Long-distance endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox ’08 is an unexpected champion. Now, she’s helping to build a culture of adventure and perseverance among girls in Alaska.

Lael Wilcox pedaled into Deadhorse, a dusty industrial outpost on Alaska’s northern coast, at 6 a.m. on an early July day in 2017. Midsummer in the Arctic, the sun doesn’t set; it just skids along the horizon to the north before rebounding to make a wide halo across the sky. Lael had ridden through the night to the end of the state’s most northern highway—the “Haul Road”—the thoroughfare by which 18-wheelers (driven by the famed “ice road truckers” in winter) supply Alaska’s North Slope oil fields.

Having toured and raced across the world, Lael wanted to explore her own state.

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