‘You Have the Lungs of a 75-Year-Old’: 21 Questions With Bikepacking Badass Lael Wilcox

With each passing multiday, self-supported endurance bikepacking race, it becomes increasingly clear this is Lael Wilcox’s world. We’re just riding in it. But hit her with a few off-the-wall questions — like why Oprah would be her perfect riding buddy — and you uncover a charming and infectiously positive (if relentlessly motivated) person.

Lael Wilcox galvanized endurance bikepacking fans of all backgrounds this year when word spread she had a real shot at winning the Tour Divide outright — a feat no woman has ever achieved.

But though that effort was thwarted by a mix of foul weather and a gray cloud of controversy, Wilcox remains undaunted. The Anchorage, Alaska, native, who now makes her living biking insane distances all around the world, stopped by the GearJunkie office to sit in our hot seat.

But what we got was more than some funny one-liners. Find out why Wilcox has a driver’s license despite the fact she “can’t drive any car,” what’s up with her milk obsession, and how she once found herself locked inside a toothless man’s trailer on the “Highway of Tears.”


Andrew Skurka
Your Brain Is Gear: 21 Questions With Andrew Skurka
Andrew Skurka is something of a god in the world of ultralight backpacking and long-distance solo treks. He visited GearJunkie to answer some of our most burning questions. Read more…

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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