A software developer has completed a virtual reality ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats using his exercise bike and an app he designed himself. Aaron Puzey – who is originally from Australia but lives in Scotland – now plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for his creation.
Puzey created his own VR app, CycleVR, which pulls Google Street View data to generate a 3D world. Using a Gear VR headset, a cadence monitor and his exercise bike, he set off from Land’s End in May and after 900 miles of pedalling, recently arrived in John O’Groats. (When we last checked on him, he’d reached Manchester.)
"It feels fantastic," he told the BBC. "It's such a good thing after six to seven months of cycling."
Puzey regularly uploaded videos of his journey to his website, occasionally talking about how his project was developing, but mostly just gleefully commenting on whatever he passed. “Wow, it really is bin day,” for example, or, “it’s the hat museum!”
His journey took him 85 hours, but here’s a three-minute version.
As is so often the case with these sorts of things, Puzey’s main inspiration 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."
He now plans on running a Kickstarter campaign. It’s not up and running just yet as he says there’s still ‘loads of stuff’ he needs to sort out. However, he envisages the final product being, “a complete virtual reality kit that allows you to cycle anywhere in the world from your living room.”
You can sign up for updates via his website.