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 Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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