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Half Century Cycling Mix (45 minutes)

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.


13 Comments On “Half Century Cycling Mix (45 minutes)

  1. Jamie Goddard Reply

    Love the blog and the website.The songs are so cool for cycling!

  2. aleallegrini Reply

    Thanks Cynthia. I have “fired” two lessons spun:
    the and beautiful-day-iii-cycling-mix-60-minutes.
    Impressions? For one thing, you SWEATY!! For those who are used to going outdoors, 2 hours on a bike without a bit ‘of wind, they are just a business. Then, that hard work and what satisfaction! be able to do the last part (the third ascent) of the second lesson, and get down to the end, with the feeling that he still has some energy to sprint! In total, 45 Km from the AC at 1:49.
    So in conclusion, thank you again for the lessons and the songs more and more engaging.

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Alessio! You’re right, 2 hours indoors and 2 hours outdoors are very different rides.

  3. […] suo Blog ( mi sono “sparato” due lezioni filate: la h...
  4. cyclemaria Reply

    Love this! What a neat way to incorporate different styles of music.

  5. cyclemaria Reply

    Reblogged this on Cyclemaria.

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Appreciated Cyclemaria.

  6. Stacey Mickey-Neustadt Reply

    Cynthia I’m so glad to see that you have time to create rides again. Thank you, I love them.

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Thanks Stacey, I am actually behind in posting them on the blog. I have a few in the can I am hoping to get to soon.

  7. Korrine Fitz Reply

    HI Cynthia,
    A few weeks ago on your blog, someone mentioned that you can get an app for your ipod/iphone that enlarges the numbers (i.e. time remaining) while a song is playing. I’ve searched for his comment but can’t find it! Can you please enlighten me?
    Thanks! Korrine

    1. Cynthia Reply

      Hi Korrine – Looked at all comments back to September then did a bunch of keyword searches but only came up with this one from Nors, back in 2011. Could this be the one you were thinking of?

      Submitted on 2011/04/21 at 2:54 am | In reply to Cynthia.

      Great tip regarding lyrics! I use an ipad, with an app called Djay for spinning classes. It allows for smooth and customizable transitions between songs, and displays a graphic profile of the current song. Great info during classes. It also has larger numbers than the ipod-app for the ipad, But Djay doesn’t show the lyrics texts I have entered, so I have to multitask between the notes I have made and the djay app if I don’t have all the numbers in my head.
      Hmm, maybe I’ll have to reconsider whats the best app for spinning. I’d go for Djay, but now I don’t know.

      1. Korrine Fitz Reply

        Thank you so much for your prompt response, Cynthia! I don’t think that was it though; think it was within the last 2 months (although I scoured all recent comments as well). I will check into Djay and see what happens. I LOVE your blog and playlists. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Korrine

        1. Cynthia Reply

          Rats, hoped I had it. Thanks for the kind words!

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