Thursday, May 1, 2008

Flava In Ya Ear - Volume I

While getting ready for a ride the other day in a post-work rush, I did the unthinkable and forgot my treasured iPod nano. I got a mile or so away, realized I had no tunes and almost rode back home. I literally slowed to a stop and had to convince myself that I could get through a two-hour solo ride without music. Summoning all of my courage, I kept going and actually made it the whole way with nothing dangling from my right ear.

It is ludicrous that I once used to put in 500+ mile weeks with no music. At this point, I can barely fathom making my 3.5 mile commute to and from work without my Apple companion. Seriously, riding solo without my iPod is now similar to riding without a helmet. Something just doesn’t feel right. The bike still works the same and the legs are normal but there is just something missing.

So with no tunes in my head, I began wondering what type of music some of the pros listen to when they are out training. The following statements have little to no factual basis but I tried to come up with a fairly legitimate rationale for them. Here goes:

Paolo Bettini – I have always thought that The Cricket was probably down with Tony Bennet and likes to listen to some good old fashioned Italian-American crooning. But when he gets mad or needs some energy, he throws in some Bon Jovi. He likes to sing along but always changes the lyrics of “Wanted Dead Or Alive” to “I’m a cowboy, on a carbon fiber horse I ride…I’m Wanted…Wanted…Dead or Alive.”

Alejandro Valverde – Almost everyone acknowledges that Valverde is a phenomenally talented bike racer. But most people are unaware of the fact that he really wants to be a pop singer. In fact, his greatest hero is Enrique Iglesias. Whether this is due to the music or the fact that Julio’s son is dating Anna Kournikova remains to be seen.

Cadel Evans – In true Aussie fashion, Evans listens to nothing but Men At Work and Olivia Newton John. In fact, it has been reported that when the WADA and UCI drug testers come knocking on the door he usually responds by singing “Who Can It Be Now?”

Side note: Colin Hay, the lead singer from MAW is pretty baritone and the thought of Cadel singing tunes with his little munchkin voice made me laugh up some Cytomax when I was on my ride. Just thought you should know.

Frank and Andy Schleck – Even though I am a big fan of the Schleck brothers, I do take issue with the fact that their favorite band is Nelson. Although the Schlecks are not actually twins like Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, they do look alike and have a father who was also involved in their profession, so there was an automatic appreciation for the duo. Rumors that Frank and Andy are going to grow their hair out and bleach it platinum blonde have not been verified.

Tom Boonen – Staying true to his Belgian roots, Boonen is all about the music of his homeland. Sadly, Belgium doesn’t exactly have a huge presence in the global music industry and Tomeke has been forced to listen to Technotronic on a daily basis since they came out with “Pump Up The Jam” in the early Nineties. It has even been reported that lead singer Ya Kid K traded a signed cassette tape of their only hit single for one of Boonen’s World Champion jerseys.

Christophe Moreau – It’s all about Celine Dion for Le Chien and it is well known that he will listen to nothing other than the French-Canadian songstress. Moreau was actually in Las Vegas last year during Interbike but never made it to the exhibition because he was waiting outside Celine Dion’s dressing room the entire time. When they finally met she told him that he needed to race more intelligently.

Bernard Kohl – Being from Austria, Kohl was exposed to elegant symphonies and orchestral music at a very young age. Due to his sophisticated understanding and appreciation for the art form, it was inevitable that the young racer develop an affinity for the country’s most famous musician. I am speaking, of course, about Falco.

The creator of “Rock Me Amadeus” was an important role model for Kohl until his untimely passing a few years ago and the rider dedicated his 2006 national championship victory to the singer/rapper. Seriously though, Falco is often referred to as a rapper or hip hop musician which is…interesting.

There is also a story about Kohl having words with Paolo Savoldelli because the Austrian thought that the nickname “Il Falco” was disrespectful to the man who brought powdered wigs and unintelligible lyrics to MTV.

Dave Zabriskie – The ever-entertaining DZ is a huge fan of the band Foreskin 500 because of their legendary album entitled “Mustache Ride.” What could be more fitting?

It should also be noted that D-Zab is quite fond of Dr. Dre and “The Chronic.” Where do you think the slogan “DZ’s Nuts” came from? “Did what’s his name get at ya?”

Jens Voigt – I had a chance to check out Voigt’s iPod when I was at the Tour of California a few months ago and was somewhat surprised by the contents. There were only two entries – the theme song to Walker, Texas Ranger and a podcast of the entire Delta Force script.

By the way, Apple pays Jens Voigt $0.99 every time he listens to a song on iTunes.

Lance Armstrong – Not Sheryl Crow.

I will put together Volume II the next time I forget my iPod.


Vanilla Ice said...

Falco is the second best rapper of all time.

Eric said...

You must have a death wish. Leave the I Pod for your indoor trainer.

How can you possibly ride on the road without the benefit of your hearing.

You are not in race with closed roads. If you've got people you care about in your life, do them all a favor and lose the ear plugs.

CaliRado Cyclist said...

Thank you. Understood. Riding with both ears plugged is very dangerous. Although...

I ride with one headphone in my right ear only, taking care that I keep the volume no higher than 25%. Just enough to recognize the lyrics. I can't hear any music over about 30mph because of the wind.

My barely scientific belief is that my uncovered left ear (exposed to road traffic) and the, albeit somewhat limited, hearing through my right ear allow me approximately the same phonic awareness as a thick ear/head warmer over both ears.

Granted, I will probably go deaf in my right ear eventually but I hear ya now and appreciate the concern.

And yes, this is a total rationalization and does not fully fit with my uber-pro-helmet stance.

But then again, I am an enigma.

By the way, Death Wish was a pretty good movie but Charles Bronson is no Chuck Norris.

sebastian said...

cadel evans' website used to list his favorite bands -- stuff like r.e.m. and belle and sebastian . . . not exactly my favorites, but this does remind me of why i dig the guy: he's the one of the few top cyclists who feels like he could have lived down the hall from me in college.

CaliRado Cyclist said...

Cadel went to the University of Oz right? I can't believe I didn't put together the munchkin voice/Oz connection until now.

sebastian said...

Hmm, wikipedia doesn't say anything about his education; but I think the strength of the joke bears itself out.

BTW, he and Kim Kirchen have at last been given their hard-earned stage wins from last year's Tour!

Ingrid Alongi said...

I know for a fact that Floyd Landis likes Kid Rock. In fact, the two look like brothers. Come to think of it, hmm, something's up here!