Scottish born David Byrne is probably best known as the founding member of Talking Heads but he has a number of other passions which span across art, literature and the bike! He is a devout advocate of bicycle transportation, not for fitness necessarily, although he admits this is an added bonus when you get older, but for seeing the world from a different perspective.
David Byrne’s main mode of transport around New York has been his trusty bicycle since the early 80’s. When he discovered folding bikes he began to take his passion abroad. His choice was initially made out of convenience rather than political motivation, but the more cities he saw from his bicycle, the more he became hooked on this mode of transport and the sense of liberation, exhilaration, and connection it provided. This point of view, from his bike seat, became his panoramic window on urban life, a magical way of opening one’s eyes to the inner workings and rhythms of a city’s geography and population.
Bicycle Diaries chronicles David’s observations and insights — what he is seeing, whom he is meeting, what he is thinking about — as he pedals through and engages with some of the world’s major cities. In places like Buenos Aires, Istanbul, San Francisco, and London, the focus is more on the musicians and artists he encounters. Politics comes to the fore in cities like Berlin and Manila, while chapters on New York City, and on the landscaped suburban industrial parks and contemporary ruins of such spots as Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Columbus are more concerned with history in the urban landscape. Along the way, David Byrne has thoughts to share about fashion, architecture, cultural isolation, globalization, and the radical new ways that some cities, like his home town, are becoming more bike-friendly — all conveyed with a highly personal mix of humor, curiosity, and humanity.
It is now also available as an audiobook.
Get the Paperback from Amazon: Bicycle Diaries