Saturday, May 24, 2008

David Byrne

Photo: Chris Buck

David Byrne is our hero of the week. Now, we can not only love his music and his style, but his cycling style. Byrne is officially drunk and in charge of a bicycle. From his blog:

“You drank too much and fell off your bike” could be the title of a drawing by David Shrigley. But in this case, it actually happened to me after meeting Shrigley for dinner and drinks. While riding home, C and I were briefly separated. Upon reuniting, my tire slipped on the cobblestones of West 14th St., and I remember lying in the street, looking at oncoming headlights and rolling towards the curb so they wouldn’t run me over. Two cops approached and looked down at me. “Have you been drinking?” they asked. Probably a typical question in that neighborhood at that time of night. “Yes, I’ve had a few drinks,” I replied. “But I’m hurt.” I managed to get up by myself and retrieve my bike (no help from the NYPD, though one of them asked if I was David Byrne) and it wasn’t until later, when I was in bed, that the pain made itself truly known. I wondered how I would ever even get out of bed. The next day I went to the hospital and x-rays revealed two broken ribs — numbers 3 and 5, way up high. They're healing now, little by little, and I was told that in 3 weeks I should be OK.


aLex said...

sorry to be a debbie downer here, but as cyclists work to gain respect from motorists in the states, stuff like this isn't terribly funny to me. it's humorous now that we know it was just two broken ribs. however, if a motorist hit him (when he went down or was presumably swerving) or he hit a pedestrian, it could have been much worse.

i'm all about having fun on a bicycle, but in this case, he should have locked the bicycle up, grabbed a taxi, and called it a day. a telephone call from a friend in the early hours of the following day, reminding him where the bicycle was locked up, is preferable to a visit to the er any day. but that's just my humble opinion.

Michael said...

A drunk ride home from the pub or discotek is a right of passage in any cycle culture!

The only problem here was David Byrne's silly bike was incompatible with the cobblestones in the Meat Packing District! He needed Hank instead of that silly mountain bike thing he rides around twon and he would have had a smooth, although swervy, ride home. : )

Zakkaliciousness said...

Drunk on a bicycle?... This features at number 9 on the list - 18 Ways to Know That You Have Bike Culture at

"9. The odd-person out in your circle of friends is the one who has never fallen off their bike while riding home drunk. You mock him/her regularly."

henry said...

Yep, you're being a debbie downer. The post doesn't even seem to have been humorously intended; it just shows that even famous people aren't always at their best, fall down and get hurt.

Anybody with such a problem with drunk cycling should really avoid visiting any Dutch or Danish city in the evening. Amsterdam, for example, is just a buzzing, happy parade of intoxicated cyclists on a nice saturday night.

No doubt some serious accidents occasionally occur but I've only had and heard of the minor fender benders. We like to tease my wife about the time she bumped into a parked car in front of the police station... with half a dozen cops watching.

In any case better to have drunk cyclists than drunk drivers and there's no way a whole pack of drunk bike riders could ever be as dangerous as a single Amsterdam taxi driver!

Michael said...

Henry - Alex is right that it's really never funny when someone is injured on a bike - and I totally agree with you, so much better to have people wobbling home from the pub or discotek than driving.

and it's so much fun!

Michael said...

Henry - btw, great story...

"We like to tease my wife about the time she bumped into a parked car in front of the police station... with half a dozen cops watching."

I also meant to say that I've never seen or heard of a more serious drunk bicycle accident, although I'm sure they've occurred. Drunk people have, of course, also walked out into traffic, fallen off of buildings, etc.