About Lael



I think about things when I’m moving.  I run, I ride bikes, and I do yoga.

Lael Wilcox has been traveling the world by bicycle for the past nine years and competes in ultra endurance races. In 2015, after 9 months of bikepacking through Eastern Europe, South Africa and the Middle East, she flew home to Anchorage, Alaska and rode to the start of the Tour Divide in Banff, Alberta where she set a new women’s record. In 2016 she won the Trans Am Bike Race, a self-supported road race across America. In March 2017, Lael established the fastest known time (FKT) on the Baja Divide.

Lael is also the co-developer of the Baja Divide, a 1700 mile bikepacking route from San Diego, CA, USA to San Jose del Cabo, BCS, MX.  The “Lael’s Globe of Adventure” Women’s Scholarship is offered to a woman of any age who intends to ride most or all of the Baja Divide in the 2016-17 season.  More details and a link to the application are found on the Baja Divide Scholarship page.

I plan to continue traveling by bike, racing self-supported events, and working to support my travels in 2017. Contact me with ideas and opportunities.


40 thoughts on “About Lael

  1. matt says:

    Love your site. Gets me stoked on peddling.
    I also am frothing on your friends site gypsy by trade. Give each other a high five from me. Yeeewwwwwww.

  2. Chris24 says:

    Dig your site. It is now on my must see when I have down time at the hospital. I hit the LazyRando then the Gypsy and now yours. I get to ride as much as work allows so when I can’t I can live vicariously thru you all.

  3. Luca says:

    I arrived on your website while looking for info to restore my old 90’s mtb. I found it very interesting, and added it on my bookmarks.

    Spring has arrived, so thanks for the inspiration.

    Greetings from Italy

  4. Dena says:

    How did I not know this existed?
    You’re wonderful. Your spirit, your sense of adventure, and your genuine enthusiasm for life transcend.
    I think of you often.
    And laugh about nutmeg.

  5. Josia says:

    what camera do you use? thanks for a great site and good luck on what seems to be a wonderfull trip!

  6. Jeffrey Bowman says:

    Hi Lael

    I’m co-editing a book about the outdoors, nature and adventure, we are interested in talking to you about being part of the book

    if you are interested to hear more please email me at:


  7. Will Elliott says:

    Hey! Did you go to UPS in Tacoma? You look familiar!

  8. Hi Lael, have just read your Bunyan Velo submission and found it delightful! i love your writing style – short and descriptive sentences – in key i feel with how one experiences places whilst travelling by bicycle. i look forward to reading through your site, thanks for sharing!

  9. Elizabeth Castillo says:

    Hey there! I am getting ready to go tour the Idaho hot springs trail in July. I heard from Nick that you pack super light! 😉 As a woman on the road, if I may ask, what are some essential things you bring to make yourself happy.

    • laelwilcox says:

      Hi Elizabeth!

      Things I carry that might not be essential, but make my life better:
      1. a novel
      2. dental floss
      3. a down jacket (if nights get bellow freezing)
      4. small running shoes
      5. a vapor barrier liner (if nights get bellow freezing)
      6. apples

      Have fun in Idaho!

  10. Zachary Brown says:

    Good luck on Tour Divide I wish I had seen earlier that you were taking off. I imagine you had quite a few people that rode off with you. It would have been awesome to put fast rolling tires on your Fatbike and used that.

  11. Esther says:

    I am gonna be cheering you on the Tour Divide, I am envious….stay tough, stay strong! Stay awesome!

  12. Nancy says:

    Lael- Congratulations. I spoke with you on the trail in Colorado near CO 131 and 18. Was with my friends trying to go from WY. border to Silverthorne. 2 of us made it Self contained 3 of the 5 days. You were our inspiration! We had contact with other racers and were in awe of all of you. We will be riding more of the GDT later in the summer in CO.

  13. Jack says:

    I just read about your Tour Divide experience. Pretty cool.

    I would also be interested in reading more of what and how you pack. I’m planning on doig the first 600 miles of it in 2017, just riding, not racing.

    Anyone want to join me?

  14. John Walters says:

    Lael. You’re amazing. Please get in touch with me. I’m a writer at Newsweek. Wanted to chat with you. Thank you!

  15. CoachBL says:

    Lael – I have been absolutely blown away reading your blog. Your efforts and attitude are truly inspirational to so many of us.

