You’ve got your turbo set up in the spare room or shed, there’s a towel draped over the bars to catch the sweat, a fan set to overdrive to imitate that cooling headwind. All you need is to choose the soundtrack to this session of suffering. There’s no doubt that turbo training is amply aided by good music but in these days of shuffle does anyone ever listen to an album all the way through? Here’s a prod in the direction of five albums to coax you out of shuffle and onto the evil turbo.
1. “Tour de France Soundtracks” by Kraftwerk
Electro pioneers Kraftwerk recorded what must surely be the Großvater of all cycling-related albums. Tour de France Soundtracks takes the spirit and concept of their 1983 single Tour de France as its hub and expands eleven spokes outward to form an unashamed, spinning celebration of cycling’s greatest race. You only need to take a glance at the track listing to find yourself on familiar ground. From the opening Prologue, through Tour de France Etapes 1, 2 and 3, onto Chrono, Aéro Dynamik, and Titanium, this is an album that covers all bases, taking your turbo-session on a mini grand Tour adventure. The track Elektro Kardiogramm even has samples of a heavy-duty heartbeat and some laboured lungs at full puff, just in case you aren’t working your own hard enough. If cycling is poetry in motion then this album contains what is perhaps the best cycling poetry ever written:
“L’enfer du Nord Paris-Roubaix, /La Cote d’Azur et Saint Tropez, /Les Alpes et les Pyrennees, /Derniere etape Champs-Elysees.”