Half Century Cycling Mix (45 minutes)

20 12 2013

50milesA “century ride” (100 miles) is a goal for many outdoor riders, sort of the way that a marathon is a goal for many runners.  As with running, there are multiple shorter options available as well: the quarter century (25 miles), half century (50 miles), metric half and full centuries (50 and 100 km respectively), and longer options: the double metric century (200 km) and double century (200 miles).  Today’s ride is a musical half century – we’ll start in the 1960s and travel, decade by decade, through to the present day.

1960s bike1960s

Jumpin’ Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones (3:43):  If this 1968 hit doesn’t get your heart pumping, I don’t know what will.  Plus, Keith Richards turned 70 yesterday.  Take the resistance up until you can feel a flat paved road and get ready to ride.

Fun, Fun, Fun – The Beach Boys (2:21):  Released in 1964.  Moving into a surge (fast seated flat, not-quite-sprint, about 80% of maximum effort) for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds at about 60% effort (a comfortable pace, but still work), repeat.

1970s bike1970s (Hill #1)

Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees (4:46):  Leaving the 60’s behind, you know we’re in the 70’s with this one (1977 to be exact).  Jumps on a hill, 8 counts up/down about 80% max effort.

Rock and Roll – Led Zeppelin (3:41): Released in 1972.  Sprints!  Starting at 0:06 15/30/45 seconds on/off (recovery on the off-bits).

1980s bike1980s (Hill #2)

You Shook Me – AC/DC (3:55):  1980.  A standing climb, starting moderate and increasing resistance every 60 seconds.  The last minute should be an uncomfortable challenge.  Stay with the music, don’t fall behind.

Raspberry Beret – Prince (3:33):  1985.  Four count jumps this time, still on a hill, about 70% max effort.

1990s bike1990s (Hill #3)

Fridays I’m in Love – The Cure (3:35):  I could have sworn this was an 80’s song but Wikipedia has the release date as May 11, 1992.  A fast, seated flat.  Pick a resistance and cadence you think you can maintain for 3+ minutes – don’t be too sure – explore your limits here – and go.  I don’t chatter for this one, I let everyone ride with their thoughts.

Gonna Make You Sweat – C+C Music Factory (4:03): This song’s release in 1990 marked a sea change in popular music: the rise of house music, wide popularization of hip hop, and the intersection between club music and workout music.  It’s practically a musical history lesson, but for us today, it’s a seated climb up a big-ass, two-song, 8-minute hill.  Increase resistance each minute, making the last minute uncomfortable.

2000s bike 12000s (still Hill #3)

Viva La Vida – Coldplay (4:04): 2008.  Rising from the saddle, we’re going to finish this hill standing, but thankfully, the resistance backs off to a comfortable level as the hill levels out and rolls (resistance up/up/up a notch, then down/down/down again).  Still my all-time favourite Coldplay song.

It’s My Life – Bon Jovi (3:44): 2000.  Wind ‘er up with some sprints: 30/40/60 seconds (one at each chorus).  They’re at 0:34 – 1:04, 1:40 – 2:20, and 2:38 – 3:38).  Bon Jovi is the only 80s ‘hair metal’ band to break the top 40 post Y2K.  Formed in 1983, the band achieved massive success with 1986’s Slippery When Wet album, which contained both Livin’ on a Prayer and You Give Love a Bad Name.

2000s bike2010s

If you’ve got a 60 minute class, add a couple of songs from 2010-2013 here.  Hill #4?

Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams) – Daft Punk (6:10):  Time to cool down and stretch to one of the biggest songs of 2013 that harks back to disco and funk of the 1970s.


MomMo&CindyJuly06This ride would be a good bet if you’re subbing a class and don’t know the ages or musical preferences of your riders.  The profile is simple and the songs are well-known.  It even got my mom’s stamp of approval.  I’m visiting her and as I write, we are sitting at the kitchen table, laptop to laptop, me blogging, her playing Bookworm.  I was running through the playlist on iTunes and she said, “Is that the music you use in your cycling class?”  I nodded, and she replied, “I’d ride to that.” (That’s her, on the left, me in the middle, and my sister on the right.)

I’m making up for lost time on vacation: there are two more posts coming before year-end, another high intensity interval ride and a ride that includes 220 jumps.  Both use my favourite Top 40 tunes.


All She Wants To Do Is Dance Spin Mix (33 minutes)

15 09 2008

I’ve been thinking about 80’s music. I went to high school in the 1980s, so I probably know the music of the 1980s better than that of any other decade. Once I started digging through iTunes and my CDs, I realized I could probably make about five mixes without repeating a song. This mix includes some iconic 80’s tunes by Duran Duran, Wang Chung, Tone-Loc, and Billy Idol. It also includes some lesser known hits by mega-artists Queen and Don Henley, of the Eagles. We’re going to start the ride with Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Relax – Frankie Goes to Hollywood (3:57): Let’s warm up those legs. Start with the tension around 2/3. At 2:00, increase it to 3/10.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran (3:42): Okay, take the tension to 4/10, get up off the saddle, and find the beat. Increase the tension every 60 seconds until you’re at the max you can handle and still keep the beat.

It’s Raining Men – The Allstars (3:32): I’m partial to Geri Halliwell’s version from the Bridget Jones soundtrack but it’s nowhere to be found on iTunes. For true 80’s authenticity, use the original, by the Weather Girls. Take the tension back to 4/10 and use the first 30 seconds of this song for recovery, because we’re going to do some seated sprints: 20/60/30 seconds, starting at each chorus. The first sprint is at 0:30 – 0:50, there’s 30 seconds for recovery, then a long sprint from 1:21 – 2:21, 40 seconds for recovery, and sprint it out to the end of the song from 3:03 – 3:32.

Dance Hall Days – Wang Chung (4:00): Let’s do some lifts: 2/4/8 counts. Do 1 minute of 2 count lifts, 2 minutes at 4 counts, and the last minute at 8 counts.

Funky Cold Medina – Tone-Loc (4:09): Nothing fancy, let’s just climb! Pick a tension that will challenge you – then add 1.

Under Pressure – Queen (3:58): Had a great early morning outdoor ride this weekend with some friends. We tackled the hill at Larry Uteck Blvd on the way home. You climb for 5 minutes at a crazy angle, then reach a flat spot, but you’re not done – the road curves and it’s another 5 minutes of total focus to get to the top. That hill? We’re climbing it here. Stay in the saddle and take the tension to 8/10 for the first 30 seconds, then to 9/10. At 3:00, take it to 10/10. Just keep repeating to yourself: “I am bigger than this hill” and you’ll get there.

Mony Mony – Billy Idol (5:01): It’s almost a relief to sprint after that climb. Take your tension back to 2/10 and do some nice easy spinning to recover, then up to 4/10 for each sprint, going back to 2/10 in between. There are 4 standing sprints in this song, one at each chorus: 20/20/20/20 or 50 (rider’s choice) at 0:40 – 1:00, 1:43 – 2:03, 2:55 – 3:17, and 3:58 – 4:18 or 4:48. There’s a nice 40-50 second recovery period between each sprint, so when you go, you should go like stink – race day pace!

All She Wants to do is Dance – Don Henley (4:29): This album was on my turntable more than any other in high school – every track is excellent. We’re going to cool down and stretch. Well done!

One of my riders this week asked me for suggestions to cope with discomfort in her lower back. The first thing I do is double-check the bike set up. Increasing the height of the handlebars can help. I also recommend taking a break during climbs.

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