PETALUMA, CA.- The NorCal High School Cycling League, the first high school cycling League in the United States, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the launch of a new middle school program, a new logo, and expansion of it’s reach in NorCal to five regions. To fully embrace the new middle school program, the NorCal League is also changing its full name from the NorCal High School Cycling League to the NorCal Interscholastic Cycling League.
Since 2001 the NorCal League has been at the forefront of development of high school mountain bike teams in California, and is proud to be the model from which founder Matt Fritzinger created NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. The impact from Fritzinger’s seminal efforts on the sport is unparalleled. Arguably, no other individual’s efforts have resulted in more teenagers learning to ride, or energized more adults to complete training to become licensed coaches to form and coach cycling teams at high schools. Over the past 20 years the NorCal League has continued to grow at a steady pace, and now serves over 2500 student-athletes, 1200 volunteer coaches, and over 100 high school mountain bike teams.
While the 2021 race season has been impacted by the covid-19 pandemic, the NorCal League has been able to keep it’s doors open for teams to hold safe, socially distanced practices, and the League has recently announced plans to host a few small race events this spring. The League is grateful that their student-athletes are allowed to ride in their team pods this year, and looks forward to a robust 2022 season full of health, fun, growth, and the return to a full season of cross country mountain bike riding and racing.
NorCal League Executive Director Vanessa Hauswald states, “We are thrilled to be celebrating our 20th anniversary with a robust roll out of plans that will greatly expand the reach, both geographically and demographically, of NorCal League programs to get more kids on bikes. By dividing Northern California into five regions, we can effectively swing the door wide open to all NorCal teens who want to learn how to ride and race bikes, in an inclusive and fun environment. This is a big moment for us; we’re on the edge of another big wave of growth and we couldn’t be more stoked about it.”
The five regions that the League now covers are the Repack, Capitol, Redwood, Central, and East Bay Regions; each one of these regions will have their own race series in 2022 and beyond. “It’s amazing how far the NorCal League has come in 20 years! From a scrappy group of passionate volunteers back in the early days to the current powerhouse team leading the NorCal League, the vision remains solid: to enable every teenager the opportunity to build strong body, mind, and character through mountain biking on a team recognized by one’s school. Congratulations to all who continue to pursue this dream!”- says NorCal League Founding Board Member and Berkeley High Coach, Austin McInerny.
For more information about the growth and evolution of the NorCal Interscholastic Cycling League, please visit www.norcalmtb.org, follow @norcalleague on social media, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org