Seven countries, 7,237 kilometres, a dog as a passenger and the biggest bike ever.
Arianna Casiraghi and Daniel Rayneau-Kirkhope sold their car and left Italy in July 2019, cycling of course, traveling 550 kilometers to the starting point of a project they wanted to carry out to prove that the bicycle is a viable way to achieve such a trip. The idea was simple: draw the biggest bike in the world, a huge example of Strava art with a huge strip of Western Europe as a backdrop. Do it to prove that any journey, no matter how long, can be done on a bike.
From Vy-lès-Lure in eastern France, they traced the seat tube north, drew a saddle around Belgium, then brought the top tube back to Paris. The handlebars rolled up towards Versailles, the fork descended towards the Massif Central. The rear wheel stretched from Zurich to Frankfurt, 400 kilometers as the crow flies and much further if you stick to ETRTO specifications.
On board for the entire trip was Zola, a Lagotto Romagnola and Very Good Dog who only had diarrhea once, slipped into a custom-designed and built cargo bike by Rayneau-Kirkhope.
Breaks for a knee injury and a pandemic slowed progress, and the trio pegged the total time at 131 days. During that time, they climbed more than 74,000 meters (242,000 feet), rode through part of a European winter and an entire summer, ate 35kg of pasta and had, incredibly, just one dish.
This week they are done. The feat exceeds the Guinness World Record for the largest GPS drawing (a 7,163.67 km marriage proposal from Yasuhi Takahashi in Japan in 2010. The question would have been met with a “yes”). This is, to our knowledge, the largest bicycle drawing in the history of mankind.