Back in my New Mexico days, I once aimed the ol' Toyota pickup onto a forest road and headed up Pacheco Canyon for a solo ride. Scanning through the local radio stations, I came across one that had signed off on Friday in preparation for launching a new format on Monday. Just to keep the airwaves occupied, they had set each song to play 10 or 12 times in a row before switching to a new song.
I happened to tune in during Patsy Cline's version of the Willie Nelson classic, Crazy.
Don't ask me why, but couldn't stop listening to that thing play over and over as I drove through the forest with my windows down and the aspen breezes blowing through the truck cab. I cranked it up and even sang along a few times, undoubtedly scaring the shit out of any living thing within 200 yards of that gravel road.
These days, I often grab a CD as I head to the car to drive to a trailhead. It doesn't really matter what kind of music it is—Lyle Lovett, the Grateful Dead, A3, or anything else—it just sounds better on the way to a ride. It even sounds a little sweeter than normal on the way home after a ride.
I never listen to music during a ride, but I see other people pedaling along with their iPods cranking. I've heard them say that music helps them ride better.
As far as I'm concerned, it's the riding that makes music sound better.