Ramble On

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Byrne's two-wheeled assault

My coffee stop in the morning is actually a book store chain. Recently I noticed David Byrne's new book, "Bicycle Diaries" on the new releases table - the image here will link you to the Amazon page. I'd heard about this book and enjoyed leafing through the pages - and it's on my reading list.

Mary and I have known about Byrne's passion for bike riding since the 2004 show we took in at the Birchmere here in Alexandria. She was coming out of the restroom when David arrived from biking to the show - the doorman wasn't letting him in because of how he was dressed and because of his general appearance, clearly in "warm down" mode. Here's a quote from the journal entry about that show, and a link to the post: "...I ride my bike to the venue in Alexandria...it's a nice ride along the river, leading past the Ronald Reagan Airport and then out to tree-lined residential neighborhoods..." http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2004/06/6104_washington.html

Bike rides are a common thread in David's blog so I am not surprised that he had accumulated enough material there to be the foundation of a book. It turns out that bike riding is also his primary mode of transportation in Manhattan, where he lives - he's been a rider for 30 years. He has a number of recent projects centered on the theme, including those new bike racks in NYC.

I also caught a couple of book reviews in Outside magazine and National Geographic Adventure magazine this month, following the release. Besides the typical interviews about the book and bike riding experiences, there is some insight into how Byrne thinks about the cities he has been to as a bike riding experience, and for general "bikability:"

  • Classic urban centers: New York and San Francisco
  • Emerging, few bike paths but good possibilities: Rochester and Pittsburgh
  • Chaotic, challenging old world cities: Rome and London
  • Memorable, great rides where least expected: Detroit and Istanbul

I'm looking forward to picking up the book for a read soon. I have a couple on the list ahead of it just yet.

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