Class Profile: Three Long, Guitar-Powered Climbs

Rock music isn’t just a hit with seasoned riders in your older demographics; it’s making waves among the younger crowd too! And pop music seems to be taking a cue from its rock roots once again. From Miley Cyrus’s soulful rendition of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” to Disturbed’s haunting take on “Sounds of Silence,” to Dua Lipa and Elton John’s collaboration on “Cold Heart,” the classics are getting a fresh spin.

Last year’s International Guitar Month profile called “In Celebration of Guitars” was a big hit with my riders and on ICA, but I left so many longer iconic tracks on the cutting room floor last time, I couldn’t resist crafting another profile.

Introducing “Three Long, Guitar-Powered Climbs,” a climbing profile with a playlist that features guitar-centric songs clocking in at 5 minutes or longer. I’ve included some tracks I’ve been eyeing for ages but never dared to play—until now.

Let’s talk about one of the songs in my playlist, “Freebird.” Yes, I can already hear the groans. Now, I’ll admit, I used to be one of those people who poked fun at this song but trust me, it blew me away and it works like magic in this profile! Starting quietly at 118 bpm, it sets the stage for a moderate seated climb before gradually picking up energy at the 4-minute mark. But here’s where it gets really interesting—over the course of 3 minutes, it gradually increases tempo to 154 bpm, or 77 rpm. This gradual tempo change provides the perfect opportunity for riders to incrementally increase their cadence against the existing resistance. As you know, this makes the climb harder without touching the resistance dial, resulting in an exhilarating and challenging experience for your riders.

Interestingly, you can probably count on one hand the number of songs that change tempo in that manner. Yes, a few tracks make a tempo break, like Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” (which changes from 91 to 171 bpm), but few increase gradually over time. The only other one I can think of is “Baba O’Riley” by The Who.

The second song I introduced for the very first time is one I’ve been eyeing for quite a while but hadn’t quite mustered the courage to play: Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” It’s not that I didn’t like it—I’ve always been a fan of this classic track. Rather, I wasn’t entirely sure how to effectively incorporate it into my profile. However, after some experimentation, I discovered the perfect way to utilize this 162 bpm song—and I’m confident you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do!

Here is what my profile looks like in Stages Studio:

Our two bucket playlists for International Guitar Month offer a combined 270+ songs to choose from. You can find those bucket playlists here. Feel free to mix and match songs to suit your riders’ tastes. 

I can’t wait to hear how you and your riders enjoy this guitar-powered profile. 🎸🚴‍♂️

And if you’ve got any tempo-changing gems up your sleeve that I’m missing, don’t hesitate to share!

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