Day 113: NPR’s “Songs for the Urban Cyclist”

26 04 2010

Pierre LaScott / Flickr


A colleague at work today mentioned a segment they heard recently on NPR regarding songs for cycling. I visited NPR’s website and found “Bike to the Beat: Songs for the Urban Cyclist.” The playlist contains six songs that NPR says will “inspire you as you embark on your daily two-wheeled journey. So strap a boombox to those handlebars, crank it up (not too loud, because the sounds of the streets are vital in the battle of bike vs. car) and pedal to the beat.” 

NPR does mention the importance of being able to hear traffic. I’ve mentioned before what my opinion is on cycling with earphones. (Sorry NPR, I gave up my boombox years ago, and we all know you’re really referring to earphones and MP3 players anyway.) I don’t feel comfortable riding in urban areas if I can’t hear street sounds, so I don’t do it. Many others I’ve talked to seem to agree. (Riding indoors on the trainer is another story.) 

What I find most interesting about this NPR playlist is they managed to choose a photo of a cyclist with no helmet. And what appears to be a fixie with no brakes. 

Ok, before someone fusses at me, let me just say I have nothing against fixies, single-speeds, townies, MTBs or any other kind of bike. I think each person has their preference and that’s one of the many things that makes cycling fun. And while it’s a matter of preference whether or not you choose to wear a helmet, I do think it’s stupid to ride without one. I personally, need all the brain cells I can get. But if you choose to ride without a helmet, that’s certainly your prerogative. It does seem somewhat irresponsible for an organization to “advertise” its “product” using a photo of a helmet-less rider. Especially the urban cyclists who are known for zipping in and out of traffic at high speeds, often disregarding traffic laws (or common sense). 

I’m stepping down from my soapbox now. The tunes on the playlist seem to be good, upbeat songs. There are a few I will probably purchase for my next session on the indoor trainer. Check out the songs and let me know what you think. 

Today’s food journal: 

— Organic whole wheat english muffin with Nutella = 294 cal. 

— Low fat peanut butter on whole wheat Ritz crackers (15 crackers) = 210
— 1 apple = 95
— Diet Ale 8 = 0 

— Salad with Ranch dressing = 163
— 1 soft pretzel = 483
— Iced tea = 0 

— Skinny Cow cookies & cream ice cream cup = 120 

Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride! 

…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.




2 responses

27 04 2010

A bike ride seems to go much faster with some upbeat tunes (at very low volumes) but most of the time my earbuds are in and the iPod is off. I find having them in my ears deters drivers from yelling at me. I obey the traffic laws so they are mostly just yelling at me because I ‘slow them down’ (I invariably come up right behind them at the light after they’ve gunned it to get past me). My favorite insult was, “Get a car!”

I like to think my earbuds save me from hating on humanity too much and assuring me a good start to the day. But I’ll still check out the NPR list!

27 04 2010

You make a great point, Marcy. It really never occurred to me that whenever I see someone riding with earbuds, they may not always be listening to blaring music. It may be turned down low enough to still hear traffic. And I would bet that they do help cancel out the comments from rude motorists. Some days there seems to be a lot of them. Be careful out there and if you want to go for a ride sometime, just let me know.

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