The project is pretty reliable now. I regularly train against previous rides. Having beat a previous time, it's quite exciting and stimulating to try to retain the lead. I have been dropping seconds quite frequently. All I have to do is keep going at it, and I'll be in good condition for a springtime time trial I'm training for.
I also have added code to publish the times and distances to IRC. For example:
*** #bike 1266376160
*** demobiker (~email@example.com) has joined channel #bike
- Time in milliseconds
- Distance in km
Eventually, the software will be able to pull in competitors times and display the differences, just as it does with prerecorded times.
Here's what I spent so far:
- $20 for used bike trainer.
- $3.50 for a female connector, used in the joystick.
- $1.50 or so for postage. The magnet and sensor was donated.
Pretty inexpensive. Hopefully some more people will join in and build similar projects.