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Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
  UMCA Answers

First, I'd like to apologize to all the UMCA members for my part in the delay of the November/December Issue of ULTRACYCLING. It seems that John Hughes took the time to rebut my letter in the issue.

Now that we finally have some facts, I'd like to address a few things.

  • From 1997 to 2006, the UMCA membership has gone from 700 to 1650. Over the same time frame participation in road cycling overall has roughly tripled. Some would say that a rising tide lifts all boats.
  • It is an accepted fact to John Hughes that several hundred members choose not to renew their memberships each year making it necessary to recruit new members. I think the UMCA could do a better job retaining these members. Putting a "This is your Last Issue, Please Renew" cover is a common tactic for other magazines. Sending out a postcard or envelope after the membership lapses is also a common tactic. Finally, make it easy for people to renew with an online form and I think retention rates will skyrocket.
  • What is the UMCA doing to recruit new members besides requiring membership to participate in certain events? Are they co-marketing with RUSA? Are they Co-Marketing with USA Cycling? Are they Co-Marketing with Hammer Nutrition?
  • While I'm on the subject of Co-Marketing...How about attracting Ultra Mountain Bikers? How about Tandems and Recumbents? Is ULTRACYCLING providing them with worthy content? What are we doing to recruit them?
  • John states that his goal is to provide "authoritative content" in ULTRACYCLING and it is not a vehicle for advertising. I ask, then why have advertising at all? If you are going to have advertising, you might as well do it right. I'm not saying the magazine has to look like VANITY FAIR with 200 pages of advertisements and you have to hunt for the articles, but a healthy dose of adverts doesn't take away from the content and gives you the funds to print in COLOR and to hire a support staff.
  • The Constitution and Bylaws clearly state that the UMCA and RAAM are separate organizations, but the UMCA purchased the Race Across America intellectual property. The argument is that the ACTUAL PHYSICAL RACE is held by another company. That's splitting hairs if you ask me and violates the letter and spirit of the Official Governing documents. How hard is it to propose a change to the bylaws to make this legal? Not hard at all.

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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