Ahh, fall. We’re getting the summer we never had. It’s been glorious. I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as I’d like, due to a large work deadline that looms on November 10. What’s a girl to do when a large deadline looms?
Create a new spin mix, of course! I never get more done than when I’m avoiding what I should be doing. My house is clean, my fridge full, and my laundry basket empty. Hell, I even went to yoga last Saturday afternoon.
This is the playlist I used in class tonight. My riders gave it two thumbs up and the general consensus was that this is a tough ride. “What got into you this week?” one of them shouted after I exhorted them to tackle all three of the final sprints standing. “Hallowe’en candy!” I replied. At least, I think sugar made me do it.
The profile for this class is simple: four sets of rolling hills and jumps, followed by some speed work to finish it off. It’s a 50/50 mix of new music and some recent favourites.
This Night (Max Graham Remix) – Filo & Peri (feat. Audrey Gallagher) (6:26): My first class of the month so the warm up today was all about proper bike fit. More talking calls for a longer warm up. (For a summary of what I tell my class, click here.) This is a recent tune from Dirty Mexican Lemonade. My apologies – when I went back to include a link to the page with the song, I couldn’t find it. DML, can you help me out here?
Good Feeling – Flo Rida (4:07): First set starts here with some rolling hills. When I do rolling hills, I coach a standing climb with tension changes every 15-60 seconds as the mood strikes me.
Stayin’ Hot (Nelly vs. Bee Gees) - Lobsterdust (4:16): On to jumps on a hill. This song comes from DJ Lobsterdust – one of my favourite sources for mashups. (Yes, this time I included a direct link to the song.) Crank that tension up to 8/10 and give me 90 seconds each of 8 counts, 4 counts, and 2 counts. Hup!
We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) – Rihanna (3:36): Second set… more rolling hills. This song didn’t grab me when it first came out, but on repeated listens, I’m drawn to the keyboards in the peppy chorus.
When We Stand Together – Nickelback (3:10): Okay, Nickelback is the Canadian band that Canadians love to hate, but come on – this is one catchy tune. It’s the lead single from their next album, Here and Now. (I love that they’re still called albums. I remember albums.) This is a ridiculously tough jump drill. I thought it would be tough – until I did it. Holy crap. It’s really tough. Here’s the catch: we do everything double time. 8 counts for the verses and 4 for the choruses, but twice as fast as the beat, so really, it’s more like a series of short, standing runs with tension at 5/10. Believe me, 5/10 is plenty.
Sexy Bitch (feat. Akon) – David Guetta (3:16): This is the tune that made me fall in love with David Guetta. How can you not dance when you hear this? Third set of rolling hills start right here. If b**ch is too risque for your club, Sexy Chick by GG is virtually identical, without the problematic lyrics.
Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (3:19): This fun ditty peaked at #1 on the Billboard Chart. More jumps – 7/10 tension, 8 counts for the verses, 4 counts for the choruses.
Moves Like Jagger (The Voice Performance) [feat. Christina Aguilera] – Maroon 5 (3:21): This song topped the charts in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United States. I find it fascinating when songs have such wide appeal. Last set starts here. Rolling hills. Yep, again.
Haven’t Had Enough – Marianas Trench (3:30): Vancouver pop punk rockers Marianas Trench released this single from their latest album back in July 2011. It hit #1 on Canada’s iTunes download chart (a chart I peruse regularly for ideas.) Highest tension of the day: 9/10. 8 counts for the verses, 4 for the choruses.
Find Yourself (Radio Edit) – John O’Callaghan (2:32): Finally, a chance to just ride. Close your eyes, choose a tension and a cadence that is slightly uncomfortable for you (about 80% of your maximum effort), and appreciate how good it feels to move.
The Edge of Glory – Lady GaGa (5:21): I admit it: I’d finish up every class with this song if I could get away with it. A combo drill – more climbing, but with three sprints at the choruses 30/30/60 seconds. (They’re at 1:04 – 1:34, 2:28 – 2:58, 4:02 – 5:02). I coach riders to choose one of three options: standing (toughest), seated (medium), and surges (seated, least intense). I will often ask: “Show of hands – who’s got the juice to do all three standing?” Having stuck a hand in the air, people feel accountable to keep their word. Sometimes I can keep the whole class on their feet.
Stereo Hearts (feat. Adam Levine) – Gym Class Heroes (3:32): This one peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Chart but languished at #47 in Romania, #48 in France, and #49 in Belgium. Those Belgians are tough customers. And yep, that’s the ubiquitous Adam Levine on the chorus. A well-deserved cool down.
Fight For You – Jason DeRulo (4:02): DeRulo’s recent hit pays homage to Toto’s 1982 smash, Africa. It’s the second recent song to reference Toto’s version. Canadian Karl Wolf pulled out a fab version (also called Africa) that I’ve used here on the blog. Which is better? Tough call. I like the rapping in Wolf’s version, but the backup singing on DeRulo’s is awesome. Wolf’s career is really taking off in the USA and I just want to give him kudos for doing it first – his version was released in December 2008. More cool down and goodbye music.
I went trick-or-treating this year for the first time since 1980. My daughter was a scary tiger. We taught her to roar, knock on doors, and say “boo!” – all useful life skills, as a friend pointed out to me. K. was right into getting treats from people, and she doesn’t even eat them. (She’s like her Dad – more interested in a pork chop than a candy bar.)
We live downtown, on a street with many rental properties. There are three toddlers on our block at the moment, but we had no luck at any other houses on our street – people weren’t home, or came to the door and confessed they didn’t have any candy. Hello! Who doesn’t have candy on Hallowe’en? Half a dozen people gave K. loonies ($1 coins) or toonies ($2 coins) instead of candy. One woman on another street (bless her) gave out delicious homemade lemony shortbread cookies, thus single-handedly redeeming the entire neighbourhood.