Attendence to open communication channels between UMCA and SaveUMCA

March 15th, 2008 at 11:53 AM
Dear UMCA government and all others whom this may concern,

I got forwarded e-mails from Fred Boethling from several members saying that the UMCA members like me doesn’t know all the facts, all the UMCA member’s questions are already addressed, and RAAM have done nothing wrong but to step in and save the race.
I see that I need to be allowed to list the issues that still need to be addressed. The UMCA members do expect UMCA to address each one of them so we can be clearer what is going on.

1) Fact: On page 24 of the Sept-Oct 2007 UMCA magazine, the executive committee met to make amendments to the UMCA Bylaws. The UMCA member’s non-elected Fred Boethling is present, but none of the other non-executive Board members were. I have been asking UMCA about the details of this one and even gave a multiply choice option to help save UMCA time answering the question. Please answer my questions (such as in the Feb 17th e-mail) relating this.

2) Fact: Fred Boethling is wearing all the hats as in this blog post:
I got all of these facts from the Nov-Dec 2006 and Sept-Oct 2007 UMCA magazines as well as Lee’s e-mail posted in a different blog post. If UMCA and RAAM will be separate organizations like stated in the Nov-Dec 2006 magazine, doesn’t this wearing of hats look a little too much? That’s my opinion, but supported by these facts. Please address the roles of these hats providing what some feared as a conflict of interests in UMCA's services.

3) Fact: Marino sent in the RAAM Report and is anxiously waiting for answers the last three months. I publicly asked his questions in a few of my letters—even in the multiply choice option--for him and didn’t get any answers either. Please answer these questions now if they are already addressed like Boethling said.

4) Fact: One of the things in Marino’s RAAM Report was concerning the lawsuits. As you all see now, it is already happening from the RAAM end and if we carry on with this lawsuit, UMCA will very likely be involuntarily dragged along with this and no one will like this. It’s still a fact that this lawsuit threat proved the concerns of the UMCA-RAAM partnership. What will happen when a RAAM rider sues RAAM? Please answer if this is already addressed after all.

5) Fact: Former UMCA Board of Director Lee Mitchell said the only paying UMCA officer John Hughes with invent in RAAM LLC and Jeff Stephens of RAAM put together a campaigning letter for the six Hughes wanted elected. Three of these elected people are then given executive rankings within weeks. (Opinion: This does all sounds odd.) Fact: Instead of an independent group of people like suggested by many, almost half of the UMCA Board members voted on this issue and overturned the complaints. Yet, UMCA set up an election committee to address the problems of the last election. This does prove that the last election was not done right. Please explain why the having the recommend of the independent party reviewing the complaints was turned down.

6) UMCA’s opinion: There was aggressive campaigning on the part of some UMCA members. Fact: Seana Hogan sent in an ad she would pay for herself to the UMCA magazine in February 2007 and this was not published out of fairness to all candidates. This however didn’t stop her from e-mailing the thing to UMCA members. If you read the ad with dispassionate, you will see that it is asking the UMCA members to vote, but it doesn’t say which candidates. This was the only “aggressive” thing known. And it’s still a fact that UMCA’s government itself was being involved in the last election by sending out the campaigning letter on a timely base and never giving the other 12 candidates the same resource a few requested after the letter came out. Opinion: UMCA’s government itself is clearly the more aggressive one in the last election and it’s disturbing to be turning down Marino’s personal money for redoing the election in a fair way. What is UMCA afraid of?
Seana’s turned down ad:

7) Fact: Bill Palmer’s opening sentence in his 150-word limit candidate statement was removed by someone putting together the UMCA magazine. This sentence was confirmed as saying “Thank you Lee ‘Fuzzy’ Mitchell for nominating me to run for the UMCA Board of Directors.” Bill Palmer already sent the printed out copy of his e-mail to everybody requesting for it. UMCA was asked for their copy of Bill Palmer’s candidate statement to prove that they didn’t get the same one Palmer gave to other UMCA members. Please come out and show UMCA's evidence. Do this by printing out Palmer’s e-mail and send it to the people who requested this. Only then we can be in the clear.

8) Fact: Not all UMCA members are able to vote in the last election because of the last-minute rule requiring all UMCA members to sign the wavier to not sue. There is nothing in the Bylaws stating this. Why is UMCA all the sudden doing this? Please explain for once and all.

9) Fact: There are still things in the financial report we need clearing up.
This is not a joke. Please step up the effect because there are UMCA members knowing the economy, who will like to see more complete reports than the 2003-2005 ones. (And I do hope you are indeed going to publish the 2006 and 2007 financial reports as I asked in one of my letters two months ago.)

