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Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
  UMCAVille

There's been some serious issues raised within the UltraMarathon Cycling Association and I think the link above covers most of them. Here's my breakdown of a small sample of the issues:
  1. According to organizers, The Race Across America has never been financially viable. It's not exactly clear what transpired after the 2006 RAAM, but eventually, John Hughes and Fred Boethling got together a group of people to purchase the Race Across America. The physical race assets were sold to Fred, John, and a group of investors. The intellectual property was purchased by the UMCA using funds that were specifically donated for the purposes of purchasing RAAM. What could be wrong with that? The constitution of the UMCA strictly forbids owning RAAM. John Hughes and the UMCA Board had the power to alter the constitution to make it legal, but they didn't think of it at the time and they continue to argue that they did not violate the constitution.
  2. John Hughes through negligence, incompetence, or genuine error failed to place the call for elections in the September/October issue of ULTRACYCLING. The November/December issue of ULTRACYCLING was then delayed several months to explain and defend the UMCA purchase of RAAM, further delaying the elections. The January/February issue of ULTRACYCLING was held up because of the previously delayed issue. So, we are several months late in voting for new officers for the Board.
  3. John Hughes pulls in a meager salary as Managing Director of the UMCA and I think we have a case of "we get what we pay for." There's a lot of misdirection involved in the following argument, John Hughes claims that he has increased membership from 700 to 1650 in the decade that he has been in charge. Over the same time period, Randonneurs USA, a similar organization has started with around the same number of members and has grown to 2250 members. That's about 65 extra members a year, but that lags far behind USA Cycling's membership growth as mentioned in the above article. More members would mean more revenue for the organization and make it possible to pay a higher salary to the Managing Director. Here are three reasons why membership has lagged:
    1. Memberships were moved to be a calendar year to make it easier for John to manage memberships and not to make it more convenient to members.
    2. No follow up is done to retain members who have not renewed, John accepts it as inevitable that members leave, without even asking why they have left.
    3. My personal feeling is that the ULTRACYCLING and membership in the UMCA does not provide enough value or relevance to members or the value is not sold properly to the members.
  4. John Hughes has failed to produce documentation required by the constitution including Annual Reports.
  5. John Hughes currently controls the content of the magazine, the website, and recently has made attempts to control all dialogue relevant to ultracycling by creating a listserv that he can censor as needed to silence critics. His explanation can be found here. It's actually quite amusing.
  6. The Board has failed to meet according to the constitution. John Hughes feels that emails are sufficient to replace a physical meeting and emails probably would suffice, if all Board members were included in the email discussions. At least one Board member has complained that they were left out of the email loop, which is essentially like locking them out of the Boardroom when you are meeting by email.

In the past, it has seemed to me like there were 4 people running for 3 positions on the Board, at last count there were 18 people running for 6 positions. People are pissed. The times they are a changin'

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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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