National Parks of Eastern Mongolia
Wesley Thornberry, Co-Founder
Wesley is a founding member of the Rally for Rangers Foundation. Since its inception, as an avid motorcyclist, Wesley spearheaded the Rally for Rangers (part of Blue Waves campaign by the Mongol Ecology Center), raised awareness internationally about the National Parks of Mongolia and rides in all rallies. Wesley works with Tom Medema in organizing the rallies.
Wesley is the founder of Trend Digital, www.trend-digital.com, that specializes in post-production imaging services for e-commerce clothing and fashion retailers. Wesley is also a photographer, adventurer and traveler and has documented the tribes of Omo Valley, Ethiopia to the nomadic shamans of Mongolia. His work can be seen at www.wesleythornberry.com. He currently lives in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Tom Medema developed a passion for national parks at a young age on family vacations throughout the American west. This passion turned into a career as a park ranger spanning nearly 30 years. Tom is equally passionate about national parks and public lands around the world and has worked with parks and monuments in South America and Europe as a subject matter expert in the field of interpretation and education. The opportunity to support the protection of natural and cultural heritage of parks and protected areas around the world is an opportunity he is excited and humbled to be a part of.
Tom is a sports and outdoor enthusiast, spending much of his free time enjoying two-wheeled travel by mountain bike, road bike, and motorbike. Over the past 20 years he has owned Harley-Davidson and BMW bikes and is currently riding an F800GS on the back roads and trails of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia in preparation for the next epic and compelling adventure protecting the worlds special places one motorcycle at a time.
Seth San Filippo
Seth San Filippo has had a lifelong passion for motorcycles from a young age. He started on a super cool Mickey Thompson mini bike (that he still has and rides), and quickly graduated to dirt bikes—forming sketchy jumps, scars, and the two-member “Daredevil Club” with his cousin Everest.
Nowadays, Seth might be found roaming the logging roads and trails on a long Oregon summer day looking for abandoned fire lookouts on his KLR650. In the winter, he may be in Baja, Mexico with his DRZ400 in search of stellar desert riding, spearfishing, and delicious tacos. In between he could be in a vintage enduro race on his 74’ Suzuki TS250, blowing off steam leaning into the back road corners on his Harley Springer, or competing in the one-day, 100-mile, off-road, Gambler mini bike rally.
Maybe he has been called the “crazy cat lady of motorcycles” because he has six of them in the garage, but maybe there is still room for one more. After all, there are seven days in a week…
Basically, Seth is happiest and feels the most alive and free on two wheels in far away places, with music in his helmet speakers and his soul singing. So when he heard about Rally For Rangers on his favorite podcast, Adventure Rider Radio, the cause and the adventure called to him. Seth is beyond excited and honored to be a part of the team and to do his part to help protect the wild places that he cherishes so much.
When Seth is not out adventuring on a motorcycle or with his amazing kids Finn (14) and Anna (12), he is very busy as the owner of Urban Lumber Co. (urbanlumber.co) and Urban Hardwoods (urbanhardwoods.com) where he and his crew build beautiful custom furniture from salvaged city trees of the Pacific Northwest.
Starstruck by dirt bikers jumping on a nearby course while on a family vacation to the Grand Canyon, Lyndsey knew from an early age that motorcycles were in her future. At 14, and much to the surprise of her parents, she negotiated with passion at a swap meet and brought home a 1970 Yamaha YZ250 without ever having been on a bike before. It proved to be too much of a “starter” bike, but she persisted. She traded it for a Kawasaki KX125 that would open the gateway of two-wheeled adventures for many years to come.
Fast forward to 2017 and Lyndsey was living in India – the 80th country that she has explored – riding a Royal Enfield Classic on weekend trips and a Honda Activa through the hectic daily traffic of downtown Hyderabad. An architect by day, she worked with underrepresented groups such as children and women on sustainable housing in her “other job” as a researcher. Lyndsey has collaborated with communities in the US, the Philippines, Uganda, Japan, Chile, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Today, she is back in Eugene, Oregon finishing up her doctoral studies and riding her dual sport BMW GS650 on interstate trips as well as logging trails. She usually has a few side projects in the works that marry her professional and personal passions such as founding a tequila distillery (Casaquila), building an affordable tiny house (the ReachOUT House), and launching a design and construction firm specializing in technically and culturally complex projects (the International Development Collaborative).
After so much work “in the field” she knows firsthand the critical importance of preserving our environment by empowering local people. Lyndsey is honored to serve Rally for Rangers as a rider and to meet the rangers who are doing the truly demanding work of protecting our natural resources.
