Theme Profile: Winter Solstice Redux (X 2)

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. I have used Shari Miranda’s profile concept that she first wrote for ICA back in 2013. You can find the link for that original playlist and profile here. (But before you go download that profile, read on about our two newest updated versions…)

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 fully half of Shari’s original songs because they are just too perfect for this profile. (Thank you, Shari!)

I mentioned to Shari that I wanted to post my version this year and she said that she has reworked her own profile and would like to post the newer version on ICA (also, some of the songs in the original are no longer on Spotify).

So, we have great news! Below you will find not one, but TWO new versions of the Winter Solstice profile. Shari wrote hers out as a long-form 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 just an Express Profile (Excel). 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.

Be sure to check out the note at the end of Shari’s new version; she gives an option to use the song that first inspired this profile, which we weren’t able to do originally. It’s not on Spotify, but you can play the audio via YouTube (she explains how).

Remember, while Winter Solstice is a great excuse for a theme ride based on light, you can do this any time of the year.

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 (the trend of virtual rides was just beginning at the time), 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 this year, one that incorporates songs about light combined with inspiration as we continue to rise from the pain of this pandemic. Here is the link to that ride and playlist, including a bucket playlist of over 175 inspirational songs.

A note about 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 in counting cadence) and others count both legs (as in counting the beat of the music). Since we are using jumps only on what would be considered a climb, at a slower cadence, we are pedaling at half the beats per minute of the tempo of the song (i.e., a 128 bpm song at 64 rpm). As such, 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 personally count them differently (i.e., count revolutions of both legs), then adjust accordingly: our 16-count jumps would be 32 counts for you (which is still approximately 15 seconds for a 60–64 rpm climb).

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