I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love collected winter memories.
As many readers know, Grease Rag has had a long Open Shop partnership with the community bike shop at 1915 E 22nd St - first when it was Spokes and then with Cycles for Change when the two organizations merged. With the help of many wonderful facilitators and mechanics, many a wheel was trued, headset adjusted, bike chain lubed, flat fixed, and much much more in that brightly painted little spot off Minnehaha Ave.
Times change, organizations grow, and bike shops move! Cycles for Change in Minneapolis is excited to be moving to a new space in Seward. As both a Cycles for Change staff member and a Grease Rag facilitator, I'm pretty excited for our new Grease Rag Open Shop home at 2010 26th Avenue South (on the corner of Franklin Ave and 26th Ave S).
It's been kind of tough having Grease Rag open shop closed so long but I think it will be worth the wait. So while we're closed, I thought I'd share a few photos of what it looks like to pack up a community bike shop and a sneak preview of what's happening in the new space.
In addition to being in a new spot, Cycles for Change Minneapolis Grease Rag will be switching to Tuesday nights and expanding our hours to 5 - 8pm (more time to work on those tough to loosen bottom brackets or tricky to true wheels). Our first night in the new shop will be Tuesday, September 12th. I hope to see some of you there!
This year, I love the fierceness of winter - the winds from the plains stinging my lungs and pushing back at me with every pedal forward. I love that no one can predict winter. We pretend to know what might follow today but really, who are we kidding. I love the dark on my commute, it is a quiet cloak I wrap myself in to think, plan, or maybe just be. I love the snow snarling and stopping the oil-guzzling traffic. I power through on my bicycle. Or perhaps my bike and I watch the chaos from a train window. The snow briefly gets the better of our cities. (Perhaps this a harbinger of things to come.)
I love the midwest winter because, more than ever, this is how I want to be: fierce, unpredictable in my tactics, disrupting the system so that there is space and fertile ground for new seeds to grow come spring.
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.
A little over a year ago I went on my first ever bike camping trip. Not only was it my first time bike touring but it was also my first camping trip in years!
Was I nervous? A bit. My old sleeping bag had gobbled up an entire pannier, thunder storms had awoken me in the wee morning hours, and I’d accidentally loaded up my bike inside my apartment and was barely able to keep it from escaping me down the half flight of steps to the outside!
Was I excited? HECK YEAH! I was going on the Grease Rag WTF newbies’ Bike Camping Trip. I’d been wanting to try bike touring for a while and here was my chance to see what it was all about with a group of supportive, caring, and fun-loving WTFs.
Fast forward to this year. Had I become a bike camping fiend, logging miles near and far? Well…not really. But I did now have my own touring panniers, a new warmer and smaller sleeping bag, and some terrific pack lists. Even more importantly, last year's trip gave me the confidence and know-how to organize this year’s Grease Rag Beginner Camping trip. So on an early June afternoon, our crew – myself, my co-leader Luci, and eight bike camping rookies – set off on a small touring adventure.
Here we are at the Hopkin's Depot ready to roll on after a water, snack, and pee break.
And here we are taking a lunch break outside the Excelsior Library. (PS Across the trail is a tiny history museum that would love to have you stop in and say hi!)
After we got into camp, the sunshine took a rest for several rainy hours. Luckily we were able to set up our tents before it began raining in earnest.
There's nothing like an evening sunset after the rain!
Even though we'd forgotten our fire-starting kits, Frances came though with some dry sheets of newspaper. Thank goodness, roasting smores over a camp stove just wouldn't have felt the same!
The next morning, we headed back to Minneapolis.
After one of the first snowfalls of the season, someone in Loring Park left a love letter to winter, squirrels, and all the park walkers and bikers.
I look forward to bicycling over the Mississippi River in winter - the dance of ice, water and sun is so beautiful!
After a week of frigid temperatures, the Minnehaha Creek waterfall was finally frozen enough to capture the colors of the minerals that normally tumble over the rocks too quickly to be glimpsed.
Another warm stretch and the creek was again a haven for ducks seeking open water. Their tracks crowded the snowy Minnehaha banks.
If you're going to live in a cold place, it's fun to have a variety of boot choices!
The Art Shanties have become a well-loved tradition winter. I finally got a chance to pedal the Polar Bear and get a close-up look out its maw.
Even though it wasn't too cold the day I visited the Art Shanties, a spot of tea at the Botanical ShanTea was a terrific way to warm my insides.
Winter is a part of my little home making its yearly trek through the vastness of the universe to circle the sun. Thanks for sharing this month of lovingMNwinter together and I hope that you too are building a trove of beloved winter moments!
The author on White Bear Lake enjoying some MN winter fun. Photo credit: Linda Pate