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Like to race? Meet your match here!
Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 08 September 2007 08:48
Competitive cycling without leaving home
By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: September 7, 2007, 2:44 PM PDT
reporter's notebook Now, U.S. cyclists can get trounced by some of the best riders in Europe without leaving home.

With the Ergo Bike Premium 8i from Germany's Daum Electronics, riders from around the world compete against each other over virtual versions of some of the sport's storied race courses. Riders gather at a particular time, pick a course and go. In a ride I witnessed, riders from Germany and a few Americans went head-to-head on a simulated version of the bike segment of Hawaii's Ironman Triathlon.

Additionally, the bike--which closely mimics the feel of a real bike through a battery of sensors and processors--monitors the pulse rate, speed, distance and watts (a measure of current power output) of the riders and broadcasts these vital stats to each participant. The riders can also watch each other over video streams and speak over VoIP-enabled headsets, all so you can see who is about to crack.

In a sense, it's full-contact social networking.

"You can see him breathing. You can see his heart rate. That gets you motivated," said Kip Potter, one of the two partners behind InBikeSF, which recently started to import the bike to the U.S. "The problem with other stationary bikes is that they are boring." More

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