Cycling through the five boroughs is like being followed around by an amazing orchestra with a huge horn section. The noise from some intersections could knock you down. But a weekday breeze through the park can give you the closest thing to silence in this city. After riding a while, you’d be surprised how many times you find yourself stopping to ask drivers, “Who sings that?” It worked once maybe. So while searching for your air pump this spring, throw these songs on your smartphone for the ride.
War Pigs - Black Sabbath (Paranoid)
A regular first song of my morning commute. The intro makes the groggy first turn a little more tolerable. Then it picks up just as you make it through and guides your body to your groove and adrenaline to your veins. Try not to thrash too hard in traffic though.
Still D.R.E. – Dr. Dre (The Chronic 2001)
Sun is out. And you’re back! Chances are if you’ve been off the saddle all winter, you need some encouragement on that halfway there hill. Let them know you still got it, try to reach a 93.4 rpm cadence sync’d to the beat in Dre’s comeback middle finger. You might want to stretch first. Of course, you’d better turn this up if you’re hittin’ corners in a recumbent.
Cocoo Butter – Action Bronson ft. Nina Simone (Well-Done)
Last year, the Queens born rapper/chef dropped this collaboration with Statik Selektah, and I haven’t been able to put it down since. This whole album is the freshest soundtrack you can find for moving through the city. Whether cruising through your hood or digging in on the bridge, you’re covered. Best line: “Ill prosciutto. Legend, Phil Rizzuto.”
Bicycle Race – Queen (Jazz)
This cliche will not be avoided. A sweeping chord progression. A chanted anthem. If you don’t want to ride your bicycle after hearing this, you have no soul. But it’s best that this remain warm-up music that you and your concerned roommate don’t talk about. That being said, it’s also recommended for you to concede the road to anyone that rides up blasting this song. They could be dangerously happy or a fat bottomed girl. Either way I think it’s a good idea to let them get ahead.
The Motto – Drake (Take Care)
This one is for your own good. Those fleeting moments you ride doubles with a cool cab driver can leave you with a verse severely stuck in your head. Chances are, right now you’re riding through clouds of “The Motto.” Take the proper precautions, finish the song, and repeat it. YOLO!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t discourage the use of headphones while cycling. Phones have speakers and clothes have pockets. They were made for exactly this. See you in the bike lane!
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