When I heard that Talking Heads lead guitarist and singer David Byrne was a bicycle fanatic, I pictured him wearing his famous white "big suit" from his "Stop Making Sense" days, while riding a two-wheeler and swiveling his suit's wide shoulders to catch the wind on curves.
Byrne, it turns out, is more serious than that when it comes cycling. And he'll tell Philly all about it on Feb. 4th, when he'll be the star panelist at “Cities, Bicycles and the Future of Getting Around: A Special Urban Sustainability Forum with David Byrne.”
The already sold-out event will be held at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where Byrne will be joined by Bicycle Coalition executive director Alex Doty, city representative Katherine Gajewsk; and urban theorist Ignacio Bunster-Ossa. The forum will be moderated by Christine Knapp of PennFuture.
Together, "they'll address the intersections among bicycle advocacy, urban planning, civic responsibility, and the pleasure derived from seeing the world from a bicycle," says the Academy's Carolyn Belardo.
"How can Philadelphia become a more bicycle friendly city? How might the city change if more people made a bicycle their primary mode of transportation?"
Byrne will no doubt bring a global perspective to the debate. His new book, Bicycle Diaries is described as "an account of his urban bicycle odyssey through the streets of Istanbul, Buenos Aires, London, Berlin, Paris, Belgrade, Sydney, Manila, New York, and San Francisco" that presents "a strong argument for the way a bicycle can change our interaction with our world on a daily basis."
Maybe Byrne will help Philly start making sense when it comes to figuring out how bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians can peacefully coexist on our nasty streets. Meantime, to get in the mood for Byrne, click below to watch the trailer for "Stop Making Sense," one of my favorite movies of all time.