Bored with your plain old stationary bike? Ever wanted to coast along cobblestone paths from halfway around the globe? There’s a brilliant Google Earth hack for cyclists and word is going around about it. If the rain and snow have recently dampened your plans of training in the great outdoors or you’re just plain uncomfortable cycling outside with all those cars around, then by all means keep reading!
Google Bike, as more are calling it so, is a virtual biking experience. It lets you ride around almost anywhere in the world with just a computer, a bike, simple electronic components and some knowledge in software hacking. Imagine coasting along a rustic path in North-Eastern Italy in the comfort of your own home. What happens is that through a cadence sensor that measures the crank rotation and an analog joystick attached to the handlebars that dictates the tilt for turning, the data is transferred to the bike computer and from there is read by an Arduino. Via USB, the data is sent to your computer that uses the information to control your virtual bike in its adventures within Google Earth.
Things You’ll Need:
- Indoor bike stand (or a stationary bike to your liking)
- Bike cadence sensor
- Analog joystick (like what you see on a PlayStation controller)
- Windows or OSX operated computer (too bad or Linux users)