People Power + Pedal Propulsion = Internet Exercise Bike


Those of us who are certifiably web-addicted can attest to the fact that the internet often gets in the way of regular physical activity. If you find yourself in the regrettable position of choosing between fitness and endless web surfing, fear not: Tom Scott and Matt Gray have the perfect solution. Their Webcycle not only lets you browse and exercise at the same time; it encourages you to work harder.

The old-school exercise bike is equipped with pedal sensors, an Arduino board and a laptop running Ubuntu. The faster you pedal the bike, the less the computer’s bandwidth is restricted. If you’re catching up on news or browsing some other text-based site, a leisurely pedal is enough to bring you glorious internets. But if you want to do something a little more bandwidth-intensive, like Rickrolling yourself (as in the video), you’ll need to pick up the speed quite a bit.

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See more in Bikes & Cycles or under Transportation. September, 2009.