We build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling.


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.



We build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling. Core Values: Fun, Inclusivity, Equity, Respect, and Community.


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 Aja at aja@norcalmtb.org   Scoring or point questions, contact Robert at rpicard@norcalmtb.org
Rules, Questions, or Petitions, contact rules@norcalmtb.org   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.




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.

Jennifer Sanders

Upon discovering NorCal (~2010), an organization providing community, connection, opportunities to develop skills, leadership and confidence based on high school mountain biking based on a program and platform of teams, racing, outdoor adventures and community events, Jennifer discovered her “community.” Benefitting from a similar organization while attending high school (Sea Scouts at Berkeley High, as NorCal and NICA didn’t exist) Jennifer was on the lookout for opportunities to give back, pay forward, and make a similar impact in students’ lives and growth. She started coaching (Redwood High) and joined the Board (in 2011) enjoys working directly with riders as well as with the Board. Jennifer’s passion for cycling started in high school, expanded to mountain biking while attending college at San Luis Obispo, and continues to grow. She’s raced xc and downhill (as amateur) and now joining the gravel biking revolution – she loves bringing her skills and coaching to the riders (and learning from them!). An attorney (Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley) Jennifer started her career at at a large firm, and has worked in Software and Tech for over 15 years. She is currently an attorney at Accenture, providing legal support for the Products, Emerging Tech and Artificial Intelligence groups. Please feel free to reach out to her for any questions or to get more information about NorCal.

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!).

Debbie Bloomquist

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. 




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