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Victoria Cyclist Uses GPS Program to Create Impressive Doodle Artwork

For most of us, simply getting off our sofas and onto our bikes for an hour is reward in itself.

But for Stephen Lund, who cycles about 70km around Victoria every single day, he wanted to create a masterpiece every time he got on his bike.

Using Strava, the GPS program used by runners and cyclists to track their workouts, Lund was able to create detailed doodles that created pictures made up of one single line – i.e. one continuous route.

Image: Stephen Lund

The B.C. native has created doodles of Queen Victoria (after his city), a dinosaur, Christ the Redeemer, Darth Vader and Michelangelo’s David, among many other artistic route maps. With the challenge always being that all roads must connect, he spends hours using a map to plan out his route. The doodles take anywhere from under an hour, to his longest, a 4 hours and 13 minute long mermaid route, and in 2015 Stephen completed 70 of them. Last year he clocked up 22,300 kilometers on his bike, a quarter of which was dedicated to drawing GPS doodles.

Lund explains on his about page how he came up with the idea:

“Well before dawn on the first day of 2015, I snuck out of the house with my bike and my Garmin and “painted” a New Year’s message on the streets of Victoria, BC. Failed exclamation point notwithstanding, my Strava handiwork got enthusiastic kudos from many members of my cycling club. And since I like kudos and praise almost as much as I like cycling and creative pursuits, I decided to embrace Strava artwork as a way both to spend some of my free time and recharge my creative batteries.”

Lund, who says that illustration has never been his strong point, was excited about GPS art, because he believes that it opens up creativity to anyone with a means of getting around.

“My “art” evolved rapidly through a willingness to experiment, explore, blunder, go back to the drawing board, persist and, above all, get over the notion that I’m not very good at drawing things.”

Perhaps we’ll start with something simple…like a square?

All photos courtesy of Stephen Lund.


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