When cycling in remote desert areas, ascending up some never ending climb, or on those inexplicable mornings when you just don’t feel like cycling, I find music to be a brilliant motivator that gets me into the groove. Music can also heighten many experiences to spine tingling levels, if the right song comes on at the right time. I remember one such instance, climbing into an isolated part of the Kyrgyz mountains at sunset, surrounded by the colossal rugged mountains that were cast in a lovely orange glow. I was feeling great and enjoying the moment, when my iPod switched to a beautiful melodic track by the Icelandic band Sigur Ros which was like putting the icing on an already incredibly tasty cake.
Being on the road for 18 months requires a lot of music so you don’t end up listening to the same stuff over and over, so after lots of deliberaton and research, we plumped for the iPod classic 120Gb. This has a brushed metal body with chrome back, small screen and can take weeks worth of continuous music along with lots of videos and photos. It’s brilliant being able to store an entire music collection on one device so there’s always music to fit your mood. On days off or in the tent at night, the video is really appreciated for a little escapism. I love being tucked into my cosy sleeping bag with a load of sweets or cakes, and relaxing into a good film or one of the many Fawlty Towers or Blue Planet episodes I have on my iPod.
The main drawback with the iPod over other mp3 players is that you can’t transfer music from it to someone else’s mp3 which is quite limiting. But for the sheer quantity of stuff you can get on there, ease of use, and lets face it, cool styling, the iPod can’t be beaten.