A Walk In The Woods Part 1

In a few days I’ll journey to Rice Lake, WI to participate in the Tuscobia Winter Ultra. I’ve opted to take an 80 mile walk in the woods. After being transported (along with a borrowed sled) on Saturday to Park Falls, WI, I’ll begin a trek on the Tuscobia Trail finishing at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Rice Lake, WI. Years ago I rode my newly acquired Surly Pugsley in the 75 mile portion of this event. It was a significant learning experience as it was my first attempt at long distance winter fat biking.

Thanks Rick Wagar for the use of your sled!
Thanks Rick Wagar for the use of your sled!

Much has changed over the years both in my life, as well as my understanding of winter endurance events. One major insight is that I can regulate my body temperature better on foot than I can riding. Also, there is less to go wrong or breakdown in the cold when not being on a bike.

02.2015 Actif Epica in brutal cold.
02.2015 Actif Epica in brutal cold. Air temperature was near -22F Yes, that is frost covering my neck + face gear.

Two years ago, I completed the 64 mile Frozen Otter Ultra Trek in eastern Wisconsin.

2014 Frozen Otter finish tent. 22.5 hours on my feet.
2014 Frozen Otter finish tent. 22.5 hours on my feet.

The checkpoints were approximately every 8 miles, so carrying significant amounts of calories and hydration wasn’t as important as it will be at Tuscobia. There is 1 checkpoint at mile 35 for Tuscobia.  Thus I’ll need to carry adequate liquid hydration to get me to this checkpoint. The checkpoint will have water and possibly food supplies. The final 45 miles will be completed with whatever food and liquid I carry in the sled or in my jacket pockets. The trail comes near a highway at various points with small towns having C-Stores. However, the times of business for these stores varies with none being open 24 hours.

In the days leading up to the start I will post more details and pictures about the Tuscobia Winter Ultra. At this time I want to thank both Rick Wagar and Rachel Utecht (both are Arrowhead 135 finishers) for their insights, encouragement, and advise as I have prepared for this event. I have benefited greatly from their experiences and their willingness to share equipment with me.

I'm getting to like this sled!
I’m getting to like this sled!

I’m looking forward to my walk in the woods!