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Anchorage woman gears up for 2,700-mile bike race

By Jake Edmonds 7:02 AM May 12, 2015
ANCHORAGE –

Local bike enthusiast Lael Wilcox is taking her skills across the border.

She is preparing for one of the longest bike races in the world — the Tour Divide. The race spans 2,700 miles from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, on the border of Mexico.

It’s a race Wilcox only recently decided to compete in after traveling abroad.

“When we were in Israel, this other race came up — the Holy Land Challenge,” she said. “It’s an 850-mile race, takes you around Israel on mountain bike trails and I thought, ‘If this goes well, I’ll go home and do the big race.'”

Not only is Wilcox doing the “big race,” she’s riding her bike to get to the starting line, 2,100 miles away. By the time she finishes her race in New Mexico, Wilcox will have ridden close to 5,000 miles.

“That’s the coolest part about it,” Wilcox said. “I mean, to ride from my home to the start of the race and then do this massive race, it connects all the dots.”

Wilcox will be on her own out on the trail, but she’s getting some help before the race starts. Her boyfriend, Nicholas Carman — a bicycle mechanic — has been making sure her bike is in top shape. In fact, Carman built an entirely new bike for Wilcox, one that he says will make a big difference on the trail.

Riding almost 5,000 miles would be a tall order for just about anybody, but for a bike enthusiast like Wilcox, it will be just be a longer chapter to her two-wheeled adventures.

Follow the Tour Divide race in real-time.

Contact Jake Edmonds at jedmonds@ktva.com and @JakeKTVA

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