Theme Ride Thursday: Red, White, and Blue—A Fourth of July Bucket Playlist and Two Profiles!

Hmm, weren’t we just celebrating Memorial Day? Why does time always fly in the summer? The Fourth of July is coming up, and thank goodness, because who doesn’t need a day off in the summertime? Of course, this isn’t just any day off—it’s a day to say, “Happy birthday, America”; a day to thank the troops; a day to enjoy our freedoms; a day to spend time with family and friends; as well as a day to thank our founding fathers for their dedication in laying the foundation of our great nation. So pump those speakers to some of the tunes listed in our Fourth of July bucket playlist.

The music in our Fourth of July playlist follows one of the following themes: freedom, fireworks, America, heroes, US cities or states, holidays/vacations, rock ‘n’ roll, or the good ole red, white, and blue. (Currently, it has about 210 songs to choose from.) One of my favorite songs on the playlist is Lana Del Ray’s “National Anthem,” which can be used to start or end your ride. (*Please note that the video depicts a reenactment of the shooting of JFK.) And being from N.J. and ever loyal to my dance roots, I was pleasantly surprised that Laura, who helped me compile this playlist, found this hidden dance gem from the ’90s! If you want more variety in your playlist, make sure to sample some songs listed on our summer playlist, too.

In 2023, I highlighted this amazing song by an Irish-American singer, one you’re going to want to include in your 4th of July profile. It’s a powerful song about America living up to her hopes and dreams that should be ringing across this country. (It’s included in the latest version of my “Three Climbs in America” profile below.)

Here’s another new addition to our bucket playlist (though the song is from 2004):

The American Way, The Crystal Method, 4:27, 96 bpm
Use this track for a hard, fast interval at 96 rpm. Why? Because “it is the American way“!

If you don’t have time to create your own profile for the Fourth of July, we’ve got you covered with two options. Karen has a profile called “Red, White, and BOOM—A Patriotic Profile” that you can find here. Not only does she provide you with the profile and playlist, but she also gives some tips for busy instructors on how to repurpose this same ride for other holidays that have America in common—just switch out a few songs to match that particular holiday, keep the foundation of the profile, and know that repeating a couple of songs that work across numerous holidays is not something your riders will mind!

The second option is a newly updated profile from our archives. I took one of my original theme rides here on ICA called “Three Climbs in America” (first created in 2013), updated it with some great new songs, moved some of the original songs around, and put it into an Express Profile form, so it’s even better than before! You can download the new profile and playlist below. The final working song is “American Pie”; you have the option of riding somewhat easy and just letting go and having some fun, allowing your class to sing karaoke (I mean, who doesn’t know the lyrics to this song?). Everyone will have worked pretty hard up to that point, so they will appreciate the option to let loose and let go. And your riders who want to continue working hard (or if you’re not into karaoke)—well, it’s their ride, they can do that too! Just make sure to don your red, white, and blue for this ride!

Whatever you do this upcoming Fourth, have fun and please be safe!


  1. Just in time, as I am scheduled to teach on Wed. July 4. I will put together a profile, knowing what my riders can do and use songs from this playlist. Thanks for all your help.

  2. Awesome play list! Great job 🙂

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