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When David Byrne auctioned off his weathered old bike this August, he parted with a faithful longtime traveling companion. In his eBay description, Byrne admitted that twenty-five years and four trips around the world had left its mark on the folding Montague: "It's scratched up, rusty in spots and there are pieces of travel stickers all over the center post (Manila and Roma are still pretty much intact.)" Of course, only one well-heeled bidder could win this rolling piece of nostalgia, but fortunately, the former lead singer of the Talking Heads is sharing with all of us another keepsake from his cycling travels; his infinitely more engaging (and less inexpensive) Bicycle Diaries. These entries about Paris, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, and numerous other cities are much more than just fragmented backpack jottings; Byrne approaches each new urban setting as a fresh opportunity to sort out his ideas on class, human interaction, city planning, marketplaces, cultural institutions, art, and much more. Like any other veteran biker, this versatile visual artist knows that alertness and good breaks are the name of the game. But, honestly, you don't have to be a biker, a rock fan, or an eco-friendly world traveler to enjoy this book. Bicycle Diaries takes you places where no car or average book could go.


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