I’ve just booked a last minute trip to the mountains and am super excited. I can’t wait to get my board on all that snow that’s been falling in the Alps after drooling over all the photos for weeks.
There are only three days until we go (I’m actually counting the hours), but I’ve got loads I need to sort out before then; organise my work schedule, plan a couple of meetings for my return, arrange transfers, insurance, excess baggage… but what seems to have taken priority is the creation of a new playlist of tunes to shred to!
And it’s not something that can be taken lightly either. It’s a lengthy process requiring much deliberation, trawling through a vast itunes library, reacquainting myself with forgotten gems, listening and re-listening to ensure that they are the right tempo, evoke the right mood, fit in with the other contenders…
To be honest, I could listen to anything, or nothing, while riding and still experience the same level of elation, but there’s no doubt that the right tunes can enhance an already awesome experience. It’s certainly a far cry from pounding a treadmill in the gym, where you need something to distract you from the monotony, and the splashes of sweat flying off the guy next to you. I have abandoned many a gym session on the realisation that I’ve forgotten my ipod, but could ride all day just enjoying the peace and serenity of the mountains.
Of course, riding while listening to music is a contentious issue. Is it possible to be fully aware of what’s going on around you when you’ve got music blasting in your ears? Probably not. Personally, I only really do it when I’m riding on my own (something I did quite a lot during my ski seasons and actually quite enjoy!), when I know the slopes well and when it’s quiet. And even then I keep the volume low and invariably only wear one earphone.
Besides, the number of products on the market that facilitate listening to music on the hill (helmets with built in headphones being the most obvious and contradictory example) certainly doesn’t give the impression that it’s something to be discouraged.
So, back to the job in hand… what’s going to make up this year’s playlist? It may be a bit predictable and unimaginative but a few tunes from my favourite snowboarding movies usually make the cut. This year I’ll probably include a couple of tracks from the soundtrack to the awesome, all-chick shred flick “5 more minutes… please?!” so that I can pretend to be Aimee Fuller or Jenny Jones while ripping up the mountain. I might need to avoid the park while listening to those though, just in case I start to get delusions of grandeur and throw myself off something stupid! I might use a couple from “The Art of Flight” soundtrack too, although I don’t think any tune could make me feel remotely like Travis Rice et al.
I’ll probably also include a couple of tunes from old playlists to evoke memories of epic shreds gone by. I only need to hear the first few bars of MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” or “Kids” to be instantly transported back (sadly only mentally) to amazing times spent cruising around Vail’s Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin.
The majority of the tracks will undoubtedly be my favourite tunes of the moment. The ones I’m currently listening to at the gym or out running, with a few more chilled ones thrown in to mix it up a bit. And then there’ll probably be a couple of old favourites that I stumble upon while trawling through my itunes library and can’t resist putting on. Anything from Blondie to the Beastie Boys has been known to creep on there!
It’s all still very much a work in progress so any suggestions would be more than welcome! Or maybe you have views on riding with music? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Anyway, better go and book those transfers and travel insurance…