Transplant Athlete
Friday, January 12, 2007
  UMCA Managing Director Position

There have been some issues recently with the UltraMarathon Cycling Association (UMCA) in conjunction with the recent sale of the Race Across America. There have been accusations of impropriety, there have been delays in elections, and from my perspective, the organization seems to be in a reactive mode instead of being proactive in serving the members. So, I sent the following letter to the President of the Board of Directors. I also simultaneously posted the message to the Ultracycling Listserv to be upfront about it. I didn't want John Hughes to get the impression that I was doing anything behind his back.

Dear UMCA Board Of Directors;

I would like to be considered for the position of UMCA Managing Director. The organization for many years seemed stagnant (with incremental gains made by enthusiastic volunteers in the records department, the JMC/year rounder). Within the past couple of months there has been a rash of activity aimed at making the organization appear more “International” in focus. This is clearly a reaction to the newly proposed International Ultracycling organization and the UMCA is attempting to disrupt the formation of this new organization by holding a meeting at the same time in Paris after PBP. Regardless of whether another organization is needed, the UMCA was clearly not meeting the needs of a certain demographic and now faced with competition is reacting to the situation. It would have been preferable if the UMCA had been proactive on this topic negating the need for another organization.

As the new UMCA Managing Director, I would focus on being proactive. In fact, here are some of the initiatives I would like to see happen:

1) More advertisements in the Ultracycling Magazine and on the website. More revenue would allow more glossy color photos of the amazing scenery our races traverse.

2) A photo contest to encourage submission of more photos.

3) Increase UMCA branded merchandise sales to increase the amount of photos in the Ultracycling Magazine.

4) Online membership application using Paypal, Google Checkout, or some other shopping cart program to decrease the barriers to joining the UMCA and ease the renewal process for current members.

5) The proper and timely completion of all paperwork required under the constitution and bylaws.

6) I would support the President in holding the required quarterly BoD meetings.

7) Video footage of ultracycling races on the website. This would increase site traffic, increase visibility of races on the calendar, and spur the imagination of future ultracyclists. Also, video interviews of top Year Rounders and/or JMC participants might increase the desire in members to complete more miles and recruit more members.

8) Increase the visibility of the organization to promoters of shorter races and recreational century events perhaps by partnering with current advertisers.

9) A BoD meeting open to all UMCA general members in a warm weather state in December or January over a weekend that would include rides and culminate in an Ultracycling Awards ceremony or party. The rides would attract UMCA general members and give them the opportunity to participate in a BoD meeting.

10) Find and replicate best practices around the country. For instance, Crista Borras maintains a huge library of rides in the Mid-Atlantic Region and organizes weekend century rides. I know this is happening in other parts of the country, we need to examine how to support these ride leaders and encourage others to emulate them in areas that do not have such rides. Support the ride leaders and not just the race organizers and the participants will come.

11) I would also suggest a change to the bylaws that limits the position of Managing Director to a 4 year term with a maximum reappointment of one additional term at the discretion of the BoD.

In my career, I have co-founded two successful organizations. The first Tri-Mech Solutions Inc. sold high end engineering software and reached over $1 million in sales within the first 3 years and was the dominant supplier in the Mid-Atlantic region. The second, Optimum Fitness Results has allowed me to explore B2C ecommerce and conversion rate optimization, skills that would help me increase the sales of branded merchandise, increased online membership and renewals, and to make the changes to the UMCA website to increase visitors and advertising revenue. I can provide a detailed resume on request.

I thank John Hughes for his decade of service as the Managing Director of the UMCA and mean him no disrespect, but I think it’s time for new proactive leadership. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Lou Lamoureux


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I'm surprised that the UMCA (or other cycling groups) don't have some basic website (in the vein of some of the social networking sites actually) that could be used to help local ride organizers. There seem to be several simple ways to accomplish this, I'm not really the UMCA type, but given information and about some weekend longer rides I'd certainly enjoy getting out on the bike more.
Hi Christopher,

If you live in or near one of the ten states served by UMCA Hub rides, You can get in touch with ride organizers here:
Otherwise you might want to try your local bike club, they may have some longer rides on their calendar. A call to the local bike shop will get you contact info for your local bike club.

P.S. A social networking site for rides sounds like a good idea.
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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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