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Beautiful Day Spin Mix (41 minutes)

No thematic connection here – these are just some of my favourite songs each of the major spinning drills. Mix and match at will.

Beautiful Day – U2 (4:08): I’ve always felt that warmup and cool down songs aren’t interchangeable. A good warm up song has an expansive energy about it. It lifts you up and makes you want to move. This song fits the bill perfectly.

Stronger – Kanye West (5:12): Crank up the tension to 6/10 and start climbing.  After each chorus, jack up the tension another notch or two. This is a challenging climb because it’s more than 5 minutes long.

Tongue-Tied – Faber Drive (3:33): A bit of recovery for the first 30 seconds of this song, then three sprints down the hill: 30/30/50 seconds at each chorus. Stay with it through the a cappella bit near the end.

Ooh La La – Goldfrapp (3:26): My good friend Jen put me on to this song, which is perfect for a seated climb. Start with HIGH tension – 6/10 and increase it every 45 seconds. It should be very difficult by the end. No getting out of the seat!

Dance, Dance – Fall Out Boy (3:00): Time to sprint! Pop-punk band FOB won numerous awards for this technically complex single. There are three sprints 28/34/25 seconds. The first one is from :29 – :57, there’s a 15 second rest, then the second from 1:13 – 1:47, a 29 second rest, and the last spring from 2:16 – 2:40. Or, you could just call it 3×30 second sprints. Just don’t have your class sprinting when the music’s not there for it. One of my pet peeves is sprinting drills that completely ignore the music.

Piece of Me – Britney Spears (3:32): Yes, her personal life is a car wreck, but this song has the same kiss-off my public tone as Eminem’s The Way I Am. We’re going to do some lifts: 8/4/2 counts, switching after each chorus.

Funky Cold Medina – Tone-Loc (4:09): ‘Member this one? Start climbing. What exactly is a Funky Cold Medina? According to Wikipedia, it’s a peach cranberry vodka drink, which sounds 1980s to me. Hey, you had to live through it to understand the attraction of peach schnapps. Fuzzy navel, anyone?

Money Honey – State of Shock (3:18): Three sprints of 25/40/40 seconds, one at each chorus.

Le Disko – Shiny Toy Guns (3:23): Finish up with another set of lifts: 8/4/2. Download the clean version.

Big Girls Don’t Cry – Fergie (4:28): This could never be a warm up song. The energy is way too mellow. It works really well for cooling down and stretching.

Gone Going – Black Eyed Peas (3:14): If you need some extra time to stretch, try this one from Fergie’s band.



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Saltwater Spin Mix (44 minutes)

This is my favourite mix right now. It got rave reviews from my classes. It’s a nice balance of new music, catchy, but not overplayed. (Umbrella or Sandstorm anyone?) The ride is two rolling hills with some flat road at the end. Hope you enjoy it.

Saltwater (Original Radio Edit) – Chicane (3:30): UK trance artist Chicane was inspired by childhood visits to Ibiza. This song sounds like it was made for spinning. Nice steady cadence.

Viva la Vida – Coldplay (4:04): I will admit to playing Coldplay’s new single repeatedly. The album hasn’t even been released as I write this. A prediction? This is going to be one of the summer hits of 2008. We’re going to use it to climb – quick, light feet. Increase the tension every 30 seconds.

Stoned in Love (Radio Edit) – Chicane (3:41): This song features Tom Jones (yes, that Tom Jones) on vocals and it rocks. We’re headed down the hill, sprinting at each chorus 30/30/30 seconds. Do them seated. Advanced riders can keep the tension at 4/10 and explode out of their seats for the sprints – race day pace!

Keep On Rising – Ian Carey (feat. Michelle Shellers) (5:41): Well, do what she says: keep on rising. It’s time for a set of lifts. We’re doing the usual 8/4/2 beats, but what makes this song challenging is it’s length. At almost 6 minutes, it’s double the length of the usual drill. Did I mention to turn up the tension each time you change beats?

Give it 2 Me (Paul Oakenfold Edit) – Madonna (5:00): Madge sure knows how to rock. (“Give me the bass line, I’ll shake it. Give me a record, I’ll break it,” she promises.) This song is from her newest CD, Hard Candy. Start at a tension of 5/10 and increase it every 60 seconds.

