'It's for an important cause, even if it is very childish': Phallic Strava art drawn for testicular cancer awareness

Jake Colling set out on 69km ride around Manchester for fun, but then to raise awareness over cancer

Strava art around Manchester
(Image credit: Strava)

A Manchester-based graphic designer has raised eyebrows with a rather - err - phallic piece of Strava art around his city.

Jake Colling, 26, set out on his 69km (nice) ride to the south of Manchester at the end of July to make the interesting map on Strava. It came from a desire to be funny, but then took on more meaning, as Colling sought to use the art to raise awareness about testicular cancer.

Although it's relatively uncommon overall, testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect men between the ages of 15 and 49, with about 2,300 men being diagnosed every year.

The ride, titled "Not a total cock up", also happened to be his longest ride ever.

"Originally, I had an idea of doing a cock and balls bike ride because I'm childish and I thought it would be funny," Colling told Cycling Weekly on Wednesday. "Then I was planning it out, I decided to make it 69 miles, because I've never cycled that far before. I made the route, showed my friend, he thought it was funny. 

"I thought if I do it, and posted it somewhere, it would get attention. It made sense to do it to raise awareness for testicular cancer. What better way to get blokes' attention than to make a picture of a cock and balls? I thought it was the perfect combination of things to get people's attention and get men to check themselves."

Colling created a YouTube video showcasing his adventure through the moors, which took him through Stalybridge, Stockport and Altrincham. The interesting shape was not hard to plot, apparently.

"I just used Komoot, I had a start and end point and then just planned it out," he said. "It probably only took about 20 minutes. I didn't want to know where I was going really, I just forced it onto paths in order to get the shape I wanted. I just did that, loaded it up and got going."

Then it was just a case of following the route: "I just had it on my phone and tried to stick to it as much as possible. There were a couple of sections where I couldn't use, but it still worked out to be about the same shape."

Strava art

(Image credit: Strava)

The reaction has been huge, Colling explained, and as long as his testicular cancer message gets out there, he's happy.

"It went down really well, and then LadBible picked it up, which was mega," he said. "It's been nothing but positives. I had reservations that people would think that it was childish, but I think people have been on board. It's for an important cause, even if it is very childish."

As for his longest ride ever, it was apparently a doddle.

"It was easier than I thought, it was just really nice," Colling said. "I've got some plans to do some much longer rides now. The first 20 miles were hell, it was just mud, thickets and nettles. My legs are cut to pieces. But after that it was rolling gravel paths and bridleways, so very chill. I ate a lot of Haribo."

Strava art isn't always so phallic. Earlier this year, the company officially recognisedhuge velociraptor in the middle of France as the largest ever GPS drawing made by bicycle. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.