Monday, August 29, 2016

Trail Lael and Gypsy Nick

It's always cool to hang out with a personal hero.
Over the weekend, our friends Nicholas Carman and Lael Wilcox paid us a visit on their way to the Colorado Trail. They had a new bike to put together, and a lot of equipment to sort out, so made use of my bike barn for a couple of days. In between, we talked and hung out a bit, hearing of their adventures and some first-hand detail about Lael's recent victory in the 2016 Trans Am Bike Race.

Nick is a great mechanic, and an inspiration to watch.

Helping Lael set up a big tubeless tire.
The big box was a big hit.


The school bike now features hand-me-down pedals and frame bag gifted from Lael.
The Adventure Cycling Association has no better spokespeople than the dynamic duo of Nick and Lael. Their knowledge is vast and enthusiasm boundless when they're talking of their passion for seeing the world on two wheels. Nick planted some seeds of thought about the feasibility of a family ride along the Great Allegheny Passage trail to the C&O Canal Towpath from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington DC. It amounts to nearly 350 miles of trail without any car traffic, and free US Forest Service camping along the way. He also told me of BikeFlights.com as an affordable way to get the bikes to the trailhead, which is a great resource for anyone traveling with a bike.

Lael and Nick have certainly been busy since the last time they stopped by. Their selection of bikes and equipment has greatly evolved, and they've put many thousands of miles under their wheels. The future looks to be just as busy. They're set to appear at Interbike in October, and to lead the inaugural mass start of the Baja Divide in January. The Baja Divide is a route that they scouted, pioneered and documented along the length of Baja California, as a gift to the bikepacking community. Happy travels, and looking forward to your next visit.

I always enjoy discovering what the bike shop pixies leave behind after a visit.

4 comments:

  1. Andy, Thanks of hosting us, yet again. It is always fun to be on the other side of the blog-- not often does that happen to me. It has been cool to watch Stella grow from a Big Dummy rider to a big 26" wheel rider. Who knows what amazing wheel and tire sizes she will be able to ride when she grows up!

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    1. We're always happy to have you and Lael visit. It's generous of you to bring your adventures of the world to us. My blogging frequency has slipped in recent years, so you helped to spur me to some action.

      It's astonishing to look back at photos to see how much she's changed. To my estimation, she has ridden every commonly available wheel size up to 26", and was eyeing Lael's 27.5+ bike curiously. The other day she asked me if we could turn her bike into a Pugsley so she could keep riding to school in the winter, so it looks like we've got a project ahead.

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