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Cyclist maps out 'Merry Christmas' on streets of London during 79-mile trip

A cyclist has used an exercise-tracking app to map out a ‘Merry Christmas’ message with a 79-mile route.  

Anthony Hoyte, 52, had previously created Frosty the Snowman, a reindeer and elephants with the shape of his cycle routes on Strava. This year he mapped out the words ‘Merry Christmas’ for his online portfolio, ‘Peddling Picasso’. 

The wording took him nine hours of cycling on Saturday, as well additional time breaking to eat and consult the map. Anthony said the day was really closer to 10 hours.

He started in north-London and travelled through Camden, Hampstead and Islington. The Heritage Consultant admitted he had to ‘cheat’ and alter his route to make sure the message came out clearly. 

He said: ‘There are so many road closures for CrossRail and there were a couple of gated estates I hadn’t anticipated. For most of these obstacles, I managed to find an alternative route. I forgot completely that parks in London closed.

‘I got tor Regents Park right near the end and of course it was dark and shut – so I just skirted round it. Round Euston it’s a right mess so I had no option but to cheat.

‘I had to pause my recording, navigate to the other side of the works and then set it going again. This creates a straight line between the two points.’



Anthony won an award for the best Strava cycling pattern in 2016, after completing a ‘Fowl Play’ piece for Bristol cycling festival. 

The father-of-one said it takes about three months to plan his trips out. 

He said: ‘I love that my drawings – especially the Christmas ones – seem to be appreciated.

‘It’s like looking at clouds and seeing a picture of something and seeing what jumps out. If a nose jumps out then I’m trying to find eyes etc. With the Christmas ones it’s even harder because I’m purposely trying to find specific patterns and messages.’

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