Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published July 3rd 2021
Riding our music
It comes as a surprise to many people, but I am something of a sports fan. Regular readers probably had an idea (looking at obscure sports and a recent documentary on chessboxing), but as a writer it is not something that I am associated with.
Well, that's not quite right. Later on this month (July 2021) I will be watching the Olympics on 2 TV sets (different channels with different sports) but right now I have tennis, football, and rugby to watch. But, more importantly, it is the time of the Tour De France. Bike racing!
Now, surprisingly, there are a number of songs about riding bikes out there. Quite a large number. Unfortunately, not all of them are great, but I did find 12 for a good list. And ten of those had video clips I could find legally online, and so ten it is. Ten songs on riding pushbikes!
I had to be careful that the songs were not about motorbikes, but these are pretty obviously about pushbikes, the ol' deadly treadly (to use an Australianism). So, here is a very eclectic soundtrack to bike riding!
'Bike' by Pink Floyd (1967)
Mentioned before, as this song does not sound like any other Pink Floyd song. However, I do actually like it for all its inherent weirdness, with Syd Barrett in full-on psychedelia mode. Such a strange, strange, and yet unforgettable song.
'My White Bicycle' by Tomorrow (1967)
The cover version by Nazareth is probably better known, but it is not as weird as this track, which sounds like a few pharmaceuticals were involved in writing and recording it. But the guitars are great, the percussion drives it along and the singing is perfect for the track.
'Les Bicyclettes De Belsize' by Engelbert Humperdinck (1968)
From the short film of the same name, while this song is not one of my personal favourites, I have included it for my mother who absolutely adores this track (and much of Engelbert's output). Now, it is not a bad song by any stretch, and his voice gets a chance to soar here, so, yes, it deserves its place on this list.
'The Pushbike Song' by The Mixtures (1970)
"Pshh, uh-uh, pshh, ahhh…" How could anyone hear that and not have it bury itself into your mind like the most insidious ear-worm ever? Another song on the weird end of the scale, this is one of the best songs about bikes ever, because it combines bicycles and love and it goes, "Pshh, uh-uh, pshh, ahhh…"
'Bicycle Race' by Queen (1978)
The first song that came to mind when the idea for this list hit me, this song from the album Jazz was actually banned because of the original video clip. What's weird, is that radio banned it because of the video clip. But it is still another great song, written by Freddie Mercury and with a bicycle bell solo. Because of course, it has a bicycle bell solo.
'Riding On My Bike' by Madness (1982)
This was released as a bonus track on the B-side of the 12" single of 'Driving In My Car', and is a bicycle-based reworking of that classic car song. It is so strange to hear it like that (with bits of 'The Pushbike Song' – "Pshh, uh-uh, pshh, ahhh…" – thrown in), and I am even more stunned I found it on YouTube.
'Tour De France' by Kraftwerk (1983)
This song was first released in 1983, then re-recorded in 2003 for an entire album Kraftwerk released about the titular bike race. It is the sort of synthesiser-heavy pop music that Kraftwerk turned into an art form, with a sound that they reckon very much mimics the way it feels when riding a pushbike. When I did a class (sort of the forerunner of what is now a 'Spin' class) in the 90s, the instructor used this to warm us up every time.
'Bicycle Song' by Red Hot Chili Peppers (2002)
From the under-rated By The Way album (it's a bonus track!), this typically funky RHCP song is about, quite simply, riding a pushbike. Like so many others on this list, it's that simple.
'Pedalpusher' by Stereophonics (2005)
When I first heard this song, I was under the impression it was about drug-dealing, but the lyrics about having one foot up and the other down is definitely about riding a bike. It is a great bit of early Noughties rock that I'm glad I remembered for this list.
'The Bike Song' by Mark Ronson with The Business Intl. (2010)
I actually don't mind Mark Ronson. He was there with Amy Winehouse for my favourite track of hers, and some stuff he did with Bruno Mars is way too catchy. And so it is with this weird song (so many of these have been weird songs…) which has stuck with me for more than ten years now.
So, there you, from across such a wide year range, something for everyone: ten songs about bikes and riding bikes and owning bikes and enjoying having bikes. This is one of the weirdest collections of songs I have put out there.
Hope you enjoyed this!
Don't try this at home! This man is a professional!