Anthony Hoyte (UK), also known as the “pedalling Picasso” is famous for his enormous GPS drawings, having previously cycled routes that form the image of a snowman, cat, reindeer and more.
But his latest GPS creation, a moustached man whose outline sprawls across London, has achieved the record for the largest continuous GPS drawing by bicycle in 12 hours (individual).
While creating his artwork, Anthony covered a record-breaking distance of 107 km (66.48 mi).
It’s very exciting [to have achieved the record]. I look forward to being able show proof to my 9-year-old! – Anthony Hoyte
He set off on 13 November 2021 and finished eight and a half hours later, encountering a few difficulties along the way.
“There were quite a few road closures near the start (the shoulders and neck), so I had to find workarounds ‘on the hoof’,” Anthony explained.
“Luckily, the key bits – the eyes, nose, mouth and tache – went to plan. There were a few more issues towards the end – including the crowds of Portobello Road Market – but I was less concerned about that as the shape of the hair isn’t critical.”
Anthony tackled the epic cycle in a bid to raise awareness and funds for Movember.
Movember encourages men to sport moustaches to show support for men’s health issues, such as mental health and suicide prevention.
“I’ve had a few struggles with my own mental health over the years, so I thought if I could create a drawing to raise awareness and a bit of cash for Movember, that would be great.”
“I’m blown away by the way the drawing’s been received, especially in the form of donations from people I don’t even know. So a huge thank you to them!”
The drawing of the man with a strong handlebar moustache, aptly named “Mr Movember”, was Anthony’s nineteenth GPS picture created via the exercise tracker Strava.
When deciding to undertake a new route, Anthony begins by studying paper and online maps and looking for shapes. He likens the process to “spotting images in cloud formations”.
“For this one,” Anthony said, “I knew I was trying to find a face, and two things jumped out at me: Park Lane for the nose, and the curve of the Thames for the neckline.”
“Once I’d figured the whole thing out, I used Google to check that various roads and junctions were actually navigable.
“The drawing cut through a couple of parks, so I had to ensure that I’d get through them before they closed.
“I find I always have to do quite a bit of doubling back, and traversing some roads more than once, so it’s quite a puzzle.”
Despite the difficulties he faced, Anthony was happy with the final result.
“There’s always the potential for things to go wrong, and I get a great sense of satisfaction when the image appears as planned.”
“I’m not as a fit as I have been for previous long drawings, so I was pretty shattered, but I was very pleased with how it came out.”
Undeterred by how exhausting this latest challenge was, Anthony has already set the (metaphorical) wheels in motion for his next GPS drawing.
“I tend to have one in the planning stages most of the time, so stay tuned! I may even come up with one to beat my own record.”
You can donate to Anthony’s Movember fundraising page here