Frank Viva’s “Viva Vélo!”

This week’s cover, by the designer Frank Viva, is a colorful, lyrical springtime ode to the pleasures of biking. We spoke to Viva about his love affair with cycling, his island retreat, and learning to prioritize what matters.

This is not your first New Yorker cover about biking. Do you love to bike?

Before COVID, I used to bike to the studio almost every day, weather permitting. It’s a great way to clear away the mental cobwebs and begin the day. About fifteen years ago, my partner and I biked through Rajasthan. We also went on a family biking trip with the kids in Connemara. More recently, I have had some balance issues, but I hope to get back in the saddle soon.

You spend time on a remote island in Canada. Does being in nature inspire you?

Yes. The island is tiny, a half acre with a gigantic white pine tree at the center. It’s a great place to escape the hot city streets, to contemplate mortality, and to stash my collection of books that I have never got around to reading.

You’ve authored a number of children’s books. Do you take a special pleasure in making them?

I like thin books. I loved picture books when I was a kid, and I loved reading them to my daughters. I’m hoping to read them to my grandkids. (No pressure.)

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