Theme Ride Thursday: Three Bucket Playlists for the Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

Prepare for the upcoming celestial spectacle! On Monday, April 8, a total solar eclipse will grace the skies, visible across portions of the Western United States, Central, and South America. Unlike the annular eclipse we experienced on October 14, 2023, where the moon only partially obscured the sun, this event will engulf the sun entirely, creating a captivating celestial display.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon positions itself between the sun and Earth, shrouding the sun’s face completely. As a result, the sky will darken, reminiscent of twilight or dawn. Imagine the awe and wonder of ancient civilizations witnessing such a phenomenon, steeped in mystery and folklore.

Even if you’re not on the path of totality, this celestial event is worth scheduling with a fun theme ride. But if you are on or close to that path, I definitely hope you celebrate it! Not sure if you’re on the path? Check out NASA’s website, where it lists the locations, times, and duration:

The path of the eclipse continues from Mexico, entering the United States in Texas, and traveling through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Small parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the total solar eclipse. The eclipse will enter Canada in Southern Ontario, and continue through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton. The eclipse will exit continental North America on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at 5:16 p.m. NDT.

In honor of this extraordinary event, we present three diverse bucket playlists for you to use as a foundation for crafting your own eclipse-themed cycling experience. The first playlist, titled “Earth, Moon, Stars, and Planets,” boasts nearly 230 songs, offering a broad spectrum of celestial vibes. The second playlist, “Sun,” features 170 tracks to ignite your ride with solar energy. Additionally, since the last eclipse, we’ve been curating a playlist specifically dedicated to eclipse-themed songs, currently housing 22 tracks tailored precisely to this celestial theme. It includes the iconic “Eclipse” by Pink Floyd, perfect for a recovery, cool-down, or post-class reflection.

To save time, try one of our two distinct theme profiles for your convenience, or simply draw inspiration from them to expedite your profile planning process.

First up is “Staring at the Sun” by Karen Cruz, a 50-minute profile designed to immerse riders in the cosmic ambiance. Feel free to extend the ride by incorporating selections from our bucket playlist.

You may also want to consult my profile titled “Tears from the Moon,” which I’ve used for both lunar eclipses and full moons. Consider incorporating a few of the songs from this ride—don’t forget, the moon shares the billing in a solar eclipse of this nature! 

While this year’s eclipse differs from the previous annular event, the timeless charm of “Ring of Fire” remains a delightful addition to your eclipse ride. Choose between renditions by Johnny Cash or Social Distortion to infuse a playful spirit into your journey through the cosmos.

Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash, 2:38, 105 bpm
It’s short enough to use as a recovery song; you may want to dissociate from the beat. Or, pick up the intensity, grab the faster tempo, and use it for a short but fast interval. 

Ring of Fire, Social Distortion, 3:50, 89 bpm
This version has more energy and is a slightly lower tempo so it may be a more attainable cadence for your riders. Grab the beat and push hard in a longer, seated VO2 max interval. 

Embrace the magic of the total solar eclipse and embark on an unforgettable ride through space and time. Let the music guide you as you pedal into the celestial unknown.

As usual, if you have any songs we should add to the bucket playlists below, let me know in the comments. Enjoy!

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