Vincent Meertens and his girlfriend Larissa tracked all their bike trips for a year, and the result is a dense, cross-hatched map of their travels as individuals and as a couple. It’s like one of those Facebook relationship pages, but centered on biking.
Meertens’ routes are picked out in blue and Larissa’s in red. The paths mark their solo activities, their favorite haunts, and their adventures together (although Meertens was more zealous about tracking and some of the blue-only routes, like the one around the perimeter of Manhattan, are actually trips they took as a couple). The yellow dots are places where they took photos.
The existence of hundreds of photos we don’t get to see, of course, kind of underscores the point Fast Company makes about how this project leaves observers on the outside:
Most of what we outsiders can see is too esoteric for us to appreciate. The locations are a shorthand for memories that are not our own. To us, they’re just dots.
And in that regard, the map is truly the embodiment of the relationship between two people. Because while you may connect the dots from the outside, those dots contain an intimacy we’ll never know.
At the very least, though, we can learn from this map that it’s possible to bike in New York City — especially if you’re going with a friend.
A Map Of New York, Drawn Through The Bike Trails Of Lovers, Fast Co. Design.