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Cyclist takes nine hours to create reindeer outline on fitness app

Cyclist Anthony Hoyte travelled nearly 80 miles to trace out the route on the streets of London. Credit: PA

A keen cyclist has brought some festive cheer to the streets of north London by using his fitness app to map out a reindeer.

Cheltenham-based Anthony Hoyle creates art using Strava, a GPS tracking app which follows the performance of athletes before uploading it online.

Mr Hoyte pedalled more than 80 miles around the capital, starting in Hammersmith in west London, went north as far as Edgware before heading south again and east through Hampstead Heath and Wood Green.

Finally he returned south through Kilburn and Maida Vale before finishing along Euston Road in central London.

It took him more than nine hours to compete the cycle - and it wasn't the first time he completed such a feat.

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In previous years, the 51-year-old has etched out a Santa Claus figure, a snowman and a Yorkshire terrier around Leeds.

Speaking about his latest feat, he said: "I’m pretty happy with it.

"Until you get back and upload it, you’re not quite sure whether it’s going to work or not.

"I live in the countryside and it’s very different to coming into London," he said.

"Particularly around Neasden and Wembley, it’s not the most pleasant cycling.

"That’s about my maximum distance – I wouldn’t want to go too much above that.

"It’s a long day in the saddle."

Last year Anthony Hoyte cycled the image of Father Christmas in Birmingham . Credit: Anthony Hoyt/PA

He continued: "I just spend a lot of time looking at maps and it’s waiting for things to jump out at you.

"Normally I look at maps until I see something – ‘That looks a bit like a nose’ – so I think ‘Where can I find eyes near that?’

"It’s like looking at patterns in clouds and seeing pictures.

"With these ones it’s a bit more tricky because I’m trying to do something festive so it’s harder, but it’s the same process really."

The cyclist has previously created other routes in British cities. Credit: Anthony Hoyte/PA

He added: “In a sense I’ve made a rod for my own back in that it’s become a tradition and everyone was saying: ‘So what’s it going to be this year?'”

But in the end, the reindeer turned out almost exactly as planned.

"There’s a little glitch in there near Shepherd’s Bush where I obviously lost the GPS signal and it creates a straight line that cuts through a couple of street blocks, but that’s minor," he said.

"I made a couple of mistakes but they’re so small that nobody’s going to notice really.

"I’m happy. It looks how I wanted it to look."