What Songs Spin Your Pedals?

The views expressed in this post do not reflect those of Cycle Life Studio, its owners, or Hunter. They are the opinions of one rider with far too much time.

If it wasn’t for the music, it’s unlikely I’d ever go to spin. Seriously. I can’t imagine doing sprints to the sound of huffing and puffing. Nor would I ever entertain doing a heavy seven-minute climb without a rocking song to push me through it. Heck, let’s be honest, every time an instructor’s iPod cuts out, I’m literally ten seconds away from getting off my bike and heading home.

Music makes most things bearable. I always have music playing—while I drive, while I cook and clean when I write. And when I workout. My running playlist is serious business, full of guitar-heavy rock that pushes me to keep going. So it should be no surprise that I pay close attention to what’s played in class. A good playlist can make an hour fly by. A bad one can make it feel like torture. The right song will make you hate your instructor a little less for insisting you pedal at 20 forever. The wrong song will give you another reason to hate her.

Over the past year, I have heard a lot of music at Cycle Life. Because I never listen to the radio, class is where I get all my pop. If not for my instructors, my Guilty Pleasures playlist from last summer would have been woefully incomplete (thank you Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran). Class is also where I go for my hairband fix. If the music weren’t so loud, you might actually hear me say, “Aww yeah” at the first notes to Bon Jovi and Motley Crue.

But the music played in class also gives me a chance to think about how things would be different if I ruled the world. What songs would I play? It’s fun to think about. It’s also a challenge, one that will make you appreciate how much effort your instructors put into picking songs that fit the workout. What music would you choose? Me, I’d have the room rocking. Using the warm-up, sprint, climb, and cool down as examples, here’s a glimpse into my ride.

The warm-up is like small talk on a date. You don’t want to reveal right out of the gate what they're in for, so you keep it light. (Under consideration: “We’re Going to be Friends” by the White Stripes.)

Sprints call for something uptempo. There’s a reason nobody sprints to Michael Bolton. Okay, there are many reasons. (Honorable mention: “Celebrity Skin” by Hole, “Remedy” by The Black Crowes)

Climbs, especially long climbs, demand songs with an edge; songs that build as you add tension. Climbs are often at the heart of a workout. They are killers. So climb songs should not screw around. (Other nominees: “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” by the Stones, “Rocket Queen” by GNR, “Alone and Easy Target” by Foo Fighters)

The Cool Down is basically one big exhale. A giant sigh of relief. Thank God it's over. (Runner-up: “Island in the Sun” by Weezer)

So, tell us, (here or on FB) what’s on your playlist?

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