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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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!

11 Feb
2017

33 Comments

Day 11 of Loving MN Winter

by

on February 11, 2017   comments 33

I #LoveMNWinter. Today, I love feeling powerful.

By Joy Elizabeth

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I feel powerful when I walk into work in my winter cycling gear and co-workers tell me that they admire my strength or that I inspire them to brave the cold.

I feel powerful when I pass another powerful winter cyclist and we give each other the all-knowing nod. To me the nod says, "I see you. We're doing great. It's damn cold."

I feel powerful when drivers yield to me even when they don't have to. We both seem well aware that they're sitting on that plush seat with the heat blasting.

I feel powerful when I push myself hard up hills and then feel my blood rushing to all my cold spots and sweat soaking through my layers.

I feel powerful when my body quickly thaws in a hot bath and my newly toned leg muscles begin to release.

The importance of being active and feeling strong was not instilled in me when I was young. I envied athletic people from a distance and slowly accepted that I'd never enjoy exercise.

Biking changed that for me. Feeling powerful in my body is really new to me and it feels SO GOOD!

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

10 Feb
2017

25 Comments

Day 10 of Loving MN Winter

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on February 10, 2017   comments 25

I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love a Wintry Checkpoint.

By Judy Kerr

Judy2.pngWhile I am not an avid winter cyclist, I do have my moments. My awesome partner and hero (JJ Kahle) is the epitome of a dedicated cyclist. I admire and wish I could feel that same level of love for bikes that they do.

To coin the creed associated with the organization from which I’ve recently retired, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” These words can also be applied to my partner and their love of cycling. I, on the other hand, sometimes have to drag my sagging self onto the saddle and force my legs to make the revolutions to propel me along, albeit slowly.

I have a bit of the naysayer in me, but usually after a few minutes of sucking in lungsful of fresh air, the oxygen reaches my brain and reminds me that riding my bike is a good thing.

What I love best about Minnesota winter is the random adventures, sometimes involving our bikes, that JJ and I set off on. New Year’s weekend was one such adventure. We loaded up the bikes and drove north… way north… to Grand Marais. Icy roads and snowy conditions be damned! After more than five hours on the road we reached our hotel on the shores of the mighty and wondrous Lake Superior.

We offloaded our bikes, the grey underbelly of the sky hanging over us, and rode through mushy brown snow to reach the park where the CheckpointMN site is located. The short ride was akin to pedaling our bikes through peanut butter. After only one minor mishap we reached our destination.

We miscalculated where the actual checkpoint was, though, and ended up not only riding/walking on the mostly unplowed road, but then locking our bikes and scaling an ice-coated barrier wall that led to a lighthouse on the shoreline. We were not the only ones brave (?) enough to skate along the wall toward what we thought was the checkpoint, a foolish decision perhaps, but still we embarked with determined caution.

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About halfway across the wall, with the light fading fast and the steely waters crashing into the barrier below us, we decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of a broken limb or cracked skull, not to mention an ice bath, so we did an about-face to head back to solid, snow-covered land. Along the way we chatted with some people who were kind enough to clue us in that the checkpoint was across the parking lot from the Coast Guard Station and not at the end of the icy precipice on which we were slip-sliding along. We thanked them and slowly retreated from whence we came (sometimes on our butts because the surface was glassy and the icy claws of water reaching for us were a bit frightening).

Once back on the snow-packed trail, we unlocked our bikes (thank god we hadn’t tried to walk the bikes along the stony skating rink) and walked up the path to the little park-like area you see in the photo above. Nice solid ground well away from the chilly waters. I am hunched against the brisk breeze (thanking all the higher beings in existence for guiding us back to shore safely) and I’m fairly certain my face is about to crack with my attempt to smile, but we made it to our destination and snapped photos to prove it.

As evening descended upon the town, we churned through the brown squashy streets back to the hotel and stowed the bikes. We bundled up and walked two blocks to an awesome restaurant, “My Sister’s Place,” and enjoyed tasty burgers and beers. We’d survived another adventure and lived to ride another day.

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Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

09 Feb
2017

1 Comments

Day 9 of Loving MN Winter

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on February 9, 2017   comments 1

I #LoveMNWinter. Today, I love the quiet.

By BrieAnna Lindquist

I love how quiet and in your own world you can feel on a winter's night.

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See more of BrieAnna's work at http://www.bringostarr.daportfolio.com/

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

08 Feb
2017

33 Comments

Day 8 of Loving MN Winter

by

on February 8, 2017   comments 33

I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love my commute.

By Bri Whitcraft

My commute takes me along West River Parkway along the Mississippi River, crossing at the Franklin Avenue Bridge. As I rush to work and meander home, I can't help but smile. It amazes me that I'm even in the city. Bald eagles soar above me on crisp, sunny mornings, and owls hoot at me in the pitch blackness of the early evening. My favorite is crossing the Mississippi River — it's never the same — roiling, rambling, rushing, freezing, thawing, but always moving forward.

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Photo by Bri Whitcraft

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Photo by Bri Whitcraft

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Photo by Ben Shovel

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Photo by Bri Whitcraft


Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

07 Feb
2017

18 Comments

Day 7 of Loving MN Winter

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on February 7, 2017   comments 18

I #lovemnwinter! Today, this big-city kid loves small-town MN!

By Tina Cho

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I’m a big-city kid at heart. I love the concrete jungle. I love being close to everything: friends, work, food, entertainment, even nature! I even love that we have (almost) immediate plowing after snow here, so I can zip around the frozen city on my skinny studded tires.

That being said, the grass is always greener on the other side, right?

As someone who’s always lived within city limits, I’ve always wondered what life was like on the other side. What’s it like to live in a place where you know all your neighbors, you don’t worry about locking your doors, and (the biggest shocker) don’t think twice about leaving your bike unlocked in the back of your truck...

When I first moved to Minneapolis from Chicago, it was almost like moving to a small town. There was so much green everywhere, and barely an hour’s drive outside of town put me in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and cows. In fact, when my mom first visited me, she more or less called the Twin Cities “cute.”

Over the past week, I’ve had the opportunity to accompany my partner Anna (who’s a photographer) to the towns of Little Falls and Northfield, for a winter biking photo shoot. It wasn’t my first time in rural Minnesota, but it was the first time I actually had a chance to interact with the locals. Let me tell you, it was like a cup of hot chocolate for the soul, the kind with the cute little animal marshmallows floating on top for extra #squee!

In Northfield, we met up with a group of folks from CROCT (Cannon River Off-Road Cycling & Trails) to have us some fat-biking fun! They not only met us with warm enthusiasm; they also brought everybody, and I mean everybody: friends, spouses, kids, dogs, and even tiny kid-sized fatbikes! After the shoot, we were invited over for dinner at the home of one of the local riders without a second thought, where we were plied with good beer, amazing conversation, and make-your-own roti pizzas. Anna and I spent twice as much time down in Northfield than we originally planned for, and don’t regret a single second of it.

Often, as city-dwellers, we tend to get wrapped up in what we do here, and our world shrinks down to the borders of what we can immediately see. This weekend, the universe conspired to break us out of that loop, a chance to experience and appreciate the warmth and wonder of rural Minnesota. There is so much bikey stuff going on in the rest of MN outside of the metro area: bike and trail advocacy, youth biking efforts, and just plain good people who love bikes… It makes me proud to be a resident of not just Minneapolis, but of MN as a state.

Photo above from CROCT photo shoot by Laura Chihara

Read about last year’s collaborative challenge to love one thing about winter everyday in February, and post about it on this blog. Tweet your own loves: #lovemnwinter @greaseragmpls.

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