Book Review: Bicycle Diaries

Bicycle Diaries
By David Byrne

Finished this book right before I went on the Michigander Bike Tour 2010 and never gave this book the review it deserved. Below is the little review I quickly spat out and updated a bit. This is a great book and I recommend it. I will definitely purchase a copy for my future library in my future home. ;)

David Byrne is an amazing talent. He is creative and artistic, sure, but as he proved through this book he is also very thoughtful and attentive to his surroundings. I love bike riding in the city and Byrne really taps into that interest of mine. Right after I finished the book, I went on a 220 mile, 6 day bike tour and saw biking in an entirely different light. The biking lens is a fantastic way to look at a the mundane parts of life in an extraordinary way. The book was so fantastic that I actually started keeping my own bicycle diary through my blog, twitter and other random notes here and there, capturing the little details in life that make biking such a more intimate way of exploring the world around you.

This book is about so much more than just biking. It is an interesting social commentary constructed from observations that one could not make while speeding down the street in a car, but only while passing through on a bike. Made me want a fold up bike very badly. It also made me start exploring my surrounding metro Detroit neighborhoods more. Byrne actually has a few pages on Detroit. I think he'd like the Detroiters' progress when it coming to biking.

After I returned from the tour, I am more intent on having a plan for my bike rides. I think things like, "I will go to Trader Joe's for something" or "I will visit a new library each weekend by riding to that community." The latter idea is something I just thought of today. I figured I love reading, biking and libraries, so why not combine all three for a new adventure each week. Further, today I actually hit 700 miles on my bike's odometer, giving me an extra push of motivation to get to my 1,000 mile goal this year. Although it's still summer, I'm looking forward riding in autumn, too.

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