Guest Post: Hallowe’en Cycling Mix (60 minutes)

27 10 2013

halloween pumpkin bikeGot a note from intrepid California instructor Lisa Goldman asking if I would be interesting in sharing her Hallowe’en playlist with you.  My response?  Hell, yeah!  So, just in time for Hallowe’en week, here’s Lisa:

Confession time: I made a Halloween playlist about 7 years ago and I’ve recycled it every year since.  I figured, “Hey, who’s gonna remember what I played a year ago?”  Well, if not them, then me. I pulled out my trusty Halloween mix, and I just couldn’t do it this year. Not entirely anyway. Truthfully, this new playlist is only about 50% new. But once I ditched Monster Mash and Thriller, it felt 100% new. Besides, I used to make a joke about imagining being chased my Michael Jackson’s over-eager plastic surgeon during Thriller, and now that being chased by MJ’s doctor is actually terrifying, the joke doesn’t play that well anymore. Time for something new.

When I decided to make a new Halloween mix, I tried to go the lazy route, and crib off another teacher’s profile. I searched the web and came up with a few, but I couldn’t make them work for me. Turns out, I’m incredibly sensitive to matching the RPMs I cue to the beat of the song.  I know there are strong arguments for letting the training profile dictate the ride, instead of the music. But, asking me to pedal even slightly off the beat makes me crazy – like the reverse of asking someone to pat their head and rub their tummy – I just cannot do it myself, much less cue others to do so. (My compromise is the shift around my music to fit a profile that makes sense.) I did get some music inspiration from other instructors out there, but had to put together my own ride, Lisa-style.  It’s not my most favorite profile ever, but I think the Halloween music is fun for this time of year, and you can certainly play it up asking people to name the movie (several songs in this list come from movies), or asking other Halloween trivia, and passing out prizes, or as I plan to do, passing out Glo-necklaces for my night classes. Hope you enjoy – Happy Halloween!

[KEY: song time, total run time; BPM &/or RPM, effort level (easy/moderate/hard/very hard/breathless), Terrain (F= Flat, SC= seated climb, StC= Standing Climb, CH= Combo Hill, J= Jumps, RH= Rolling Hills),  + & – refers to increase or decrease in gear, ^ or v refers to increase or decrease in cadence.]

Warm Up

1)   Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead – 9:40, 9:40, 75-95 RPM; easy-moderate, F & SC. I use the first half of this song to let folks warm up on a F at whatever cadence they choose, gradually adding gear. By ~ 5 minutes in, I have people find enough gear to get the cadence to match the beat (75 RPM) and find a moderate hill.  [Cynthia: lots of peppier remixes of this one on iTunes, but this one’s the spookiest.]

STAGE 1 – 7+ minute hill, followed by ~3 minute F

2)   The Black Keys – Howlin’ For You – 3:12, 12:52; 67 RPM with some cadence pick ups for RH. Moderate – Hard.
Power Music – Tales From The Crypt Theme – 2:02, 14:54; 71 RPM, Hard, CH
Danny Elfman – Beetlejuice (Theme from “Beetlejuice”) – 1:54, 16:48; 75 RPM; very hard StC
Linkin Park – SKIN TO BONE – 2:49. 19:37; 80 RPM, easy-moderate. First recover from hill at easy, then find your way back to a moderate flat, bringing wattage back to where you finished your warm-up or slightly higher, but allow yourself to recover because we have a 17 minute hill next, followed by two short, but very steep hills after that. Lots of climbing today!

STAGE 2 – 16.5 minute hill, followed by ~3 minute F

3)   Deadmau5 – Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff – feat. Rob Swire – 5:29, 25:06, RPM 64, mod-hard, CH. Every time you come out of the saddle add ~2 gears, every time you sit back down, take off 1 gear (or half of what you added). [Cynthia: Love!]

4)   Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party – 6:22, 31:28, RPM 81, RH. St and +v, S and ^-. [Cynthia: Love!]

5)   101 Strings Orchestra – The Exorcist (Theme from Tubular Bells) – 4:23, 35:51; 74 RPM, SC with 4 passes (picking up 20-30 RPM, maxing at 100RPM – if you can go faster than that, you need more gear!) 1-1:15, 2-2:25, 3-3:25, 4-4:15.

6)   Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy – 2:45, 38:36; 90-110 RPM, easy-moderate FF with headwind + at chorus. [Cynthia: Love!  The perfect antidote to all the creepiness.]

STAGE 3 – 4 minute hill, 3 minute F, 5 minute hill with passes

7)   Harajuku – The Phantom of the Opera – 4:11, 42:47; 66 RPM, hard-very hard, CH. [Cynthia: Iron Maiden has a hard-driving song with the same title and it clocks in at 7:21.  Anyone brave enough to pull out Iron Maiden in cycling class?]

