This is another Best of 2008 mix for a longer class.  It’s also more challenging, with two GINORMOUS hills, the first a full 13 minute climb that will challenge most riders’ endurance, some bumpy flats, and a second, smaller 8 minute hill before the cool down.

It’s hard to tell what type of riders you’ll get around the holidays.  Most of the riders between Christmas and New Year’s are regulars, but you may also see beginners getting a jump on their New Year’s fitness resolutions.  It’s particularly important at this time of year (and through Valentine’s Day) to encourage riders to go at their own pace, increase the tension only when they feel ready, and take breaks when they need to.

bike-covered-in-snowGoing Wrong (Radio Edit) – Armin van Buuren (3:32):  Dutch DJ van Buuren was the only artist to have two songs in my top 25 list for 2008, this one and In and Out of Love.  Start with easy spinning at low tension, then quicken the pace around 1:13.  This is going to be a great ride!

Give it 2 Me (Paul Oakenfold Edit) – Madonna (5:00):  Madge rocks, and she’s the perfect artist to start off our largest-hill-yet: a wicked, wicked 13 minute climb.  Riders, pace yourselves, and find your groove.  Nice and easy to start, with tension at 4/10, but steadily increasing every minute or so.

Pop Culture (GYR8 Remix) – Creature (3:38): If anything, this fun chaser has even more energy than Madge.  Beginners, take 30-60 seconds to rest.  Everyone else, scale back the tension to 5/10 and keep climbing.

Viva la Vida – Coldplay (4:04): Somewhere, you’ve got to find enough energy to keep climbing.  Close your eyes and focus on your pedal stroke: steady, even, loose shoulders.  It’s just you and the bike.

Shake It – Metro Station (3:00): We did it!  Do a few shoulder rolls and take a drink.  We’ve got 45 seconds for recovery before the first of three sprints: 25/25/45 seconds, at 0:45 – 1:10, 1:36 – 2:01, and 2:17 – 3:00.  Beginners, sit out the first sprint or two – you need to catch your breath.  Advanced riders, do ’em standing, just to show that bike who’s boss.

I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry (3:01): Back to flats, but it’s bumpy – lifts on 8/4/2 counts, switching after each chorus.  Beginners will want to keep the tension at 4/10 or 5/10; advanced riders may be able to goose it higher, but remember: there’s one more hill to tackle before we can hit the showers.

Disturbia – Rihanna (3:59): Here’s the second hill, half the size of the first one, but still daunting at a full 8 minutes straight up.

Just Dance (RedOne Remix) – Lady GaGa and Kardinal Offishall (4:19): Beginners, take a break for 30-60 seconds.  Advanced riders, increase the tension to 6/10 and match the Lady’s pace.  We’re going to slog to the top.  Increase the tension every 60 seconds, and keep your cadence constant.

Beat It – Fall Out Boy (feat. John Mayer) (3:48): The view is great from the top of the hill, but we’ve got places to go.  Three more sprints before the cool down: 45/45/60 seconds at 0:26 – 1:12, 1:36 – 2:21, and 2:48 – 3:48.  Beginners, sit out the first sprint to recover and do them with a 20% increase in cadence instead of an all out sprint.  Advanced riders, if there’s gas in the tank, do them standing.  Go!

If I Were a Boy – Beyonce (4:09):  Have I mentioned how cool the video for this song is?  It’s on Youtube – watch it.  It’s had 26,733,444 views since its release on October 14, 2008.  Cool down and stretch.

Free Fallin’ (Live) – John Mayer (4:24): An extra cool down song.

If you’re not a purist who insists on using only 2008 tunes in a Best of 2008 mix, there’s a great end-of-year cool down song you might choose instead: Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).  The original is by Baz Luhrmann.  His original isn’t on iTunes, though iTunes does have several other versions available.  I used the 7:00 minute version from Sun Tan.  There’s also a version by 411 that runs 5:39 and is more suitable for a warmup.

Got other ideas?  I’d love to see your Best of 2008 playlist – you can post it on the Reader Playlists page.