Google bike hack, quick and dirty

Many of the projects we post are so well thought out and engineered, they could hardly be called “hacks”.  This one, however, falls neatly into the hack category. [Dave] wanted his very own exercise bike hooked to Google maps. Instead of setting up a control system and writing software to control Google maps, he simply hacked a USB game controller. He wired a magnetic switch directly into the board, where the “up” button is. Then he mounted the switch so that it would be triggered each time he rotated the pedal.  Though he only has the forward movement done right now, it would be pretty easy to set up a couple more switches at the base of the handle bar for left and right.

While the experience may not be quite as nice as the more complicated one, aside from head tracking, it isn’t that far off.


  1. That's cute says:

    I like it. Not a tonne of work but effective enough for him.

  2. Jean-Marc says:

    Hehe I like that. Using what you have available to build what you want fast and it works.

    good job

  3. Marty says:

    What this site was designed for: Quick n dirty hacks with no Arduino in sight.

  4. nubie says:

    I like it, you could use any input device you wanted, even a mouse would work, you can scrounge one of those for a buck.

  5. HogieWan says:

    a video would be nice

  6. Pouncer says:

    Simple and to the point, no need for over engineering. well done!

  7. CodeWar says:

    Cool idea, I’d like to see this taken further :)

  8. jeff-o says:

    Very neat (and dirty!) I’ll remember this one….

  9. Mike says:

    How about somehow having an old school ball mouse roll against the bike wheel?

  10. Olivier says:

    Search “I Make Projects – VR Bike Simulator” on Google, I think GTA is much funnier than Google Map :)

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