Riding stationary bicycle trainers can be extremely boring, which is why Spanish venture Bkool has invented a cycling route simulator that helps you select from among thousands of pre-made videos of real-world roads. Now instead of simply pedaling away and checking out the hotties nearby for entertainment, you can pretend that you're cycling through the scenic Swiss countryside or Hyde Park in London.
The system uses datamaps from various sources and considers real-time input, taking into account things like terrain, vegetation, density, building density and so on. This information is then used to render the environment on the fly. As if that weren't awesome enough, the system can even be used to produce weather conditions identical to those in the part of the world where the user is virtually riding.
To take the coolness of this system to a completely different level, here's a nifty social aspect. Bkool users can ride with and talk with other users on the same virtual route, and can virtually meet up with users in different parts of the world and go for group rides or races.
This system is extraordinarily well-rounded. Not only does it encourage more intense and focused workouts that stimulate both mind and body, but it also helps bring together exercise enthusiasts from different parts of the world. In the future it wouldn't be crazy to envision virtual cycling competitions among people from around the world.
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