Here's our final winner in the reader contest to win an autographed copy of our new book, Upgrade Your Life. Thanks to everyone who submitted!
Reader Martin is determined to not let the exercise bike next to his computer desk just sit there and gather dust. Instead, he wants to cycle while he surfs, and decided to start building his "Nerdcycle" by mounting an extra monitor to the stationary bike. Martin writes in:
I bought an exercise bike on Craigslist for $100. I rode it five times. It then became my footrest while I surfed the net, as it is next to my computer desk. Recently, I decided enough was enough, and I had to make it fit into my lifestyle. So, some hacking was in order.
After the jump, follow along through a photo tour of Martin's ambitious project.
Exercise bike before:
Monitor I haven't been using for anything, plus an old mount I rescued from the trash:
Wiring doesn't seem too complex...
Needed to dremel off the book holder ledge and drill new holes for the wallplate:
Since a monitor was going to be replacing it, I needed to relocate the control unit. Decided on down by my left hand. Here's a mount mockup with PVC and a paint stirrer.
I was going to make a metal one after work sometime but this one is actually sturdy enough that I think I'll stick with it until/unless it breaks. The ergonomics of having the controls here is actually way better than the stock location.
However, the stock wires are only 12" long...not NEARLY long enough. Thirty butt connectors later...
...and I've got a 4' harness instead of a 12" one.
Moment of truth....yay everything works!
Here's the bike as I left it last night:
So for now Martin's got the bike control unit relocated to by his left hand and the monitor mounted. He's not done yet; here's what Martin's got on the Nerdcycle to-do list.
Still to be done:
- Loom the wires and ziptie them so I can't trip and die
- Figure out what source I'm going to use for this (most likely: rig up a laptop shelf/slot)
- Make an adaptor plate to raise the monitor 3" (my knees hit if I'm peddling vigorously)
- Come up with a workable keyboard solution
- Make a matching mount by my right hand for a mousepad
Eventually I'm only going to allow myself to surf the internet while on the bike. Even if I'm not at my peak heart rate, some pedaling is way better than sitting like a lump.
Indeed! Even though it's not a complete project yet, Martin gets an A for his first efforts, plus an autographed copy of Upgrade Your Life. Congratulations, Martin! Be sure to send in photos of the final product once you get your laptop and keyboard hooked up to the Nerdcycle.
Thanks to everyone who sent in their best life hacks for the contest. You rock!