There are days when you just go out for a short ride down the block and then there are days when you get away from everything and ride until the sun goes down. Some people enjoy listening to the birds or the wind, but most of us like to have a soundtrack to our ride. We scraped together a list of albums worth uploading to the ole' MP3 player before you go out for your next bike ride. We hope you find something you like.
- Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker (2000)
- This album is full of slow, somber tracks for the long country rides but picks up the pace right when you need that extra boost.
- Elliott Smith - Figure 8 (2000)
- Smith was known for his elegant acoustic songs, but this one packs a punch and we love every second. Figure 8 is filled with dirty, grunge lead guitar and heavy drums that swirl around his soft voice to make it strangely fierce. Just when you think Smith is bringing the album back down to his usual tone, a raging storm of heavy instrumentation comes swooping in to pick you up. You're gonna like this one.
- Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix (2010)
- This isn't just because they have "bicycle" in their name. That just gives them bonus points. We're not even going to tell you about this album. Just pop it in and go. You're welcome.
- Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (2013)
- Daft Punk have been around for quite a long time now but they are still able to put out an album full of killer songs that set the standard for electronic and pop music. This album is a tall glass of their classic mind-blowing electronic composition blended with disco guitar and bass that'll keep your head bobbing for days. The unlikely combination is topped with perfect hooks and fat drums. Don't be surprised if you start the album over and keep riding.
- Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)
- This album doesn't need any explaining. If you want to ride harder than you ever have, this should be in your inventory.
- Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001)
- If you aren't familiar with Wilco, you should be. Voted 3rd best album of the 2000s by Rolling Stone Magazine, this album is a melting pot of sounds that will pick you up and force you on an adventure you won't regret. It's thrilling, compelling, strange, beautiful and so very perfect for a long ride.
- Beck - Morning Phase (2014)
- This album is completely gorgeous and a great companion for a reflective ride. Beck won't let you down.
- Blood Orange - Coastal Grooves (2011)
- This guy is obviously a little strange, but his quirkiness is irrelevant once you hear his undeniably phenomenal grooves. If we had to bottle this and sell it, we'd label him some sort of modern version of Prince with extra, extra groove.
- Etta James - At Last (1960)
- Please just buy every bit of Etta James that you can find and don't look back. You'll be the cyclist singing at the top of your lungs without a care in the world.
- First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar (2012)
- This Swedish folk-rock duo won't disappoint you with their captivating harmonies and songwriting. This is a taste of classic folk modernized to be refreshing and remind you to pull out the old records when you get home. Get out of the city, press play and enjoy.
- Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself (2012)
- Bird is absolutely incredible. The violin has never, ever, ever sounded so unbelievably sweet. Bird is a one-man extravaganza who masterfully uses looped violins, guitars and whistles to create complex and superb pop songs.
- Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough (2012)
- Havas draws from the well of American Soul and Folk and combines it with her soulful, British voice and pop songs to create an album with surprising depth that is refreshing from such a young artist. There is no dull moment in this album. You'll find hints of Bon Iver, stumble into a jazz standard and then get smacked with a pop song reminiscent of a Beyonce tune. We'll be honest with you and say it's completely sexy. You won't be bored, so pick this one up for your daily commute.
- Jay-Z and Kanye West - Watch the Throne (2011)
- These two powerhouse hip-hop artists got together and made an amazing compilation of supremely composed songs. If you want to push yourself to ride further and faster, this album will keep you motivated, determined and riding hard.
There are plenty more, but you need to get out and ride.
Taking the bike as transportation is becoming a popular alternative to cars. We got together with Nicole, a teacher from the Midwest who adopted the bicycle as her main form of transportation, to ask her a few questions. Our hope is to enlighten and help anyone considering the leap. Nicole’s positive energy and outlook was undeniable and contagious throughout the interview. Honestly, she left us wondering why more of us don’t sell the car and grab a bike.
More and more people are switching from four wheels to two. Here is why:
1. Money, money, mon-ay.
If you pull up your bank statement and erase every slot taken up by gas or car insurance or gas station breakfast sandwiches" you might realize your dream vacation to New Zealand to see Flight of the Conchords Live is more of a reality than ever before. Not only does it allow more funds for fun, this allows some folks the opportunity to just have money for basic living expenses. Let's face it, we would all love to pay less bills.
Gas station sandwiches or not, riding your bike, no matter how far, will get you into shape and feeling great! We met an XDS rider who started biking three times a week for just five miles each trip. After losing over 60 pounds, he felt motivated to change his diet too and lost over 100 pounds total. High fives were flying everywhere and he's now advocating the life change.
3. Your employer will love it
Employers are also jumping on the bike. Healthy employees are better employees! You will use less sick days and get more done. Simply put, you'll feel great, get more done and spend more time at home instead of working late. Pshh, I'd hire you right now.
4. Maintenance on a bike is CHEAP
No one likes taking their car into the mechanic. The bill is magically always around exactly what you have in your checking account. Even if you have to get a new bike, it will still probably be cheaper than when you take your car in. Plus, you can do most bike maintenance in your own home. Tim (the tool man) Taylor will be proud.
5. The Planet will thank you
You won't be burning up fuel, you won't be damaging roads, you really won't be doing anything harmful. You'll pretty much just be getting in shape and feeling great. I think we can all deal with that footprint.
6. Ok, so you have to keep a car to take the kids around...
Bicycles are a great alternative to getting a second car. A lot of couples are selling their second car and learning to organize their lives a lot more in order to save money. One of you will bike to work, the other will drive... and then you'll switch! Nothing feels better than letting your partner take the car and nothing feels better than telling your partner you'd rather get in a nice ride today. (You might end up using the car far less than you'd think)
7. Say goodbye to parking and tickets
The ticket lady will scowl when you do a little celebratory dance because she can't get you. No more driving around the block 458 times just to find a spot -- find a tree or bike rack and get there on time.
8. Mental Health and Happiness
Exercise allows your body to produce more serotonin that keeps you positive and happy in life. Mental health is just as important as physical. Cycling helps both. Hop on a bike and bring out that contagious smile and positive attitude your friends and family love so much.
9. You'll meet people
You'll lock your bike up outside your favorite coffee shop and walk in to hear "nice bike" at least a few times per week. You'll find yourself swapping stories about your last ride and planning one together. Cycling seems to be a hobby that has no real hierarchy. The cycling addicts easily relate with the rider who just enjoys an occasional weekend cruise. It's all about the universal enjoyment the bicycle brings.
Overall, getting a bike and using the car less is an adventure everyone should try at least once in life. We hope you try it and that we hear your stories soon!
In order to undertake our mission of environmental protection and to fulfill our green manufacturing pledge, XDS has the world’s first “Bicycle Eco Theme Park” factory. It covers an area of 450 acres, of which 45% is made up of greenery. Looking ahead to the future, the interior of the factory will have greenery and fresh air, which will rate us as a “Garden” and “Park” enterprise. The factory will be developed to be the first one to have soccer field, swimming pool, tennis courts and an R&D building, making it a park-like factory with high-end facilities.
Meet the new Explorer CT, the XDS answer to complete functionality. This versatile "all-around" bike is lightweight with an aluminum frame and parts, 7-speed Shimano equipped, and hand V-brakes. It is built for function without losing comfort at a price point that will amaze. Available this March!
We are currently designing the 2015 line so its here in time for Interbike. . . if you make it, stop by our booth!
The 2015 line up is looking amazing with some really great new features and upgraded components. Keep an eye out for some teasers in the next couple weeks.