What is Grease Rag?
Grease Rag is a Twin Cities collective that works to encourage and empower FTW (Femme, Trans, Women, Non-Binary, Two-Spirit) bicyclists in a collaborative and fun learning environment through rides, discussions, shop nights, and skill shares in a safe(r) space. Grease Rag is entirely powered by community volunteers who are dedicated to working together for a space that is anti-sexist/transphobic/racist/ableist/classist, etc.
Grease Rag makes bicycling in the Twin Cities more inclusive for FTW cyclists, especially focusing on including and building confidence in people new to biking and bike mechanics. In the past years, a lot of new cyclists have been encouraged and supported to bike through Grease Rag and are excited to bike around the Twin Cities.
What does FTW mean?
Grease Rag initially used “WTF” as an acronym that was adopted from San Francisco’s Bike Kitchen, and it stood for “Women, Transgender, Femme.” We think it is a cheeky acronym that covers our target demographic–people that do not benefit from cis-male privilege. (“Cis-male” refers to people who were “assigned ‘male’ at birth” and present and identify as male.) We have since changed this acronym (in 2017) to “FTW.” We include Femme, Trans, Women, Non-Binary, Two-spirit people in this acronym. It aims to include everyone who does not benefit from cis-male privilege. This decision was made to de-center our mission from serving cis-women, and to bring the other identities we serve to the front.
Grease Rag and Cycles for Change partnership:
Cycles for Change recognizes that many aspects of mainstream bicycle culture–including bike shops and bike mechanics–can be unwelcoming, intimidating, dangerous, and unsafe for FTW-identified people. Cycles for Change strives to be a welcoming, accessible, and safe(r) space. We value our partnership with Grease Rag for hosting a FTW-only Open Shop night each week at both our Minneapolis and St. Paul locations. During these nights, facilitators are in the space to promote inclusive policies and to make sure that FTWs are prioritized. Some of the ways we attempt to make safe(r) spaces are through facilitation, sharing and respecting personal pronouns, not policing bodies, and by creating an atmosphere of respect and inclusivity. We encourage participants to approach facilitators with any concerns in person, through email, or the Grease Rag website.
Both Cycles for Change Minneapolis and Saint Paul shops have single stall, all-gender bathrooms.
Check the right hand sidebar for an updated schedule of Grease Rag nights.