I recently finished reading David Byrne’s “The Bicycle Diaries” – what a delight! As I mentioned when I was in the midst of reading it, I think of David Byrne as the “front man” for The Talking Heads. However, as it turns out, he’s also a visual artist, a solo musical recording artist who continues to the tour the world, and an avid bicyclist, both at home in New York City and on his travels (he takes a folding bike!).
The book was a wonderful pastiche of artsy vignettes, reflections on bicycling, information about various cities throughout the world with a wee dash of political commentary thrown in. Mostly it is organized by city, but the topics can be wide-ranging.
He’s a very engaging writer. And a man fully committed to living life creatively and fully. Reading this book made me want to tap into my own creativity more. To get outside more. To “live life out loud.” And, maybe even to get on my bicycle – though, I have to say, I’m still in the “falling in love stage” with my new motorcycle so this may not be the year for David Byrne style biking.
I loved the final paragraph of the New York Times review of this book:
“As a plea to open up more city streets to cyclists — an appendix includes drawings of nine goofy bike racks he designed for installation in Manhattan and Brooklyn — this is an uncommonly gentle manifesto. Mr. Byrne’s music has every year grown more receptive to other cultures, and his diaries reflect the same ecumenicism. We’ve known for a long time that he possessed a quizzical mind; more shocking is discovering here how wholesome it is, too.”
So, with biking season right around the corner (at least here in Chicago) I encourage you to pick up David Byrne’s “The Bicycle Diaries” – really, you won’t be disappointed.
Have you read it? Do you ride a bike? Join the conversation!