The core staff of the Minnesota league are the men and women that make the league happen. They are come from various backgrounds, geographic locations and represent all key stakeholders. They are the eyes and ears of the organization and strive to provide the best opportunity to get and keep kids on bikes.

How does one become core staff?

They volunteer - a lot. Virtually all core staff members started as a race day volunteer or program volunteers and over time became a vital contributor.  They show up on time, they do the job that needs to get done (the fun ones, and the not-so-fun ones) and they help solve problems.  These are the folks that when an average person is ready to call it quits, they shout “WHAT NEXT?!”.  It’s not hard – but these things are important.

Above all, it is about culture. It takes long hours, dedication, teamwork, and an unwavering commitment to get kids on bikes and radiate the league mission.. We can teach the methods, but we can’t teach the culture. We spend a lot of time together and making sure that we keep a cohesive team with a positive chemistry is the key to our success.

Core Staff

This is a quick look at the Minnesota High School Cycling League Core Staff -

Get more details on individuals below!

Core Staff

Lutsen AdrianLutsen Adrian

Core Staff Member

Coming Soon!

Hi !  I am a . . . .

I have worked with the Minnesota League since . . .

My favorite thing about the race is . . . .

See you at the races!

Larry Atneosen

Accountant/Announcer

Hi ! I am a Fungi  ( A Fun Guy?)

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2016.

I have a Mountain Bike hobby, I am not a rider/racer myself, I am an interested volunteer

My favorite thing about the race is Meeting new people

See you at the races!

 

 

Todd Bauer

Photographer/Videographer

Hi ! I am a cyclist and photographer that enjoys making those two things come together for everyone to enjoy.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since it's first year in 2012.

My favorite thing about the race is the start of a race, tight single track, flowy open meadows, the grimaces on a climb, the expressions at the finish line both elated & defeated and above all the smiles & comradery shown by the athletes.

See you at the races!

Eileen Bendtsen

Volunteer Coordinator

Hi ! I am a parent who eagerly follows my kids into their passions and brings them along with mine. When we're not at mountain bike races, we are into baseball, alpine skiing\snowboarding, waterskiing, kayaking, camping and high-spirited-high-stakes family game nights.  

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2017.

My favorite thing about the race is student athletes developing lifelong skills while competing in a lifetime sport. I see athletes and parents living the mission and core values of the Minnesota High School Cycling League at every race. I'm in awe of the level of commitment to the sport, the league, teams and individual athletes.

#morekidsonbikes

See you at the races!

Chris Byer

 

Scoring

Hi ! I am a I am mom of a racer, mom of a musician, and wife of a racer. We are an active family often spotted at race courses around the state. When I’m not cheering on racers, I’m enjoying flute serenades from my daughter.   I calculate scoring for racers and teams on race day and throughout the season. In the MTB off-season, I can be found outdoors timing and scoring Nordic ski races.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2018.

I am a Parent of a Current/Former/Alumni Racer

My favorite thing about the race is Watching these kids grow, develop confidence, and make friends from schools around the state, brings me joy. My favorite motivational statement for racing: “Pain in temporary, results are online forever”.

See you at the races!

 

Nicole Butler

NICA GRiT Director

Hi ! I am a an avid mountain biker who is passionate about getting women and kids on bikes; I love being part of the process of someone discovering a new, healthy, lifelong activity and the confidence and overall well-being that comes from it.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2015.

My favorite thing about the race is the positive and supportive atmosphere!! No matter how fast someone is riding or what team they are on everyone is cheering each other on!!

See you at the races!

Tammy Coyne
Score Keeper

 Coming soon. . . . ..

Jason Czeskleba

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Race Announcer

Hi ! I am a HUGE fan of the Minnesota Mountain Biking League, NICA and everyone involved in bringing the world of mountain biking camaraderie, competition and community to middle schools and high schools all around the world that goes for the students and parents as well. We are all apart of an amazing group that will bring memories and friendships for a lifetime!

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2015.

My favorite thing about the race is Everything!!! From beginning to end, racers to non racers, volunteers to League employees... Seeing the team work and commitment that goes into every race and race day event by EVERYONE involved is an amazing thing. I am very proud to be a part of this community, confident enough to speak for everyone else as well in knowing they feel the same and bold enough to say if someone decided to join/volunteer/coach etc... they too would feel the same!

See you at the races!

Mary Drew*

Mary Drew

Registration, etc.

Hi ! I am a retired IT consultant - my kids are grown. They were athletes in their day, and I loved participating in their events. Volunteering with the league is great fun for me.  I love the excitement, the racers and the great outdoors.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2015.

My favorite thing about the race is seeing the racers with their teams in their colored jerseys, their focus on having a good race, their support of their team members, their comaraderie – and also the way the volunteers and work crews pitch in to get the job done. I love it!

See you at the races!