8)   Santana – Black Magic Woman – 3:16, 46:03; 80-110, FF, easy-mod

9)   Karl Jenkins, Marat Bisengaliev & West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra – Requiem: Dies Irae – 4:36, 50:39; RPM 61, very hard-breathless, StC with seated passes 20/15/15/35, ^ ~20 RPM and shoot for breathless at 1-1:20, 2-2:18, 3:05-20, and 4-end.  [Cynthia: Love!  See, this is why Lisa is the best.  How does she find this awesome music???]

Recovery & Cool Down

10)                  The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil – 6:18, 56:57

11)                  Mumford & Sons – Ghosts That We Knew 5:40, 1:02:37

Spotify Link: Halloween 2013

Hey folks, Cynthia again.  I was going to pull out MY good ‘ole Hallowe’en playlist that I’ve used every year since 2009 (in journalism these sorts of things are called ‘evergreen’ because they never lose their currency) but Lisa has inspired me to, if not completely rework it, at least play with it.  Hallowe’en playlists are flying thick and fast on Facebook indoor cycling groups, but like Lisa, I can’t simply co-opt someone else’s ride.  I need to make it my own first.  I’m not above shamelessly lifting great tunes, though.  Here are some of the best Hallowe’en cycling tunes I’ve encountered this year:

Cry Little Sister – The Anix (3:32):  Theme from The Lost Boys.  This one’s industrial metal; for a dancier version, check out the Mozart and Friends Remix (4:57).  Thanks to Jen Ward Horenziak for this one.

Maneater – Nelly Furtado (4:19):  This song was EVERYWHERE in 2006-07, plus Furtado is Canadian.  Thanks to Vicki Greenwood for reminding me of it.  (She used the dancier David Garcia and Morgan Page Remix).

Swamp Thing – The Grid (7:15):  I’ve used the 3:59 Radio Mix a few times, but man, was I delighted to see Vicki scared up (ha!) a longer version with the same driving beat.  High intensity intervals anyone?

Shivers (Radio Edit) – Armin van Buuren (3:09): or the full version at 7:33.  A tough connection to Hallowe’en other than the title but if you’re looking to add a little trance to your mix, this is a great bet.  Vicki…

Bleeding Out – Imagine Dragons (3:43):  Sometimes evergreen playlists can feel a little tired; this tune will inject an of-the-moment feel.  Plus it’s catchy.  Clearly, I owe Vicki Greenwood a latte.  This one’s hers, too.

Night Crawler – Judas Priest (5:44):  Not quite ready to rock out to Iron Maiden on the Spin bike?  This head-banger is perfect for high intensity intervals and you never know… you might find you have a few closet metal heads in your class.  This one is from Kathy Schiebe Leggitt.

This is Hallowe’en – Marilyn Manson (3:22):  Not exactly subtle, but that’s why I like it.  Another from Kathy.

Dragula – Rob Zombie (3:43):  Another industrial metal tune from Kathy – she and I are sympatico on this: industrial metal is great for indoor cycling.  (Go ahead, listen to Megalomaniac by KMFDM while cycling and you’ll see what I mean.)

Somebody’s Watching Me (Freakmatique Cut) – DJ Brian Howe (3:23):  An old standby I use for jumps.

Reader Di commented recently with a link to her Hallowe’en playlist here.  (I especially liked Scream, Bodies, and Run with the Wolves but you’ve got to check it out for details.)

And I can’t resist a link to ChrisSpin’s hot-off-the-presses Hallowe’en playlist here.

scooby-dooAs long as we’re on spooky, I am loving that my daughter (age 3.5) is really into Scooby Doo at the moment.  I downloaded the first season (1969) onto our iPad and we also have a Scooby Doo book that has become a go-to favourite for bedtime stories.  They are just the right level of spooky for a kid – it’s comforting that the monster is always captured and unmasked as a plain old person at the end.  I remember enjoying the show when I was little and I love that I can share Scoob and Shaggy and the gang with her.

Happy Hallowe’en everyone!


Hallowe’en Spin Mix (60 minutes)

26 10 2009

Regular reader Beth Ann posted a beastly Hallowe’en ride on the Reader Playlists section of the blog.  She inspired me to create a Hallowe’en ride of my own.  (Thanks, Beth Ann!)

Speaking of scary stuff, I mentioned in the last post that I’ve picked up a brand new Tuesday night class from 6:15 – 7:15 p.m.  By brand new, I mean hardly anyone shows up for it.  The gym added three weeknight classes in the same timeslot about a month ago and all three instructors are hurting for riders.

bike monsterI work at a gym on the main floor of an office tower, so lunch and right-after-work classes are by far the most popular.  I’ve got my work cut out for me to build this new class.  I’ve been plugging it in my Thursday lunch class, updating my Facebook status to mention it a day or two before I teach it, and put up signs throughout the gym and in the cycling room to let riders know there are some new options on the schedule.  I’ve also been offering free passes to non-members and  e-mailed some of my regulars who find it hard to get to 5:30 p.m. classes to tell them about the new offerings and ask them to forward the note to anyone who might be interested.

