1 Road, 850 Miles: Lael Wilcox Crushes Alaska Pipeline FKT

This FKT attempt (and film) confirms that bikepacker Lael Wilcox is indeed an ultra-endurance powerhouse.

“Four feet wide and carried five above the ground by a seemingly endless series of stanchions, the Alaska Pipeline is, for most of its 800-mile route, the only mark humanity has made on the pristine wilderness of this last frontier,” Rapha teased leading up to the film.

Alaska is known for its wilderness, forests, massive mountains, empty landscapes, and wide-open spaces.

This summer, Alaskan cyclist Lael Wilcox set out to explore in her own backyard — the Alaska Pipeline Road. The pipeline runs from the Arctic outpost of Prudhoe Bay south to Valdez, near Prince William Sound.

Although she’s ridden much of it before, in July, Wilcox attempted to set a new fastest known time (FKT) on the route. “I came up with this idea that I wanted to go ride a time trial on it, so I’m back,” Wilcox said.

It’s about 850 miles, with a high point of 4,500 feet in elevation, an average route speed of 9-10 mph, and a whole lotta open, gravel road.

Lael Wilcox bikepacking along the Alaska Pipeline Road
(Photo/Rugile Kaladyte)

Wilcox’s lesson to all of us? Go your own way. Take the path less traveled. Hit that remote road. Wherever you ride, wherever you live, remember to always find adventure.

Created by an all-female crew, the latest episode of “Rapha Gone Racing” tells Wilcox’s Alaskan Pipeline FKT story.

This film premieres today at 1 p.m. MST/2 p.m. CT. 

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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