Monday, October 16, 2006

David Byrne on a bike

Martino's Bike Lane Diary recently posted this Transportation Alternatives interview with David Byrne on riding in New York. When the man behind the Talking Heads speaks, ya just gotta listen. I didn't even know he was a bike rider:

Since I've ridden a bike in NY for almost 20 years now as a means of transport I've learned some lessons.

1. New Jersey drivers have rarely seen pedestrians before. Bikes they've seen even less. They cannot see you, so if you see Jersey plates, be careful.

2. Limos and town cars think they rule the road. The only time I've ever gotten hit was by a limo.

3. Food delivery guys have been instructed by some malicious deity to always drive facing traffic, and to force other cyclists heading towards them into unseen traffic coming up from behind. It's unfair to judge immigrants based on their bicycle behavior, but ... since the Yuan is now no longer tied to the dollar I suspect things will be heating up in the near future.

4. No one has yet designed a helmet that is safe, light, aerodynamic,ventilated and most important of all—attractive. (admittedly this is subjective). A lady on 25th st was selling raccoon tails out of a shopping cart once (cheap too!)—so I tried tying one of those on to my helmet. But it didn't really help.

5. I'm thinking those masochistic looking skinny seats might be more comfortable in the long run than the big soft cushy ones.

6. The landlord and the city building code people let me install a shower in my office because I ride a bike to work. Really.

7. I can gallery hop or hit the clubs at night or in the afternoon cheaply and efficiently. It beats cabbing, and the subway is sporadic at night.

8. There's a man near me who usually dresses in white and pink and rides a teeny pink child's bike—decorated with aluminum streamers.

9. I once got a ticket for running a red light on my bike. Fair enough. I hope that if I obey the traffic rules then I will in turn be given the space and rights any other vehicle would receive. I decided to contest the ticket downtown, and got another ticket for the exact same thing on theway to court. I usually stop at red lights, like cyclists do in Europe, though sometimes I do feel ridiculous stopping for nothing.

10. Avoid bombs, package searches, fear of public transport, or claustrophobia—ride a bike.


Adam said...

Nice Tim, the talking heads were a little before my time, but I remember when his third solo album came out, its the one without a title.. just a B&W photo. That album was like food to me, I had to have some everyday. I remember my roomate and I crashing out at the end of the day, on the floor of our crappy apartment "lillies of the valley" at earsplititng volumes. good times. Glad to hear he is a biker. I think tomorrow I'll listen to that album on my Ipod as I ride to work and blow thru stop signs....


Pete said...

Another reason to <3 David Byrne.

Tim said...

For me it started when I was in college and went to see "Stop Making Sense" at the old Valley Art theater in Tempe. About halfway through the film, I realized I had been silently moving my lips to all the lyrics and it occurred to me that I knew all their songs but had never considered myself a fan. I've loved the Talking Heads' music ever since.

Crank that iPod and head toward the office, Adam. You can always sue the driver who hits you and spend the rest of your days on a beach in Antigua. I'll come visit!

Even I took a walk on the wild side and rode with my iPod yesterday. I pedaled around my cul-de-sac to make sure everything was working after I mounted the studes and adjusted the front derailleur on my winter bike. The pro-music crowd must be onto something; I've cruised 100 yards so relaxed.

Luke said...

Anytime I read Tim's writing (an occupational hazard...cough, cough) I'm reminded of the ULTIMATE Talking Heads lyric:

You're talking a lot
But you're not saying anything.


You'd better be out on that damned bike today if you're not in here, got it?

the old bag said...


Great post. Love Byrne and the Heads.