Lael Wilcox may not yet be a household name in the cycling world, but with wins and records in super long distance, self-supported bikepacking races such as TransAmerica and the Tour Divide, she will be soon. In this special episode of The Bicycle Story podcast, I interviewed Lael about her victory at TransAm, what it’s like to race across the country in 18 days, her roots as a dirtbag world adventurer, breaking into the mainstream, and more.
For more on Lael’s world travels, check out The Bicycle Story’s 2014 interview with her partner Nick Carman.
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Posted in Adventure, Bike Touring, Interviews, Racing, The Podcast
Tagged badass women cyclists, bike packing, bikepacking, bikepacking racing, gypsy by trade, lael wilcox, nicholas carman, specialized, tour divide, transam, transamerica race
Ian Crane. Photo by Matt Mills McKnight from the Denver Post
What if you worked for years to accomplish a dream goal and finally achieved it only to have it snatched away an instant later? How would you react? That’s exactly what happened to 25 year old Ian Crane. Last year was his first as a professional cyclist. He’d signed with the Jamis-Hagens Berman squad and was getting better results than he’d expected. His career was full of promise. Then, as the 2014 season wound down, he had a horrific crash that left him hospitalized, scarred, and unable to ride. Ian’s reaction? Unwavering positivity. The recovery process has been extremely difficult, but Ian says it’s had unexpected rewards that have solidified his love of cycling. I spoke to Ian a few days after the anniversary of his crash about his cycling life, his path to professional racing, the crash in Colorado, recovery, his new goals and more.
Davey Oil in front of his family cargo bike shop in Seattle. Photo by Josh Cohen.
If you ride bikes in Seattle, you likely know a bit about Davey Oil. As co-owner of the family cargo bike shop G&O Family Cyclery he’s played a critical role in Seattle’s family biking boom. As a longtime bike activist, he’s worked for and been involved in Bike Works, Cascade Bike Club, the Bikery, critical mass and more. Having straddled the fence between the radical activist side of the bike movement and the insider-politics advocacy side, he has a valuable perspective on the growth of cycling-as-transportation in the city. I sat down with him at a coffee shop next to the Family Cyclery for a wide ranging conversation about his roots in activism, the rise and fall (and re-rise and re-fall) of Seattle critical mass, the mainstreaming of bike politics locally and nationally, the advocacy world’s struggles with diversity, the family biking boom, and much more.
Posted in Advocacy, Bike Industry, Interviews
Tagged bike activism, bike equity, bike works, cargo bikes, cargo biking, cascade bike club, critical mass, cycletruck, davey oil, diversity in cycling, family bike boom, family biking, g&o family cyclery, longtail cargo bikes, seattle critical mass, seattle cycling, the bikery
Henry Gold, founder Tour D’Afrique. All photos courtesy Tour D’Afrique.
Most people facing unemployment at the age of 50 would turn towards the safety and comfort of what they know to get back on their feet. When Henry Gold was in that position, he decided to lead a four month bicycle expedition from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa and organize a race on the same route despite having never bike toured or raced a day in his life at that point. Gold thought his adventure was going to be a one-time thing. Instead, it gave launch to his bike touring company, Tour D’Afrique. Twelve years on, the company offers 10 expeditions and races on six continents. I spoke to Gold about his history working with NGOs around the world, the African bike-manufacturing project he tried to start that helped inspire Tour D’Afrique, the joy and challenges of leading multi-month bike expeditions, and much more.
Eszter Horanyi and Scott Morris at the start of their 4,000 mile Continental Divide Trail ride. Photo via topofusion.com.
The Tour Divide is a 2,745 bikepacking race from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. When Eszter Horanyi set the women’s course record of 19 days, 3 hours in 2012, she did so by averaging over 140 miles each day and sleeping just a few hours each night. Doing so on repeat for the better part of a month is a brutal challenge that pushes athletes to their mental and physical limits. It turns out Horanyi is really good at it. Over her years of bikepacking racing, she’s held or still holds records on the Tour Divide, Arizona Trail Race 300, Colorado Trail Race, Arrowhead 135, and plenty more. She stopped racing in 2013, but continues to explore mountains and valleys and remote roads by bike. I spoke to Horanyi about her entry into mountain bike racing, her bikepacking racing “career,” the self-empowerment the comes from adventuring alone, the growth of bikepacking, and more.
Posted in Adventure, Bike Touring, Interviews, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged arizona trail, badass women cyclists, bike packing, bikepacking, bikepacking racing, colorado trail, eszter horanyi, gdmbr, great divide, great divide mountain bike race, tour divide