Critics of stationary bikes and treadmills have long lamented static scenery and feelings of going nowhere as reasons against using this exercise equipment as opposed to doing the “real thing.” But now, there may just be a way to get the best of both worlds — you can stay inside while experiencing the great outdoors, and it’s all thanks to virtual reality. To prove just how rewarding a VR-based cycling trip can be, Aaron Puzey is looking to ride across all of the United Kingdom using a stationary bike and a Samsung Gear VR.
His journey started back in May of this year, and since he began his virtual trip, he’s been writing about it on his blog, Cycle VR. His first ride, which took place on May 8, “went smoothly,” he noted, with “no noticeable nausea.” Realizing that he hadn’t quite prepared for the scenery he’d be encountering on each leg of his trip, Puzey wrote back then, “I’ll need to research each leg in the future.”
Fast forward three months, and this video game developer is now a pro. His latest post, which appeared online on August 8, reads, “Passed through Stockport on my way to Manchester and boy does it go on and on and on. This is my first really big city and I’m passing right through the middle. One thing I’ve noticed is the Google Street [View] data works surprisingly well with big, tall buildings.”
That’s right — all the visuals of Puzey’s journey are being supplied by Google Street View. The developer himself designed an app that would allow him to move between one Google panorama to another so that it feels as though he’s actually traversing the country. In total, his trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats looks to be around 837 miles, so he’s got quite a ways to go still, having not quite hit the halfway point yet.
“Using Street View I can visit pretty much anywhere,” Puzey told The Verge. So while he’s starting with this trip, he may soon be venturing across other countries as well — all via VR.