10) Fact: A non-UMCA member, Joe Jamison, was elected to the Board of Director then made President. We asked Joe and others many times to explain to all UMCA members because it’s us who owns UMCA. All we publicly know right now is that Joe either was called back when he won the election or he unannouncingly came back within days after publicly announcing he withdrew his membership and dropped out from the race. It’s a must to please explain to all UMCA members once and for all. (Opinion: Because it’s indeed a poor UMCA image as it is right now.)

11) Fact: The May 2007 election was delayed for reasons I couldn’t find by reading all of the posts on the old topica between Aug 2006 to May 2007 list at least five times. Why was this election delayed? The best answer I got was because of working on the RAAM purchase. Is this really correct? If so, then please explain because the story told by some Board members on topica, such as Joe Jamison, said they were under the impress that it was an “emergency” purchase of RAAM late in November.

12) Fact: Former Board of Director, Anna Catharina ‘Cat’ Berge, showed me an e-mail from Friday, October 27th, 2006 at 12:40:49 PM. All of the active Board members who served at this date should had got this letter from John Hughes relating the RAAM involvement. Those on the Board back at this time should review this e-mail if you don’t believe me that it’s in fact a lie to the entire Board of Directors about RAAM sale itself being negotiated. We do know Hughes is involved in having UMCA purchase the RAAM title shortly after the 2006 RAAM ended as stated by Hughes himself in Greg Pressler’s article (link below.) UMCA need to please get this one out in the clear because what UMCA members could dug up from the evidence out there clearly doesn’t smell right.

13) Fact: I suggest you to ask Jim Pitre if you won’t believe the interested Guus Moonen and Chris Kostman would buy RAAM if they were given the chance. Then there were other people interested too, but no one apart from those “inside the circle” knew RAAM was for sale. If it was saving RAAM, please explain why the sale was not made public. (Opinion: When the sale was not public, it was not saving RAAM. It was taking away what others were interested in buying.) Fact again, the UMCA members never knew UMCA got the RAAM title until the letter of intent was signed on November 24th, 2006.

14) Fact: The RAAM sale to UMCA was a deal on November 24th, 2006. The Board “voted” on December 3rd, 2006 and it was NOT unanimous. Cat Berge immediately resigned in protest. Cindi Staiger didn’t vote. George Thomas didn’t attend the meeting then later resigned using the “other” reasons. (I do in fact know his real reasons, but I respect his wishes to be out and away from all of this.) We have good reasons to question this timeline and we still need for you to come in the clear about it. Please explain what these facts really meant.

I’ll try to be quiet for a few weeks while you try to improve the communication of all these facts I could fish up from only God knows how many sources I checked and confirmed before putting them up on blog. As you may see now, some UMCA members have reasons to be frustrated over getting no answers.

Yes, I do want this disagreement to end as much as anyone else does. I hope you appreciate this outline of all the evidences publicly out there as your guideline. Again, I am the messenger and I don’t come to destroy. Like I said many times before, I come in peace, but with the firmness that UMCA really needs to communicate back and for the Board to take this more seriously. I have done nothing wrong.

Thank you for your time,


Hi Mavis,

First and foremost l would like to make it perfectly clear that what I am about to say is MY personal opinion and not ANYBODY else's, I am not a voice for anybody else! It is also not the UMCA's opinion or standpoint, and I am not speaking as UMCA Vice-President, I am speaking as me. As far as I am concerned this can be on or off record, I don't really care as all I am going to do is state facts and tell you my opinion.

I would also like to let you know that I am not trying to be rude or impolite, as in the past it has been known for people to take offence to my candidness, and I have been known to be blunt and to the point. I will try to adhere to the code of conduct I have signed, while being as truthful , honest and open to you as I am able within these constraints.

Firstly, I can't understand most of what you're talking about, most of it is double dutch. I teach kids from the ages of 5 - 18 and am used to deciphering twaddle, but boy, some of this has got me beaten!

Some examples :
- What is a "violate" word?
What is a "multiply choice"?
"Please address the roles of these hats" ??!!
"Why having the recommend"?
"Out in the clear" ?
"UMCA members could dug up" ??

I could go on and on and on like you seem to do, but I won't, but, lastly, your final paragraph.

Forgetting the war analogy, the "I come in peace" bit, "I don't come to destroy". Did you get that from a 1950's UFO B-Movie? It sounds like a badly crafted speech from invading aliens! Hahaha

Anyway, you say that you are only a voice for other members and that you are being used as a mouthpiece for their opinions. Do these other people mind that you're making them look like a bunch of fools? Why do they wish to look foolish? I'm sure some of them have very good reputations, why would they want sully that by making themselves look stupid?

