Chiang, Lynette 1962–
Chiang, Lynette 1962–
Born September 3, 1962, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Education: Australian National University, received degree in computer science.
Writer. Spokesman, Bike Friday. Cinematographer and producer, 16,000 Feet on a Friday: Biking the World's Highest Paved Road and Route 66 by Bicycle: Pedaling the Mother Road. Also worked as a public speaker, videographer, world traveler and adventurer, computer programmer in Australia, advertising copywriter in Australia and Ireland, creative director for Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising in Costa Rica, trainee chef in Ireland, and cook and manager of a mountaintop hotel in Costa Rica.
Australian Writers and Art Directors national award winner, 1992; Cannes International Advertising Festival, Bronze Lion award, 1995; Boston Bike Film Festival audience choice award, for 16,000 Feet on a Friday: Biking the World's Highest Paved Road.
The Handsomest Man in Cuba: An Escapade, Random House Australia (North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2003, Globe Pequot Press (Guilford, CT), 2007.
Lynette Chiang's memoir The Handsomest Man in Cuba: An Escapade is part of the story of her multinational bicycle tour on a foldable bicycle made by the Bike Friday corporation. ‘While working as a copywriter for advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi,’ explained a contributor to the Creat-ing Customer Evangelists Web site, ‘Chiang purchased a bike in 1996 and decided it was time to see the world. She ordered a nine hundred and ninety-five dollar custom-built unit from Oregon-based Bike Friday as her vehicle; the company hand-makes each machine—which folds up and fits into a small suitcase—according to the buyer's height, weight and bicycling needs.’ ‘Chiang trekked through dozens of countries on several continents and chronicled her adventures on her own website,’ the contributor concluded. ‘Her stories showcase her plucky Australian roots, which began as an Oracle programmer and later morphed into an art director and copywriter.’ Chiang ended up as a spokesperson for Bike Friday, helping launch a new type of professional marketer: the ‘consumer evangelist,’ the customer who is so pleased and excited with a product that they become a kind of uncompensated salesperson, extolling its virtues to everyone—and expanding sales accordingly.
The Handsomest Man in Cuba is the story of the three months Chiang spent touring Cuba on her Bike Friday, promoting the product as she went. ‘She roamed without a master plan, bunking with Cuban families,’ David Pitt wrote in Booklist, ‘… and seeing what life off the beaten tourist paths is like.’ ‘Although Chiang sees fantastic sites,’ Library Journal contributor Lee Arnold stated, ‘it is really the people she meets who provide her with her fondest memories.’ ‘Though she's nearly arrested for attempting an illegal house stay, flashed twice, punched in the face, involved in a truck collision and robbed,’ New York Times contributor Pamel Paul declared, ‘Chiang's rosy vision of Cuba remains undimmed. ‘No matter how poor or disillusioned, wretched or enlightened, almost every Cuban has someone to go home to, whether it's a family of their own making or someone else's.’"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Australasian Business Intelligence, March 5, 2003, ‘Peddling Bikes,’ p. 1008064.
Booklist, March 1, 2007, David Pitt, review of The Handsomest Man in Cuba: An Escapade, p. 55.
Library Journal, April 15, 2007, Lee Arnold, review of The Handsomest Man in Cuba, p. 108.
New York Times, June 3, 2007, Pamela Paul, ‘Summer Reading: Travel."
Bike Friday,http://www.bikefriday.com/ (October 1, 2007), Lynette Chiang, ‘What Does a Customer Evangelist Do on a Friday?"
Creating Customer Evangelists,http://www.creatingcustomerevangelists.com/ (October 1, 2007), ‘The Folding Bicycle: Can a Bicycle Change Your Life?"
Lynette Chiang Home Page,http://www.galfromdownunder.com (October 1, 2007), author biography.