The song is about a young man who is attempting to hitchhike, since he has no money. The song is noted for its two recorders, first heard in the introduction as well as in the sections between the choruses and the verses.
The song is also noted for its instrumental middle section, featuring an electric piano, that plays a bass line in repetition, which is accompanied by the piano's upper register, bass, drums, and guitar, which is later heard before the song's fade. The U.S. single edit shortens the ending by eliminating the final repeated lines "RIDE, RIDE" before the song fades out.
"Hitchin' a Ride" sold a million copies in the United States alone, and it became a gold record.
"Hitchin' a Ride" was covered by American singer Sinitta. It was released in 1990 as the fifth and final single from her second album Wicked (1989). The song was produced by Ralf Rene Maue. The B-side contains a previously unreleased song "I'm On My Way". This single reached number 24 in the UK, and number 131 in Australia.