Rebecca Aylesworth

I'm a fierce, lipstick-wearing, bike-riding Twin Cites Femme. You might find me on late-night moonlit rides, running around the lakes, watching cat videos, engaging in long, thoughtful, complex conversations, or making delicious, decadent over-the-top meals.

17 Feb


Day 14 of Loving Winter 2015


I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love Minneapolis.

I write love letters. Mostly to Minneapolis, sometimes to people or animals. They are full of floral language and appreciation and gratitude and often speak of my bike or being out in nature. Winter is a hard time for me. I’ve never lived in a climate without it, yet each year it seems like a struggle. In order to increase my winter affections, I would like to compose this love letter to the city I love, in the season I am trying hard to appreciate.

Dear Minneapolis,

In this cold, long winter, I love your quiet. Your dark, peaceful nights, filled with snow that glitters under lights, stars that sparkle bright in the sky, the crunch of the snow under my boots -  all of what you bring makes me stop and give me an opportunity to appreciate the moment. I breathe in your crisp air and honor your strengths; you give the plants a chance to go fallow, to rest, to become dormant, so that they can grow anew, bigger and stronger than before. I know they sleep well under your snowy insulation.

You gift me with a reason to be cozy, to wear heavy wool and fleece-lined tights and thick socks and winter boots and a huge pair of fluffy earmuffs, and to share a hot cocoa with those dear to me after coming in laughing and breathless, rosy-cheeked from the Art Sled Rally. I love the chance to snuggle under layers of down comforters, while watching wonderful long-forgotten movies and listening to your wind whistling outside. Even on your really frigid days, I am grateful for your crystalline beauty, your sundogs, and that sparkling ring around the moon at night.

I get up long before the sun and make my way in to work, enjoying the red-hued dawn on the walk to my building, thinking about my first cup of coffee waiting inside. And there’s nothing better than warming my hands on my favorite mug, as I taste that first sip of bitter coffee, blinking ice off of my eyelashes and feeling it fall as water on my face. I enjoy the dramatic shift of coming in from the cold, feeling the familiar burn of the feeling coming back into my cheeks as I remove layer upon layer of coats and mittens, hats and scarves.

You and I have had some hard days during these cold months and in the past I have pushed you away. But I have found that the more I respect and embrace who you are, in your infinite variety, the happier I am. I am grateful for the gifts you have given me, and I can now say that with each passing year, I grow fonder of you than the year before. Thank you for giving me the chance to see what you have to offer.

With admiration and love,

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

#lovemnwinter, lovemnwinter

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Sarah Engen

Soigneur, Owner/Massage Therapist at Eco-Sveed Bodywork & Art (Thai Yoga Bodywork, Deep Tissue & Sports), Traditional Chinese Medicine Student at Northwestern Health Sciences University.

Andrew and Ana

SPOKES is a community bicycling and walking education and advocacy center located at 1915 E 22nd St. in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. SPOKES is dedicated to growing a more diverse and informed community of non-motorized transit users. Check us out at and on facebook at spokesconnect

19 Feb


Day 19 of Loving Winter 2015: Self Talk


Day 19 of Loving Winter 2015: Self Talk

I #lovemnwinter!  Today, I love Self Talk.

by Ana


The irony of this post is that I’ve spent the past few days so, so frustrated with the snow and the cold, and simultaneously tasked with composing this loving ode to winter. So, this is some self-talk to get me through, and ended up serving as a reminder that it is possible to hold and appreciate the hard things and the beautiful things at the same time, and that I don’t need to eclipse one with the other.


No, I don’t want to walk

No, I don’t want to ride

I WANT a ride, not the other way around

No, even standing at the curb isn’t cutting it for me,

Or rather, the problem is that it is too cutting

The wind is too cold

The wind is too sharp

The bus is too slow

And all I have is myself

To convince myself I can carry on


Patience, my friend.

Remember, you are




The passing of time;

And how will you remember

The cold

If you distance yourself

And deny it of the things it does best?


How to remember

The snow in the updraft

And the soft enveloping whiteness

And those clear, clear blues

Or even the act

Of my conscious decision

To embrace

The chill I’ve been so actively trying to ignore


And, too,

A feeling I can’t quite place.

The best I can describe it

Is with giddiness

But giddy without the excitement



A humming current

Under my skin

And under the ice

Agitated and… hopeful.


Patience, my friend.

There is so much here

That cannot be skipped over

For want of better days, of different days.

How better to mark

   The hope

   The energy

   The movement

Of the ice

Than to decide to be present with it?

#lovemnwinter, lovemnwinter

Whitney Daleiden

Whitney, an avid Cabbage Patch Kids big wheel rider as a child, hasn't done much riding since and considers herself a "complete newb" to the Minneapolis scene. Whitney is eager to learn more about the ins and out of bike maintenance to allow for adventures with friends (and hopefully many future bike friends!) on her two wheel companion Jaws Jr. (or JJ for short). Whitney feels she learns best by hands-on experiences and making her own mistakes- most of which are quite comical- and she can't wait to get her hands dirty at more Grease Rag events where her comical mistakes are made in a safe, judge-free environment.

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