About Lael

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Lael Wilcox is the best female ultra-endurance cyclist in the world, notably winning the 4,300 mile Trans Am Bike Race in 2016 and setting the record for the 2,750 mile Tour Divide in 2015. Lael didn’t begin cycling until she was 20 years old. She has spent the past eleven years traveling around the world on her bicycle, logging over 100,000 miles in 35 countries. The bicycle is her vehicle to learn and move and feel alive. In addition to racing and riding, Lael puts a lot of effort into getting more women on bikes. She organizes a teenage girls bicycle adventure program in her hometown and has hosted two international women’s scholarships. Lael is fortunate to partner with Specialized, PEARL iZUMi, Revelate Designs, Hope, Komoot and Ergon.

Upcoming events:

February-March 2019:

February 2: Tortolita 50

February 16:  Ruta del Jefe: 125 mile gravel race in Patagonia, AZ

Guiding endurance gravel camps with The Cyclist’s Menu in Patagonia, AZ

**Time Trail on the Arizona Trail 750 at the end of March (weather permitting)

April-May 2019:

Anchorage GRIT– a six week teenage girls adventure cycling mentorship program. We ride three times a week to build up to a 60 mile, three day adventure ride from Anchorage to a remote forest service cabin at the end of Eklutna Lake.

June 2019:

Riding to the start of the Tour Divide in Banff, Alberta from PEARL iZUMi headquarters in Louisville, CO– a 1500 mile warm up before the race.

June 14: Grand Depart of the Tour Divide

July 2019:

Travel to Kyrgyzstan to scout the Silk Road Mountain Race

August 2019:

August 17: Silk Road Mountain Race

48 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?

  31. J says:

    Have you heard of the Strathpuffer MB race? Its a 24 hour endurance race held in January in the North of Scotland, Cyclist come from all over Britain and Europe to take part, Watching your you tube video made me think you were just perfect for this sort of event.

    • laelwilcox says:

      That sounds like a lot of fun. I bet the weather makes it extra tough. I’d love to do some riding in Scotland– it seems like last summer would’ve been perfect cause it hardly rained.

  32. Greg Cittadini says:

    Hi Lael, this may sound completely geeky but I was wondering if you sold any Lael Wilcox T shirts. My friends and I are training for our 2nd bikepacking trip but this one is a much larger endeavor. I wanted a T shirt of you so we could all “Find our inner Lael” by smiling and working through the pain! You have 8 middle aged fans looking to you as a total inspiration! Your endurance is one thing but its that whole wonderful affect and huge smile through it all that blows us away. I know you prob don’t sell them, but we’re happy to start the kickstarter!

  33. Matt says:

    Hello Lael, you have probably a lot of proposals for entering races and seems 1000miles is not a big deal for you 😀 but please check “Czechoslovakia” race which just ended but you would be great favourite for the next year – http://www.1000miles.cz/ (website can be switched to english). Enjoy your rides. Matt

  34. Henry says:

    I think I get it.

    I’ve biked across America and sailed solo across the Atlantic. And been across Russia and some other stuff.

    I am super keen to do the Tour Divide or almost any other trip that’s challenging.

    Thanks so much for the short movie on the TD. Very sad they held you back. Their loss. So good you just kept going. Never stop!

  35. […] tires that he wants to ride in the unpaved reaches of the Pacific Northwest. The fact that Lael Wilcox and Ted King both ride them also speaks volumes, as I will undoubtedly never put a tire through […]

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