliptic orbital path. The narrow angle of the ecliptic results in a shorter-than-usual rising time between successive moonrises around the full Harvest Moon.

These early evening moonrises are what make every Harvest Moon special. Every full moon rises around sunset. The lag time between successive moonrises shrinks to a yearly minimum, as described, and because of this, it seems as if there are several full moons – for a few nights in a row – around the time of the Harvest Moon.

Info from a favorite site of mine,

RSVP on Facebook

Can you believe this is our SEVENTH FMR?!  Wut.  It seems like just yesterday we went on that cold, icy, howl fest in March.  This post explains what inspired us to start riding during the full moon: our bike soul sisters, the Ovarian Psycos.

March- Howl!

April- Pink Moon

May- Karaoke! (Rained out.  Sad face.)

June- Moon Spinners

July- Thunder Moon

August- Sturgeon Moon

So happy we've been able to keep this ride going, and I really look forward to it every month!  I hope you do too.  If you'd like to lead the next ride, holla.  

Read More

08 Sep


Pre-Babes Wanderabout 2013


on September 8, 2013   comments 20

Babes in Bikeland 7

Babes in Bikeland is an all-female and transgender alley cat race in Minneapolis.  In fact, it is the BIGGEST all-female and transgender race in the country!  More than a race, Babes in Bikeland is a community event where you are surrounded by 400 people racing, riding, giving high fives and partying with you that identify as female/ transgender.  It's an experience that you owe yourself!  (Register in advance!)

If you're not quite sure what an alley cat is or you are on the fence about racing, maybe you should check out our...

Pre-Babes Wanderabout Ride

Grease Rag has been doing events in tandem with Babes in Bikeland since BiB4 in the hopes of maximizing the amount of awesome created by bringing together such a diverse and wonderful group of WTF cyclists.  Last year was our first year doing a WTF-only Pre-Babes Wanderabout ride, and it went so well, we are doing it again!  Join us!

Friday, September 13, 6p at Gold Medal Park to meet and greet, roll out at 6:45p- sharp!

Our route will take us to the Babes in Bikeland finish line, and then back to Matthews Park (9p) in Seward for a secret suprise and then an optional after-ride party at Bike Smut 7* (10p) at the Bedlam!  --Click here to view a map--

*Bike Smut is a collection of erotic bicycle shorts made by cyclists, radicals, and queers from all over the world. This synthesis of transportation and sexuality is everything you could imagine it to be: creative, ethical, aware, explicit, tantalizing, candid, and silly! The Bike Smut Film Festival is now in its 7th year, and the only way to see it is to attend a screening and experience it with others.

Photo courtesy of Banji Lawal, of another fun Grease Rag ride!


Bike Smut has been moved to Ground Zero at 9:15p, so our ride will not be moving there.  A splinter group has organized and will split off from the Casket Arts Building.  

The ride is for women, transgender, and femme-identified cyclists ONLY!

However, we love to include our supportive allies in our events, and we would like to invite allies to join us after our ride in Matthews Park at 9p.  What is an ally?  We've talked about the concept abstractly here before, but for this ride we are asking our ally friends to support their racer friends by bringing snacks and beverages to share when they arrive at the park.  Sharing is caring, and allies care!  Thanks in advance, Friends!

What Should I Bring?  What Can I Expect?

Please bring some way to carry a beverage (A backpack, pannier or messenger bag is perfect- We will have some drinks to share but please feel free to BYOB. Also, we will be stopping next door to a liquor store before Bike Smut!), cash for donation if you are planning on attending Bike Smut, and lights to get you home safely.  And friends!  Bring lots of those.

This ride is aimed at people that have never ridden an alley cat before, or people that might not know anyone else that is racing.  If you have friends that are on the fence about racing, BRING THEM!  We hope that you are able to use this ride as an excuse to walk up to someone new and say, "I like your bike," or, "Are you excited about the race tomorrow?"  Because we can't promise you'll meet your BFF, but we can promise there will be cool Babes on bikes in attendance!

Your fearless Pre-Babes Wanderabout ride leaders, Ginny, Lauren, and myself, will give introductions on what an alley cat is all about, what you should bring to the race, and we are available to answer any questions you might have.

Topics of Interest

Lauren wrote a wonderful tip sheet for riding Babes in Bikeland on her blog.

Need some routing advice?  Lee, winner of Babes in Bikeland 4, will be giving tips on routing, racing, and having a good time!  3p at Powderhorn Park near the registration tables.

A safe bike is a MUST!  Do your ABC quick checks and get yourself to the Grease Rag.  There are plenty of opportunities to get your ride in shape before the race!

We'll see you Friday at 6pm!

We can't wait to see your smiling faces!!  This is going to be fun.

Low, Ginny, Lauren.  Muggin'.

If you would like more information on Babes in Bikeland or the Pre-Babes Wanderabout ride, ArtCrank just published an interview with Kat, one of our Grease Rag facilitators and the organizer of BiB, and Ginny and myself.  I made a mistake in not including Lauren on the email that contained our interview questions so, although she has done an equal amount of work in planning and organizing this ride, her voice is not included in the interview.  My error!

Update: My Pre-Babes Wanderabout and Babes in Bikeland recap post is here!

Rendered archive in 0.36556100845337 seconds