Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Bicycling is like a religion to Byrne, a symbol of his wide-eyed eternal youth, and also a kind of therapy. Back in his Talking Heads days, he had an old three-speed that he rode through the potholed streets of downtown Manhattan, to the Mudd Club and gallery openings in Soho. Back then, biking was so unpopular that you didn’t have to worry about getting your bike stolen—nobody wanted it. To this day, he bikes pretty much everywhere, and since the early nineties, he has taken a folding bike on almost every out-of-town trip. On his latest world tour, which he just concluded in early August, he took along seven bikes, so that his band and crew could ride as well. “It wasn’t mandatory,” Byrne says, “but I really encouraged it. I’ve discovered, if you’re on tour for a year and you spend all that time just in a hotel room or backstage, you’ll be crazy by the end. You’ll be crazy. You’ll be angry. You’ll be drunk or pissed off or whatever, but it’s not a good way to spend a year. Get out. Exercise.”