Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne is a travelogue and journal that chronicles the author’s experiences as he pedals through cities from Berlin to Buenos Aires, Istanbul to San Francisco, Manila to New York.
Through his observations and insights, Byrne conveys his thoughts on world music, urban planning, fashion, architecture, cultural dislocation, and much more with a highly personal mixture of humor, curiosity, and humility.
The book is an eye-opening celebration of seeing the world from the seat of a bike. Byrne advocates cycling neither as a hard-charging sport nor as an atavistic hit of childhood whimsy, but as a full-fledged means of daily transportation.
He explains how it helps him get places, makes him feel more connected to life on the streets, and also serves as a “form of meditation” that keeps him sane.
Byrne is a cofounder of the musical group Talking Heads and has 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 recently added some new bike racks of his own design around town, thanks to the Department of Transportation.
The book is a great read for anyone interested in urban biking, travel, and culture. It offers readers a unique perspective on the world and encourages them to explore their cities in a different way.
What I Liked
First, I love bicycles and exploring cities via bicycles. Second, I lived several years in Laoag City.
This book is all about exploring via bicycle and he visits Laoag City. So, I’m in love with the book.
What I Did Not Like
It’s definitely a niche pet project. The author spends a lot of words reminiscing and relating stories from his life. I’m not a huge David Byrne fan, so those sections were odd.