Modder Turns Exercise Bike into Mario Kart Controller

Any gamer will tell you that it can be hard to tear yourself away from the PC or console, no matter how nice it is outside. Still, sitting on the couch all day isn't exactly good for one's health, so tearing ourselves away to get some fresh air and exercise is a necessary evil. But what if you could exercise while playing games? The Wii and Microsoft's Kinect both aim to get gamers moving (or get movers gaming) but what about playing some of the classics and exercising at the same time?

Canadian modder Brent Smith rigged an old stationary bike up to an old Super Nintendo controller using an Arduino microcontroller, a few transistors, some pushbutton switches, a few resistors, a $2 photo interrupter, and a breadboard. The resulting mod allows you to play Super Mario Kart with a real bike as the controller. Peddling at a certain rate holds down the A button to accelerate, while left and right are buttons on the handlebars. There is a red button in the middle of the handlebars for using special items.

"When I was young I used to think about how much fun it would be to play SMK with a real bike," Smith said via his blog. "Now, many years later, we finally have the ability to create such a thing without a lot of very specific knowledge and tools. Nothing there is overly expensive and none of it should require more then a little time and googling to figure out how to use."

Check out the bike in action below. For more on how Brent managed to rig this up, head on over to his blog.

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Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.