Update from Paul -

awe·some adjective; extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration

Awesome is an often overused word in our culture today, but no other word describes what this group is. Unfortunately, it has been used sarcastically so much that it diminishes its true meaning. Awesome, to me, means something that is larger than it seems on the surface. Perhaps, something too big to imagine. Something with meaning beyond the circumstances. Something that inspires you to do something you have never done before. Sometimes something awesome takes on a life of it's own too. And that is a good thing.

I have dreaded writing this note for a couple of months and have been too exhausted to put my thoughts together and actually write this. As a family, we had many decisions to make in April and May and complicated details to work out. But now we know what we are doing and it is time to update everyone.

Our family sold our house in Forest Lake, and moved to Rogers, MN. We will be building a new house in Elk River over the next few months. As much as I wanted to stay close to the Hugo/Forest Lake area, that just wasn't our best option.

The past couple of months have been emotionally and physically exhausting as we prepared our house for sale and planned our next move. It's a new beginning with new opportunities for our kids and it's time for me to take a step back from leading this group.

Hugo Gravel will continue on. More on that in a bit.

In reflecting on this group, and doing a bit of grieving myself, I have some thoughts about what makes this group awesome and wanted to share that with you.

What started out as a casual gathering to raise awareness about Lyme's disease in Minnesota has grown into something that many of us consider just part of who we are and can't imagine not having it in our lives. Sure, we have our value statement, sharing the love of gravel, training for gravel events, and making friends, but the group has so much more meaning than that.

We have created something more powerful than words can describe. It's pretty awesome.

When we ride together, there is something unique about the experience and it provides more meaning to each of us than just another ride. Dare I say, this is something unique in the cycling landscape.

More than just another typical bike club or another shop ride. There's something more powerful going on in our group than just a bunch of riders out for a fun time. It's more than just a place to belong or finding other people to ride with. You have likely experienced this awesome feeling as well.

I have been fortunate to receive messages or heard from some of you about the importance of this group, conversations we have had, and the friendships you have made here. They are amazing and have made a lasting impact on me.

Maybe this group provided you with the opportunity to complete your first gravel ride, or your first 50 miler. Maybe your first gravel century. Maybe you just suffered beyond what you thought your limit was and found out you are capable of much more. Maybe it was accomplishing one of your bucket list rides because of the inspiration and training advice from others in the group. Perhaps, buying your first gravel bike from another rider in the group or advice on equipment and tire choices. Those are some of the results we see on the surface.

But we all know, it's not just about those results. It's not unusual for many of us to come away from a ride with us with a new perspective on whatever it is you are dealing with in life. Having the opportunity to have conversations about the hard stuff in life. Learning that others have gone through difficult circumstances too and learned a few lessons along the way.

This group is awesome because of all of you, not because of me.

Collectively, we are awesome together. It's something bigger than any one of us could be by ourselves. I am just lucky enough to come along for the ride. The good news is that the group will continue on while I step away from the helm.

We have already started the transition and you will be hearing more from others in the coming weeks as they step up to continue to make Hugo Gravel as great as it is.

Much love and appreciation,


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