The Friday Cyclotouriste

a geo-photoblog chronicling my "excursions velo"

On the Road……Suburbia

with 2 comments

The Suburbs #2

Geotag Icon Show on map (note the view of Mt. Tam)

The Suburbs #3

The Suburbs #4

After reading the first few chapters of David Byrnes’s Bicycle Diaries, I’ve become hyper-aware of the aesthetics of the local suburban landscape. Byrne writes about the underlying paradox of this landscape in the book:

My generation makes fun of the suburbs and the shopping malls, the TV commercials and the sitcoms we grew up with — but they’re part of us too. So our ironic view is leavened with something like love…These suburbs, where so many of us spent our formative years, still push emotional buttons for us; they’re both attractive and deeply disturbing.

I also enjoyed this bit from the Talking Heads co-founder on the joys he experienced after switching to a bicycle as his main mode of transportation around New York City:

As I got a little older I also may have thought that cycling was a convenient way to get exercise, but at first I wasn’t thinking of that. It just felt good to cruise down the dirty potholed streets. It was exhilarating. That same sense of liberation I experienced in New York recurred as I pedaled around many of the world’s principal cities. I felt more connected to life on the streets than I would have in a car or in some form of public transit: I could stop whenever I wanted to; it was often (very often) faster than a car or taxi for getting from point A to point B; and I didn’t have to follow any set route. The same exhilaration, as the air and street life whizzed by, happened again in each town. It was, for me, addictive.

I had a similar epiphany when I starting riding my bicycle again after a long lay-off as a graduate student in Berkeley.

Written by fridaycyclotouriste

February 21st, 2010 at 2:17 pm

2 Responses to 'On the Road……Suburbia'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'On the Road……Suburbia'.

  1. I look forward to reading that book – and riding more. As Byrne (and you) point out you notice more of your surroundings when you get out of the car and onto a bike (or your feet for that matter). It really has a way of connecting the whole being to one’s place through the complete sensorial experience (i.e. sight, smell, sound, touch, and if you’re really adventurous, taste.) Bird song and the scent of blossoms are particularly apparent to me this time of year (when it’s not raining). And it’s amazing how much there is to discover about places we may have passed hundreds, if not thousands, of times before once we slow down, remove the walls, and open our senses.


    23 Feb 10 at 5:05 pm

  2. jeff/ thanks for your words of wisdom! i couldn’t have said it any better.

Leave a Reply