How Lael Wilcox Rides 20,000 Miles Per Year

A new video featuring ultra-endurance bikepacker Lael Wilcox, who puts more miles on her bike every year than most people do on their cars…

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Most of us use our bikes to commute to work or school, or simply to have fun afterwards and on the weekends. And some of us take a few longer bike vacations throughout the year. But very few put in the amount of saddle time that Lael Wilcox does. For the past three years, she’s pedaled 20,000 miles every 12 months. That’s 1,666.66 miles per month on average. Lael admits that such mileage is “kind of insane.” This new video produced by Wired Magazine tells the story how Lael Wilcox does it. Video plays automatically; make sure to turn the volume on within the player.

  • Lael Wilcox, Trans Am Race, Winner 2016
  • Lael Wilcox Tour Divide 2015

“I’m not recommending other people ride this much… I just do it because I want to… I just want to be out there.” —Lael Wilcox

Lael Rides Alaska Women's Scholarship

  • Lael Rides Alaska Women's Scholarship
  • Lael Wilcox AZT

For those of you who’ve frequented this site or have been around the bikepacking community, you likely know Lael from her course records. Back in 2015, as a warm up, she left her home in Anchorage, Alaska, and pedaled 2,100 miles just to get to the Tour Divide Grand Depart in Banff, Alberta. She then continued on to set a new women’s record on the 2,750+ mile Tour Divide race. In 2016, she took the win to beat everyone—men and women—in the Trans Am Bike Race, a 4,000+ mile event that traverses the lower 48. For those of you who don’t know Lael yet, here are a few related articles, films, and interviews:

  • Accidental FIRE

    This woman is a badass of the first order! I’ve enjoyed following her career and look forward to more.

  • rickyk76

    Lael is definitely an inspiration for all. Great video and great reminder that it’s possible to chase dreams and live your passion. Now if I could just figure out how to afford it…

  • Fabián Morgenstern

    wonderful woman…

  • Biek Ridder

    As I watch this sitting in my pajamas drinking coffee I’m feeling pretty lame. I think I need to get dressed and head to Bent Creek for a ride

  • LeeRowe🇬🇧

    Must be financially well off I guess, fantastic stuff all the same wish I could do the same but 6000mile a year isn’t bad while working I suppose

  • Lael Wilcox

    nope, self-funded. This is the first year that I’m receiving financial support from companies. For the past 10 years, I’ve funded all of my rides by working in restaurants and bike shops. I live pretty minimally– no house, no car, no health insurance. I do everything I can to stay on my bike.

  • LeeRowe🇬🇧

    Such a huge sacrifice I take my hat off to you 👍🏼 Keep it up, I’m not sure I’d find time for work whilst riding 20000 mile a year I’d have to eat food that people threw out the window 😆 good luck 👍🏼

  • Surprises

    No insurance? Do you ever plan to retire, or will you just live like this until you die? Or is that planning too far ahead of the next 100k miles?

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