I listen to a lot of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam in my car while I’m on my way to the trail head, but once the keys are out of the ignition, it’s nothing but the rustle of leaves and tires. I can’t do music while I ride.
Once on the trail, it’s the “music” of creation only — the wind, the whispering pines, the scree and leaves under the knobbies, the melodies of song birds, cries of the red tail and golden eagle, the knocks of a woodpecker, the approaching thunder … … too much to miss on the trail to put headphones in. Before that it mostly a mix of bluegrass, old and new folk, indie folk, carefree country, country rock, and newer renditions of old hymns and gospel music.
Too many old folk songs to name
Anything Chris Thile
Pretty much anything mandolin, fiddle, banjo, flat pic, dulcimer, and bass
Calling out your Name, Creed, Peace, I’ll Carry on, — Rich Mullins
Free and Easy Down the Road I Go — Dierks Bentley
I Want Crazy — Hunter Hayes
Carolina in the Pine — especially bluegrass versions
Hey Jenny, Let me throw a curve into your data collection. I have several traditional Mongolian songs I like to listen to before I ride here. Here is one that is a remix of maybe the most famous traditional song in Mongolia. It is called “A Praise to the Altai Mountains”. It is put to a bit more western melody. This will introduce you to the very unique Mongolian Huumei (throat singing).
Thanks for tackling this list, I’ve been wanting to see something like this for a while now! The challenge is mountain bikers are a pretty diverse group of folks with different tastes in music genres, let alone artists and songs.
My vote is for songs that have appeared in viral MTB videos, like Runaway by Houston from Danny MacAskill’s Imaginate video. Whenever I hear that song it reminds me of the video, which makes me want to ride like Danny!
Interesting that many answers so far suggest 1990s alt rock. Is that just because a lot of us are Gen Xers here or because there’s something about that music that really connects to the glory days of MTB?
I’m on who doesn’t listen to music on the trail. Before and after is a different story. Most often, I’m like arkinet above laying down some jazz jams on the way to the trailhead. But I have very broad musical tastes, so it could also be anything from classic rock (The Who, Blackfoot, Foghat, Hendrix) to progressive rock/metal (Yes, Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Kansas) to heavy metal (Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath), blues (Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter) or even some Funkadelic. After the ride, it’s likely to be mellower (Dan Fogelberg, Moody Blues, Gordon Lightfoot) or classical (Haydn, Brahms, Dvorak), or even some new age (George Winston, Michael Gettel, Philip Aaberg, David Arkenstone) or Native American (R. Carlos Nakai, Jack Gladstone).
I have a playlist specifically for riding entitled “A bsolute f*ck-all devastation” (Separate “A” so it shows up and the top of my playlist offerings). It is an amalgam of hardcore punk, metal and noise at high speed, volume and nastiness compromising nearly 20 hours of music. Lots of stuff, but I like it all and it is all very energetic. Some examples…
Hello! I am a hard rock/metal head! Pop Evil, Amon Armoth, Shamans Harvest, Avenged Sevenfold, In This Moment, Slipknot ..the list can go on and on…I never listen while riding though messes my concentration so before and after a ride always! However I shoved the headphones in my ears one time a year or so ago while riding. There was this one switchback I just couldn’t get through no matter how I tried it. This time i made it like a champ as I was coming out the other side Slipknot was hammering in my ears the vocals went “a long time ago we discovered nothing could stop us…..” damn what a moment. Any other 50ish metal head mountain bikers out there?