Before dawn on January 1, 2015, artist Stephen Lund snuck out of his house and “painted” a New Year’s message on the streets of Victoria, Canada. This painting was not your typical artistic endeavor—instead of a brush on canvas, Lund rode his bike around town and tracked his journey using a GPS. The combination of a very specific cycling path and GPS software created an unconventional work of art. After the ride, he viewed the traced path and a location-based drawing was revealed.
Lund is part of Strava, an online community of athletes from around the world. The app, which works with devices like Garmin and Fitbit, allows you to analyze, quantify, and share your performance with other users. After Lund’s inaugural ride, he displayed his handiwork with members of his online cycling club. Their enthusiastic response encouraged Lund to keep at this unusual art form. “I decided to embrace Strava artwork as a way both to spend some of my free time and recharge my creative batteries,” he writes on his website.
Over the course of 2015, Lund created a myriad of playful GPS doodles. From Star Wars to animals to machine equipment, the red lines formed colorful characters and detailed drawings you’d never expect from this newfound medium. In addition to careful planning, the impressive works represent a lot of time spent on his bike—Lund figures he rode over 3,000 miles to construct these elaborate drawings. Lund has archived all of his works on his blog, but stopped the project at the end of the year.
Lund's first doodle of 2015