Sponsorships, partners and 501(c)3 info, contact Vanessa at firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 707-548-8077
League Programs, contact Robert Ramirez at 925-768-5180 cell or email@example.com
Scoring or point questions, contact Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa Hauswald, Executive Director
Vanessa has directed the NorCal League since 2010 and has also served as a volunteer, board member and coach for the organization. A native Californian, she spent many years as a high school teacher before taking over as League Director, when the NorCal model burgeoned into a national movement. Vanessa is a proud cancer survivor, and Juliana Bicycles ambassador, and uses her role and life experience to support the growth and development of the sport eagerly.
Robert Ramirez, Programs Director
Robert joined the NorCal High School Cycling League in 2012. He brings a great deal of management experience to the NorCal Cycling League. His role as a Program Director is to produce outstanding educational and athletic mountain bike programs for every student-athlete, team director, coach, and volunteer. Robert’s passion for his work has motivated him to find more ways to build urban participation in the sport. There’s a rumor that he never sleeps because he’s always working getting more kids on bikes!
Erica Gorden, Chief Technical Unicorn
Erica Gorden is a full-time student and a part-time employee with the League. When she is not studying or working and volunteering at local events like Rivertown Revival, she spends her time creating quilted masterpieces. She enjoys working NorCal League events and putting her energy into helping to create community. Erica resides in Rohnert Park, and she revels in the greenery and rolling hills of Sonoma County.
Hailey Childress, Program Production Assistant
Hailey first joined the NorCal League with the Race Crew for the race season of 2019 and has since moved into the position of Program Production Assistant. As a Program Production Assistant she will be involved with camps, summits, Grit, and helping to create new programs for the league.
Hailey found a love for mountain biking after relocating to Sonoma County and discovering all of the beauty and adventure that Annadel State Park has to offer. Once discovering the sport of mountain biking, she quickly dove into it with full force and which in turn lead to the discovery of her passion and sharing that passion with others through several outlets such as local volunteering and the NorCal league. You’ll often hear her say, “Any day on a bike is a great day.” Hailey loves to share this sport with the people that surround her and beyond. “Mountain biking changed my life and if I can help someone else experience that positive change and the opportunities that this sport offers, then I feel I am helping to make a difference in this world. It’s amazing the things you’ll accomplish with two wheels on dirt powered by your own physical and mental strength.”
Matt Adams, President
Matt grew up in Marin County, falling in love with mountain biking on the trails of Mt Tam. After graduating from San Rafael High in 1994, he attended Cal Poly SLO and discovered the joy and suffering of racing. That passion for bike racing led him to take racing more seriously after college. He took a job at Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito to further support his goals and it tuned out that he was better at selling bikes than racing them. After “retiring” from pursuing a racing career in 2001, he began his career at Mike’s. Today he is the President of the company and one of three owners. While running the business took priority over racing, he caught the bug again in 2010 with the formation of Team Mike’s Bikes. This time it was road racing that fueled his addiction and he achieved more success than he ever expected out of his “hobby”. As the President of Mike’s, he has lead the effort to support the NorCal league however he and his company could. With two girls at home in Fairfax, the NorCal league holds a special place in his heart and hopefully he’s raising two future racers for Drake. In 2018, he was asked to join the board and he gladly accepted and most recently has accepted the role of President of the Board.
Joe Floren was raised and went to college in San Diego County, and decided to stay in the Bay Area after moving to San Francisco for law school in 1990. He grew up across the street from a hilly open space but had only a heavy “fake BMX bike” as a kid, which he never learned to ride well on dirt (this was the pre-MTB era). During school he rode bikes regularly for commuting, then rediscovered cycling when his son began riding with a NorCal team. Joe quickly realized that mountain biking is “as much fun as skiing,” refreshes the mind, and is a terrific way to get or stay in shape. Before long Joe was racing at amateur events across Northern California. He became an assistant coach on his son’s team and eventually helped organize its board of directors and leadership structure. Joe believes mountain biking is one of the best ways for kids to build self-confidence and learn the power of hard work, to respect others, and to love the great outdoors. He joined the League’s Board in 2017. When not riding his bike or with his family, Joe can usually be found behind a desk or in court practicing securities litigation as a partner of the Morgan Lewis law firm.
Christina Toms, Secretary
Christina is an environmental engineer with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, where she specializes in the protection and restoration of creeks, wetlands, and estuaries. A native of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, she first learned about the natural world through long bike rides and horseback rides on forest trails near her childhood home. After earning a BS in Biological Resources Engineering from the University of Maryland, she moved cross-country to earn an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Christina has volunteered for NorCal since 2011, when her now-husband Brian (who provides neutral support at all NorCal races) introduced her to the League. Christina is also a director of the California Native Plant Society, and provides volunteer science and engineering support to a range of cycling and environmental non-profits in the North Bay. She lives with Brian, their daughter Sierra Grace, and their pets in Santa Rosa, CA.
