What a response we got to our request for the best songs about bikes and cycling! The entries flooded in, and we have a 30-strong have list of songs about cycling as a result.
Before we get to the winners, though, a word about eligibility. We got suggestions of songs that might be about cycling, but might not. We decided that simply using the word ‘ride’ in the lyrics, or being open to interpretation as being about cycling wasn’t enough: a song had to actually mention bikes or cycling to qualify.
That eliminated, among others: Hawkwind’s Silver Machine; It’s a climb by Hannah Montana; Bullet the Blue Sky by U2 (despite it figuring prominently in Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride) and Machineries of Joy by British Sea Power, despite the video.
We also eliminated entries with several songs listed. Please read the guidelines, folks.
Only one band was mentioned more than once: the Wirral’s mighty Half Man Half Biscuit. Lead singer and songwriter Nigel Blackwell is a keen rider, and was even giving Tour de France podium tips when he played Cambridge recently.
Before we get to the top five, here’s the full list of the runners-up:
20= B-I-C-Y-C-L-E by The Kerplunks — 1%
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.