Theme Ride Thursday: Spice Up Your Holiday Ride with this Profile and Bucket Playlist

As we head into the heart of the holiday season, it’s time to acknowledge that the usual Christmas carol might not resonate with everyone in our classes. If you’re considering a holiday-themed ride but want to steer clear of the typical lineup of songs that seem to blare through every speaker at office buildings, coffee shops, shopping centers, doctors’ offices, and even our clubs’ lobbies, it may be time to venture into the Winter Wonderland of beats with a twist.

Have you ever explored the world of “A Very Bootie Christmas” (AVBC)? Imagine merging your favorite holiday classics with unexpected non-holiday tracks—a game-changer for sure! Now, a little heads-up: these tracks aren’t for everyone; they are rebels, pushing the boundaries of convention (and…ahem…legality). Proceed with caution and a knowing smile. I’ve been using tracks from AVBC for 15 years because they are fun and irreverent and different…but, I only ever do this for my Christmas playlist.

Below, you can find my newest holiday profile called “Holiday Hills and Valleys.” 

The playlist for this energetic hilly ride incorporates five of these “bootie” songs. Since the digital MP3 files are on my computer’s drive, I have to use iTunes when I’m teaching this profile because these five songs (or any of the bootie mashups on the AVBC website) cannot be found on any streaming service. Therefore, if you want to take advantage of them and include them in this profile, you’ll have to download the MP3s directly to your computer. If you use Apple Music, it’s easy to incorporate these into your playlist from iTunes. If you use Spotify, you’ll have to direct Spotify to access your library on your computer. (You can read about how to do that here.)

If that sounds like too much work or using “bootie” mashups is not your thing, not a problem—you can scroll through our bucket playlist below with almost 300 holiday songs and replace those with other festive songs that speak to you. Or, fill these spots with non-holiday tracks to make sure you don’t overwhelm your class with too much holiday cheer! 

Speaking of that holiday bucket playlist, I added almost 50 new tracks this season after perusing hundreds of songs on Spotify—yes, I spent all that time so you don’t have to! When adding newer tracks, I try to avoid the sappy and more traditional holiday songs and only include ones that lend themselves well to indoor cycling—plus a few that are good for cool-downs. To find those, simply sort the playlist in Spotify by “Date Added” to discover the latest gems and keep your playlist as dynamic as your classes.

I’ll be completely honest—if it weren’t for bootie Christmas mashups and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I probably wouldn’t teach a holiday ride. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a symphonic progressive metal American rock band (that’s quite the combo!) that pushes the boundaries of rock opera. Their high-energy Christmas tunes will have your riders pedaling like never before, adding a touch of rock ‘n’ roll merged with classical to your holiday playlist!

A Mad Russian’s Christmas, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 4:42, 135 bpm
This is my favorite TSO track. I just love how the song takes off at 1:14 as you visualize climbing a snowy slope!

Another option for the holidays…

As instructors, we know the importance of creating a ride that speaks to everyone. If the usual Christmas tunes aren’t hitting the right notes with you or your riders, why not opt for a Winter Solstice ride or kick off the New Year celebrations a bit early? 

Remember, the holiday season is all about spreading joy and good vibes. I’d love to hear what you’re planning for December in your classes—share your ideas and experiences in the comments below! 🚴‍♀️✨🎅

And if you’ve got any favorite non-traditional holiday tracks or unique spins on festive rides, don’t keep them to yourself—let’s create a winter playlist together! Keep pedaling and spreading that holiday cheer! 🎶🚴‍♂️✨🎅

Holiday Hills and Valleys Express Profile (PDF and Excel)

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