Wayne Best, Treasurer
Wayne is 4th generation Californian living in San Rafael and a 1986 graduate of Redwood HS. He ran cross country and track at Redwood. Wayne would have been on the mountain biking team if there was a team then. Wayne graduated from Cal Poly SLO with a BS in Economics and a concentration in Accounting. He was earned is CPA and CPF credentials. Wayne currently works for Marin Wealth Advisors as a Financial Advisor. The highlights of Wayne athletic career are mountain biking wins at Sea Otter, Boggs 8 hour, and Howell Mtn; plus a podium finish at the x-c Nationals. Other highlights include 3 Dipsea black shirts, 2nd at the Double Dipsea, 30th at the x-c running nationals, and 7th at the Xterra Triathlon Nationals. Wayne likes giving back by volunteering to ride with Redwood and, as of October 2016, serve on the NorCal League’s board as Treasurer.
Deb Bloomquist is the Executive Director of the Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance (REMBA) where she works with a passionate group of mountain bikers who advocate for trail access and build trails throughout Napa, Lake and Sonoma counties. Deb has always been an outdoor enthusiast but was introduced to the world of mountain biking about 10 years ago while living in Arizona. She first learned about the NorCal League when approached by Middletown High School students who wanted to start a mountain bike team. She was assistant coach to the team for two years before stepping down to focus on MTB advocacy and trail building which included organizing youth trail building days. She still volunteers with the team during race season. From the first introduction to the NorCal team and attending her first race, Deb knew the NorCal group was an organization she wanted to be more involved with. She currently lives in Cobb, CA with her son who’s entering his final year of high school and last year racing with the league. The NorCal League mission fits in with other organizations Deb is involved with such as Friends of Boggs Mountain, REMBA and Konocti Regional Trails. All organizations with a focus on trails and getting more people outside, especially kids.
As a kid growing up in Massachusetts, Jeff dreamed about riding his bike across the country. In 1984, with a group of 50 riders raising funds for Oxfam America to provide African famine relief, that dream came true. He met Melissa on that adventure and they have been riding bikes together ever since. With a move to California in 1990 followed by the arrival of their two boys, it was inevitable they would one day join the Salinas High School Cowboys mountain bike team. Over the next ten years Jeff served as ride leader, assistant coach, and eventually head coach. He has seen the rapid growth of the NorCal League and the opportunity it has provided for hundreds of Cowboy riders to use their bikes as a tool for personal growth, teamwork and good sportsmanship. Jeff currently serves as the executive director of the Sea Otter Classic Foundation and is a zero waste and sustainability consultant. As a NorCal board member, Jeff hopes to help the league continue to reduce its carbon footprint while supporting the mission to build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling.
A San Francisco native, industrial designer by training, and mountain biker by interest. Jake found mountain biking during a brief and often unsuccessful racing career at Middlebury College in Vermont. After moving back to the Bay Area in 2011, Jake started coaching, first with Redwood High School and then San Francisco Composite, as a way of giving back to the cycling community, exploring new trail networks, and working with Bay Area teens. Jake values mountain biking as an activity through which anyone can find appropriate challenges and build the skills to overcome them. Off the bike, Jake works as an industrial designer developing furniture, medical devices, and affordable voting systems for American elections.
Markham moved to California in 1999 from Telluride, Colorado, to start a career with Touchstone Climbing as its COO. He brought with him a passion for climbing and skiing, but after a few years of frequent drives to Yosemite Valley and Tahoe he sought recreation closer to home. He tried trail running and off-road triathlons. Trail running was hard on the knees and brought lots of ankle twists; off-road triathlons were just too damn hard. One day, his wife decided they should get road bikes to enjoy a shared activity. Markham reluctantly agreed, but he was enamored after their first ride. Cycling quickly replaced skiing and climbing as his main passion. He competed in road races while starting a family (not a good idea). In 2015, he decided to give mountain biking a shot and immediately entered the lottery for the Leadville 100. He didn’t get selected, but he qualified in the Tahoe Trail 100 (kilometers). He completed the LT100 and attained a coveted “under 9-hour belt buckle.” After that, he was hooked on mountain bike and gravel events. He also helped Matt Adams coach the White Hill Middle School Mountain Bike Club (in which both their daughters participated). Through cycling, Markham has discovered an incredible community of supportive, fun riders. Prior to joining the Norcal Cycling board, Markham served on the board of Bay Area Outdoor and Recreation Program (BORP), a nonprofit organization that advances the lives of people with physical disabilities through sports and recreational activities. He lives in San Anselmo with his wife, Joelle, and two kids, Isabelle and Joe.