Monday, January 31, 2011


Every fast or fun (or both) ride for me has a soundtrack.  Every slow one too, but they are often far more forgetful.  This is usually only one song repeating through my head for the duration, only coming to the fore of my focus when I let it or when I'm in pain.  It doesn't matter whether that is pain from being boxed or pain from attacking and kicking away from people, it comes up. 

For me the Huka XL was a good fun race, and one that I'm proud of.  The song for this race was Taylor Swift's Love-story (or something like that).  I can't say I'm a fan of this song at all, but it must have been playing close to the start of the race to have been that stuck in my head.  For the first 20-30km I was suffering and getting frustrated so having some teenage bint singing rubbish in my head only served to annoy me more.  However as the race went on and I started feeling better so I started to enjoy the sweet melodies of it...  Not quite to the point of wanting to listen to the actual song, but I have to admit there may have been a bit of tuneless warbling emanating from the forests at times.

Two days ago I rediscovered an old favourite that always gets me going.  This is the song that was in my mind tonight as I dragged the Tuesday night ride up Happy Valley and kicked over the top.  Not an amazing feet, but something that was inspired by this song.  It's definitely not the most amazing song, but it has a history with me.  I first heard it watching 'Roam', the song in question is Boy Sets Fire's 'Rookie' (for those who feel the need to listen to any music suggestions they read online, get onto grooveshark and find it, it is bloody good, but not until you have read where it comes from).  This song accompanies what, for me, is the most emotive piece of mtb cinematography ever.  The section is shot in Whistler with a group of (amazing) riders chasing each other down the trail, just having fun, but riding on the limit, flat out and so fast.  This too me is what riding is about.  I grew up chasing Ben Thomas and Steve James round the trails in Swinley Forest, and this section of film encapsulates that style of riding so well.   I sadly can't say that I can ride as well as those guys, but it's a similar feeling I would imagine.  From the first viewing on, that section has always given me goosebumps, always made me want to ride and always made me ride harder and think faster, to the point where there is no conscious thought, just reactions and experience allowing you to process rock, root, berm and jump. 

As such this song has been The Song for my warm ups, starting with my Junior National Champs ride where I came 3rd, a result I'm too proud of for it's actual position.  But as I have said many times before, I rode as well as I could, I left everything on the track and it's a result I think I deserved.  I wasn't good enough for 1st or 2nd, but 3rd was mine to fight for.  Since then all of my fastest rides have been powered by this song, it just has something over me.  My mind just switches off and pain doesn't matter, only going as fast as my tyres, my legs, lungs and heart will let me.

So that is a little insight into my mind.  As odd as it may be.  Music has a massive power over me.  I miss my speakers so much, headphones cannot do this justice. 

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