Bicycle Diaries

Bicycle Diaries

Book - 2009
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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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009.
ISBN: 9780670021147
Characteristics: p.297 p. , 22 cm.


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CRRL_CraigG Jun 25, 2015

The book is much more than a travelogue. It is a grand celebration of how people live, observed from the seat of a two-wheeler as it whisks through city streets worldwide. It is made up of meditations on art, politics, architecture, and so much more.

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May 21, 2015

A great read, and an easy one. David Byrne is both a pragmatist and very passionate about the issues of urbanism, transportation, energy, sociology, economics, etc. This book covers a huge range of subjects that all relate to bicycling in cities.
Four stars.

Mar 20, 2015

Great book that everyone should read before voting in the Transit Plebiscite...especially the last chapter on New York.

Nov 12, 2013

More of a travelog than anything else. He uses his travels to input his views on his bike philosophy. Mostly he's right on the bike culture: that more bike paths are needed for safer riding. But we're a long way off of having "safe" biking. And it's utopian to think that in the next century biking will be a major way of commuting. In America and that includes Canada, cars are just the way of life.Take the car to the corner store, buy bigger SUV's, gas it up whatever the price. They don't care. Take the bus: "no way". Ride a bike to work: " Are you out of your mind? That's kiddies stuff". Sadly, even the kiddies don't "ride" anymore. They prefer lounging with their I Pads and stuffing their faces with chips and fast food.

Sep 01, 2012

Only about 10% about cycling in urban settings. More about the cities he has visited, the cultural and arts scenes, and of course musicians and styles of music he encounters. A great read. Very engaging, especially if you remember the Talking Heads.

Jun 18, 2012

part travelogue, part philosophical musings, best of all, david byrne <3

Nov 24, 2011

Shouldn't be shelved with cycling, as there's almost no relevant content. It's really more of a wandering memoir/travelogue of the world cities Byrne has visited.


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