Susanne is a young single mother who lives a somewhat "carefree" lifestyle. After quitting her job, she finds herself in trouble financially and attempts a minor insurance fraud to make ends meet. Despite its rare view of everyday socialism from a woman's perspective, East German officials were critical of this frank portrayal of a less-than-ideal socialist citizen and turned down all invitations for the film to be screened abroad. In West Germany, however, Evelyn Schmidt's film received much praise for its critical feminist approach. The Bicycle was part of the 2005 Rebels with a Cause: The Cinema of East Germany retrospective, shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.