Dan Gilleece

Course Marshal Staff

Hi ! I am a bicycle hobbyist and enthusiastic league volunteer.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2014.

I am a Parent of a Current/Former/Alumni Racer,

My favorite thing about the race is the supportive and energetic atmosphere it provides for kids to challenge themselves.

See you at the races!

 

Emily Good

Referee

Hi ! I am a multi-hyphenate. I officiate bike races in all disciplines; I work as a lawyer; I teach law students at the U of MN; I volunteer doing wildlife rehab and I love to travel.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2018.

I am not a rider/racer myself

My favorite thing about the race is the enthusiasm athletes have for their teammates (and competitors!) and hearing the encouragement offered to all the athletes from the supporters.

See you at the races!

 

Libby Hurley*

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Founding Member

Libby Shea Hurley sits on the Executive Board of NICA and was a founding member of the Minnesota High School Cycling League.  She got into biking as more than just a past-time about many years ago when she joined the crew at Erik’s Bike Shop. When she arrived, there were six stores in the Twin Cities and upon her departure a few years back there were eighteen in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Not only was she instrumental in the success of retail store growth, she also led the interactive marketing design and development for the corporate and e-commerce site. In addition, she managed Erik’s sponsorship support for over 40 charities, foundations and community organizations. Libby is dedicated to ensuring that kids and teens have choices available when it comes to sports.

Chris Klein

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Infield Lead

Hi ! I am a Master Bike Builder at Quality Bicycle Products (QBP)

I have worked with the Minnesota League since since the beginning. I've helped at every race so far!

My favorite thing about the race is watching the kids get a little better every time they go out and race. I also like the way the kids support each other, not just the kids on their own teams.

See you at the races!

Josh Kleve*

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League Director and Co-Founder

 

Hi, I'm Josh Kleve, a co-founder of the Minnesota High School Cycling League, former MORC board member, founder and former head coach of the Chaska/Chanhassen Alpine Ski team and typical outdoors Minnesotain.

I was very fortune to have a friend get me involved in mountain biking racing at a young age and hope to provide that same opportunity to others. I don't always race - but I never stop biking.

During the day I work as a senior vice president of a software and application development company and hold a M.B.A. from St. Mary's University.

Krista Kleve

22 - 1

Sound, etc.

Hi ! I  am a Clinical Project Manager in the Medical Device industry and a 'retired' sound technician for the City of Bloomington, with various hobbies and a partner in adventure that keeps me busy. At the Minnesota League, you may recognize me flying by on a four wheeler or lugging around and setting up sound equipment. If not, perhaps you will recognize me by my playlist – care to guess what era I grew up in? I also help with registration, merchandise, in-field set-up and tear-down, keeping the monstrous trailer organized, transporting people or gear during races, scoring, and just about anything else that is needed during a race weekend.

I have been with the league since the first race in 2012.

My favorite thing about the race is My favorite thing about the races is getting to see first-hand the positive impact this sport is having on student athletes and their families. The camaraderie between riders, whether or not on the same team, has been truly impressive. It’s also a lot of fun working with the Core Staff and Volunteers, where I get to be outdoors and manage a serious workout, even without riding.

See you at the races!

Jackie Knight

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Do-er of things no one else wants to do.

Hi ! I am a manager of a commercial real estate company by day. I have no real affinity for kids or bikes, and I'm still not really sure how I wound up as a part of this amazing organization.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since it launched.

My favorite thing about the race is when something has gone wrong for a racer - maybe a mechanical issue on the course - and they still finish the course, on foot. That moment when everyone starts to see them, and gathers at the fence, and everyone - all ages, all teams - starts cheering them on...that's why I keep showing up to help.

See you at the races!

Bonnie Larson

Dirt School Director

Hi ! I am a lover of all things mountain biking!

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2013 as parent of a rider and volunteer.

I am/have been a NICA Licensed Coach, I am a Parent of a Current/Former/Alumni Racer, I have a Mountain Bike hobby, I am an interested volunteer

My favorite thing about the race is the fun! Everyone enjoys being outside on their bike and it's a great atmosphere for sharing a love of mountain biking!

See you at the races!

 

Ray Larson

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Social Media Manager

Hi ! I am a digital marketer with a mountain bike problem and a NICA Level 3 Coach for the Roseville Composite MTB Team.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2013.

I am/have been a NICA Licensed Coach, I am a Parent of a Current/Former/Alumni Racer, I Race Myself, I have a Mountain Bike hobby

My favorite thing about the race is the kids at the finish line: the camaraderie, the relief, the joy, the hugs, the high fives- it's AWESOME!

See you at the races!

 

Chris Oakley

Chris Oakley

Course Marshals

Hi ! I am a dad to a student athlete and work as a nurse, public safety diver and I am a complete hack at mountain biking.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since I have been Chief Course Marshal since 2016.

