A happy flappy inflatable tubeman. Or is it?

Sometimes I do a GPS Doodle thinking it’s one thing, but it turns out to look like something else altogether. Case in point: today’s Doodle.

The picture I planned was one of those flappy, floppy “airdancers” you often see outside gas stations and tire shops. (Fans of Rectify will know what I’m talking about.) But as soon as I uploaded my 51 kilometre (32 mile) ride to Strava, people started commenting.

“It looks like an Ent from Lord of the Rings,” said one. (Interestingly, today is Tolkien Reading Day.) “Hey – it’s the Cheestrings guy!” said another. Someone else thought it was Gumby. And my wife wondered if it was a cartoon carrot or parsnip.

Any other interpretations out there?

Happy flappy floppy inflatable tubeman by GPS artist Stephen Lund in Victoria, BC, Canada GPS Garmin Strava art cyclist cycling creativity urban art street art airdancer tubeman gas station Tolkien Ent Lord of the Rings Cheestrings Gumby

A flappy floppy inflatable airdancer… and so much more!

SEE THE INFLATABLE TUBEMAN WITH DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER ON STRAVA *

* Note: The GPS points will render correctly only if you are logged in at Strava.com

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An alien invasion in three parts

In February 2015, I doodled a little friend for my big giraffe using a feature of the landscape – Swan Lake – as a key part of the image.

Well, not too long ago, I was poring over a satellite image of Victoria and noticed that the boat slips at Oak Bay Marina look like a skeletal or mechanical hand.

Working outward from that organ (yes – the hand is an organ), I discovered a strange little alien-dude, ET; and then I discovered strange little alien-dude’s companion, (P)ET (thanks, David Bradbury, for the clever acronym); and then I discovered their mothership.

I also discovered a very cool app that let’s you combine multiple Strava activities into a single image. I used it to unite ET and (P)ET with their ship in the image below. It’s called Heatflask. Check it out!

Strange little alien dude with a strange little alien pet and a hand that's actually Oak Bay Marina by GPS artist Stephen Lund in Victoria, BC, Canada GPS Garmin Strava art cyclist cycling creativity urban art street art extraterrestrial outer space Oak Bay

SEE E.T. ON STRAVA *

SEE E.T. + (P) E.T. ON STRAVA *

SEE THE MOTHERSHIP ON STRAVA *

* Note: The GPS points will render correctly only if you are logged in at Strava.com

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Three holiday doodles (so far)

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and the very best in 2017!

Christmas 2016 by GPS artist Stephen Lund in Victoria, BC, Canada GPS Garmin Strava art cyclist cycling creativity urban art street art holidays winter Santa Claus stocking Happy Holiday

SEE ‘HAPPY HOLIDAY’ ON STRAVA *

SEE SANTA CLAUS ON STRAVA *

SEE THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING ON STRAVA *

* Note: The GPS points will render correctly only if you are logged in at Strava.com

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Together, we are “boundless”

Juventus and Jeep® share a mission: to make a bold statement wherever they go

Juventus F.C. and its lead sponsor Jeep are traveling across Europe for the 2016 UEFA Champions League. To cheer on the team and leave a bold impression beyond the football pitch, Jeep’s marketing firm – Independent Ideas – enlisted me to develop a city-sized message in each city Juventus visits…starting with ‘boundless’ in the team’s home city of Turin. Each route will then be completed in a Jeep vehicle.

Designing this Doodle presented a number of interesting challenges. Read more below…

The next Juventus/Jeep Doodle will be in Seville, Spain for Juventus’ November 22 match. Stay tuned…

boundless by GPS artist Stephen Lund Cycleangelo for Juventus FC Jeep UEFA Champions League 2016

The Design Challenges

While Turin is a large city with large sections of fairly uniform grid – typically an ideal canvas for ‘bike-writing’ – the fact that so many of the city’s streets are ‘one way’ presented a huge design challenge. Several of the letters in boundless – the ‘u’, the ‘e’ and at least one of the ‘s’s – require the Doodler to double back along one or more streets after reaching the terminus of the letter…something that’s simply not possible when the streets comprising those letters allow travel in only one direction.

The constraints of completing the Doodle in a vehicle created other design challenges. While runners and cyclists can make use of footpaths, trails, open public spaces like parks and plazas, school fields and so on, a vehicle is for the most part confined to the city streets.

