Necessity may be the mother of invention, but sidewalk chalk is somewhere in the immediate family.
This man’s clever chalk outline turned into an overnight neighborhood attraction and soon after a viral video, but its origin story is even more endearing.
For nearly every night after installing a new security camera system near his driveway, the man was alerted by the camera’s motion detection system.
“It is always this same kid just tearing it up on the flat concrete,” he writes.
His archive of footage shows the boy riding up onto his driveway, taking a wide arc around, and back onto the sidewalk. In braver circumstances, he makes a few tight loops before rejoining family. Sometimes he even came by himself to ride around.
“Something needed to be done…” the video captions continue. “So I built him a racetrack.”
Under cover of night, the man created a winding racetrack with thick chalk lines. And the following evening when the boy inevitably came back to shred the concrete, he was greeted by a surprise.
Whenever the track was washed away by the rain, the man drew a new one.
“Assuming the little 3-year-old can read,” the man says, he added some motivational signs along the course, suggesting he take the turns slowly while accelerating down “the back straight,” before ending up at the finish line, “for the win!”
“I don’t know who’s having more fun with this, him or me?” he says.
Before long, many more local cyclists were taking their turns on the track, too.
Working with CanyonChasers, this man is well acquainted with adventure biking. And an adventure is just what he created for this neighborhood. A video of the track was posted to Reddit by u/Dai196, and has since attracted more than 1,3000 comments.
“I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been listening to my neighbors scream at each other over the smallest things because of lockdown fatigue – and seeing this guy be awesome to his small neighbor restored my faith in humanity even if just for a few minutes,” writes Redditor u/AnastasiaCalamity Friggin awesome.
“Love it!” wrote u/waspenterprises Good guy neighbor. Wasn’t expecting all those other different riders enjoying it, very pleasant surprise,”
“Cyclist all my life watching your vid got me a bit teary eyed my dude. That kid was flyin’ through there at the end,” wote u/LizardWizardx
Check out the track for yourself in the video below!
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.