We all know that David Byrne is devoted. He’s devoted to music, he’s devoted to hipness, he’s devoted to environmentalism. What he is especially devoted to is bike riding. More specifically, urban bike riding and accessibility.
Byrne’s book, (memoir, how-to-guide, manifesto?), Bicycle Diaries, is a cute and somewhat whimsical ride through Byrne’s somewhat scattered brain. (Literally the book is chapters on Byrne’s bike adventures in different cities.) It’s a quick and fun read.
Byrne does seem to be riding a little too high at times. His voice has a slight condescension to it, which is something you don’t hear when he wears his other hat and sings rather than writes. But his last chapter about looking forward and redesigning cities to make them more bike friendly, is pretty spot on. Byrne does some good by drawing attention to the idea that cities need to be more livable.
Tonight he is joined by Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, an avid bike enthusiast (who also leases a Lexus i’m told…), and Transportation Alternatives guru Paul Steely White. The event starts at 7 and is at the Union Square Barnes and Noble. I’d get there early.