An interactive installation that allows the user to cycle down virtual roads.

A sensor in the front wheel records how fast the user is pedalling, and plays a video of rolling country lanes on a screen in front of them. The faster you pedal, the faster the video of the roads rushing past plays until you reach a high enough speed when a ‘warp speed’ video is triggered.

This was fun to make, strapped a video camera to a mate’s car roof and drove around some country lanes to film the ‘virtual roads’. I borrowed an exercise bike from the university gym, and cobbled together a sensor and hacked some code in Macromedia Director to get the whole thing working. There was never an intended application for this installation (I suppose you could use it at the gym for spinning classes or something) but it was loads of fun watching people pedalling like crazy once they realised they could unlock the warp video at high speeds!

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It was this image that inspired me: an astronaut training at NASA to land on the moon.

Since making the Virtual Cycle back in the summer of 2005, it has now commonplace to have a screen in front of you whilst exercising.