'Talking Heads' frontman to meet Blumenauer for bike talk

David Byrne, lead singer of the new wave band "Talking Heads" will join Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) Tuesday evening to advocate for their shared passion: bicycles.

The unlikely duo will speak at a Brookings Institution panel at the Newseum on "Cities, Bicycles, and the Future of Getting Around," along with New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-khan and Bruce Katz of Brookings.

Byrne, an avid cyclist for most of his life, recently penned his first book, "Bicycle Diaries," which chronicles his two-wheeled adventures around the world.

Blumenauer's passion for pedaling is also well-documented; the founder and chair of the 160 member Congressional Bike Caucus rides his to work every day, rain or shine, and his office told ITK he'll likely bike over to the event on Tuesday.

"I recently took a great bike tour of NYC's evolving bike infrastructure," Blumenauer told ITK, "it's really improving safety for cyclists." In a video of the tour, the lawmaker can be seen zipping in and out of traffic sporting his signature bow-tie under an anorak. He also answers interview questions at 20 miles an hour, quite a feat in one of the busiest cities in the world.

"I've not yet met David [Byrne]," said Blumenauer of Tuesday's event, "but I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's always a pleasure to meet [people] who share an appreciation of bicycling and understand the contribution bike infrastructure can make to a city's vibrancy and livability. Hopefully we'll get some reporters to bike over and hear what we have to say!"

The congressman had to dash off to a stakeholders' meeting so we didn't get a chance to ask him for his favorite "Talking Heads" song, but his spokeswoman said that given the subject matter, "'Road to Nowhere' seems appropriate.

"He's been working for years to get a bike lane on Pennsylvania Ave., and he's feeling optimistic that this will soon happen."