I’ve built a class from scratch before – my first class was a Monday lunch hour class in a new timeslot.  I remember that it took months, but it was so gratifying when I got to the point where most of the bikes were full every week.  I gave that class up to my grasshopper, so now I’m faced with building a class again.  Readers, have you built a class from scratch in a new timeslot?  What strategies did you use to grow the class?

Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones (6:19): We’re going to warm up with a classic that everyone knows.  Longer classes need longer warmups.  You’ve got six minutes here to get riders comfortable, do some dynamic stretching, and even a few surges at the end.  For surges, pick up the pace by 10% or 20% for a set interval – usually 30-60 seconds, before dropping back to a recovery pace.  This is a simple profile of hill repeats: climb, sprint, then some lifts or steady spinning, followed by another hill.

Enter Sandman – Metallica (5:32):  I love this song.  It’s one of those few heavy metal cross-over songs that don’t drive non-metal folks crazy.  First hill: we’re going to take the resistance up to a 4 or 5 out of 10 and come out of the saddle for a five and a half minute leg-stretcher of a climb.  Get riders to increase the tension just a bit (say, one click) every 30 seconds while maintaining the fast cadence as best they can.

Time Warp – Little Nell, Patricia Quinn, and Richard O’Brien (3:19): This is the most famous song from the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, a 1975 British parody of sci-fi and horror films that is the longest-running release in film history.  It’s been playing continuously in theatres for more than 30 years.   Cinemas began showing the film at midnight to enthusiastic American audiences who show up in costume, talk back to the characters, and throw toast.  We’re going to time warp into some sprints for 50/40/15 seconds starting at 0:28 – 1:22, then 2:02 – 2:40, 2:57 – 3:08.

(Don’t Fear) the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult (5:06): Here’s a chance to play with cadence a little bit.  Take 60 seconds to recover, then increase cadence by 10% for a minute, then to 20% above your recovery pace for the third minute.  Take it up to a sprinting pace for 30 seconds, then back down to 20% for a minute, and ride out the song at 10% increased cadence.

Thriller – Michael Jackson (5:11):  This playlist is probably the only place people are going th hear Blue Oyster Cult chased with a Michael Jackson tune.  Second hill: it’s time to get out of the saddle again for a well-deserved leg stretch.  Alternate standing and seated intervals.

Monster Mash – The Misfits (2:38): Time for a pace line!  Split riders into two or three groups (guys/gals, front/middle/back row) and let each group set the pace for 30 seconds before falling back and letting the next group go.  For the last 30 seconds, everyone joins in to sprint to the finish line.

Ghostbusters – Ray Parker, Jr. (4:05):  What could you do for this song besides lifts?  Come on, let’s start with 8 counts, moving to 4 counts for the choruses and back to 8 counts for the verses.  If you’ve got a fun-loving group, get them to shout, “Ghostbusters!” at all the right spots.

Supermassive Black Hole – Muse (3:29):  Okay, we’ve had a bunch of songs for the older set, now let’s do a seated climb for the under 21 set.  This song counts for a Hallowe’en mix because it’s on the Twilight soundtrack.  Plus, it’s a rockin’ tune.  Third hill starts here.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia – The Charlie Daniels Band (3:44): More sprints – whee!  They’re at 0:56 – 1:17 (20 sec), 1:31 – 2:01 (30 sec), 2:16 – 2:46 (30 sec), 3:06 – 3:40 (35 sec).

Tales from the Crypt Theme (Workout Mix) – Power Music (2:02): Two minutes of steady spinning at a purposeful cadence.  Pick the highest cadence you can maintain for two solid minutes.

Who Made Who – AC/DC (5:16): Cripes, it’s the fourth (and last) hill.  I’ve got the live version of this song, so I start it 30 seconds in.  Take the tension to 4 or 5 and come out of the saddle.  Settle in for five minutes of rolling hill – tension goes up once or twice, then down, then up again.

Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix) – The Prodigy (5:11): What goes up, must come down.  Recovery and a drink until 0:55 when the fun starts again.  Sprint 15 seconds on/off, then 30, then 45, then 60.

Black Cat – Janet Jackson (4:51): I’ve been wanting to use this song in a mix for a long time.  Let’s do some high tension lifts: 8 counts, then 4 counts, then back t o 8 counts.

Highway to Hell – AC/DC (3:59): One more drill before the cool down, one last chance to get that extra energy out in this out of the saddle climb.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run to this song.  It always gives me a little extra energy.  Draw on that energy here – turn up the tension and match the cadence. 

Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon (3:25): We made it!  Have a seat, dial back the tension, and take a big drink.  Spin easy for at least a minute, then do some static upper body stretching as you gradually slow down your legs.  Finally, some lower-body stretching off the bike: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves.

Black Magic – Kreesha Turner (4:17): Some extra stretching and goodbye music.  Happy Hallowe’en!

Got a Hallowe’en tune that’s perfect for spinning, or created a Hallowe’en mix of your own?  Post it here in a comment.



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