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Ultra-distance cyclist and 4th generation Alaskan, Lael Wilcox spent the summer riding every road in her home state.
Lael Wilcox is one of the world’s strongest ultra-endurance cyclists, putting in an absolutely obscene amount of miles in on the bike every year. She’s got a whole bunch of course records nestled under her belt on some of the world’s toughest races and routes and still somehow finds the energy to create and take on her own personal endurance challenges while also running a school bicycle mentorship program for Alaskan girls.
After setting the women’s record on the Tour Divide in 2015 and winning the Trans Am in 2016 (overall), in 2017, Lael set out to ride all the roads in her home state of Alaska. With a land mass of 1.718 million km² Alaska is by far the biggest US state, fortunately the roads don’t cover such a vast distance – a mix of pavement and gravel on 12 major roads for a total of 7,300 km.
Taking on the challenge solo, while the experience she says was one of the most fun adventures of her life, she knew it was a project one she wanted to return to one day, this time sharing the ride and documenting her experiences she could inspire others with the beauty of Alaska and encourage more people to get out and explore on their bikes.
When the global pandemic took hold in 2020 scuppering travel plans for the year, it provided the perfect opportunity to do just that. Exploring what it meant to ride with her loved ones from home and the added sentiment that brings, she set out once again to cover some 4,500 miles from her front door. Enduring the weather and topography, but experiencing the moments only available to those travelling under their own steam, one pedal stroke at a time, she connected the dots of the largest and most northern US state. See the full collection on Lael’s komoot profile.
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