Using a Gear VR, a cadence monitor and his exercise bike, Aaron Puzey is cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in virtual reality. He began his journey in May and this week passed through Manchester.
Puzey, who is originally from Australia but now lives in Scotland, has created his own VR app which pulls Google Street View data to generate the 3D world.
He told CNET that the initial impetus for constructing his VR touring system was "boredom."
"I've been riding the exercise bike for years, just half an hour each day, but it's just a bit monotonous. I'd been daydreaming for a while about the possibility of using VR to make it a bit more fun and now of course the technology has arrived to make it happen."
You can follow Puzey’s progress on his website, where he’s regularly uploading videos. That may not sound particularly enticing, but the footage is endearingly unhinged and faintly mesmerising.
In the footage, Puzey reads about the towns he passes through on Wikipedia, giving populations and local facts and he intersperses this with reactions to what he sees around him. “Wow, it really is bin day. Look at them all,” he says.
Occasionally he comments on how the technology is working, but he seems to retain a sense of the absurdity of his efforts throughout. “It’s very stormy looking,” he observes at one point. “Better pedal faster.”
On that occasion, turning left resolved the bad weather. Were that it were so easy to dodge bad weather in real life.