Cycle Oregon Countdown: 10 days to go!

10 days to go until Cycle Oregon 2011!

I have a countdown on my door at work which reminds me every time I walk into my office.

Today, while parusing the Cycle Oregon Forum on my lunch break, I decided to come up with...

The Top 10 best songs for cycling to be played from a SAG wagon. OK, it started as 10 and grew to 15 before I was finished. And then 20 when I added the hill climbing songs.

Disclaimer: I don't wear headphones when I ride and neither should you. I do wear them when I am inside, on my trainer, and looking at the 4 walls of my family room on cold, wet, and icy winter days.

So what's a SAG wagon? Well, on Cycle Oregon they look something like this...

  Cycle Oregon 2009 SAG Wagons at Glendale, OR  According to Wikipedia, which is never wrong, a SAG wagon is a vehicle that follows riders on a race or recreational ride to pick up riders who are unable to complete the event. Why "SAG?" It's supposed to be short for riders who are "sagging behind". They usually have a driver and a radio operator and carry supplies for the riders.

On Cycle Oregon they have loud speakers mounted on the roofs which they use to play motivational music for the riders. SAG wagons are basically party wagons. The CO SAG drivers/volunteers usually have a theme for their crew such as pirates, cowboys, race car drivers, etc.

On the Cycle Oregon forum they asked what type of music they should play? Such is the genesis of my list.

The Top 15 Songs to be Played by SAG Wagons on Cycle Oregon 2011...

  1. Bicycle Race - Queen: This absolutely must be in every cycling play list. It's the law. Don't bother looking it up because you will find it on every law book, article, or court judgement regarding cycling play lists.
  2. Cool, Clear Water - Marty Robbins: I know what you are thinking. No, I haven't lost it. They should play this on long, hot climbs. Trust me on this one.
  3. Bad Motor Scooter - Montrose: It's about getting out and riding. Need I say more? OK, it's about motorcycles, but so what? So is the next one...
  4. Slow Ride - Foghat: For when you need to slow down and chill.
  5. Runnin' Down a Dream - Tom Petty: Makes me want to ride fast every time I hear it.
  6. Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins: This one works best at the top of big hills just before you descend.
  7. I Was Made For Loving You - KISS: One of the worst songs KISS ever produced (come on, it's DISCO!) but it has a great driving beat and inane lyrics that make you want to run away. Or pedal really fast to get away from it. MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!
  8. Radar Love - Golden Earring: Come on, it's half past 4 and I'm shifting gears! Doesn't that make you want to pick up the tempo?
  9. 1 Bourbon 1 Scotch 1 Beer - George Thorogood: I don't know why but I love to ride to this song.
  10. Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy: This song makes me want to ride. Not sure why.
  11. I Wanna be Sedated - The Ramones: Sometimes I feel like this during and especially after a long ride. Just put me in a pace line and shut off my brain while I try to beat this head wind...
  12. Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin: Hard to beat this one. Hard driving, good lyrics, great song for riding.
  13. Riding the Storm Out - REO Speedwagon: For some reason this one really speaks to me and, no, it's not just because it has the word "riding" in the title. This song means road trip.
  14. Going the Distance - Cake: Are you going the distance? Are you going for speed? Hopefully my wife will not be in a time of need while I'm away experiencing the wonders of southern Oregon.

And finally, to be played in the last 10 miles of Day 7...

15. Take Me Home - Phil Collins: The ultimate "going home" song from an iconic singer.

Best Climbing songs-

  1. AC/DC - TNT: Any AC/DC song may fit the bill here, but this is the one I like the best.
  2. Mungo Jerry - Summertime: Good cadence and a happy message. Makes me want to dance! (Sorry for the bad audio on the video)
  3. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz: Not the original Guess Who song (which is a FAR better piece of music) but this cover does work really well in one scenario: it has a really slow beat which is great for climbing steep hills at a slow cadence. Like we did climbing up that Forest Service road out of Glendale, OR, on Day 5 of Cycle Oregon 2009.
  4. So Whatcha Want - Beastie Boys: Very funky beat that stays steady and keeps you moving. Can't ask for much more in a climbing song.
  5. Bad Horsie - Steve Vai: This is the "dark horse". OK, it's more like silver (watch the video). Probably one of the hardest driving bass lines of a rock song. Of course it also helps to tune your guitar down 2 full steps from E to C. Gives it that extra punch.

So there you have it. These are MY favorite riding songs, your mileage may vary. I took out the climbing songs and put them into their own category below because they are that cool.

Honorable mentions-

  1. I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs: Instead of this one I went with The Ramones.
  2. My Way - 7 Mary 3: Hard driving song. Also because 7 Mary 3 was the call sign of Ponch from Chips.
  3. Slow Ride - Kenny Wayne Shepherd: I have loved KWS's music since I first heard him back in '95 when he was just a teenager. Good song but it didn't make the cut.
  4. Fire - Jimi Hendrix: I loves me some Jimi but the beat is constant enough in this song.
  5. Momma I'm Comin' Home - Ozzy Osbourne: This one almost made the top 15 until I saw an even better "coming home" song in Phil Collins. Sorry Ozzy. You still ROCK!

 Counting down the days!