Oh sure you’ve played Dark Souls with your Donkey Konga bongos and Untitled Goose Game with a goose costume, but this new weird controller mod could give you a serious workout. Someone has modded Grand Theft Auto V so you can ride its bicycles by pedalling your actual real bicycle, using one of those smart bike trainer kits with sensors. It’s a bit like virtual races in Zwift except you’ll race round fake Los Angeles instead of generic Yorkshire, plus you might get hit by a car.
Smart trainers are natty gadgets which let you ride without going anywhere but still measure your action with sensors to track the effort. Virtual training software like Zwift lets you plug that into a 3D environment, giving more of a sense of actual cycling. The GT Bike V mod is a bit like that, only with GTA V. Plug your bike into this and your pedalling will move your character through Rockstar’s world, with all its thrills and hazards.
You can set it to automatically do the steering and stick to roads for you, or if you’re feeling dexterous you can try to do that manually with your keyboard or gamepad I guess. It can also follow preset courses around the map, with three varied ones out the box and support to create your own. Just be aware that GTA drivers are not always respectful of cyclists.
Made by “Makinolo”, the GT Bike V mod is available from GTA5-Mods.com. You’ll need to do some fiddly file stuff but that’s just GTA modding, baby.
Makinolo plans to integrate power meters next. I’m seeing a few players flagging potential problems (some think their real-world output is getting slowed down in-game by calculations perhaps being based off Michael’s dad bod) but Makinolo seems quite quick with changes so hopefully fixes will follow for any real issues.
Here’s professional cyclist Chris Pritchard having a go on the mod:
I’ve lately been enjoying watching a competitive cyclist pal who streams her Zwift races on Twitch. This mod doesn’t have any of Zwift’s actual competition and I’m sure lacks in many other ways but if you just want nice scenery while pedalling away, hey, GTA V is still gorgeous. You can even upload performances to tracking services like Strava with this mod.
Ta to cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer for pointing this out.
Disclosure: I have some pals who work at Rockstar.