A World Record is Broken for a Cause


On Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, The Phillips Foundation cycled for a cause. They set a world record for the largest two-dimensional artwork created using GPS memory while riding a bicycle. The group of 100 cyclists set off from the Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo, Egypt. They rode 761 km (472.86 miles) around the country to draw a digital heart to highlight heart disease; the ride took three days to complete.

The attempt was for a recently launched campaign called Back to Rhythm. Back to Rhythm aims to raise awareness around cardiac health. They promote a healthy lifestyle and diet, as this is known to increase the chances of a victim surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). They also rode to bring attention to Heart Awareness Month and World Heart Day on September 29.

“It was a rigorous challenge, covering different terrains and tough conditions across all of Egypt, but it was such a humbling ride,” said Gaela Sobotte, who led the cyclists, in a CNN interview. “It is an honour to be able to use my passion to drive such an important message of staying fit and keeping healthy.”

The idea of GPS drawing was first implemented by artists Hugh Pryor and Jeremy Wood. The duo drew and wrote messages throughout the UK. They set multiple world records, including the world’s biggest “IF.”

Many others have done GPS drawing as well. Stephen Lund, of Victoria, BC, spent 2015 riding around the coastal city to create humorous drawings and messages for his city. In 2016, a pair of musicians, Shaun Buswell and Erik Nyberg, travelled to the UK to create GPS artwork.