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Google Cycle

The stationary bike just got interesting
  (+50, -1)(+50, -1)(+50, -1)
(+50, -1)
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The exercise bike. That symbol of what we should do, but just can't bring ourselves to. Sure it gets the heartrate up and improves circulation, develops muscle and burns calories. But it's so....boring.

Well, it used to be. That's before the Google Cycle! Now you can download a version of Google Earth and explore 3-D cities, mountains, continents, deserts and lakes while you peddle away in your bedroom!

Just launch Google Earth and plug the stationary bike into the USB slot on your pc. Next, select a view (default=flying at 200 meters above the ground and looking at the horizon. Next, select a starting point (such as Egypt).

As you peddle, the view on the monitor starts to move forward. You turn the handlebars of the bicycle, you move north, south, east and west on the planet. Peddle faster, fly faster on screen.

Watch out for the Sphinx! Whoops, did you feel that 'bump' on your bike? That's the 'object response' feature of the bike kicking in. You just hit that 8,000 year old monument! (Did you just knock the nose off that face? Uh oh. No, as you click on the information tab you see that the Sphinx's nose has been missing for a while now.)

Now turn north and head for the Pyramids. Get up some speed... and... JUMP! "Yee-HAW!" WHAM! The springs on your bike cushion as you 'land.' You just rode up Cheops tomb and flew 50 miles! Evil Knieval would be so jealous!

As you continue peddling you feel the resistance increasing. That's because you are climbing the Himalayan mountains. Dang, they don't look that steep in books, but your legs are burning! Don't worry, the terrain is leveling off as you speed across the Tibetan Plateu. Ahhh.....

After touring the Asian continent you park your bike in downtown Shanghai and have a Bok ale from the fridge. You've had your workout and learned something about geography and even a little history. You're stronger and smarter...thanks to Google Cycle.

wylie_coyote, Nov 02 2006

UK Motorway simulator http://www.cbrd.co.uk/sim/
[angel, Nov 02 2006]

Download Google Earth http://earth.google.com/
[wylie_coyote, Nov 02 2006]

Prop Cycle. http://www.highway....s/machine/5702.html
It took four tokens, as I recall, and was worth every one of them. [Cuit_au_Four, Nov 08 2006]

Evil Google http://www.google-watch.org/
[webfishrune, Nov 09 2006]

Cycling the Alps http://www.cyclingt...cote-de-billot-tour
[Klaatu, Jul 20 2011]


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Annotation:







       Nice. Ride the Tour de France from the comfort of your own home.
DrBob, Nov 02 2006
  

       Nice. (phew - that was a freaky moment.)
moomintroll, Nov 02 2006
  

       Nice. I just zone out and do similar things in my head, but it takes me 1/2 hr to get in that mode.
Shz, Nov 02 2006
  

       Why is everyone stuck on Nice? The lavender fields of Aix-en-Provence would be so much nicer to cycle around.
jurist, Nov 02 2006
  

       They have a number of words for people who peddle things in the bedroom.
fridge duck, Nov 02 2006
  

       You could also cycle on the motorway (linky).
angel, Nov 02 2006
  

       Nice. I have seen this baked for treadmills.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 02 2006
  

       You'd probably need something like a flight simulator (or Windows Live, which has a prototype with better terrain data) to be truly entertaining. You'd also need turnable handlebars, which most stationary bikes lack.   

       I might 'bake' this with a treadmill and a joystick...I just need to find a way to get the speed into the computer...
cowtamer, Nov 02 2006
  

       Welcome [wylie_coyote] (lovely user name btw).   

       If you park your exercise bike in Harlem, could you come back to find it with graffitti on it, or missing entirely?
hidden truths, Nov 03 2006
  

       This is a sort of realisation of the 'flying' dream. I assume the speed multiplier between your actual pedalling (note spelling of 'pedalling') and the speed you go through the Google Earth landscape is configurable.
I'd be keen on the networked version of this - you're cycling your way over the Swiss Alps at 15,000 feet, you look over to your right and see another person swooshing through the air on their exercise bike. A few deft turns and swoops brings you close enough to be within chatting distance, which fires up the IM add-in...
hippo, Nov 03 2006
  

       I want that!
Jscotty, Nov 03 2006
  

       Perfect. Curiosity provides the motivation to work. I would set out on a grand voyage, and attempt to cycle around the virtual world, bit by bit. My geography knowledge would improve immensely.
Heathera, Nov 03 2006
  

       [+] Excellent first post!
MoreCowbell, Nov 03 2006
  

       Can no one remember the arcade game where the user interface was a cycle, and you controlled a hot-air balloon / bicycle hybrid, and flew around being amazing?
Ape, Nov 05 2006
  

       //I just need to find a way to get the speed into the computer//   

       Two words:   

       Shaft Encoder   

       :-)
webfishrune, Nov 07 2006
  

       I love the idea [wylie] but does it have to be associated with the scum at Evoogle? Link it up to some other mapping software and I'm with you, otherwise I'm pedalling my exercise bike right to their "sanitised" digital version of Tiannemen Square to register my protest in the form of an enormous steaming log that spells out "FREEDOM" and can be seen from space. Take that, you evil cunts!
DocBrown, Nov 07 2006
  

