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The film

Dudey-Free Zone is a 26-minute documentary on the importance of women’s/transgender/gender-queer bike spaces.

Over the past 4 years of working with bikes in Minneapolis/St. Paul, I (Laila) have frequently run up against a refusal to accept that there’s anything wrong with the male-dominated bike scene. I have been consistently talked down to in bike shops, had tools taken out of my hands at community bike spaces, and have been treated like a sex-object at bike parties. So last winter I decided to make a film featuring people who have given a lot of thought to the issue of “safer spaces” for women, trangender, and gender non-conforming people, and can talk about it in ways that make you think.

The focus of the film is on community bike spaces: often volunteer-run spaces with stands, tools, and used parts where anyone can go to learn how to fix their bicycle for free. There are a number of these spaces across the USA, and many of them have a day dedicated to women/trans/queer people. We chose this focus because this is where the bulk of our experience lies, and it’s also where issues around gender and bikes are debated most hotly, due to their collective nature and democratic or consensus-based decision-making. But we also wanted to make a film that would be relevant to those who work in and patronize for-profit bike shops, where there is often little awareness of the sexism that is still prevalent in bike culture.

It is our hope that the content of the film will spark discussion both among those who haven’t yet given gender in the bike scene much thought and those who are already working to end oppression in bike culture, and are looking for ideas on how to do it better. If you want a copy on DVD, please email us your address at If you’d like to contribute something to cover the cost of postage, please send $3-5 to:

Dudey-Free Zone, 1862 East 26th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA

We welcome showings of the film, so go ahead and organize one! (It’s 26 minutes long.) Just let us know where it is so we can post it on this website (or post it yourself!).

The film features interviews with the following people. Please follow the links to find out more information about their organizations:

Hillary Kathleen Andersen, Yellow Bike Project, Austin, TX

Ashanti Austin, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN

Stacia Bowley, Yellow Bike Project, Austin, TX

Katie Burgess, Trans Youth Support Network, Minneapolis, MN

Donna, Da’jae, and Journee, Austin, TX

Alicia Dvorak, Sibley Bike Depot, St. Paul, MN

Tiana Johnson, Minneapolis, MN

Laura Kling, Grease Rag Ride & Wrench, Minneapolis, MN

Cynthia McArthur, Center for Victims of Torture, St. Paul, MN

Kat McCarthy, Grease Rag Ride and Wrench, Minneapolis, MN

Calla Martin, Minneapolis, MN

Amelia Smith, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN

Jake Riley, Bike Church, Philadelphia, PA

Amber Schmidt, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN

Dani Slabaugh, Yellow Bike Project, Austin, TX

Claire Stoscheck, Sibley Bike Depot, St. Paul, MN

Erika Tindall, The Hub Bike Coop, Minneapolis, MN

Thanks to everyone else who appeared in the film!

Jenny Bendewald

Hayley Bonsteel

Audrey Carmical

Laurel Chapman

Naomi Littell

Cherie Onyereri-Smith

Tijam Smith

Jennifer Soltis

Daniele Wikoff

Music by Alas, Alas

And many thanks to the following for technical and emotional support:

Eric Angel

Halima Benayad and Imad Salhab

Ignacio Cruz

Doug and Susan Schaefer Davis

Miel Flores

Gus Ganley

Kirstin Grieve

Kyle Johnson

Jonathan Kaiser

Laura Kling

Karen Redleaf

Shayne Spastic

Katie Thornton

And finally, thanks to the 2010 BFF Mpls organizers for encouraging us to make a film!

Bjorn Christianson

Amy Kuretsky

EG Nelson

Kayla Dotson

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2012 12:13 am

    Hi there! Congrats on this project – altho I saw this video a month or so ago Im only now getting a chance to write.

    My name is Sarah and I currently facilitate a bike shop project called Fender Bender Detroit – an evolving shop and resource/support space for women, transgender, and queer bike riders, mechanics, lovers, advocates, etc. in Detroit. About the same time I heard and saw your project, I was also starting my own video endeavor thru Detroit Future Media video class The short film will uplift and highlight the women, transgender, and queer bicycle community of Detroit – our perspectives and experiences, and all the ways we uniquely engage and find empowerment through our relationship with bicycles.

    I was really inspired to see this film – especially at such a serendipitous time. Will you tour with the video? If so – swing thru Detroit – it’s not always on the way but I promise it would be worth it.

    Fender Bender is also involved with a commons project in Detroit – The Cass Corridor Commons. It’s a collaboration of grassroots organizations – shared space, resources, knowledge, support, programs and principles that guide our work with one another and in the community. We have a theatre space there and the film could easily be projected. Plus! It would be great to meet more folks doing similar things elsewhere.

    I was recently in Baltimore for a day and hooked up with a few of the wonderful people from Bearings Bike Project, that was great. We mentioned how awesome it would be to have some kinda women, trans, and queer bicycle alliance conference/gathering in the future!

    Anyway, just wanted to connect, hope to make it our there sometime and if anyone is ever in town feel free to contact me –

    Thanks! Sarah

  2. May 4, 2012 8:31 pm

    I just watched the film for the first time. What a great way to raise awareness of the barriers sexism creates in the cycling community. Thanks for sharing your hard work!


  1. Dudey Free Zone (Laila Davis e Alicia Dvorak, 2011). « Velosofía
  2. The Dudey-Free Zone bicycle documentary « Fenderbenderdetroit's Blog
  3. Bicycle Film Festival- Submissions Due April 1 | Grease Rag Ride & Wrench
  4. Grease Rag: My Favorite Open Shop Night « Girls Biking to Work
  5. To honesty « From London with Gratitude

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