American cyclist sets Strava art Guinness World Record with a 983-mile Latin cross

The American now holds the world record for largest-ever GPS drawing made by bicycle in a solo-effort

Strava Art World Record design
(Image credit: RWGPS)

After months of waiting, it is now confirmed: American David Schweikert holds the new Guinness World Record for the largest GPS drawing made by bicycle a.k.a the biggest Strava art. His ride? A 982.53-mile (1581.24k) Latin cross spanning three state borders that took seven days to complete.

In March, Schweikert, a former engineering manager at Zipp and already a two-time world record holder, informed Cycling Weekly about his endeavor, stating "my backstory is that I like taking on big cycling challenges. And I always do these challenges for charity," Schweikert told Cycling Weekly. "Doing crazy things that are a little bit fun and bring some attention and raise money is kind of my niche."

Guinness World Record attempts for largest Strava art appear to be increasing in popularity. The record of a 636.73-mile (1024.72k) velociraptor “drawing” made by a group of four French men in 2022 stood for mere months before it was broken by a father-daughter duo who create a heart of 1343.59 miles (2,162.3k) this summer.

It should be noted that Schweikert’s illustration was done as a solo effort. And while the cross design may seem simple, Schweikert noted that finding multiple straight roads that aligned with no barriers such as lakes, housing developments or significant detours was a challenge that took ‘dozens and dozens’ of hours of planning. 

The best place to find long, straight roads? The middle of the country, of course. Schweikert’s record-setting, seven-day journey took him across three state lines — Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota — and was approximately 35% on unpaved roads or trails.  

From Dave Schweikert's Strava account

(Image credit: From Dave Schweikert's Strava account)

As with his previous 'challenges,' Schweikert added a philanthropic aspect to his multi-day ride, this time raising funds for World Bicycle Relief (WBR), an international non-profit organization specializing in large-scale bicycle distribution programs in developing countries around the world.

"The cross has meaning for me personally but for the message I want to share with people, you don't have to be religious for it to resonate," said Schweikert. "It's about me using my 'gifts', if you will, of riding a bike long distances to help others. The idea is around doing something that comes naturally to you to help others. I hope that is what resonates."

While Schweikert completed his world record attempt in May, he, like any other Guinness World Record hopeful, had to gather large amounts of documentation to prove his world record as legitimate, and then wait up to three months for the approval. 

According to the Guinness World Records rules, a rider can stop and pause the ride in order to find food or water or to rest somewhere that isn't on course. The extra mileage won't count toward the record attempt and the rider is required to keep detailed records of any course deviations. Schweikert brought with him a superlight bikepacking setup to sleep along the course, which included remote stretches where lodgings aren't nearby.

You can read more about Schweikert’s record-setting journey on his blog

Dave Schweikert

(Image credit: Dave Schweikert)

This newest Guinness World Record is far from Schweikert's biggest, or craziest, cycling endeavors. 

The 55-year-old Ohio native has racked up some impressive feats in recent years, including riding 17,132 miles in the year 2020, a 3600-mile solo ride across the United States in 28 days, and riding around a roundabout for 24 hours straight to rack up a total of 376.4 miles and his first world record.

Schweikert was also part of a group of 24 athletes who set the Guinness World Record for the longest spin class, in which Schweikert and his fellow record holders pedaled to nowhere for 28 long consecutive hours.

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