Many years ago —it feels like an eternity—I rode my first solo 24 hour race. It was, in general terms, a rousing success. In fact, many of my solo 24 hour efforts since then have been complete disasters. However, there was one stretch of time, during the dead of night in that 2004 race that really threw me into a dark and cold arena, full of despair and hopeless mental disarray. A realm so forsaken that still it haunts me, sending chills shuttering down my spine in unexpected moments of nausea and grief: For three hours I had “Dancing Queen” stuck in my head.
And not even the entire song. Because, who knows those words? Just the chorus. For three miserable, black hours.
In the years since, I’ve tried to avoid such pits of despair by fighting back with my own playlists, pre-organized for the assumed moods I’ll be experiencing during long rides. It’s worked fairly well. During the KTR, other solo 24s, and back to back White Rim rides I have benefited from varied and interesting music blaring into my ears, keeping those evil, nasty songs that creep unwittingly into ones psyche—only to replay themselves over and over and over— at bay.
There is just one problem: a lot of that music has worn out its welcome.
I need an influx of fresh tunes.
This weekend I will return to the deserts of Moab to attempt what has become an annual celebration of spring and bikes and the season. The White Rim TT. But I need your help. I need your music suggestions. Help me avoid the inevitable fate of singing Swedish pop songs aloud in the vast and empty realms of the desert.
My tastes lately have been squarely focused on bands like these:
If These Trees Could Talk
Explosions in the Sky
Band of Horses
So, that is a starting point. However, I have fairly wide tastes in music, and variety, especially when juxtaposed against the monotony of the desert, will be readily appreciated. Save me from myself, and those devious demons of terrible song repetition. My sanity* depends on it.
*What is left of it, anyway.