Theme Ride Thursday: Winter Solstice (Including TWO Profiles!)

One of my yearly traditions in my classes is to teach a Winter Solstice ride using songs from our bucket playlist on the theme of lights. Shari Miranda first created this profile for ICA back in 2013. 

Over the years, I have altered the profile a bit and changed out some of the songs I use in this profile as I discover new ones, but I’ve kept at least half of Shari’s original songs because they are just too perfect for this profile. (Thank you, Shari!)

Both Shari and I created updated versions of this profile in 2021. That means below you will find not one, but TWO versions of the Winter Solstice profile. Shari wrote hers out as a long-form master class profile with more in-depth cueing for each song, as well as the shorter Express Profile. My version is called “There is Light in the Dark” (based on one song’s lyrics) and is available as the shorter Express Profile (Excel or Google Sheets). Both of us use a few of the same songs, but you will see that we do very different things to some of them. That gives you options to pick and choose how you want to choreograph the song, so make sure to print out both versions. (Plus, you’ll have more cueing with Shari’s version.)

Be sure to check out the note at the end of Shari’s profile; she gives the option to use the song that first inspired this ride. It’s not on Spotify, but you can play the audio via YouTube (she explains how).

And while the Winter Solstice is a great excuse for a theme ride based on light, you can do this any time of the year. Our bucket playlist of songs about lights has about 235 songs so you can easily switch out a song or two if you prefer. That bucket playlist can be found after the two profiles below.

As lockdowns subsided during the pandemic in the summer of 2020 and some were returning to their classes after extended periods of not working out, I created an inspirational ride I called “A Light In A Dark Place.” While the songs aren’t about light, you might find that you want to create a hybrid theme ride, one that incorporates songs about light combined with inspirational songs. The pandemic may be over, but inspiration is never out of fashion. Here is the link to that ride and playlist, including a bucket playlist of over 175 inspirational songs.

A note about how we count jumps: Both of these profiles contain a suggestion for longer 16-count jumps. We understand that people may count jumps differently; some count the revolutions of the pedal on one side (as you do when counting cadence, such as only counting the left leg: L–L–L–L) and others count both legs (as in counting the beat of the music: R–L–R–L–R–L). We are using jumps only on slower-cadence songs, and are therefore pedaling at half the beats per minute of the tempo of the song. For example, a 128 bpm song would be counted as 64 rpm. As such, in our profiles, we count jumps as if we are counting cadence—revolutions per minute on one leg only. That means a 16-count jump is 16 revolutions of one leg, or 32 beats of the music. An 8-count jump would mean 8 revolutions of one leg, or 16 beats of the music. If you count them differently (i.e., you count the revolutions of both legs), then you will need to adjust accordingly; that would mean our 16-count jumps would be 32 counts for you (which is still approximately 15 seconds for a 60–64 rpm climb). 

I hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have questions about jumps.

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