01 Jul
2017

0 Comments

Party with Grease Rag to Celebrate 8 Years!

by

on July 1, 2017   comments 0

GR-7th-bday-by_Kat.jpg

Grease Rag 7th Birthday Party, photo by Kat McCarthy

On July 8, 2009 Grease Rag was born, creating a community of femme / trans / women bicyclists. Thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers past and present, Grease Rag has grown up fast, quickly becoming a beloved space for so, so many.

So come celebrate with us as we mark our 8th Birthday! 

Join us on July 9, from 6 to 10 p.m., to make crafts, share food & drink, reflect on the past year, revel in each others amazing company and thank YOU for being part of the Grease Rag fam. And, yes, there will be cake — from the amazing Dulceria Bakery!

We could use your help, too. Please click here to sign up for a volunteer shift, if you're able.

And don't forget that we have a Full Moon Ride earlier in the day. No better way to spend a summer Sunday than riding and partying with Grease Rag, right?

RSVP on Facebook below:

July Full Moon Ride -- Birch Bark Edition (2:30-5:30 p.m.)

GR Birthday Party (6-10 p.m.)

Bring friends! This event is open to all, with the agreement that we are creating a safe space and centering femme / trans / women.

27 Jun
2017

0 Comments

Roses, Thorns & Buds: An Unexpectedly Eventful Beginner Bike Camping Trip!

by

on June 27, 2017   comments 0

Group.jpegEverything was right on track. Until I discovered my BIG mistake.

After a meet-up and stretch session in Uptown, our small crew of six WTFs was rolling at a leisurely pace from Minneapolis to Carver Lake Reserve for the 2017 Beginner Bike Camping Trip. Despite gray clouds, the rain was at bay, and the trail was awash in our music, conversation and laughter as we rode two abreast catching up with friends and making new connections.

Following in the footsteps of last year's organizers, we pulled off at the Excelsior library for our second and final (or so we thought) stop before the campground. But, as I munched on some carrots, I casually pulled out the campsite reservation to check which sites we had — and my stomach dropped.

I'd booked the wrong campground.

Yep! Organizer botches pretty much the one and only thing that's essential to the trip. My brain froze. Like many of you, I'm sure, I'm fully convinced that if I make one mistake people will hate me forever. I cringed as I told my fellow campers that I f*cked up... big time. The campground I had booked was another 13 miles away, on roads, in the direction of the quickly approaching storm.

Riding.jpgInstead of anger and disappointment I was met with resilience. While our bodies were starting to fatigue, we lept right into problem solving. We called Carver and asked if they had any openings or a bike-in site; they said no. After checking in with how everyone felt, we decided to press on to Carver — and try to befriend folx at one of the group camp sites. 

When I got a flat (because, OF COURSE, I would also get a flat), a couple of campers continued on to the site and made an exciting connection. An entire group camp section was occupied by the national convening of the Black Label Punks and a couple of their members, chilling by a camp fire next to a bunch of tall bikes, said we'd be welcome to snag a corner of their site — if we'd be willing to embrace any shenanigans that went down that night.

Needless to say, we were stoked.

But when our full crew rolled up, that offer was rescinded. A surly woman with a baby on her arm looked at us sideways and rallied a vote from the full group that they were NOT okay with six unfamiliar WTFs crashing their party.

Read More

25 May
2017

0 Comments

Ovarian Psycos Reflections: When white people tell BIPOC stories

by

on May 25, 2017   comments 0

7997486801_445748fb73_z.jpg

Back in 2012, I organized a National Women's Bicycling Summit in Long Beach, CA — and I'm embarrassed to recall how narrow and harmful my vision was.

White savior talking about gifting bikes to villages in Africa. A bike fashion show that was... beyond words. Even I cringed through half of the program.  

Still, despite the fact that I invited them to be on an equity panel (Yep! Did that, too!), three young leaders from the Ovarian Psycos graciously accepted an invitation to speak. Representing their women of color led group ,which actively confronts injustice and builds radical community, they blew sh*t up with their rejection of the cartoonish but prevailing image of women in the bike advocacy community: compliant, skirt-wearing, white ladies riding Dutch bikes.

Just this month, I got schooled by the Ovas again, as founder Xela de la X came to Minneapolis for our screening of the Ovarian Psycos documentary. Not only did she make me consider my own role in perpetuating white supremacy as a communicator and cyclist — but she also addressed criticism that the Ovas' language is unwelcoming to trans, non-binary and disabled folx.

OPC-screening--Xela.jpg

Xela at the Grease Rag screening, photo by Monica Bryand

One of the most important moments for me came before the film, as Xela explained the deeply problematic nature of white filmmakers telling the stories of women of color. That had a special sting. I was a reporter for many years, telling stories of powerful people, like Xela, in ways that were likely tokenizing and superficial. In my current job, I do communications around an issue that disproportionately impacts communities of color — an issue I've never personally experienced.

