Introduction: Google Maps + Exercise Bike = Virtual Bike Ride

Hook up your exercise bike to Google Maps and turn your boring stationary bike into a virtual reality excursion!


Step 1: Parts List

To do this project, you're gonna need to gather a few parts:

Step 2: How This Will Work

The premise behind how this works is pretty simple. The magnetic alarm runs off of a reed switch that connects every time a magnet is near it. So if we connect this switch to the up arrow key on the keypad, then every time a magnet passes by, the switch will connect and the button will be pressed. So if you have Google Maps open, pressing the up button will propel you forward.

Step 3: Solder the Alarm to the Keypad

Open up the keypad until you see the circuit boards that comprise it. Find which circuits connect to trigger the up arrow key (or key 8) and connect the wires to it. Since there are thousands of different keypads available on the market, yours will not look exactly like the one I used in this example. But in my case, I was able to find that circuits 4 and 3 (shown in the graphic below) connected when the up arrow key was pressed. So I traced those circuits back to the main logic board and soldered the alarm wires to them, so that when the alarm is tripped, it triggers the up arrow.

Step 4: Test the Rig

Once you have the wires connected to the button, put everything back together. You may need to cut some of the plastic casing in order to accommodate the extra wires we added. Now plug the USB keypad into your computer and open up maps.google.com and make it full screen. Then you'll need to hit the numlock key on the keypad to turn the number lock off. Now whenever you pass a magnet by the alarm switch, the map should move forward.

Step 5: Connect the Rig to an Exercise Bike

After you have it working properly, you want to attach the rig to an exercise bike. I duct taped the alarm switch to the front bike wheel and the magnet to the bike peddal. This is so that everytime the pedal makes a rotation, it will trigger the alarm switch. Then run the wires up to the laptop, which you should place somewhere in front of the bike. Now just hop on the bike and start peddling and enjoy the scenery! If you want more information on this project, please visit the website that provided the inspiration for this video (http://www.izonsoft.co.uk/Projects/googleBike.asp).

Comments

author
SamiW4 made it!(author)2016-09-29

Do you think this would work for my stationary arm bike?

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EddieB17 made it!(author)2015-12-11

Wow. Very similar to what I was looking for. On days that the weather doesn't suit me, I can set up my roadbike and magnetic trainer in just about any room with a PC and a display suitable enough to make the experience less boring and more aesthetically convincing. With two magnetic sensors, one on the crank and another on the rear wheel and other bio-metric(?) monitors, a little software on the PC could chart whatever any bicycle trip computer could, and then some. Maybe even control resistance for uphill/downhill/level terrain simulation.Then there's the possibility of group casual or competitive rides locally or all over the world that could happen without the weather or distance being a factor. Not to mention the health and medical benefits for charting and comparisons to encourage consistency with the convenience. But for the simplicity and ease of building, the Virtual Bike Ride Project is hard to beat!

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kathleen.beacon made it!(author)2015-04-19

This is a simple set-up and quite workable. For more utility, though, I think a feedback into the trainer, those with magnetic resistance, that would vary the wattage/speed would add to the realism and exercise utility. It would take things like air resistance, weight of bicycle and user, speed and incline into the resistance formula.

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WalidM made it!(author)2015-03-26

nice idea

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redlohnewo made it!(author)2014-09-21

Awesome!!!!!!
How could I adapt this for a treadmill(running machine)?

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Future+Dezign made it!(author)2014-09-05

Loved your project. Suggestion, Make it better with a virtual reality headset. Keep up the good work!

Future Dezign

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roboshark28 made it!(author)2013-11-30

This is tinker nuts idea

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mykiscool made it!(author)2013-07-03

What I'm doing right now is making a thing like this for the play station. I am making a speed sensor with arduino that depending on the speed of the bike will press down the pedal for a racing pedal using a servo. I will also find a way put the front wheel on a turntable and connect that to the wheel.

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mahkeymike made it!(author)2013-06-07

If you lift the cover off the treadmill where the motor is, theres a wheel that already has a magnet on it, and there should already be a speed sensor mounted so the magnet on the wheel passes over it. Tap into that or buy a bicycle speedometer and a sensor should come with it and you can mount that near the other sensor so that the magnet passes that sensor aswell.

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mrworf made it!(author)2013-03-30

Why don't you just drive a real bike?

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techboy411 made it!(author)2011-12-29

You are a GENIUS! You are the best in these things.

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GameNox made it!(author)2010-12-26

It's not really a "hack".

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alltootechnical made it!(author)2010-11-19

Upload it to Google Demo Slam!

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godofal made it!(author)2010-06-26

hmm, im stunned by how people always find new way's to to exactly the same as before! what improvement is there, compared to just grabbing your bike and go out for real? you actually see alot less!! nice idea, and instructable, its just that i think that's a bit odd....

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steve5006 made it!(author)2010-10-30

Things like this are very useful in places such as Canada where the biking season is only about 4 months long on a good year

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rabidy made it!(author)2010-06-26

sometimes you want to take a bike ride but its raining, or too hot. or too cold.

