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THOMAS SNO SPORTS CUSTOMER RIDE

Arctic Cat dealer, Thomas Sno Sports (TSS), based out of Ogilvie, MN, asked me to join on their customer appreciation ride, and after an incredible day spent with this group of 50 exploring the east central Minnesota trails out their back door, I’m extremely happy this event worked nicely into my schedule.

Pulling into any snowmobile event and witnessing the commotion of other trucks and trailers parking, unloading and staging gets me really amped up, and there was no shortage of beehive activity upon arrival.

Myself, and friend, Pat Bourgeois, started our morning in the new Thomas Sno Sports service area where we were welcomed with donuts and coffee provided by Willie Ewing of the Shock Shop, and shortly after, Tom Rowland (TSS owner) greeted everyone, and gave us the rundown of what our day would look like.

The 50 participants were broke into three groups, all of which would head to Muggs, our lunch destination, located on the south shores of Lake Mille Lacs in Wahkon, MN. (About a 45-ish mile trail ride) After lunch, everyone would head back to TSS but make a stop at the Hoot Owl Ridge Trail Shelter maintained by the Mystic Riders Snowmobile Club for a little trailside chatter. Speaking of the clubs, thank you for all the hard work and fantastic trails from the EC Riders, Rum River Sno Riders, Mille Lacs Drift Skippers and Mystic Riders Snowmobile Club. The following photos are a look at our fantastic day! Enjoy. – Kale

Mugg’s on Mille Lacs is located in Wahkon, MN and is a must-stop if you are in the area. Known for their burgers and all-around great food, owner, Rob Dubbs, caters to snowmobilers, off-road enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys fishing and the outdoors. This would be our lunch destination.
Our group nearly filled the parking lot for snowmobiles outside of Muggs. Like the beehive of activity at TSS, it always gets me fired up to see snowmobilers filling parking lots and patronizing local businesses.
Muggs has been recently remodeled both inside and out. There is ample seating, storage locations for helmets and the new kitchen is set-up to get your food out fast. There were many friendly faces filling this room all sharing snowmobile-related stories.
Collectively, the group at this table could tell Racing and World Record breaking stories for days, and Id happily listen. Joining the ride were my heroes (Clockwise L-R) Tucker Hibbert, Mandi Hibbert, Aaron Scheele and Willie Ewing. At this moment, I caught Mandi asking the group if they could possibly ride faster. (She asked really nicely) Looking through my photos, I never grabbed a shot of Willie’s Thundercat backup sled, “ThunderTwo” which he rode all day. If you aren’t familiar, last winter, Willie set a new World Record riding 2,125 miles in a 24hr period.
Pat and I ate quick at Muggs and headed out early in front of the group to build a fire at the Hoot Owl Ridge Trail Shelter. Upon our arrival, we discovered the fire pit ring had been smashed and it appeared to have some couple day old carbide marks imprinted into the metal. Sure enough, one of the club members let us know someone had gotten a little throttle happy and ran into the fire ring. (C’mon man! Really?) After capturing this photo, I can only assume it was Tom Rowland (gray suit) as he’s visibly looking at the damage and everyone is laughing at him. (It wasn’t Tom for the record)
The trails from Muggs to the shelter were impeccably maintained and groomed to perfection which made some fast, fun running which everyone talked about around the fire. It was fun to see so many snowmobiles packed into this area and witness the sights/sounds of everyone enjoying a perfect winter day.
Let’s circle back to Tucker and Mandi…and more-so Tucker’s choice of snowmobiles to ride on this day, which shocked quite a few in the group. Pictured in the blue/green “vintage” Arctic Cat coat is Tucker, who, unbeknownst to many, loves the Arctic Cat Jag. Here, Tucker answers questions and relives his purchase and restoration of these two gems. On the ride, Tucker and Aaron Scheele (94 ZR440) set a blistering pace through an ungroomed swamp section, but Mandi was hoping those two could ride a little bit faster so she could actually get her sled up to speed, and up on top of the bumps to smooth them out.
Given the fact Tucker has two factory replica models with his name on them, you’d think he would of chose one of those to bring (At least for Mandi). I noticed this one in the parking lot of Muggs and thought, “Cool white bumper! My Replica had a white bumper.” Upon closer inspection, this was my actual snowmobile! LOL. I sold this one not long ago and the new owner was on the ride with us enjoying it. This 2015 ZR6000RR Tucker Hibbert edition is definitely in my top three favorite Arctic Cat’s I’ve ever owned.
Pictured here on the minty-clean 94 ZR440 is Aaron “The Iceman” Scheele. Aaron has a really sweet collection of vintage iron. This ZR was actually rescued from a salvage yard and Ive featured it a couple times on the website. Aaron told me this was the longest ride he’s taken it on. Check out the other story on the ZR HERE where Anson catches some big air with it out on the track!
Aaron’s son, Anson Scheele, has been doing really well in the extremely competitive National Pro Lite Snocross class. Thanks to Tom Rowland for snapping this photo of Aaron and I discussing the upcoming Snocross race this weekend as Anson’s team, All Finish Racing, will be competing at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. BTW – If I look crabby, Im not. Im more hangry because moments earlier Pat gave away all my Snickers bars to Mandi. Its ok though, Mandi needed them as she led a blistering race pace back to the dealership!
Busted! (Mandi and Pat)
There’s nothing like the comfort of a good snow bed for trailside naps. Fellas this age would rather be riding than listening to mom and dad relive their youth on those old Jags Tucker was riding.

WHO DONE IT?POTENTIAL SCENARIO OF WHO HIT THE FIREPIT RING

Mandi leads the group in…
This fella was seen coming in to the pit stop “Hot”, and looking like he has something to prove…
Yeah it’ll do a hunerd. Why do you ask?
Tom Rowland (Gray suit) stepping in to inspect Tucker’s carbides and ski-stance to match evidence left on fire pit ring…evidence suggests it wasn’t Tucker.
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15 COMMENTS

  1. What a great day this was with 49 great people. It’s experiences and rides like this one that become seared into my memory and will make me smile for years to come!

  2. How cool is that?!

    Couple of us are trying to determine what model year is peak ‘ass dragger’ before rider forward bias began to take hold of the market?
    1994? 1997? 2002?

    Thoughts?

        • If an “ass-dragger” is defined by its seating position (on your spine), then I consider the Firecat consumer models ass draggers. Not to offend anyone with a Firecat (there’s nothing wrong with them), but I rode one this weekend, went about a 1/4 mile and actually thought about your question and mumbled in my helmet, “This thing is definitely an ass-dragger!” I wouldn’t consider it “Rider Forward” like the Twin Spar was after it.

  3. Awesome story & ride, always fun going to dealers .. Mom & Pop ones are still the backbone of sport
    Kale or other riders do you remember going to your first snowmobile dealer ….

    • Im sure Tucker could have passed most of us like it was a final in Deadwood and he was going for his 100th win, but he didn’t. I’ve seen Scheele humbly humiliate many riders on new “big iron” while he was riding a 78 El Tigre 6000…including myself. Those guys truly know how to ride a snowmobile. Its incredible. A continual lesson, its not what you ride, its how you ride it.

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