Gyms get busy in January with new exercisers, so each January and February I try to take a bit of extra time to encourage everyone to ride their own ride.  I focus more on modifications that will make the class easier (because, let’s face it – the regulars know exactly how to get what they came for).  I coach longer recovery breaks, urging riders to take as long as they need until they feel ready to work again.  I check in more.

This simple ride manages to cram 16 of the top 25 songs of 2012 into one playlist.  The profile repeats: climb/surge, jump, sprint, tempo – three sets.  I’ve thrown an extra seated climb in about two-thirds of the way through because I find them really good for catching your breath while continuing to work.  Speaking of work, are you ready to ride?

Gangnam Style – PSY (3:39): Warm up.

Mighty Love (Instrumental) – Eric Prydz and Andreas Postl (5:41):  Keep the warm up going until 1:08, then move into the first combo drill for surging and climbing out of the saddle. 1:08 – 1:55 surge; 1:55 – 3:40 climb; 3:40 – 4:55 surge; 4:55 – 5:20 climb; 5:20 – 5:41 recover.

Die Young – Ke$ha ( 3:33): Four count jumps.

Don’t Wake Me Up – Chris Brown (3:42):  Three sprint intervals 23/30/23 at 1:07 – 1:30, 2:22 – 2:52, and 3:07 – 3:30.  I read today that Rihanna and Chris Brown are an item again.  She said he’s changed.  Hope so.

The Veldt (Radio Edit) – Deadmau5 (2:50):  Choose a tension and cadence you can maintain for three minutes, close your eyes, and just move.

Breakn’ a Sweat (Zedd Remix) – Skillrex and The Doors (5:31):  Recover for 30 seconds, then we head into another combo surge/climb: 30 – 1:00 surge; 1:00 – 1:58 climb; 1:58 – 2:58 surge; 2:58 – 4:10 climb; 4:10 – 4:55 surge; 4:55 – 5:30 recover.

Pound the Alarm – Nicki Minaj (3:26):  More four count jumps!  Make sure to download the clean version for this one.

Never Close Our Eyes – Adam Lambert (4:08):  We’re halfway through the class, time to check in with your riders.  Are they up for an extra challenge today?  This song offers three sprint intervals, one at each chorus.  I coach riders to stand as the music builds, then move into explosive sprints.  For an added challenge, coach jumps for the verses.  (Riders who are feeling quite challenged enough already, thank you, can skip the jumps and tackle the sprints seated.)

Bodywork (feat. Tegan and Sara) – Morgan Page (3:59):  Another tempo drill, this one a minute longer than the first.  But can you maintain the same tension and cadence as you did for the first tempo drill?

Babel – Mumford & Sons (3:28):  A seated climb.  Catch your breath while you work.

Rumour Has It – Bump n Grind (6:02):  The third surge/climb drill of the day.  One minute each, three sets.

Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen (3:13): Jumps.  8 counts for the verses and 4 for the choruses.

50 Ways to Say Goodbye – Train (4:08):  There are three glorious sprints here: 30/42/60 seconds at 0:45 – 1:12, 1:56 – 2:38, 2:58 – 3:55.

Home – Phillip Phillips (3:30):  The third tempo drill of the day and the last work we’ll do.  Remember the tension and cadence you used for the last two?  Those times, you kept something in reserve because there was more work to do.  This time, you don’t have to worry about that – you can give everything you have left.  Let’s go.

Some Nights – Fun. (4:37):  Cool down.

Hall of Fame (feat. – The Script (3:23):  Some extra cool down and goodbye music.

Cynthia and Gordon Dec 2012I absolutely love hearing from readers who are going to be in town and want to join me for a ride.  I was lucky enough in January to be joined by reader Gordon (who teaches cycling elsewhere in Nova Scotia) and his daughter Sarah.  Sarah took this pic of Gordon and I after class. (why can’t I get my act together and take the pic BEFORE I’m all sweaty?) 

I’d forgotten to charge my iPhone that day and it was down to 7% battery life.  I killed the display when class began and crossed my fingers that the battery would last for an hour, because I was pretty sure nobody wanted to hear my rendition of Some Nights for the cool down.  Lucky for them, the battery died with only about 30 seconds left in the cool down and Sarah was gracious enough to take the pic with her phone.  Thanks to Gordon and Sarah – it was a pleasure.