The Organizers


Tommy Matush

Tommy started his cycling career racing as an amateur on the US National Team in the 80’s and 90’s, before turning pro for 7-11, the US’s first professional racing team and the first American team to participate in the Tour de France. Tommy came up with the Gitche Gumee idea way back when he first rode the route back in 1993 as a training mission while vacationing in Hayward with his family. After reviewing some regional maps, he came up with a spectacularly scenic route with the least traffic resistance possible. After returning, he couldn't stop telling family and friends about how awesome the ride was, as they relaxed on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior.

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Jenny Huelsmann

Jenny lives in Minneapolis currently, after living and working in France, London, and the Philippines. Jenny graduated from the University of St. Thomas where she ran varsity Track & Cross Country on 2 NCAA national champion teams. Jenny became familiar with the Hayward area from annual family summer vacations at the Old Chicago Club on Lac Court Oreilles. Now she enjoys running, cross-country skiing, and biking on the Hayward trails and swimming in the areas many lakes. After her first Birkie in 2005, she was hooked on cross-country skiing and bought a vacation home in Hayward to be able to ski on the Birkie trail and enjoy the Northwoods anytime.


Daryl McNutt

Daryl grew up hunting and fishing in the Hayward area, graduating from Hayward High School. In 1990 he participated in his first Chequamegon 40, Greg Lemond won the race, and he was hooked on cycling. He went to the University of Wisconsin - Madison where he was a founding member of the UW Cycling program. For the next 20 years, he raced and rode many of the best routes throughout the Midwest. Finally, being drawn back to Hayward permanently in 2016, he connected with the Gitche Gumee Gran Fondo and discovered a ride that captures all the elements of why we live in this beautiful and spectacular region.