Anyway, I must go now and put on another hat with one of it's different roles, and cook lunch, once i've got the recommend of my wife and it's all out in the clear what we are going to have. Please don't be violate anymore, you never know what I could dug up.

All the best.
Hoppo [Chris Hopkinson]

PS. I shall have a bottle of wine with lunch and a few beers after and then i'll read your e-mail again to see if it makes more sense. If it does then i'll get back to you......................but don't hold your breath!


Once again you demonstrate what a completely rude, clueless, and useless waste of space on the planet you are, not to mention an embarrassment to the UMCA.

Mavis is deaf and mute. Surely you know that. Therefore her use of language is not perfect. Perhaps you want to factor that into your reading of her emails, not to mention the way in which you respond to her.

You may speak "the Queen's English," but 100% of what you communicate is "twaddle."

You disgust me.

Chris Kostman

Hey stop and look at what is going on.

From my look at the Emails flying back and forth, a section of the UMCA wants to kill the UMCA. The UMCA board is either “quite” or doesn’t respond directly to the growingly “obtuse” questions and statements.

All this infighting is over RAAM. RAAM may never make any “real” money (I will never make $100,000/yr on the $2000 “gift”) so what is the big deal? Many clubs put on races and control the trademarks. Porsche Club of America puts on races and controls Trade Marks. Hence UMCA is not in an unusual position.

All this infighting is counter productive to the functioning of the UMCA. The club is small (1800 members) and will get smaller if this continues. RAAM and other events we all enjoy may be at risk.

Please think about how to close the gap so that we can get on with cycling.

Walt Chapman

BTW->if I get “flamed” these Emails go into “junk” so please be nice.


You're right, Walter: a section of the UMCA - mostly BoD members and RAAM staff - is trying to kill the UMCA. That's why some people are trying to save it. RAAM's a separate issue: it should sink or swim based on its own merits. But the UMCA members' dues shouldn't be propping it up, nor should the UMCA's lone paid employee spend most of his time propping it up. Oh that's right, he's not a paid employee anymore as his contract is expired.
[Chris Kostman]


The "big deal," aside from a number of other issues, is that the purchase of RAAM was violation of the UMCA Constitution and may have violated tax laws, as tax deductible contributions to the UMCA, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, went to fund a for profit entity, RAAM. In addition to that, the transaction was kept a secret from even board members until the last minute, and even now critical documents related to the transaction have not been disclosed to board members, who have asked for them and have an absolute right as board members to see them. So, we have a secret deal in violation of the UMCA Constitution, tax laws, and kept a secret from board members, who have the highest legal responsibility for the UMCA. No big deal?

Doug Sloan
Fresno, CA

Constitution of the UltraMarathon Cycling Association, Inc.
RAAM and RAAM Qualifiers

"The Race Across AMerica (RAAM) and the UMCA are legally separate organizations. The Race Across AMerica (RAAM) is owned by an independent event organizer. The UMCA sanctions RAAM to ensure the athletic integrity of the race; however, the UMCA is not responsible for RAAM financially nor for the actions of the RAAM director(s). The RAAM Race Director serves as an ex officio member of the UMCA's Board of Directors."


Hi Chris [Kostman],

Nice to hear from you again.

I take it from your e-mail then that you, your friends, and compatriots are allowed to put whatever rubbish they want in e-mails, press releases etc, be it falsehoods, exaggerations or just plain garbage, but I am not allowed an opinion. That's fair isn't it?!

Nice to see that you haven't changed.

Hoppo [Chris Hopkinson]

PS. You also disgust me, nice to see we agree on something.


There's a huge difference between discussions of the UMCA and your personal attack against Mavis. If you don't get that, you have zero credibility.

Doug [Sloan]


Thanks Doug, Pick on the one thing which isn't true and make a big deal of it. It was not a personal attack. Thanks for proving what I said in my previous e-mail to be 100% correct.

Hoppo [Chris Hopkinson]


Hi Walter,

I feel that I was libelled and slandered because I dared to express an opinion. I'd like to make two things clear: (1) Losing the RAAM PR account was no big deal to me, other than it ended an enjoyable working relationship with Jim Pitre and Lon Haldeman (but that was coming to an end anyway). I run a busy PR company and we had no shortage of other accounts. So, after three great years with RAAM I was happy to move on. (2) I am not interested in taking a seat on the UMCA board. I've served on sporting governing bodies before and I'll happily serve as an advisor, as I did to John Hughes in 2005/6, but I don't have a big appetite for Board work.

If RAAM can make a profit and its investors get rich, I'm all for that as long as conditions for the athletes and event staff don't decline.So why did I speak up?

