Virtual reality (VR) can provide compelling experiences which might enhance users’ engagement with physical activity. Despite the known health benefits of exergaming, there is a limited understanding of how various game designs impact user experience. This work proposes VR Rides, a virtual reality exergaming platform that combines a recumbent tricycle, real-world panoramic images, an Oculus Rift headset and a Microsoft Kinect camera, where the player can navigate real locations in a safe virtual environment. We further compare two game designs: a competitive guessing game and affiliative tour. This pilot study with both young and older adults indicates that task enjoyment (r = 0.721, p = 0.000), motivation (r = 0.565, p = 0.009) and connectedness (r = 0.697, p = 0.001) is higher in the competitive variant. Participants in both variants were highly engaged, likely due to the use of immersive VR. Descriptive analysis suggests that participants showed similar connectedness in affiliative tour (63%) and competitive design (62%).