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Old 01-28-08, 08:40 PM   #1
JP1971
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UMCA Issues

Hi All.

The UMCA seems to be in a lot of turmoil. I've read all the posts on the ultracycling list, read the blog - but I'm still not sure what to believe and/or whether I should support the UMCA.

It's supposed to be about the cycling -
but now I'm not so sure.

Is anyone here a member of the UMCA? If so, will you continue to be? Thoughts anyone?

JP
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Old 01-28-08, 09:57 PM   #2
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Don't know, just joined. A little apprehensive now that I hear there's some turmoil. Hopefully they can get it resolved.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:31 AM   #3
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It's a bit difficult to observe unless I can get some links. There are elections in the air. What are the issues?
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Old 01-30-08, 04:36 AM   #4
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Hmmmm.... starting a thread like this is a complete waste of time and effort. Just in case you don't think I have an interest...

I have participated in two UMCA long-distance races, the Mid-West 24H events, and I have ridden the Last Chance 1200. I met Joe Jamison at the Mid-West 24H events and I consider him to be a thorough gentleman and a quite astute organiser. I have met John Lee Ellis and dealt with him via email in his role as organiser of the Last Chance. I have met Nancy and John Guth as participants in events (Nancy is a candidate for the board elections), and Tom Buckley as an assistant organiser (he a board member compulsorily retiring because of the rules), and John Hughes, the managing director. Oh, and I have been a short-term member of UMCA for those 24H events... and am considering becoming a full member.

If you are going to start a thread like this, at least provide some additional information that would be useful in having a discussion on what is happening. I don't like joining forums and discussions lists that I probably wouldn't participate in, so just saying it has been discussed on the UMCA list is useless to me, along with the "blog" -- who's blog?

C'mon JP, come clean. Otherwise... you just sound like a troublemaker.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:19 AM   #5
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Pardon Me, Rowan -
but since specific issues were addressed in the RAAM 2009 thread, I didn't think they needed rehashing. My etiquette mistake - no troublemaking intended.

Here's the blog: http://ultracycling-us.blogspot.com/

Obviously you're not up on what's going on. I was simply inquiring of those who DO, what they intend to do, if anything.

No need to be testy, or make personal attacks.

JP
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Old 01-30-08, 01:25 PM   #6
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I don't intend to do anything, including following all the ins and outs after having read several pages of background. The issues seem to be far more important to the small number of individuals directly involved with them than they need to be to anyone else.
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Old 01-31-08, 01:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JP1971 View Post
Pardon Me, Rowan -
but since specific issues were addressed in the RAAM 2009 thread, I didn't think they needed rehashing. My etiquette mistake - no troublemaking intended.

Here's the blog: http://ultracycling-us.blogspot.com/

Obviously you're not up on what's going on. I was simply inquiring of those who DO, what they intend to do, if anything.

No need to be testy, or make personal attacks.

JP
OK. My apologies for being testy/rude. I only read threads that interest me, and frankly RAAM doesn't really, so I haven't referenced it. Really, the person who first mentioned the problems should have hived the issue off into a separate thread, anyway. Ken at least tried to haul it back into shape. Having read some of the information, I tend to wholeheartedly agree with you, anyway: What about the cyclists and events? I would hate to think that the controversies affect the running of events.
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Old 02-03-08, 11:00 PM   #8
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I won't be upping my membership any time soon, for reasons I mentioned in the RAAM thread. IF I could take back my 2 year membership from the last time I joined, I would.

I'm not a RAAM racer, not even a 24 hour racer. Far from it. I just don't like my $$ and my name being used in the name of a 'non' profit to benefit a select few people's ideas and agenda's of 'ultra' cycling, with little to no transparency.

You can argue 'can't we all just ride bikes' on both sides of the issues. If management has nothing to hide, and there were no improprieties and conflict of interests, well - turn it over to some new leadership - "its all about the ride, right?"

This gets thrown back at the 'noisemakers' all the time - the criticism of politicizing things. Well, its a two way street. Shut up or put up is what I would say - if there is nothing to hide, or no ill will, or no profiteering, or simply no ego's getting in the way, then let the original founders do their thing, even bring in 3rd party folks to sift through the mess. (after all, they offered to do it at no cost to the UMCA!)

I think this quote is telling (from the president of the UMCA to one of the founders, taken from the blog posted):

Quote:
Prior to contacting our attorney, I'm going to review this with the Board. Legal expenses are becoming a serious issue and threaten to endanger our ability to support the programs and services our members expect from the organization. If we are going to be following the road of litigation, I must have the full knowledge and support of the elected officers.
The first part that makes me question what the heck is going on is the boldened type. If it really is about the cycling, and if the board and directors are being transparent - why all the lawsuits? The second is that he assumes they are on the raod to litigation. Awfully defensive.
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Old 02-11-08, 06:39 PM   #9
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I heard there was ONE lawsuit; not many.

The politics are a drag -
but I do like the mileage challenge; and someday I might want to qualify for RAAM. So I joined. I haven't met anyone associated with the UMCA that I didn't like.

I think that much ado has been made about nothing. $35 for a membership isn't a lot of money - especially since I spent 10 times that much (or more) on my bike! I like the magazine and I like to compare myself to the other riders who turn in their centuries and doubles.

My 2 cents.

JP
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Old 02-11-08, 10:29 PM   #10
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To paraphrase William Sayre: "the feuds are so vicious because the stakes are so low."

It sounds like a couple of people are ticked off that UMCA bought RAAM; and then, they and/or their buddies lost an election to the board. As a result, one of the founders of UMCA has put up a web page and hired a lawyer. Maybe the losers are fully justified in their claims of shenanigans, maybe not. But if you've got a couple of upset people who make noises about "illegal" or "unfair" activities, then regardless of who's right or wrong, you've got legal bills.

I have a hard time seeing how it matters to the rank and file, really. If you want to just do ultras, and joining UMCA is going to further that goal, then you might as well join. If it turns out that someone at the organization is pestering you or you don't like the UMCA's agenda, then don't join or quit.
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Old 02-12-08, 10:46 AM   #11
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Prior to contacting our attorney, I'm going to review this with the Board. Legal expenses are becoming a serious issue and threaten to endanger our ability to support the programs and services our members expect from the organization. If we are going to be following the road of litigation, I must have the full knowledge and support of the elected officers.
Sounds like my friend's x-wifes argument about him hiring a lawyer when she accused him of child molestation (she was a wacko by the way and ended up doing prison time for leaving a baby in a car to die on a summers day a few years later). She and her family said he was taking food out of his childrens mouths by spending the money on a lawyer (she had the kids) since she would have to get one too.
On a side note to damn the press they reported my friend as having molested the kids ignoring the fact the charges turned out baseless in their zeal to dig up dirt when doing the story on the baby.

I guess there really is no point to this other than both guilty and innocent people need lawyers and that you should get your facts straight before making accusations (which it sounds like the founders have).

In organizations with low percentage of eligible voters voting though how can it be fair at all in the end?
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Old 02-12-08, 12:02 PM   #12
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I do wish that it get straightened out, whatever is eating at the organization. I sound pretty negative in my previous post - but I've chatted with people on both 'sides' last winter and was lobbied pretty hard by a few upper management types to essentially pipe down with my questions. I didn't mean to incite - but I did want to know what the hell was going on.

Anyway, RAAM and the UMCA will do fine without me worrying about it anymore.
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