Virtual reality impacting cycling was merely an idea a few years ago, when the technology was only just starting to be widely recognized by consumers. A few years further along though, with VR growing and expanding to more and more uses, its intersection with the world of cycling is no longer just an idea. Rather, it’s a reality.
We may still not have an exact grasp on where this is all going. However, there are three key ways in which VR can impact cycling, or is doing so already.
Exercise is already proving to be an exciting category for VR, before we even get to cycling. There are several different applications that help people to train and work out in all sorts of ways, with the VR element helping to make the process less mundane and more effective. Some of these applications are already disrupting the entire idea of exercise bikes and home (or gym) cycling. Imagine if you will an exercise bike that pairs with a virtual reality application and headset in a way that allows you to conduct workouts while simulating passage through specific terrain, along a track, or even through a race. These experiences already exist, and are being refined fairly rapidly. VR exercise bikes are almost certain to be popular products in a matter of years.
Another exciting space for VR in general, before we even get to cycling, has been event spectatorship. Virtual reality has the pure capability to transfer people from wherever they may be while wearing a headset to the sidelines of a major sporting event with ease. This has already been applied to everything from average basketball and soccer games to events as big as The Masters. This most famous of golf tournaments already has a reputation as a growing phenomenon, and started to embrace VR spectatorship over a years ago already. So, you might ask, what’s to stop a major cycling race to do the same thing? In all likelihood we will in fact start to see widespread VR spectatorship for events as big as the Tour De France. And with cycling, the concept could (and almost certainly will) go even further. For instance, there could be VR streams that allow people to watch the race from the perspectives of various
It’s been said that it’s time to pay attention to virtual reality in travel, and while this applies mostly to travel booking, virtual destination tours and things of that nature, there’s no reason we can’t also think of cycling as it relates to tourism. This relates somewhat to the first category of exercise in that it would be a more active experience. The idea though is quite simple, and quite delightful. We’ll be able to ride exercise bikes more casually, while connected to VR, for the specific purpose of touring different routes and roads around the world that might strikes us as interesting, pretty, or adventurous. It’s basically a whole different type of leisure activity.
These are all going to be accessible and popular VR options, and within just a few years. It’s going to be a very exciting time.