Overcoming these challenges meant scaling up the Doodle to the size of the entire city. At this size, I was able to use major thoroughfares that accommodate vehicular travel in both directions. While the trade-off is lettering less uniform than one can create in a compact, rectangular city grid, it results in a Doodle that’s truly impressive in its breadth. To complete ‘boundless’, the Jeep had to travel 64 km (40 mi).

 

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A Hallowe’en knock-knock joke

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Boo.

“Boo hoo!” cried Cycleangelo, when his wife told him his Hallowe’en doodle looks like it’s made of misshapen marshmallows.

Halloween ghoul and graveyard by GPS artist Stephen Lund in Victoria, BC, Canada GPS Garmin Strava art cyclist cycling creativity urban art street art ghost scary boo

A fairly un-scary Hallowe’en doodle. But it was fun, and that’s what counts!

Total distance: 28.0 km / 17.4 mi. Map rotated 180º for viewing.

SEE IT ON STRAVA *

* Note: The GPS points will render correctly only if you are logged in at Strava.com

 

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Turtle of the Teenage Mutant Ninja variety

My biggest doodle to date, covering a canvas of 109 million square metres!

Seventeen months ago – in April 2015 – I hosted my first GPS Doodling ride-along. I planned two Doodles for the occasion – something Star Wars themed and this huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. My apprentice opted for a galaxy far far away, and Michelangelo here had been sitting in the idea vault ever since.

Until earlier this week, when I got inspired to go out and ride my Ninja Turtle route.

I made my first attempt on Wednesday afternoon. But I wasn’t nearly as focused as I needed to be; and thanks to a couple wrong turns, I abandoned the effort after 40-some kilometres (28 miles). Yesterday I was more successful!

Michelangelo by Cycleangelo by GPS artist Stephen Lund in Victoria, BC, Canada GPS Garmin Strava art cyclist cycling creativity urban art street art Nick Nickelodeon TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mikey

I pedalled a total of 183.3 km (113.9 mi) to create this Doodle – 108 km (67 mi) on roads within the Doodle itself, the rest on behind-the-scenes mileage for some requisite dot-connecting.

If this GPS Doodle were a painting, its rectangular canvas would be 109 square kilometres (42 square miles). That’s 26,925 acres…or 109 million square metres.

SEE THE PIZZA-LOVIN’ NINJA TURTLE ON STRAVA *

* Note: The GPS points will render correctly only if you are logged in at Strava.com

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Infamous Thug hijacks famous giraffe!

Taking his fixation on harassing helpless critters to a whole new level, the Musclebound Thug puts on his Stetson and goes for a joyride on Garmina the giraffe, who does her very best to buck the big bully off

As I was pondering what to doodle next in the ongoing saga of my dimwitted Musclebound Thug, it suddenly occurred to me that the road I ride to create the top of the Thug’s bulging thigh is the same road I used for Garmina the giraffe’s back when I doodled her way back in February 2015. So I got to wondering…would it be possible to combine the routes of two of my favourite doodles into one huge and hilarious episode in the Musclebound Thug series?

As it turned out, the fit was incredibly close…but not perfect. I had to make some adjustments to Garmina’s rear end, lengthening it a tad so that the Thug was clearly riding her and not doing something obscene! This impelled me to give her a new tail and change the configuration of her back legs. Making it look like she was trying to buck the big bully off just made sense.

Taking his fixation on harassing helpless critters to a whole new level, the Musclebound Thug puts on his Stetson and goes for a joyride on Garmina the giraffe, who does her very best to buck the big bully off by GPS artist Stephen Lund in Victoria, BC, Canada GPS Garmin Strava art cyclist cycling creativity urban art street art animals wildlife muscles

Poor Garmina! The Musclebound Thug – such a bully! – should just buck off.

The ride itself was exhausting. The actual doodle added up to 135.8 km (84.4 mi), with an additional 40 km (25 mi) for some dot-connecting in Garmina’s lower extremities plus some on-the-fly troubleshooting/redesigning when I hit an unexpected road closure nearly 100 km (62 mi) into the ride!

Shortly after I uploaded my doodle, Strava tweeted this flattering Tweet.

SEE THE GIRAFFE-HARASSING THUG ON STRAVA *

* Note: The GPS points will render correctly only if you are logged in at Strava.com

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