Google Maps + Exercise Bike = Virtual Bike Ride

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Picture of 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!

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Step 1: Parts List

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

Step 2: How This Will Work

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.
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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.

WalidM4 months ago

nice idea

redlohnewo10 months ago

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

Future Dezign10 months ago
Loved your project. Suggestion, Make it better with a virtual reality headset. Keep up the good work!

Future Dezign
This is tinker nuts idea
mykiscool2 years ago
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.
mahkeymike2 years ago
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.
mrworf2 years ago
Why don't you just drive a real bike?
techboy4113 years ago
You are a GENIUS! You are the best in these things.
GameNox4 years ago
It's not really a "hack".
Upload it to Google Demo Slam!
godofal5 years ago
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....
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
rabidy godofal5 years ago
sometimes you want to take a bike ride but its raining, or too hot. or too cold.
godofal rabidy5 years ago
iknow, but what kind of wussies are we? we wont melt XD
bikes rust
if ur bike rusts, u got a bad bike....
No kidding.
dude bikes rust all the time.
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.
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
And everyone knows carbon bikes melt in the rain! ;)
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" {^..^}.
jlms godofal5 years ago
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...
TobaTobias4 years ago
warengadia4 years ago
nice job i have learn about this project
johnnyblegs5 years ago
How to you turn?
gigafide (author)  johnnyblegs5 years ago
Eitehr just manually press the arrow keys, or you could wire other alarms up to the other arrow keys.
or add buttons to the handle bars that connect top the left and right keys!
geoslim134 years ago
I have seen one that has virtual reality goggls hooked to the computer
Bayfielder5 years ago
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.
or add buttons to the handlebars wired to the left and right keys
Foaly75 years ago
You could even connect the computer to your tv, but that would probably be more expensive.
Nope. Aslong as your PC has a good enough graphics card you can use your TV the same way you would use a monitor
if you have a fancy tv you can even use HDMI from your pc
kcls5 years ago
What happens if you have to turn?
That is what I was thinking.
add some buttons on the handlebars wired to the left and right buttons?
mason01905 years ago
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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