October 2009 Indie Next List
“Bicycle Diaries is a fascinating look at what we can learn about cities if we slow down, get out of the car, and look around. Byrne has written a meditation on the impact of suburbanization and car culture, and a celebration of what makes cities unique, even as they change and grow (or die). He is a wonderful travel companion, and his book not only encourages people to hop on and take off to places unknown but demonstrates that many of those places are right around the corner from where we live.”
— Karen Maeda Allman, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
A renowned musician and visual artist presents an idiosyncratic behind-the-handlebars view of the world's cities
Since the early 1980s, David Byrne has been riding a bike as his principal means of transportation in New York City. Two decades ago, he discovered folding bikes and started taking them on tour. Byrne's choice was 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 it provided. Convinced that urban biking opens one's eyes to the inner workings and rhythms of a city's geography and population, Byrne began keeping a journal of his observations and insights.
An account of what he sees and whom he meets as he pedals through metropoles from Berlin to Buenos Aires, Istanbul to San Francisco, Manila to New York, "Bicycle Diaries" also records Byrne's thoughts on world music, urban planning, fashion, architecture, cultural dislocation, and much more, all conveyed with a highly personal mixture of humor, curiosity, and humility. Part travelogue, part journal, part photo album, "Bicycle Diaries" is an eye-opening celebration of seeing the world from the seat of a bike.
About the Author
A cofounder of the musical group Talking Heads, David Byrne has also released several solo albums in addition to collaborating with such noted artists as Twyla Tharp, Robert Wilson, and Brian Eno. His art includes photography and installation works and has been published in five books. He lives in New York and he recently added some new bike racks of his own design around town, thanks to the Department of Transportation.