I am a Parent of a Current/Former/Alumni Racer, I have a Mountain Bike hobby, I am an interested volunteer

My favorite thing about the race is both the opportunity to help provide this amazing experience for the kids and the amazing people I have had the privilege of meeting and working with along the way.

See you at the races!

 

Kieran Oakley

Infield

 

 

 

Brett Reinbacher

brett_img_9080

Infield

Hi ! I am a Cycling enthusiast and advocate. College student studying for an Accounting degree. Employee at QBP in the Finance and Accounting department.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since The beginning!.

My favorite thing about the race is Watching the student athletes get better each race, and year. How appreciative and thankful the riders and their parents are towards the volunteers/coaches.

See you at the races!

Kara Schaefer and Henry Praska

IMG_0715

Timers

Hi ! We are passionate about encouraging youth to lead a healthy active lifestyle.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2013.

My favorite thing about the race is We love the community of people that is involved. We also enjoy watching the kids improve with each race and seeing how that impacts their self esteem. #Superfan

See you at the races!

Gary Sjoquist*

Gary S

Co-Founder, Board President

Hi ! I am a diehard mountain biker who began racing in 1990, haven't stopped yet, and was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2012.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since Josh Kleve came to me with the idea to launch a NICA league in MN in 2010.

My favorite thing about the races is the inclusive nature. All racers matter and know their efforts count.

See you at the races!
Note; Gary Sjoquist is the Advocacy Director for Quality Bicycle Products, the nation’s largest bicycle parts distributor. Gary has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1990, when he founded the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) to help build and maintain mountain bike trails in MN. He was also instrumental in helping develop the mountain bike trail system at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Northern Minnesota, and since 2005 has served as Series Director for the statewide Minnesota Mountain Bike Series, an 11-race regional series serving nearly 4,000 racers. A former high school English teacher who has coached baseball, soccer, hockey and volleyball, Gary is passionate about mountain biking and how it can enrich the lives of teenagers and their parents.

Jack Smith

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Race Day Operations

Hello! I am passionate about mountain biking and love the race day vibe. I strive to be a hard working team member and do my best to get #morekidsonbikes!

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2012. I started by helping cleanup after the Salem Hills race. .

My favorite thing about the race is is watching the athletes grow throughout the season and their years in school. The athletes learn so much about self reliance and sportsmanship. I truly think I have learned as much from them as they have from us. I've also built many bonds and relationships over the past few years and am grateful for everyday of it!

See you at the races!

Christina Spenser

Medical Director

Hi ! I am a avid mountain biker, pediatrician and supporter of kids on bikes.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2015.

I am/have been a NICA Licensed Coach, I Race Myself, I have a Mountain Bike hobby

My favorite thing about the race is Seeing the kids do more than they thought they could - whether it be a better finish position or completing a first race. So inspirational!

See you at the races!

 

Jeremiah VanBockern

Jeremiah

Course Setter

Hi ! I am a Rider always looking for somewhere new to ride! If you're not having fun riding, you're doing it wrong!

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2013.

My favorite thing about the races is the sense of achievement once you complete the race.

See you at the races!

Rich Van Sickle

Course Setter

Hi ! I am a dad, coach and volunteer.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2013.

My favorite thing about the race is the overwhelming pride and sense of accomplishment on the faces of the racers as they finish. The sportsmanship, cooperation and respect the racers give each other never ceases to amaze me.

See you at the races!

Tim Walsh

tim

NICA Chief Race Official

Hi ! I am a a bike fanatic and outdoor enthusiast since the days of balloon tires and army surplus canvas tents. Cycling is part of our family lifestyle. I am a 30-year cross country mountain bike racing veteran that still occasionally finds a spot on the podium and also an avid participant in triathlon, duathlon, marathon and XC skiing events. I have race officiating and management experience reflecting many athletic disciplines including numerous Para World Cup XC skiing and professional cycling events.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since since its inception in 2012, first as a volunteer and now as the Chief Race Official.

My favorite thing about the race is it's inclusiveness, allowing all athletes to compete at their own pace and have those efforts recognized. I am thrilled to be part of the high school mountain bicycling racing experience.

See you at the races!

Joel Woodward

Coach Dir? See Joel

Coaching Director

Hi ! I am a Cyclist, designer, nordic skier, Boundary waters canoeing dad.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since the first season.

My favorite thing about the race is seeing all the kids coming across the line, huge smiles.

See you at the races!

Owen Woodward

 

Skills Challenge

Charlie Zeilinger

Infield Setup

 Hi ! I am a cyclist for life! and a hard worker with a huge smile.

I have worked with the Minnesota League since 2013.

I Race Myself, I have a Mountain Bike hobby, I am an interested volunteer
My favorite thing about the race is The inclusivity. Nobody sits on the bench!’

See you at the races!

 

* Minnesota High School Cycling League Board of Executives Member