I #lovemnwinter! Today, I love gear and skill sharing.
One of the best parts of Grease Rag is the annual winter skill share, which also includes a gear swap. This is one of the sweet spots on the way to winter: getting a new little stash of soft and warm and wicking layers, created or donated by other women/trans/femme (WTFs) cyclists, making year-round cycling not only possible, but also pleasurable.
But gears + skills only get you so far when there’s no winter bike in your life! So it was with great joy that I saw a friendly WTFer’s offer of a loaner winter bike, complete with studded tires, milk crate storage, lock and helmet. The whole package was up to be borrowed while its owner was away in warmer weather for a short while. Yes, please!
It’s been a great week of being back in the saddle, and a much better start to each working day than when I was driving. Now I get riding-induced endorphins and access to ample free parking, just steps away from my building’s front door.
The only request in exchange for the free ride was to give it a little TLC: a Touch of Lube and Cleaning, if you will. That I could do, knowing thatsupport from a crew of WTFs would be ready and waiting at a nearby open shop night.
The crew hooked me up with supplies, and even helped with an unexpected fix for the piece attaching the rear rack, which snapped off earlier in the day. I wrenched and greased and griped and joked. There were bilingual introductions and macaroons for snacking. Newly-rooted plant cuttings peeked out of a bike frame. One of my rags was a cut-up onesie with a dinosaur illustration on it. Sweet stuff. I was grateful for the company of the knowledgeable, modest, and helpful WTFs who helped me get set up with a stand, supplies, and spare piece that the shop owner parted with in exchange for spare change and my gratitude.
And with that, I’m able to report that the shared bike is spick, span, and re-racked, thanks to the shared space and skills of the WTF crew.
Thanks again to the sharers of skills and bikes, for keeping that winter skill share spirit going, all season long.
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.