Why we do what we do, and why we love it!


Have a question, just wanna say hi, click here to find out how.


We’re a close knit team. Learn more about each of us here.


Behind every good team is a wonderful Board.


We can’t thank these organizations enough for their financial support of the league.      


NICA Sponsors support NICA and therefore all the leagues, via a variety of resources including consulting, product and resources donation.


Either through product or raw manpower, these organizations are part of the oil that keep the machine going.



The NorCal High School Cycling League was organized in 2001 to provide quality mountain biking programs for students in grades 9 to 12. Regardless of ability level, the NorCal League is committed to providing a positive experience for all student-athletes, and helping them to create strong body, mind and character through the sport of cycling.


Sponsorships, partners and 501(c)3 info, contact

Vanessa at vanessa@norcalmtb.org

Phone: 707-548-8077


League Programs, contact

Robert Ramirez at robert@norcalmtb.org

Race and Event Registration, contact

Heather at hp@norcalmtb.org


Scoring or point questions, contact

Robert at rpicard@norcalmtb.org

Rules, Questions, or Petitions, contact



NICA Coach Licensing, contact

Julia at julia@nationalmtb.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 eagerly support the growth and development of the sport.

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 to get more kids on bikes!

Erica Gorden, Administrative Assistant

Erica Gorden is a full-time student at SRJC 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.














Jennifer Sanders, President


Jennifer has been road and mountain biking for over 20 years and during her few years racing has made podium in both downhill and cross-country races (Downieville), as well as in Xterra triathlons.    An alumni of Berkeley High School (pre- any mountain biking teams) she believes NorCal/ NICA are a great organization and opportunity for the students.    She lives in San Francisco where she is an attorney for Nickelodeon’s online games division focusing on intellectual property and privacy (she has also worked for  Sun Microsystems, Veritas Inc., BEA Systems, and Oracle).   Last summer’s cycling adventure was a week long trip downhilling in Morzine (Switzerland and France) and the previous year a week cycling along the Tour de France.

Hans Kellner


Hans Kellner grew up in central New York, hopped over to Arizona for high school and college, and then to the San Francisco Bay Area. He calls these moves the ‘too cold’, ‘too hot’, and ‘just right’ transitions. It was in Arizona he began mountain biking and then racing. He was an early member of ORBA (Off Road Bicyclist of Arizona) and later NORBA. A job opportunity in Marin County brought him to California and to the birthplace of mountain biking. Since then he has excelled in his work life as well as his cycling. Around 2007 he was asked by friends involved with the Berkeley High MTB team to assist in coaching. Thus began the still ongoing commitment to being an assistant coach with the team. Besides cycling, Hans also enjoys taking photographs, creating short films, trying new foods, and challenging himself by learning new things (ask him about becoming a CNC Shop Master).

Joe Floren

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 the trails in the forest behind 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. Her now-husband Brian (who provides neutral support at all NorCal races) introduced her to the League over 5 years ago, and ever since then Christina has been a member of the race crew and a coach at the winter clinics. An avid mountain biker and less-avid road cyclist, she lives with Brian and their pets in Fairfax, where she can’t believe she gets to ride the same famous trails (and meet the same famous founders of mountain biking!) she read about in high school. Along with the NorCal League, Christina provides volunteer science and engineering support to a range of local non-profits, including the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Marin Conservation League, and the Tamalpais Lands Collaborative.

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 at Treasurer.

Charlie Cronk

Charlie began his love affair with the bike at age 7 with his neighborhood’s heavily contested  wheelie and skid championships. Growing up in Wisconsin afforded a lot of space for riding a bike, and the Stingray was both an on-road and off-road tool. Moving to California opened up a lot of opportunities both personally and professionally – getting married, meeting cool people, the advent of the mountain bike and the beginning of a career in apparel, which continues to this day. After founding a premier mountain bike clothing company, he continues to work with many of the best brands in the cycling world. His kids involved him in the world of NorCal for 7 years via the reigning California State Champions, the Sir Francis Drake Pirates. It was through this experience he came to understand not only the radness of NICA and NorCal racing, but also the value it adds to a wide range of kids and adult lives. Though nothing even close to NICA existed, nor did mountain bikes for that matter, he’s pretty sure he would have signed up if there’d been either when he was in high school (maybe it did, but there was no internet so it couldn’t be looked up!).












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