Last year middle of the night windchill was below -20F, but that's my kind of temp, been through worse in the FO before, and after passing through the 40mi. checkpoint I was just cruising along well ahead of schedule. About 3mi out suddenly I started getting light headed, stumbling, and all I could do was try to convince myself not to lie down directly in the snow cause' I knew I would just freeze to death.
Multiple options for gear rentals will be provided at a date closer to the event. Certain REI locations (including Denver) rent gear as well as companies like www.lowergear.com/ that will ship your rentals to you.
As per the required gear list posted on the website, you MUST use a mountain bike. No road bikes, cyclocross bikes, or tandem bikes will be allowed.
No. As per the required gear list, you do not need (and cannot use) your own boat and/or paddles. You CAN, however, use your own life vests if you don't want to use the ones provided.
A shelter qualifies if it keeps out rain and wind and is free standing. This could be as simple as a small tarp or large piece of plastic pitched over trekking poles. BUT please keep in mind that an injury as simple as a broken ankle can be life threatening in the extreme cold. The idea is that if you are injured and need to stop, you can call for help and then change into dry clothes, get in your SHELTER, and even start a fire until help arrives.