    I am currently struggling in my recovery from a total knee replacement so am unable to ride, and find your adventures especially motivational in driving myself to work hard and recover. Keep playing hard and having fun!!!

  16. PedalWORKS says:

    Wonderful blog. You are an inspiration! I tried to “Follow” your blog but the form did not accept my email address. I tried several times, and am certain it is correct. You may want to look into this. I’d love to follow your travels.

  17. Marisa says:

    I just the the REI video! Wow. wow. wow! I’ve done a few long rides. One from Tucson, AZ to Chicago. My dream is to ride from US/Canada border to the southern tip of Chile. You are a huge inspiration! Thank you.

  18. Kevin Looney says:

    Awesome job on the Trans Am Bike Race. Congratulations on the win.

  19. Hey Lael congrats on winning the Race Across America!!!! What’s next after a long rest? Also do you track your rides with Strava or anything?

  20. […] have just learned that it has already been won this year by a woman, Lael Wilcox, which is an unbelievable achievement. More details […]

  21. […] We hope that this gives cycle tourists more reasons to discover what lies ahead beyond the border and contribute in the touristic development. Especially on the Baja Peninsula which is beginning to soar as a favorite cycle tourist and bike packing destination, just check out the amazing bike packing Baja Divide Route started by Nicholas Carman and Lael Wilcox. […]

  22. cheryl doran says:

    Hi Lael, So….I’m a 56 yr. old woman who’s had lots of life experiences and can’t wait to start a new chapter. You are an inspiration to me and many others! I’m still in the game and can’t wait to start playing. I’m ready to challenge myself to bigger and wilder experiences. Planning on doing the Divide Ride next year with my hubby and would love to pick your brain on bikes. What’s your favorite? I would love any recommendations. Love your spirit and sense of adventure!!

    • laelwilcox says:

      Thanks for writing, Cheryl! I would recommend a hardtail with 29″ wheels and a suspension fork for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The new Specialized Epic Hardtail is a great example. I’d recommend using a 2.2″ tire. Good luck out there!

  23. Girl, you are a living legend.

  24. derek in az says:

    Don’t know how I bumped into you, youtube auto suggestion or something, watched the REI video. Fascinating…….and since then the trans am……I am trying to get courage just to do 25 miles of black canyon trail, haha, I live right on it practically…..anyway, your endeavors are fascinating to read about.

  25. JJ says:

    I read about what you are doing now, and with each story, I become more interested in hearing about your earlier life. Because committing so much time to riding is a decision… not an accident.

  26. Sadie Cruz says:

    Hi Lael

    I found out about you recently and wanted to say you’re an inspiration and a beautiful woman. Keep up the good work!

  27. Tryphon says:

    I am very admirative about your achievement in cycling and community engagement. Seeing you supporting the AS St Etienne soccer team from the 70’s is even better !
    Cheers from France

  28. Gabriel Hawi says:

    Hi Lael,

    You are such an inspiring person! I am quitting my job and heading on a long ride from Spain to Turkey. This is my first long-distance ride. I am excited. I know I am going to get lost and feel frustrated at times but still it is exciting and I have no doubt this is the right thing to do. Any advice for a long tour? Thank you Leal. Much love and respect from Washington DC.

    • laelwilcox says:


      Sounds like a great ride! My best advice would be to give yourself more time than you think you need. You’ll always want more. There is endless riding and so much to see and things take time. Have fun out there!


  29. orpheuscat says:

    I love what you are doing for women’s cycling & the way you do it, you so inspiring as a cyclist and a person! Aiming to do the trans Atlantic way in Ireland next year & I am gaining much courage & knowledge from reading your blog. Thank you & happy riding !

  30. Hi Lael! It’s been super fun following your adventures these past few years. We haven’t actually met, but we have a handful of mutual friends. I have my heart set on riding the Baja Divide this winter solo. I’ve read your posts from your solo ITT last winter, and I was hoping to get your thoughts on riding the route solo as a woman. I’ve never been to Baja. My thought was to bust through the area around Tecate pretty fast and then settle into more of a touring pace. In the end, I’m wondering if you felt safe alone. Sorry if that’s an annoying question, but I’m worried I’m going to be talked out of it unless I connect with another woman who has also ridden it alone. Thanks!

    • laelwilcox says:

      Hi Elizabeth! You will definitely feel safe alone on the Baja Divide. The route is extremely remote and the people you do see are always friendly and helpful. And you’ll probably see other riders out there. When are you planning on riding?

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