Canadian Stephen Lund has established himself as one of the world’s leading ‘Strava artists’, creating a series of what he calls GPS doodles on the streets in and around Victoria, British Columbia.
We’ve featured Strava art previously here on Cycling Weekly, but few riders have such an extensive and impressive portfolio as Lund.
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Like other Strava artists, Lund carefully plans out a route on his bike, then uses a GPS computer – a Garmin in this case – to track his ride. When uploaded to Strava, the route forms a picture or message.
Rather than drawing simple objects, Lund has travelled thousands of kilometres on his bike etching out a variety of creatures, objects and people, including recreating an anatomically correct version of Michelangelo’s David.
Lund cleverly uses natural features and road layouts, so that for example a circular ring road becomes an eye. Sometimes it means that he has to draw/ride them ‘upside down’ to make the image work.
Lund’s art has caused a stir in his native Canada, and late last year he was invited to give a presentation at a TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference.
Lund started off his career in GPS doodling with a simple ‘Happy 2015’ message on January 1 2015 to celebrate New Year, but he quickly became hooked and created ever more elaborate designs.
“I’ll admit that this first doodle was crude and rudimentary but it was transformational,” said Lund.
“After this my bike was no longer a bike, it was a crimson-dipped paintbrush and the entire city was my canvass. GPS doodling gave me a way to inject a sense of purpose into my rides. It gave me a way to disguise exercise as urban exploration and creative expression, a way to make exercise fun.”
It must have worked, because Lund clocked up over 20,000 kilometres of riding during 2015, many of it while creating his masterpieces.
Lund catalogues his bike drawing exploits via his website, aptly named www.gpsdoodles.com as well as on his Strava account.