Beds are Burning – Novaspace (3:21): This is a German Eurodance version of Midnight Oil’s 1988 punk-inflected hit. They wrote it after touring the Australian Outback with an Aboriginal band and witnessing firsthand the issues facing Australia’s indigenous people. The lead singer is now an MP in the Australian Parliament. That’s not as much of a career stretch as you’d think – he was a lawyer before becoming a rock star. Three sprints down the hill, one at each chorus: 35/30/30. Advanced riders should take the last sprint to 60 seconds (the end of the song.)

The Way I Are (feat. Keri Hilson and D.O.E.) – Timbaland (2:59): Set your tension at 6/10 and find the beat as you climb. When you hear Timbaland, stay seated, but when Keri Hilson sings, stand up.

Bounce with Me – Kreesha Turner (3:08): Turner was criticized for sounding too much like k-os’s Crabbuckit in this song – I don’t agree. I think both songs stand on their own. How about some lifts? 8/4/2 beats. Come on, bounce with her.

Love Generation (Bob Sinclar Radio Edit) – Bob Sinclar and Gary Pine (3:34): From Jamaica to the world! This song was a massive hit throughout Europe in 2006 – there’s even a version in Hungarian. This is the last drill of the day, so it’s freestyle – do whatever you need to do to get your energy out. I also offer that riders can follow my cues if they don’t feel like doing their own thing. I like to either climb, or do some single leg training for this one.

Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder (5:22): Vedder is the lead singer of Pearl Jam; this solo effort is on the soundtrack for the movie Into the Wild. It’s a cover of a little known 1980s song by Gordon Peterson as Indio. The only place I know of where you can hear the original is on YouTube. It’s a brilliant song (listen to the lyrics)… but I like Vedder’s version better. Peterson? He’s Canadian. No, really, I don’t have an agenda. Slow your cadence to cool down and stretch.

Over the Rainbow – Jason Castro (3:30): Cool down and stretch. Yes, I know he wasn’t the most talented Idol. His stage presence was lacking. He sort of seemed like he didn’t want to win. But when Castro is on, his voice is gorgeous, like on this song, Dolly Parton’s Travelin’ Thru, and on Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Both times I’ve used this playlist, riders have stayed behind to hear the rest of this song. For some reason, it’s no longer on iTunes, but the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version is similar.



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International Spin Mix (35 minutes)

This mix includes artists from Germany, Canada, USA, Britain, and Australia. It’s also heavy on recent releases that currently charting on iTunes.

Professional Killer – KMFDM (4:34): This song is perfect for establishing a steady, warmup pace. And it’s on the heavy side, for those who are missing their industrial metal.

Give it 2 Me – Madonna (4:48): Madonna’s got a few versions of this song on her new CD, Hard Candy. This is the simplest one and it’s tailor-made for climbing.  When they start talking about taking it to the left and the right, follow their instructions. Does Madonna count as a U.K. artist or an American artist?

Crabbuckit – k-os (3:49): Toronto hip hop artist k-os released this song in 2004 to critical and popular acclaim. We’re going to cruise down the hill we just climbed, with sprints at each chorus: 40/20/20.

Le Disko – Shiny Toy Guns (3:23): As soon as you hear the opening notes, you know this one’s for lifts. This was the first hit single for California-based Shiny Toy Guns. Download the Radio Edit to avoid the f-word. 8/4/2, you know what to do.

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis (4:22): I first heard this song when Lewis appeared on American Idol in 2008 and couldn’t get it out of my head. I’m not the only one – it was the top-selling single in the U.K. in 2007. Turn up the tension – 8/10 and dig down for a hard, grinding climb up a muddy hill.

Runaway – Cascada (3:31): This German purveyor of Eurodance tunes couldn’t be more different than KMFDM. Let’s sprint! 45/45/15 Give ‘er! The faster you go, the sooner it will be over. Well, not really.

Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield (3:23): This R&B and gospel-based singer’s newest single is catchy as all hell. With tension at 6/10, alternate between a seated climb and a standing climb, starting with 16 beats, moving to 8 beats, then 4 beats after the bridge.

For One Night Only – Bodyrockers (3:00): This Aussie/UK house duo keep a good beat. Slow your cadence and your heart rate. Cool down and stretch.

Tom’s Diner (feat. Suzanne Vega) – DNA (4:26): A little extra time to stretch.



