I love to listen to music, especially when I am cycling. It helps me relax, find a rhythm, and lightens my mood. I find music allows me to not focus solely on the cycling but instead breaks it up, giving my mind something else to work on. Having a good tune playing can really help motivate me on the bike no matter what the weather.
I do not always listen to music, sometimes when I want to focus on the cycling, or if I am cycling with friends I will not listen to music. Also when I do have my music playing I only listen using my left ear piece, this means my right ear which is towards the middle of the lane can hear oncoming traffic. Some people say it is dangerous listening to music whilst riding your bicycle but I don’t think it is any more dangerous at all. When people drive cars they listen to the radio or music, this is the same. Also the argument that you can’t hear your surroundings simply goes away if you just have one earphone in, or you have it on quietly. As long as you are aware of your surroundings then you will be safe.
I used to use an iPod shuffle however upon that breaking I chose just to go with a cheap Creative MP3 player. It is simple and just uses AAA batteries so I don’t have to bother about recharging and can always have my music ready to play. This suits me as it is simple, small, and out of the way.
The thing I found hardest to crack was what type of music. My MP3 player is 512 megabytes so it has a very small capacity. I wanted to fill it with songs that would give me a good rhythm to pedal to. However I also wanted songs which I would enjoy listening to no matter what mood I was in, skipping songs isn’t really an option so I required every song to be perfect. I then began the task of scouring my 30+ gigabytes of music on my iTunes library to find the few songs that would make up my ‘Ultimate Cycling Playlist’. I began doing this just before my Europe Cycle as I knew I would want to take some songs with me, for the road and for the evenings. This was a lengthy process, though I now have the perfect playlist in my eyes. It definitely took a bit of tweaking and there are some real surprises in there. I have found that good beats mixed in with some good sing-a-long songs is the best mix for me and puts me in the best mood. It provides rhythm and a little bit of fun.
Now I am sure everyone will have their own playlist and their own favourite songs which they will prefer to listen to whilst cycling or doing exercise. It is all about what works for you. However I am still going to include my playlist as an example to illustrate my views.
Levels feat. Flo Rida & All Stars – Avicii
Levels (In Reverse George Monev Edit) – Avicii
Sail – Awolnation
Cinema (Skrillex Remix) – Benny Benassi
Bubbles – Biffy Clyro
What’s My Age Again? – Blink 182
Bounce – Calvin Harris ft. Kelis
Hypest Hype ft. Tempa T – Chase and Status
Paradise – Coldplay
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall – Coldplay
Blue – Eiffel 65
The Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim
Right Here, Right Now – Fatboy Slim
Flux Pavillion Radio 1 Essential Mix – Flux Pavillion
The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Mad World – Gary Jules
Fire – Kasabian
King Of The Rodeo – Kings Of Leon
Molly’s Chambers – Kings Of Leon
On Call – Kings Of Leon
Fire Hive – Knife Party
Internet Friends – Knife Party
Feeling Good – Muse
Midnight City – M83
Watercolour – Pendulum
Ignition Remix – R. Kelly
Californication – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Loca People – Sak Noel
All Star – Smash Mouth
Firestarter – The Prodigy
Voodoo People – The Prodigy
Spitfire – The Prodigy
Cigarettes in the Theatre – Two Door Cinema Club
I Can Talk – Two Door Cinema Club
Undercover Martyn – Two Door Cinema Club
A-Punk – Vampire Weekend
Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
From The Stars – White Lies
Switch – Will Smith
The whole playlist lasts about 4.5 hours; unfortunately this is the maximum capacity of my little MP3 player. I love the mix of music and I find that having my music on ‘shuffle’ is perfect for any activity I find myself doing. This music is an integral part of my cycling; it gets me fired up and in a good mood. It numbs the cold and the rain; makes the sun shine brighter and the clouds seem less dull. That is why I listen to it whilst I cycle.