Ultra-endurance bicycle racer Lael Wilcox puts more miles on her bike every year than most people do on their cars. Here’s how she trains for and rides some of the toughest races on earth.
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Lots of people ride bikes to work, to school, or to the grocery store. But few put the kind of miles that Lael Wilcox does. For the past three years, she’s pedaled 20,000 miles every 12 months. Lael is the first to admit that such mileage is “kind of insane.”
Lael is an ultra-endurance bike racer. She’s set new course records on the nearly 3,000 mile long Tour Divide race. As a warm up, she rode to the race start in Banff, Alberta, Canada from her home in Anchorage, Alaska, another 2,100 miles away. And she beat out everyone—men and women—at the 2016 Trans-Am race, a 4,000-plus-mile push across the continental US.
She rides different bikes for different courses, but in the video above, she’s riding a Specialized Diverge Expert. This carbon fiber adventure bike has plush 42-mm tires and a trail-chatter-reducing suspension system built into the fork steerer tube. The machine is ideal for her personal quest to ride every road—paved or otherwise—in her home state. Most of the races Lael takes on don’t allow support cars to follow the athletes, so she carries everything from her tent to her toothpaste in Revelate Designs bikepacking bags. But she doesn’t carry shampoo when she racing. Watch the full video above to find out why.
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