Author Topic: The best music for touring  (Read 2865 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 481
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
The best music for touring
« on: September 30, 2021, 01:43:33 pm »
I know a lot of people frown on ear buds, but my Samsung buds have an ambient sound setting that allows me to hear traffic. So, when I hiked the AT there were some days that you just had to grind out the hills. It was 2007 and there were no viable solar chargers so I swapped my iPod with my daughter for her MP3 player that took a single AA battery and held 108 songs.

I love the sound of nature but climbing mountains in 90 degree plus weather I resorted to music to survive. I had the same 108 songs for 175 days but it made a huge difference. My Samsung phone current has about 4 days worth of music on it. I have seen some younger groups using USB speakers and blasting music, but to me playing music outdoors over a speaker is rude, particularly in the wilderness.

Does anyone else play music climbing? Or pushing those last 10 miles into town?

Some of my somewhat eclectic picks - for climbing
- Santana Soul Sacrifice (11 minute Woodstock version)
- Zeppelin - Black Dog
- Mark Knopfler - Border Reiver
- Heart - Barracuda
- Meatloaf - Bat out of Hell
- Pointer Sisters - Neutron Dance

Coming into town
- Jackson Browne - Running on Empty
- Golden Earring - Radar Love
- Marc Broussard - Home
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nettles

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2021, 01:59:02 pm »
I like Sailing by Christopher Cross, On the Road Again by Willey Nelson (one of the few country sounds I like).  Heck, I like almost any "traveling" (themes about traveling or going to different places) type of song.  There are some I definitely do not like such as Carrie Underwood's Blown Away or Toto's Struck by Lightning or similar things I don't want to happen to me while riding.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 481
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2021, 02:04:33 pm »
Chris Cross is a good addition. I have some Willie Nelson on there.

Forgot the early morning, leave me alone, and let me think music - Leonard Cohen, or Willie Nelson - Georgia on My Mind
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline jamawani

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2021, 02:14:09 pm »
The J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concertos.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2021, 03:55:09 pm »
The J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concertos.

Some of the best classical earwigs out there.

Going down the Blue Ridge (of not-west Virginia) I spent a week trying to remember all the lyrics to John Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 481
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2021, 04:05:38 pm »
Country Roads is great. How about Glenn Campbell Line Man for the County?

Forgot Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ew, Ew, That Smell for the feed lots :) 
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline canalligators

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2021, 09:23:14 pm »
I'm not a listener while riding, though I plan to take a whole lot of ripped music along for evening entertainment.

On those long ascents, we have sung "99 Bottles of Beer".  That seemed to help.  The second time we ran out of singing steam before we hit top.  If the climb is one of those five hour jobs, well I can't sing that long.

If I were going to listen on a climb, I'd probably pick one of those long, epic albums that were rowdy or energetic.  Maybe Chicago Transit Authority, or Beethoven's 9th, or Buddy Rich's Just In Time.

Offline jwrushman

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2021, 07:42:40 pm »
On training rides at home, I often listen to music, but not when I'm out of my home turf.  I feel that the music disconnects me from the cycling experience and the environment. 

However, on the hours long rides up the Washington passes on the Northern Tier, I did listen to music, mostly to distract me from my huffing and puffing.  The music that worked best for me was a downloaded double album of Benny Goodman's greatest hits.  Being a double album, it didn't repeat too often.  Most of the tunes were up-beat and kept me moving.  And I don't think it would offend anybody, like Led Zeppelin might.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 481
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2021, 05:57:17 am »
I still Benny Goodman on vinyl.  :). That brings to mind my double CD set of Glenn Miller, In the Mood, Sting of Pearls, etc.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline driftlessregion

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2021, 02:56:28 pm »
Nope. I want to hear all that is around me while riding, natural and unnatural.

Offline RonK

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2021, 06:57:05 pm »
Not music, but audiobooks. There are quite a few cycling related titles, such as French Revolutions by Tim Moore. But I've also listened to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, a dramatization of Lord of the Rings (while  touring in New Zealand), Don Quixote, Game of Thrones, and many others.
These are a great way to get of to sleep in camp too - I set the app to read for 30 minutes and that's enough for me to drift off.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline misterflask

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2021, 08:56:52 am »
I'm going to put in a plug for bone conduction headphones.  They rest on the bones just in front of your ears and conduct sound directly to the inner ear structures.  They don't block your ears and ambient traffic and nature sounds are still easily heard.  I'm not an audiophile, but I was pleasantly surprised with the sound quality.  The Trekz bluetooth version throws in a handsfree phone function (although callers complain about the wind noise unless you stop).

Driving (and riding presumably) with headphones is illegal in my state (GA) .  You might argue that the intent of the law was to ban items that block the ears, but they still market them as bone conduction -headphones-, which I believe is what the law specifically bans.

HikeBikeCook, I like your mix.  A single Nirvana cut will get me over a hill on a training ride around town, but I'm going to have to think about what I'd want to listen to for an hour long grind.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 481
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2021, 09:24:55 am »
Not intending to offend anyone but, I just remembered a group of us that hiked together for a few days on the AT trying to remember all the words to Plastic Jesus from Cool Hand Luke.

I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car. front of my bike

https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/eddie-marrs/plastic-jesus
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline staehpj1

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2021, 09:27:41 am »
I don't often play music while riding, but do sometimes listen to audio books.  I also play music in my head and often sing while riding.  When I do play music it is a pretty eclectic collection John Prine, Avett Brothers, Jimmy Buffet, Simon and Garfunkel, Norah Jones, Guy Clark, Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Nicks, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Woods Brothers, Ben Sollee...

I always found I could hear the ambient sounds fine when i wore my earbuds.  I trail ran with them and was never surprised by faster runners or mountain bikers overtaking me.  I could hear where my dog was without looking. 

I generally found that paying attention was the bigger limiting factor.  When I used to trail run I ran into many people on the trail who despite my intentionally making a lot of noise when overtaking them would jump out of their skin when I passed them.   It seemed impossible to warn them without frightening them since they were oblivious enough that they didn't hear anything that didn't startle them.  These were folks without earbuds.  They were just totally zoned out.  I never really understood because it was uusually in an area where you generally knew where everyone within a quarter mile of you was if paying attention at all.

I get the same thing when trail riding, but I understand that more since the approach is faster and quieter.  I think there is the same danger on the road and it is easier to get zoned out cranking out long miles.  I like to get totally absorbed in the riding, but I make it a point to keep my ears engaged.  I don't find that my ear buds hamper that.  Some designs may be worse than others though.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2021, 09:30:56 am by staehpj1 »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: The best music for touring
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2021, 04:07:51 am »
Whatever shakes your bones and rattles your cage is the best music for bicycle touring. Try 1960s rock and folk music. Irish revolutionary music and the Irish Republican Army music strike chords. The Irish can tell their country's struggle against the crown, and all of it in ballads. They are good at it. Slow baroque, mostly strings, is good for relaxation. Locate old songs you grew up hearing when very young. Add a rush of nostalgia to a boring desert road. You can try classical.