His love for the outdoors and National Parks started at a very young age. A large part of his childhood was spent with his Grandparents at their vacation home 5 minutes from the entrance to Zion National Park in Utah. As a young kid, it was truly a magical place to explore. As an adult, he still finds himself hiking, biking, running and canyoneering in the many nooks and crannies that have rarely been seen inside the park by many people. He has a great understanding and appreciation for the rare and “finite” resources these precious places are.
Joshua, like many others, was forbidden to ride or own a motorcycle when growing up. As a result, his motorcycle education (or addiction) was obtained at a young age riding his friends’ motorcycles with flip-flop shoes and of course no helmet or other protective gear. He didn’t purchase his first motorcycle until long after he was married (and have since obtained the proper safety gear). He has however acquired a decent size fleet of bikes for himself and kids ever since.
When he heard Tom’s interview on “Adventure Rider Radio Podcast” with Jim Martin, he knew that this was the perfect way to blend two of my greatest passions (the wild outdoors and motorcycles) into a charitable and important cause. He says “I am really looking forward to being able to be part of a great mission that I believe will benefit the present and future generations to come”
Anna grew up in San Diego where she spent most of her free time indoors reading, watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and getting A+’s in school. Despite not knowing anyone who rode and parents who told her motorcycles were death machines, she maintained an inexplicable fascination with motorcycles, which she successfully ignored until her late 20’s when she bought her first bike and tentatively taught herself how to ride on the streets of San Francisco in the early morning hours before work. Street riding turned into dual sporting which turned into dirt biking and a lifelong passion was born.
Anna lives in SF where she heads up operations for a construction robotics startup. She endeavors to live an active life full of outdoor adventures and regularly rides both street and dirt bikes (Triumph Street Triple and KTM 350). When she’s not riding, she can be found snowboarding, SCUBA diving, kiteboarding, traveling, and cooking for large groups of people. She is constantly picking up new hobbies and hopes to eventually achieve mediocrity (B+) or better in all of them.
This will be Anna’s third rally. She knew she wanted to join Rally for Rangers the instant she heard about the organization via friends. Her first dual-sport adventure, a 2,500-mile trip through Patagonia, was an unforgettable experience that opened her eyes to the joys of exploring the hidden corners of the earth on two wheels. Given the positive impact, motorcycles have had on her life, she is particularly inspired by the mission of Rally for Rangers —to use motorcycles to better the lives of those working hard to protect the earth’s natural resources—and is incredibly excited to return to Mongolia, a place that has become incredibly special to Anna through her involvement with Rally for Rangers.
Pradeep aspires to be close to nature and spend time outdoors. Motorcycling is one of his favorite activities. Getting together with friends, cooking food and camping, riding long stretches on the bike keeps him at the moment. The only other activity which consumes a lot of his time is watching motorcycling movies, clips and reviews. He likes to read inspirational books and listen to Moto podcasts.
Outside motorcycling, he enjoys quiet time by involving himself in Meditation and Pranayama. Hiking with his dog “Fudo” and his wife is also his favorite pastime.
As for food, he enjoys various cuisines – both cooking and savoring. He is a pescatarian.
His best ride to date has been the Himalayan Adventure and has a lot of plans to do Backcountry discovery rides this year. Pradeep has been riding motorcycles for the past 30 years, but most of his youth was riding on 100cc bikes, and one day took the steep jump to a Harley nightster. After a couple of Harley bikes, he bought a Moto Guzzi for long-distance touring and Yamaha T7 for offroads. His recent foray has been into dirt trails on his Kawasaki KLX300.
As part of his initiative to give something back to Nature, he got associated with Rally for Rangers.
His day job is managing computer applications, so he is up for anything that takes him away from his desk.
Lance was born to be an adventurer. Early days in Minnesota with a pack of cousins on mini-bikes and fishing skiffs kindled a life-long love of the outdoors and passion for two-wheeled travel. Fishing led to climbing and after a stint in the Navy he became serious about alpinism. Climbing and skiing led to work as a guide in the US, Europe and Latin America. “I’ve been fortunate to spend time in so many wild places around the world. Preserving and protecting them for future generations is really important to me.” A 2004 trail ride down the Baja 1000 route cemented offroad enduro riding as his new passion.
“Some of my outdoorsy friends assumed that off-roading ran counter to conservation and stewardship of wild lands. My friend Kacey Smith, avid Baja rider and guidebook author calls herself a tree hugging dirt biker. That could be a tagline for Rally for Rangers!” Naturally, when Lance heard about the Rally for Rangers, he signed up immediately. Lance rode in the 2017 rally to Otgontenger and is excited to return to Mongolia in 2018. “Mongolia is one of those places that exists in our imaginations as the embodiment of wild and untamed. It’s worth saving.” Lance invites you to join this grass roots movement, where the simple gift of some little motorcycles pays such exponential dividends.
