I’ve got a ton of new music to sort through for new playlists.  This eclectic mix features virtually all new never-before-used-on-the-blog material.  It leans heavily on electronica, with a bit of rock, hip hop, and folk music thrown in.  I have used other versions of Ride Like The Wind and Black Betty in previous playlists; everything else is new.

rest-on-north-shore-peiGot two outdoor rides in this weekend.  The first was from the Armdale Roundabout out Purcell’s Cove Road to Ferguson’s Cove Road and up to York Redoubt and return.  The ride takes you past two yacht clubs, through a fishing village, and offers stunning views of Halifax harbour.   All you need to know about this one is hills.  Big hills.  I hadn’t done this ride since last summer and I was expecting to be sucking wind, but all that time spent indoors on the bike paid off – I actually found the ride easier than last year.

Sunday, we did an easy 26km ride out the Beechville Lakeside Timberlea (BLT) trail.  This trail is part of the local rails to trails project and passes by several pristine lakes and a waterfall before connecting up with the 36km St. Margaret’s Bay trail.  We decided to do the St. Margaret’s Bay trail later this summer.  It’s a decent 72km return, and rises to a metric century if you start at the beginning of the BLT trail.  I’ve never done a century – it’s definitely on my list of goals, first the metric one, then the Imperial.

Ride Like the Wind (54 Remix Edit) – Fab (4:01): This is one of my favourite warm up songs right now.  The beat takes you effortlessly into the groove.

Magnificent – U2 (5:24): In honour of Ferguson’s Cove Road, we’re going to start off with a 5.5 minute seated hill climb.  A big shout out and thanks to reader Tim for suggesting this song.  Start with the resistance around 6/10 and increase it every 60 seconds.

Where are We Runnin’? – Lenny Kravitz (2:41): I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard that when Kravitz’s marriage to Lisa Bonet was unravelling, she accused him during an argument: “You love your guitar more than you love me!”  To which he thought for a moment, and replied, “actually, I do.”  Divorce was inevitable.  Mix it up a bit by doing some lifts here: 4 counts through the verse, 2 at the chorus.

Black Betty – Spiderbait (3:26):  We’re twelve minutes into this ride, it’s time to sprint.  I love the beat in this Aussie band’s version of the song.  Pick up your feet for a surge starting at 0:12 – about 80% of your maximum effort.  At 0:50 when the music really kicks in, go to an all out sprint for 12 seconds, to 1:02.  Recover until 1:48, and when the music kicks in again, go for a second 30 second surge to 2:20.  Recover until 2:58, then head straight into an all-out 15 second sprint to 3:13.

Sugar (feat. Wynter) – Flo Rida (4:13): Darn that Flo Rida.  I didn’t want to like this song that borrows heavily from Blue for the background vocals, but after hearing it on the radio for the nth time, I can’t get it out of my head.  And when I can’t get a song out of my head, it usually ends up on a spin playlist.  We haven’t really been out of the saddle much so far today, so let’s do a standing climb.  Start with medium tension and alternate between regular and aggressive stances.  Throw in a couple of tension increases to keep people on their toes.

Ya Mama – Fatboy Slim (5:38): More speedwork here.  Push the tempo!  The fun starts at 0:17 – 0:47 (30 seconds); rest for 30, then sprint for 30: 1:13 – 1:43, rest for 60, sprint again for 30 seconds from 2:42 – 3:12, recover for 60 seconds.  Around 4:20 come into a standing climb and get ready to push it out.  At 4:51 go!  Standing sprint to the end of the song (about 30 seconds).

Emerge – Fischerspooner (4:48): One more song for lifts.  This NYC duo named their band after their last names: Fischer, and not surprisingly, Spooner.  The challenge here is the fast beat – you’ll need the tension around 4/10.  Start with 16 counts, then move to 8, then 4.  I think the beat is too fast to take it to 2 counts – riders wouldn’t be able to sit down completely.  iTunes gave this song an explicit label, but I haven’t found the curse word(s) in it yet.

Gallows Pole (feat. Hawksley Workman and Eccodek) – Great Big Sea (5:45): Rock fans will recognize this as a Led Zep classic.  Great Big Sea did a gorgeous job covering it for the Canadian Juno awards in 2009 (our version of the Grammys).  As they say on American Idol, “They made it their own.”  We started with a seated climb, let’s finish with one.  Start at 6/10 and increase the tension every 45 seconds.  What’s this at 2:18?  An out of the saddle sprint?  You bet.  Sprint from 2:18 – 3:18.  The crowd will give you a cheer (it’s a live version) but wait it out – there’s more.  Get back into the saddle and keep climbing, with tension increases every 45 seconds.

Here and Now – Great Big Sea (3:40): We made it to the top!  Cool down and stretch with a second song from Newfoundland folk rockers Great Big Sea.  This one’s an original.  Love the inspiring lyrics.

All the Things You Never Wanted – Pierson Ross (3:29): This was the free single of the week on iTunes a few months ago, and I’ve been wanting to use it as a cool down song ever since.  Some extra stretching and goodbye music.


fruit-smoothieI love fruit smoothies, but so many of the commercially available ones amount to a very large portion of ice cream.  Here’s a smoothie recipe I use at home for desserts.  Add a scoop of protein powder and it becomes a meal replacement.  When I’m teaching, I have one for lunch after I teach my noon spin classes and have to get right back to the classroom.  It tides me through until class finishes around 4:00 p.m. and a small snack gets me through to dinner time.  The secret to a great smoothie?  Frozen fruit.

Healthy Fruit Smoothies

Serves 2

1 banana

1 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt (go for the one with the fewest additives)

1 cup frozen fruit – berries work well, as do peaches and mangoes

1-2 packets Splenda

1/2 cup juice, milk, or water

2 scoops whey protein powder (if using as a meal replacement)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend well.  I like my dessert smoothies thick enough to eat with a spoon, so I don’t add a lot of liquid.  If you’d prefer to drink yours, increase the juice, milk, or water to 1 cup.