This is sort of a collection of photos but…

My mental health very much suffers if I’m not exercising every day. It’s a particularly bad sign if I get out of the habit.

At Christmas I upgraded my smartwatch - that let me use a new app.

The new app (Pulsalarm) sets off an alarm if my heart rate drops out of the zone I’m looking for. This in turn means that I can start listening/doing much more distracting things while working out on my exercise bike.

The rest of this post is the evolution of my setup over the 60 days or so since I’ve been using this.

The first version was borrowing Leo’s iPad to watch TV while cycling. iPad hanging over a bike with string

Then I tried balancing my old ps3 on a shelf and buying a audio splitter for about £10 to pipe the audio direct to my headphones.

exercise bike in front of computer screen

Then I put together something slightly more study. exercise bike in front of ps3 setup that is balanced on two chairs

When it became apparent that this was a habit that was sticking (after I’d played through the whole of Uncharted 3, and started Uncharted 2). I built a more permanent and compact version out of scrap wood in the garage. If you look closely you can see these photos accidentally also document our winter ‘tidy the garage’ project.

Exercise bike in front of some permanent shelves with a ps3 on them

Update May 2023

I replaced the bike with a proper spin bike and picked up a cheap (and slow) running machine from eBay. The idea of the running machine is that is keeps my heart rate up a bit with films and the like: trying to play a complex game would be very dangerous.

Update July 2023

Tidied up setup and a PS4

I was very lucky to find myself with a friend’s old PS4 and have been very much enjoying an entire summer of playing through Spider-Man while keeping my legs moving. I’ve also upgraded the monitor stand.

Update October 2023

We’ve been updating the garage in general this year so there now more and more space for the bike, and my partner now uses it occasionally as well.

A before and after shot of bike and mats


As I entered the ninth month of using this very regularly it started to become more obvious that I wasn’t working as hard on the bike as I used to - I was finding it a lot harder to get my heartrate higher for any length of time. That might be me getting fitter but that sounds too convenient: it’s more likely I’d learned to keep the exercise bike going at the minimum possible level of effort. Towards the end of the summer I made a determined effort to do more running instead, which is overall much better for me.

Future plans

The setup is really good right now, particularly for gaming. I’d love to be a bit more open to working through my film watchlist, but I’m pretty happy. Possibilities include:

  • Upgrading the running machine - the current one is a bit unstable and doesn’t go particularly fast.
    • This also opens up the possibility of a ‘walking desk’ for working, but I don’t know how much use that would be for anything other than zoom calls which I rarely have.
  • A blind (Agghh! I took one to the dump the other day) for one of the garage windows (there can be a glare on the screen)