Not Evangelism

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Soundtrack to my Summer Commute

I have been Without Bike this week, as my main bike is still in the LBS after last week's Mechanical (and my MTB is currently awaiting a new chain) so instead of riding, I've been thinking about riding, and considering my cycling plans for the autumn and winter. Last week I checked over my autumn and winter wardrobe; this week I've been reviewing my commute playlist; the music that's been getting me to and from work through the summer.

It's surprisingly tricky to pick music for cycling; some tracks that play really well at home or in the office just don't translate to the commute. Perhaps it's the quality of my on-bike entertainment system, or the noisy environment. I was also quietly surprised to discover that the Morning Commute requires different music to the Evening Commute (although I suppose it's obvious that the morning will require something with a bit more lift). Either way, the playlist below - the summer soundtrack for my Morning Commute -  has taken a bit of trial and error.

My commute is about 40 minutes on a good day, and if I listen to the following tracks in the order given, I usually get to the punchy stuff as I hit the hills, and arrive in time to listen to the plinky-plinky intro to Florence's Dog Days as I coast into the office. I absolutely adore this track; I still remember the first time I ever heard it, back in January 2008, and how blown away I was by it. I still am, and it plays really well towards the end of a ride. Lovely.

There's a couple of "optional" tracks in there, that I might skip over depending on my mood, energy levels or the weather conditions. But they're all great morning tracks; lifting my mood and getting the reluctant blood pumping.

Nerina Pallot, Fires
  • Idaho (a great getting-going track)
  • Learning to Breathe
Amy Macdonald, A Curious Thing
  • Don't Tell Me That It's Over
  • Spark
  • An Ordinary Life
  • Next Big Thing
Arcade Fire, Funeral
  • Neighborhood #2 (La├»ka)
  • Rebellion (Lies)
I'm not sure that Arcade Fire's rich instrumentation is suited to the noisy environment of a bike ride, but Rebellion is a fantastic first track of the day:
Sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time isSleeping is giving in, so lift those heavy eyelids
DMX, Grand Champ
  • X Gon' Give It To Ya (woof! woof!)
Because, you know, sometimes you just need some rap in your life.
    Emmy The Great, First Love
    • First Love
    • Dylan
    Florence and the Machine, Lungs
    • Dog Days Are Over
    This music has been just about bang-on for the lighter, warmer summer months, but I'm planning a change; something to lift my mood on the greyer days of autumn. I've thinking about adding some Ani DiFrancoin there, which always makes me smile (which makes me pedal harder). Maybe something by The Killers...

    What gets you going on your morning ride? Which tracks help you to get home in the evening? Share your favourites in the comments.

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