It was uncomfortable, but necessary, to hear Xela talk about how that "white gaze" romanticizes and flattens fights against oppression, often leaving unexamined the role of white folx in creating and perpetuating the racist systems — and then discovering or "lifting up the stories" of people acting for their liberation. Not to mention minimizing or omiting community-driven solutions because they threaten the current paradigm.

OP16_Xela_and_Ovas.jpgPhoto courtesy of filmmakers

Read More

24 May
2017

0 Comments

PHOTOS: Ovarian Psycos screening and fundraiser!

by

on May 24, 2017   comments 0

Earlier this month, Grease Rag hosted a screening of Ovarian Psycos — a documentary featuring the radical work and leaders of the women of color bike brigade in Los Angeles. We were honored to welcome Xela de la X, one of the organization's founders (wearing the Feminist Militant shirt in the photos below), who shared her thoughts on the film and the Ovas efforts to confront injustice and create community.

Thanks to our community, we raised more than $1,100 for the Ova's creation of a healing space in LA and to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) leaders in Grease Rag.

We were also privileged to have the talented Monica Bryand taking pictures. Check out some images of the event below and stay tuned for more reflections!

OPC-screening--Skye-JJ.jpgOPC-screening--Xela.jpgOPC-screening--Pacha-Skye-Magdalena-Low.jpg

OPC-screening--Kat-Julia-Cheslea-Anne.jpg

Read More

29 Apr
2017

0 Comments

May 6: Ovarian Psycos screening

by

on April 29, 2017   comments 0

OP16_Xela_and_Ovas.jpgMaintain a brave space by and for marginalized womxn of color.

Encourage militant, autonomous, models of community organizing and actions to address oppressive power structures.

Center our political analysis and community action to align with current struggles towards liberation.

These are just some of the radical principles of the Ovarian Psycos bike brigade in Los Angeles.  

Rooted in “feminist ideals with indigena understanding and an urban/hood mentality,” the Ovarian Psycos bike brigade unapologetically confronts injustice and creates community for Latinx riders in Los Angeles. On May 6, Grease Rag is hosting a local screening of the recently released Ovarian Psycos documentary to stand in solidarity with our xisters in Los Angeles, and build community locally.


Our goal is to raise at least $2,000 to donate to the Ovarian Psycos’ creation of a healing space in LA — and resource Grease Rag’s work to center and support BIPOC+ (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) WTF leadership here in the Twin Cities. Funds will also support our venue, CTUL, which is organizing workers for better labor conditions.

Will you join us?

  • Date: Saturday, May 6
  • Location: CTUL, 3715 Chicago Ave, MPLS
  • Time: Doors at 6 p.m., program at 6:30 p.m. After the screening there will be time to connect and discuss the film with your community.
  • Suggested donation: $20 CA$H ONLY, no one turned away for lack of funds!
  • Food: There will be snacks and refreshments!

Can you help?

Important note from Grease Rag

Grease Rag contacted the Ovarian Psycos before we decided to screen this film, to check in about the best way to share their story. Fetishsizing POC who organize their communities effectively is a form of white supremacy — and Grease Rag will not exploit the pain and struggle of these womxn for our own gain.

We determined that a joint benefit between the Ovarian Psycos and Grease Rag was a good way to support both of our organizations' goals. After the film, we'll be sharing some discussion questions that center the individuals instead of tokenizing as a means to honor their stories.

"Para todxs todo o nada para nadien."

Statement from Ovarian Psycos on the film

"We the Ovarian Psycos have been very very busy, so busy that even tonight we had to meet to do our seasonal criticisms / self criticism for our current core collective members (no time for popcorn and chill). The success of the Ovarian Psycos documentary is definitely accredited to the filmmakers’ skills and our labor of love, but in this documentary you will not find our daily work and struggles to defend our communities and you will not find our resistance! The resistance comes from our direct action in the streets and not on the screen. We are still currently and unapologetically sustaining an autonomous community space located in Boyle Heights La Conxa and have been doing so since 2014 without any federal, state, or local funding/grants and mainly through the community’s ability to come together and make shit happen organically. We also continue to support the anti gentrification movement in BH and throughout the city and are keeping our pedals firmly planted on the front line to keep that work alive.

The Ovas have been justifiably Angry/Psyco throughout the 6 years of organizing and specifically NOW more than ever we are infuriated , frustrated, and bitter with the way we as Woc, Poc, and Qtpoc are being disposed of. Whether it’s the LAPD gunning down our Brown and Black brothers and sisters, the city (sometimes our own people) selling out our neighborhood to the highest bidder, or the 64,000 black women who are currently missing, the struggle and work continues. Women are still being found dead in our community. Our working class neighbors are being pushed out of their community. We have our undocumented family living in a state of fear…..SO PLEASE DON'T COME AT US WITH THE 3rd Wave Feminism questions and CO-Ops…. We are coming from 500 years of colonization and we are never on the front lines on some photo opportunity/activism career. We are out here for our community and the 7 generations to come after. We do this for the seeds. Tlazo."

« Previous123456Next »
Rendered archive in 0.24142003059387 seconds