Bonjour mes amis! This week’s mix is brought to you by the letter “L” Á¢€” which is the first letter in leukemia and lymphoma. I know, blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma are real Debbie Downer things, but the good news is that every year the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society raises a large amount of cash to continue research in fighting blood cancers. One way they do it is through Team in Training, where people train with coaches to do crazy things like, oh, ride 100 miles around Lake Tahoe in June. If you couldn’t guess by now, I’m training to do “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride” in June, and that means I’m spending a lot of time in the saddle trying to build up my endurance. Because I get bored just listening to myself breathe heavy and periodically swear while riding down the road, I load my iPod with a “bike mix” to help me stay motivated Á¢€” so this week’s mix is culled from that bike playlist to help you (if you like working out) move a little faster than you’re used to.

Riders to your marks!

AC/DC, “Thunderstruck”

Just when I thought Angus Young couldn’t come up with a cool guitar lick, he introduces this gem. When I first saw the video on MTV (back when they played videos, in 1990) the sound coming out of my TV only captured the dominant riff. But when I finally got the CD, I noticed there were other guitar parts layered in there as well. Nice!

John Wesley, “Pretty Lives”

Guitarist for last year’s prog rock darlings, Porcupine Tree, Wesley decided to just give away his solo music for free on his site. The only thing he asked was to put a little cash into his tip jar if you liked what you heard. I think the guitar hook alone is worth a few dollars, right?

My Chemical Romance, “The Ghost of You”

Bombastic and oh so middle school, but this song works well when you’re cruising down the road and in a groove.

The Bravery, “An Honest Mistake”

Being a New Order fan, this song was a natural fit for my tastes Á¢€” since they parrot New Order so well. But if you’re approaching a hill this is good song to have on because the beat alone can give you an extra boost while you’re huffing and puffing.

The Motels, “Mission of Mercy”

Depending on how high that hill is, you’re going to need more motivation, so why not an AOR hit from the Motels? If I featured “Only the Lonely,” you’d probably think I was training for “America’s Most Beautiful Half Mile Walk.”

X, “Devil Doll”

Can you see the finish line? Only a couple miles to go, so give it all you’ve got!

Whew! Nice job, team.

Part of my commitment to Team in Training is fund raising. So far, I’ve been able to raise about $150 of my $2,500 minimum. That’s a lot of cash, I know. However, if you can throw a few bills into the collection plate, I would be most appreciative. You can click the Team in Training logo below to connect with my donation page Á¢€” and see what my real name is and what my ugly mug looks like. :-)