A classical spin on my cycling soundtrack

Before cycling I spent years in the gym throwing around weights to a soundtrack of angry, aggressive music. But that sort of playlist just doesn’t seem to cut it on the bike. The sport of cycling doesn’t fit with having the ears infected by such hubbub. I tried house music, garage and drum & bass, and while the rhythmic and energetic beats are more suited, they still didn’t seem quite right.

This weekend, at the last minute, we decided to go to St Georges in Bristol to hear Paul Lewis perform some of Schubert’s piano music. To  be honest classical music hasn’t always been my cup of tea but I really enjoyed the performance. It was exciting and energetic, to the point of outright aggression when I thought he was about to stand up and karate chop the keyboard to pieces. Fortunately this act of insanity was purely in my mind, but it did start me thinking that perhaps the right blend of energetic classical music could form an ideal cycling mix.

Here is the early beginnings of my energetic Classical compilation, but please feel free to add to it. I’ll obviously need a longer playlist.

1. Verdi – Anvil Chorus (fast, energetic music interspersed with chanting and clanking metal. What’s not to like?)


2. Mozart – Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, K.183 1st Movement (with a mesmerising, high-speed cycling descent to accompany the music 🙂 )


3. Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata: Presto

9 thoughts on “A classical spin on my cycling soundtrack

  1. stromatoliteful says:

    Its a great video of the descent, I like the bit where the music steps up a bit as he moves between a motorbike and a car, as if to illustrate the dangers.

  2. bgddyjim says:

    I don’t listen to music when I ride – I’ve tried it twice (Metallica Master of Puppets and Ride The Lightning) but found that I prefer nothing but the sounds of nature and me telling the committee to suck it up. The two times I did try the music, I kept my left ear bud out so I could hear traffic too… I just felt too disconnected from the bike and the ride.

    That said, I also won’t listen to music when I run either – I tried that once, with a Rob Zombie/White Zombie collection of favorites and ended up with a 6 minute first mile – I was burned up and walking before the end of the second.

    While this may sound funny and even may seem to be an embellishment, it’s the honest to God truth – I just can’t get my cadence, between my strides and breathing, right…and classical puts me to sleep (I went to see the Flint Symphony with my wife and slept through the whole thing – I blame this on my mother who used to play it for nap time when my brothers and I were little guys).

    In fact, I watched the Cancellera descent and was nodding within three minutes.

  3. Mountaindave says:

    Great collection and great idea! Might I also suggest Beethoven’s 3rd, 5th or 9th symphonies – his rhythmic drive throughout those symphonies is fairly strong. Ravel’s orchestrated version of Mussorky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” has some good movements, especially the last two – Hut on Fowl’s Legs and The Great Gate of Kiev. And of course you can’t leave out Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” for hill climbs.

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