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Eclectic Spin Mix (36 minutes)

I don’t know quite how to categorize this mix. It’s a little bit dance, a little bit punk, a little bit pop, and a little bit alternative. But somehow, it all fits together (at least I think so.)

Jump – Madonna (3:59): Warm up your legs for a couple of minutes, then turn up the tension to 4/10 for a nice, easy climb.

Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm (3:29): Quick! Three sprints: 45/40/30 at each chorus. Leave the tension where it is for this metal-tinged version of Michael Jackson’s classic.

Take Me Away – Fefe Dobson (2:40): This one’s pure pop from Toronto singer Fefe Dobson. Start with a medium tension climb, increasing the tension every 30 seconds.

Take it Off – The Donnas (2:40): All sprint baby! Alternate 15 seconds on with 15 seconds recovery.

Here In Your Arms – Hellogoodbye (4:03): This pop single went platinum. This is a single leg drill (2×60 or 4×30 seconds).

The Boys of Summer – The Ataris (4:18): The Ataris give a punk edge to Don Henley’s classic song. Ratchet up your tension to 5/10 and climb fast. When you hear the chorus, go! go! go! race day pace! These sprints are short (20/20/20 seconds) and intense. Advanced riders can stretch the last sprint to 40 seconds.

Keep The Car Running – Arcade Fire (3:29): Sure, sure, another set of lifts, 8/4/2. But this Montreal band created a complicated beat to follow. Start with medium tension and increase it every 60 seconds.

Numb – Linkin Park (3:08): Leave the tension where it is. You’ve got one last, grinding climb before the cooldown.

Yellow Brick Road – Raine Maida (3:08): Cool down with this excellent song from Our Lady Peace frontman, Raine Maida. Yep, another Canadian. And he’s married to the equally talented Chantal Kreviazuk. She’s Canadian, too.

Leaving on a Jet Plane – Chantal Kreviazuk (4:40): Just to prove how talented she is, let’s chase Maida’s song with Kreviazuk’s cover of John Denver’s yearning hit.



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Are You Gonna Spin Mix (42 minutes)

This one’s pure rock ‘n roll.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones (3:43): Best warm up song, ever. Loosen up those legs and get ready to ride.

You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC (3:55): One hell of a relentless climb – no slacking today!  Tension should be as high as you can take it and still keep the beat.

Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz (3:32):  Lifts at 8/4/2 beats (60 seconds for each).

Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet (3:37): This whole song is one big sprint, but let’s take it in chunks: 30 seconds sprinting, 15 seconds recovery. Repeat. Tension should be at 4/10 or 5/10.

Lit Up – Buckcherry (3:37): If you’re easily offended, don’t listen too closely to the lyrics here (or any Buckcherry song, for that matter.) Just jack up the tension and climb!  The explicit version makes liberal use of the word f**k in the chorus. The clean version deletes this, but the whole song is still basically a rockin’ ode to cocaine.

Fake It – Seether (3:14): I’ve used this South African band before. Let’s do some lifts: 8/4/2 counts, about 60 seconds each. Download the clean version, which replaces the words “f***king hypocrite” with “little hypocrite.”

Black Betty – Ram Jam (3:55): Another ode to drugs, but then, what’s rock ‘n roll for? This 1977 song was rediscovered after making it onto the Dukes of Hazzard movie soundtrack. Who knew your parents could rock out like this? Four medium-tension sprints here: 15/30/45/60 seconds with 15 seconds for recovery in between each one.

Paralyzer – Finger Eleven (3:28): I’ve got a soft spot for this Burlington, Ontario band, since I grew up in the next town. This fast climb starts easy at 5/10 but the tension increases every 30 seconds.

Rag Doll – Aerosmith (4:25): Single leg training – 60 seconds per side, 2 sets, tension at 6/10.  Keep the pedal strokes even.  Make sure to pull up as well as pushing down.

Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel (4:20): Cool down and stretch. Nobody knows for sure what this haunting song is really about, though it’s widely thought to be an explanation for Gabriel’s departure from Genesis. I’ve been listening to it since it came out in 1977 and I never get tired of it.

One Thing – Finger Eleven (4:40): If you need an extra cool down song, chase Solsbury Hill with this simple guitar ballad from Finger Eleven.