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godofal made it!(author)2010-06-29

iknow, but what kind of wussies are we? we wont melt XD

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Teaeyeem made it!(author)2010-06-29

bikes rust

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godofal made it!(author)2010-07-01

if ur bike rusts, u got a bad bike....

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TheChemiker made it!(author)2010-07-01

No kidding.

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-16

dude bikes rust all the time.

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TheChemiker made it!(author)2010-07-17

Only cheap ones rust quickly, and if you take care of your bike, it won't rust. I've taken my bike on many rides in the rain, I just bring it inside afterwards and it never rusts. Bikes only rust if you let them sit outside 24/7.

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-18

when you have a garage full of $#!7, a tarp over the bike doesnt work, just leave it out. i have a leaky garage too

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scraptopower made it!(author)2010-07-01

And everyone knows carbon bikes melt in the rain! ;)

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Light_Lab made it!(author)2010-07-02

Last time I went out in the real world on my bike a pack of teenagers in a car had target practice driving past and spitting on me. Anyway I would rather ride a virtual bike around the Grand Canyon or along the streets of Tokyo than around my suburban block for real. Another thing, In my current condition, I think it would be easier for the ambulance driver to find my body at home rather than a nondescript "somewhere around the block" {^..^}.

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jlms made it!(author)2010-07-01

You don't live in London (or any other big town with poor cycling infrastructure) where it is impractical to just grab your bike and go out.... And clearly you live in a tropical country where snow is not an issue...

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TobaTobias made it!(author)2010-09-25

Genius!!!

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warengadia made it!(author)2010-08-25

nice job i have learn about this project

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johnnyblegs made it!(author)2010-06-24

How to you turn?

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gigafide made it!(author)2010-06-25

Eitehr just manually press the arrow keys, or you could wire other alarms up to the other arrow keys.

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-18

or add buttons to the handle bars that connect top the left and right keys!

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dodo91 made it!(author)2010-08-24

GENIOUS!! I SHALL DO THAT!

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geoslim13 made it!(author)2010-08-18

I have seen one that has virtual reality goggls hooked to the computer

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Bayfielder made it!(author)2010-06-26

Very ingenious! I love the simplicity of it. I feel very bad bringing this up now, but how do you steer this thing? I hate having to stop every once in a while to drop the little man in a new spot. I'm going to monkey around the keypad, maybe wiring an old joystick to it will work. I'm just not that familiar with the google controls.

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-18

or add buttons to the handlebars wired to the left and right keys

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Foaly7 made it!(author)2010-06-25

You could even connect the computer to your tv, but that would probably be more expensive.

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halberdear made it!(author)2010-06-26

Nope. Aslong as your PC has a good enough graphics card you can use your TV the same way you would use a monitor

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-18

if you have a fancy tv you can even use HDMI from your pc

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kcls made it!(author)2010-07-01

What happens if you have to turn?

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TheChemiker made it!(author)2010-07-01

That is what I was thinking.

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-18

add some buttons on the handlebars wired to the left and right buttons?

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-16

G GE GEN GENI GENIO GENIOU GENIOUS GENIOU GENIO GENI GEN GE G .. now where can i pick up one of those alarms? TrueValue® maybe?

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-18

and maybe add some buttons on the handles to turn left and right?

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bumper44 made it!(author)2010-07-09

What brand/model laptop is that. I like it....

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mason0190 made it!(author)2010-07-16

it looks like a MacBook Air

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othar made it!(author)2010-06-28

simple... and do the job.... mcGyver spirit .... perfect,,, i will do it for my Treadmill

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inchman made it!(author)2010-07-01

I am trying to figure out the best way to do this on a treadmill. (I will make and 'ible if I figure it out.) My concerns are... 1-How to keep a piece of metal attached to the rubber mat without compromising the mat. 2-The refresh rate of the Google maps it takes upwards of 4 seconds to refresh the image on google maps, yet my belt passes the but the belt takes 1.1 second (at 7 mph) on the treadmill to rotate. So I would need to figure out how to "gear down" the signal or how to get it only to close the contact on ever 4th (or more) rotation.

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JonnyDude2008 made it!(author)2010-07-16

1) Attach magnet to your shoe. 2) Attach the receiver part to the right/left (depending which shoe you placed the magnet on) of the rotating mat. This way whenever you take a step the switch will be triggered.

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Squirrelfriend made it!(author)2010-07-05

Purchase a replacement lawnmower wheel and build an arm which holds it in contact with the mat, Attach the magnet to the wheel

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Light_Lab made it!(author)2010-07-02

Use a piece of the flexible rubber magnet from a refrigerator door seal stuck on with contact glue designed for rubber. Set the Keyboard repeat properties in windows to a Long Delay and Slow repeat. You will be running in slow motion on the screen put you can pretend you are really an Inchman with legs 1/4 scale {^..^}.

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