       Wait...so, you don't like Google then?
shapu, Nov 07 2006
  

       I've seen some version of this years ago, at some health club. It was more like a flight simulator, but on the ground. This isn't a bad idea, but I think I would rather just go ride my bike in the (real) mountains and trails near my house.
discontinuuity, Nov 07 2006
  

       Ride a real bicycle? But that wouldn't be nerdy.
wylie_coyote, Nov 07 2006
  

       //Can no one remember the arcade game where the user interface was a cycle, and you controlled a hot-air balloon / bicycle hybrid, and flew around being amazing?//   

       Prop Cycle. See linky.
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 08 2006
  

       Doc, Chill.   

       I mean really, chill man.
Custardguts, Nov 08 2006
  

       Great idea, add in bicycling the ocean bottom explore the underwater hawaiian islands or check out some geothermal vents and the exotic wildlife found around them.+
pydor, Nov 08 2006
  

       Nice. This was my idea, but you published first....congrats
JPG4500, Nov 08 2006
  

       I would also like my Google cycle to come equipped with an NES duck hunt gun/rifle, for cycling through Detroit.
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 08 2006
  

       I might be losing it, but I've read this idea here before or one remarkably similar enough to it to comment, and I could swear that a version of the idea was eventually marketed but I can't find it.   

       + I've flown the Rockies/Andies. My god, it took hours. I did do it on google earth. Pretty weird wild stuff in the Ande's you see, though.
Zimmy, Nov 08 2006
  

       They already have excercise bikes that drive cycling computer games - but this is a huuuuge improvement. I might even get on one for a few minutes.
wagster, Nov 08 2006
  

       //but does it have to be associated with the scum at Evoogle?//   

       I second that!
webfishrune, Nov 08 2006
  

       why is Google so bad? I thought they promote free use of the net, etc. Maybe they're not dolphin safe?
wylie_coyote, Nov 08 2006
  

       [Unabubba], [wylie] and others, to explain if you hadn't heard, Google recently launched Google China, somehow seeing fit to reconcile their corporate slogan "Don't be evil" with the production of a search engine that rendered pictures of smiling happy tourists for a "Tiannemen Square" search. Similar restrictions are in place for the Falun Gong massacre and a whole bunch of other stuff that Google have agreed to doctor to the Chinese government's specifications in return for being allowed to operate in the country. The utter lack of ethics displayed by Google has not been lost on Chinese web users who have nicknamed Google China "The Little Eunuch".

I was so disappointed because I thought Google might genuinely be the first major corporation to preach social responsibility, ethical business etc and mean it. Turns out they had a choice between making a gigantic sack of money and a super gigantic sack of money and they chose the latter ignoring the associated qualms that might have plagued more decent beings.

Personally, it pissed me off because they're clear technical leaders in their space but I can't now bring myself to use the scumbags.
DocBrown, Nov 08 2006
  

       Unless you're using their 'sponsored links' or paying for the service, I don't really see how you'd be supporting them.
hidden truths, Nov 09 2006
  

       As well as the stuff already mentioned:   

       Google are also in bed with the CIA and NSA in the US (read partially owned; one of their directors is ex-cia, another prominent figure is ex-nsa) and store all of your searches in a database, tracked by your cookie. Their cookie is valid for some 30 years or more. They also track you through their other sites and any site that pulls an ad link from their ad servers. Gmail also stores all of your mail indefnitely, regardless of whether you actually delete it. They do this even for people not within US jurisdiction and for people who come from countries that limit the use of information in this fashion. They also have a track record of turning this data over on request without proper legal process or court order. Google will turn over you email and your search history, and the tracked sites you have visited to any government in the world whatsoever, at their request, without court order.   

       The google toolbar is intrusive and allows information about stuff stored on your harddrive to be sent to Google.   

       The Google Earth/maps technology was also acquired from a source linked with a CIA.   

       They have a track record of many other privacy and ethical breaches too. See link.   

       My advice - set your machine to not allow cookies or to make them session-only from Google.
webfishrune, Nov 09 2006
  

       I predict that there will be a Google copy before long. But it will probably be spelt wrong.
Ling, Nov 09 2006
  

       //I predict that there will be a Google copy before long. But it will probably be spelt wrong//   

       Scroogle   

       /They store my searches? Oh fuck. Now anyone can find out that I spend most of my time searching for media featuring queefing naked wimmin stuffing cucumbers up their shaved vaginas. This is most unacceptable/   

       :))   

       I don't care much about people seing my personal searches either, but I don't like the principle of the thing, particularly the authorities in the US having access to this when I am not under their jurisdiction. It's yet another example of our personal right to freedom and anonymity should we choose it being erroded.
webfishrune, Nov 09 2006
  

       Nice. I was just going to post an idea for a gym full of exercise bikes that allow you to ride some (or all) of the Tour de France when I came across this idea.
hippo, Jul 19 2011
  


 

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