Cycling has made quite the mark within popular culture, from feature-length movies about the exploits of famous riders, to catchy tracks detailing eventful journeys through windy parks. This fact-packed article will focus on some of the most famous examples of push bikes, mountain bikes and city bikes in music, from the iconic riffs of Queen to the silky smooth R&B vocals of Frank Ocean. Read ahead and let Hooked On Cycling & Walking bring you five iconic songs about cycling.
Queen – Bicycle Race
Arguably one of the greatest bands of all time, Queen were never orthodox in their choice of song topic, and Freddy Mercury’s pop rock collective covered new ground with ‘Bicycle Race’. Reaching number 11 in the UK Singles Charts, this catchy number was inspired by the 18th stage of the 1978 Tour de France, which just so happened to pass the mountain studios where Queen were in the midst of a recording session.
Kraftwerk – Tour de France
Another song inspired by the iconic French cycling event, Kraftwerk’s ‘Tour de France’ is a memorable composition, incorporating elements of electronic music and techno pop. Namechecking Northern Paris, The Cote d’Azur and Saint Tropez, the lyrics read like a list of idyllic destinations to visit during a cycling tour in France. Marking the group’s increasing interest in the sport of cycling, the tune is synonymous with road racing.
Engelbert Humperdinck – Les Bicyclettes de Belsize
Translating to ‘The Bicycles of Belsize’, India-born crooner Engelbert Humperdinck had himself a major hit with this movie soundtrack, accompanying a motion picture of the same name. Within the titular film, viewers learn the story of a young man cycling around the Hampstead area of London, with minimal dialogue meaning that the bicycle-themed soundtrack takes centre stage.
Madness – Riding on My Bike
As quintessentially British as it gets, Madness gained popularity throughout the 1970s and 80s thanks to their catchy blend of pop choruses and Jamaican Ska influence. Following the members as they go biking through England, ‘Riding On My Bike’ is a B-Side of their mega-hit ‘Driving In My Car’, flipping the original lyrics to include lines such as “I went riding on my bike, with a spanner, pump, back and front light”
Frank Ocean – Biking
A recent release from American singer-songwriter Frank Ocean, ‘Biking’ cleverly uses the context of a bike ride and uses it as a metaphor for the trials and tribulations of life in the music industry. With features from world-renowned lyricists Jay Z and Tyler, The Creator, there’s an abundance of bike-related wordplay, with the former announcing “life goes in cycles, what comes around goes around”.
Europe is home to some of the most beautiful locations in the world, offering stunning landscapes, iconic architecture and unparalleled history – taking the traveller back centuries. What better way to experience these wonders than on a self-guided cycling or walking holiday? For more information on lake district cycling holidays and overseas adventures, contact us today! At Hooked On Cycling & Walking, we’re always keen to help.