Well, as both a journalist and an organizer I've looked closely at many sporting bodies over the years, and I have a university degree in the subject of sports management. I gradually perceived serious problems within the UMCA. Over the years, in my view, it had slipped into a habit of overly centralized control, with too much power in the hands of the GM. The UMCA made some egregious errors such as the RAAM purchase which as we all know was illegal. When people picked up on these errors I thought there should have been several resignations, but there weren't. That's what offended me. I then learned that a great deal of the UMCA's cohesiveness is based on personal loyalty, rather than business ethics and performance. The alarm bells started ringing and I diverted my attention to more promising endeavours.

With more than 20 years as a professional working around the sport of cycling, including close relationships with the IOC and UCI, and most of the major cycling publications in the world, I felt I could have offered the UMCA something, and I still can. But I won't work with the current UMCA leadership.

Respectfully yours,
Paul Skilbeck


Chris, [Hopkinson]

I second Chris K[ostman]'s disgust. Those remarks were in very poor taste, and in fact you do yourself a disservice. Are you aware that Mavis is highly intelligent? In fact, soon you will be referring to her as Dr. Mavis Irwin as she is near completion of her PhD. I hope you are not similarly unaware of the potential of the children you teach.

Here's a funny thought in the context of your remarks: While you are teaching elementary school students, she will be teaching university students!

You wrote: >why would they want sully that...

Since you are such an ardent pedant you might wish to be aware of a problem with your own grammar. You would have correctly written 'to sully' when using the infinitive.

Paul Skilbeck


Excellent Paul,

Well spotted.

As you probably aren't aware I don't only teach elementary school kids, I teach the full age range. I have three diplomas with letters after my name, two with honours. Last week I gave a masterclass at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. I'm afraid your attempts to belittle my education are wasted!

I hope I'm not unaware of the potential of my pupils as well Paul as I also teach special needs, deaf, blind, autistic. I haven't seemed to have had any problems yet though.

Here's a funny thought: If Mavis is that clever then she obviously must realize your group are using her and her disability to their advantage, and she must be a willing player in your little game!

Hoppo [Chris Hopkinson]



The only contact I've had with Mavis since March last year was when I saw her at the Furnace Creek 508 in October. I am not aware of any group that has been organized in opposition to the UMCA since early last year. Her blog does, however, represent views that I hold.

Your allegation that I am exploiting Mavis to my advantage has no basis in fact. Your allegation is simply ridiculous. Pure twaddle, to use your words. What advantage exactly would I derive from the UMCA being run in accordance to its bylaws and constitutional premises? And should the existing directors be replaced, as I believe all should be with immediate effect, I have stated that I am not interested in a position on the UMCA board. As for even organization, I know that even the most successful organizer, Chris Kostman, is not making more than a reasonable living from the sport, so I don't have a financial motivation to bring down the UMCA/RAAM and replace them with my own organization.

Please explain to the group exactly what advantage you were you referring to?

Paul [Skilbeck]



My English is imperfect, but I am not going to become an English professor. Biology is my thing and a good biologist is the one who do careful research. I did my homework and it's a fact. There is nothing false in my public reports and they all are backed up by the evidence out there. I honestly couldn't find any evidence that would tell me that I was wrong. As a biologist, I am more than willing to be wrong and I won't have a problem writing an apology to be published in the UMCA magazine and posted on the UMCA website, but this won't happen if there is no communication about the actions on hand.

No one took advantage of my disablities. I will be mad when someone does and I already gave Kostman and Paul the bricks over the heads. Trust me. I even forced people to take my money instead of letting me into museums for free, saying it's so unfair. I hate the deaf community and never idenified myself as a deaf person. The ultracycling community is where I feel more at home and I am willing to fight for what some UMCA members and I have reasons to believe in: UMCA represents all ultracycling events. RAAM represents RAAM. As far as the evidence available out there, RAAM do seems to influence UMCA's business interests and this is a serious concern. Not answering some of the posted questions and other pointers for months further indirect something is not quite right.

Everything I do is by my own drive. I self-volunteered to be the spokeperson, but I can easily give it to someone else.

Now, please quit personal attacking each others and think about the actions on hand. We need to commuincate. I gave the specific details out of goodwill to communicate.

Mavis [Irwin]

P.S. Hoppo, if you do teach deaf, blind, etc. you would know that my English skills is in the top 1% for the deaf population even through I didn't read and write until I was 14 years old. Many educators knowing the English skills of deaf people thought I used to have hearing when I was little because of my good (but still imperfect) English. Well, I am deaf since birth.I worked very hard on my English and always will work hard at it. You may have worded your feedback poorly, but I am not insulted at all and actually appreciated the feedback.

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