Cyclist spends five years riding every street in central London

Davis Vilums transformed his rides into a mesmerising animation

A London cyclist has spent five years riding every street in the centre of the city, turning his exploits into a mesmerising animation.

Davis Vilums said he was bored of his usual 25-minute commute from south of the Thames to Soho, and decided to explore his surrounds.

Starting in early 2015, the 32-year-old picked up an A-Z map and began checking off the thousands of streets within range.

Now, after five years, 10,000 miles and 1,200 trips, Mr Vilums has completed his enormous project, all recorded on the social fitness app Endomondo.

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A photo posted by on

The computer programmer told Cycling Weekly: “Well, taking the same route every day is just a bit boring for me and I’m a curious guy. I wanted to explore my surroundings, so that’s how I started.

“Since I started taking different routes, I just thought maybe I should mark them down on a map as a representation of where I’ve been.”

Mr Vilums, from Walworth just south of the Thames, finished the riding portion of his adventure on September 28 this year, and marked the occasion by compiling a beautiful animation showing the heat signatures of his rides across London, which he then shared on his website. (opens in new tab)

He added: “I’m an introverted guy, so the response has been extremely overwhelming.

“But I’m glad to see people find inspiration from it. People have given some very nice responses.”

Using an A-Z map, Davis Villums rode every street in the centre of London

Mr Vilums also had a few rules to keep himself on track: “Never be late for work. I have to start work at 10am and I was never late. I just had to wake up earlier.

“It also had to be recorded. There were two or three times when I forgot to turn on Endomondo and it was so frustrating because I just did all the streets I wanted, everything was planned, I arrived, looked at my phone and nothing was recorded. And I had to do this again, because otherwise I wouldn't have proof that I'd been there.

“I also didn't do it very intensely. I think if I did it every day or maybe every other day I would have finished in two years but just because I was doing it casually it took five years for me to complete.”

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Mr Vilums said his highlights were discovering the brutalist Alexandra Road Estate in Camden and the Grade I listed Brompton Cemetery.

And what’s next? Well, more exploring: “There are still plenty of things in London to discover," he added,  "But I don't really need every single street to get there and now I have more free time so I can plan my routes a little more.”

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.