A renowned musician and visual artist presents an idiosyncratic behind-thehandlebars 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.
When David Byrne stops moving, does he fall over? And when stationary, is he liable to be found leaning carefully against a wall? Conversely, does his bicycle make unannounced domestic appearances -- by the fireside, perhaps, on a rainy day, or near the kitchen table when food is laid out? Fans of the great Flann O’Brien will know where I’m going with this: If Byrne, as recorded in Bicycle Diaries, has truly explored the world’s great cities en vélo, then according to the theory of “atomic interchange” propounded in O’Brien’s The Third Policeman he must by now be part bicycle, and his bicycle part Byrne.