But first, what is Strava art?

Strava art, or GPS art, is a creative trend where cyclists and athletes use the Strava app or GPS devices to plan and execute workout routes that form recognisable shapes or patterns on the map. Creating the routes requires extreme precision, whilst drawing the artwork requires lots of endurance and super strong legs!

Nic - the legend of Strava art

A designer by trade, Nicolas Georgiou (Nic) first gravitated towards creating Strava Art in lockdown as it perfectly combined his love for cycling and sketching. Using GPS mapping to create stunning designs like "Solstice Sun" and a “Halloween witch”, his creative prowess earned him recognition in the 'Best Strava Art of 2023’. That’s no mean feat.

After seeing Nic’s designs, we knew that a Laka x Strava Art collaboration had to be on the cards. “The idea to draw the logo came when chatting to Laka about adding my new gravel bike to my policy” Nic explains. Before long, the route was mapped and it was all guns blazing.

Prepping for the ride:

The process involved meticulous road mapping, incorporating common roads, fields, parks, canals, and unpaved paths. The rides are usually completed in one go and usually take a day.  “I run my Garmin Edge 1040 to record the ride and I quad lock my phone on the stem to follow my route. You can’t afford to make mistakes” says Nic. One wrong turn could mess up the design, so the stakes were high!

The Route:

Nic made sure to swing past our London Office to meet our very own Nick Sutton who wished him good luck. Shortly after Nic "set off across London Bridge as sunrise came up and headed towards Canary Wharf and east of London to draw a bicycle before the actual logo”.

This ride started at 7am and lasted around 11 hours including the occasional break for fuel. The route in total was 147k, which took Nic from Stratford to Wembley zigzagging back and forth to create the masterpiece that was/ is the Laka logo. “My Garmin only recorded 108k, this is where I had to pause it to get past obstacles, before switching on again.” The route wasn’t all scenic though. Nic rode through some lovely parks and canals “but also some shady areas and car parks”.

It’s a slow ride and it’s more about problem-solving along the way than it is about speed. Nic had to navigate heavy traffic during rush hour, without veering from the route. Then at Holland Park, Nic had to cut through Westfield’s shopping centre, “I nearly got thrown out because I had to wheel my bike through the centre of the mall to get a straight line to the other side of Shepherds Bush”.

“A few hours later I got back to the start and pressed stop on my Garmin and nervously waited for the ride to upload and see the result”. Eight hours later, the ride concluded where it began and the result…is pretty epic. You can take a peek at Nic’s Strava art activity here.

Tips for the road:

Always carry tools, plugs, pumps, spares, inner tubes, batteries and extra lights as well as plenty of fuel food! Luckily Nic could keep himself fuelled up with lots of OTE goodies during the ride.

How to create Strava art yourself?

Making your own piece of Strava art is a lot of fun. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Find a GPS website where you can plot a route. Strava has a route-building option or there are a couple of other free options out there too! Including Komoot and Ride with GPS.
  2. Plan/draw your route. This is perhaps the trickiest part. Look for roads, paths, and trails which will take the shape of something cool. Perhaps it’s a long straight road that gives you an edge of a building? Or a ring road which could make a circle? Let your creativity flow!
  3. Once finished, export your route to a GPS device! A cycling computer is ideal for this.
  4. Get out and ride! Let your bike draw as you ride your route.
  5. Upload your route to Strava and check out your creation!

Make sure you check out Nic's art on Strava and follow his adventures on Instagram.

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