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

Angel at geeks@bikemonkey.net

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!


Heather Pugh, Event and Administrative Assistant

Back in 2006, Heather found her way from a very swampy Florida to the big and beautiful California, and promptly began racing cyclocross and mountain bikes. Heather has been working side-by-side with her fiance, Kurt Wolfgang, since 2013 to help grow and develop the San Francisco Composite team. She believes that cycling has the potential for youth and adults to explore not only their internal challenges and feats but also the workings of the woods and the outside world.


Alexander Price, President


Alexander Price was elected to the board in July of 2010. Born in New Zealand, he moved to Bay Area in the early 80s, where he lived commuted by bike to High School via the trails on Mt Tam. Alexander graduated and returned to Marin from the University of Arizona with a BS in Management Information Systems (MIS) and a minor in Film and Sound Design. Professionally, Alexander is a technology leader and enjoys solving problems and helping others. Currently, he works for VMware in Palo Alto as a Director of Architecture and Infrastructure Services. He became engaged with the league in 2006 and founded the Branson High School mountain bike team where he spent 4 years as the team’s head coach. Alexander is a father, cyclist, and sailor. When not in the office you can find him on his mountain bike somewhere in Marin.”

Jennifer Sanders, Vice 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).

Jon Francis, Rules Committee Chair


Jon grew up in the Sonoma Valley, where he traveled the network of farm roads on classic bikes like a green Schwinn Stingray and red Schwinn Varsity. While studying Electrical Engineering at CU Boulder, he relieved stress by road riding in the eastern plains and Rocky Mountain foothills. Back in the Bay Area, he acquired his first Stumpjumper in 1994 and with it a love of hill climbs, setting out from his Inner Richmond flat to tackle Mt. Tam or find more circuitous routes to the SOMA studio where he worked as a film and video editor. Becoming a husband and father of two, and forming Idle Hands Studio, a Marin-based animation company, put a long hiatus in his riding. Then in 2010 he was conscripted as a ride leader for the San Rafael Bike Dawgs, and was handed the keys to the team in 2011. In 4+ years as head coach he’s discovered many things, not the least of which is that happiness comes from helping others, and no amount of time spent helping kids is ever wasted. Joining the NorCal rules committee in 2013, and the NorCal Board in 2014, he’s eager to help bring high school cycling to young bikers whose schools still don’t have teams, and ensure that all high school riders have a safe, fair, productive, and fun environment to become better cyclists, racers, and people.

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.








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