Sarah was first introduced to motorcycles by her dad and dirt biking at summer camp. She was finally able to get her license after college and her first bike was a 2005 Suzuki GS500. Since then she’s had a 2016 Kawasaki Ninja 650 ABS, a 2015 Yamaha FZ07, and is currently sitting on a 2001 Ducati Monster 900.
She grew up the oldest of five kids and the daughter of two wonderful parents. They taught them the power of curiosity, expression, and independence – all things riding provides. It’s no wonder she started ‘Between The Legs: A Moto Podcast’! Most recently Sarah and her dad built out a 2019 Ram Promaster 2500 to drive her bike across the country this summer. Fun fact: she welded her own ramps! While living/working in it, she’s travelled up the East Coast, across to Chicago, down to San Diego, and is now making her way up the West Coast.
Sarah’s looking forward to the challenge Mongolia’s riding environment will bring to her. While dirt and off-road aren’t her forte, she’s had experience with American Supercamp and other programs to set some foundations. Most of all she’s looking forward to supporting a unique community and its wildlife through Rally for Rangers.
Growing up in Reno, NV, Bryon grew up taking full advantage of the outdoors. Hiking, camping, fly fishing, and mountain biking filled Bryon’s childhood and it wasn’t until he moved to Berkeley, CA for college that he got his first taste of motorcycles. While at the University of California Berkeley, Bryon helped to build the world’s first autonomous motorcycle, Ghostrider. Working on that project got him hooked on motorcycles for life. One bike led to 2, then 3 and is currently at 9, although most don’t currently work (but will soon). In 2013 he completed an Iron Butt ride around NV and still looks for any opportunity to take on a new challenge or adventure on a motorcycle.
When not spending time working on motorcycles and cars, Bryon has a real job working at a company building agricultural robots.
After watching “The Long Way Round” Bryon put Mongolia on the top of his bucket list of places to travel. It was a quick decision to join Rally for Rangers after finding out he could ride motorcycles and do something valuable for the national parks of Mongolia.
National Park, Bhutan
Asher has always loved two wheels, from the elementary school years when the lot next door was a perfect BMX course to his first ambitious multi-state solo motorcycle tour on a 1990 Honda TransAlp.
He was born in Ghana into a missionary family and every day as a young boy seemed filled with adventure even in the backyard. The early influence of his father and friends with their small displacement motorcycles sowed the seeds in Asher for a later passion for motorcycle travel. Most of his teenage years were spent growing up in Colorado Springs with an ease for math and physics which eventually led to degrees in Engineering Physics and Materials Science degrees from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. He co-founded his environmental club during high school and continued to volunteer on ecology supporting projects throughout college and after graduate school.
Asher joined Rally for Rangers in 2019 for the group’s first trip to Nepal and found it to be an immediate education in adventure riding given no-rules traffic in Kathmandu and powdery dust in the Mustang region. Despite literally and figuratively running out of gas in Upper Mustang, he is looking for more adventure with Rally for Rangers in Bhutan!
– Born in 1976, Selenge Province, Mongolia.
– Family of 4; wife, son and daughter
– Chairman, Songdo Mongolia LLC-Real Estate Development Company /2012-Present/
– Founder and CEO, Mongolia Airlines LLC (now Hunnu Air)-Airline Company /2010-2012/
– Director of Business Development, Bodi Group-Business Group /2008-2010/
– Chief Representative Officer, Golomt Bank-Bejing branch /2007-2008/
– Director of Card Center, Golomt Bank /2002-2007/
– Risk Management Officer, Golomt Bank /2000-2002/
– Internal Auditor, Golomt Bank /1998-2000/
– School of Economics and Business, Mongolian National University /1994-1998/
– Secondary school #24, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia /1984-1994/
Michael (Mike) Emrich
Started riding motorcycles at age 12 on his parent’s ranch. Riding desert, TT, mountain fire roads as a kid.
Gave up riding for 20 years while he and his wife Anna-Louise raised their 2 children, Started a Solar Energy Contracting Company in 1975 Retiring 2017. Son now runs the company.
Reentered the riding community at age 49. For my 50th Birthday, my wife and I took 2 months to ride to Alaska and back with some friends. MC trips include Newfoundland, 2nd trip to Alaska, 2 trips through the Baja, 3 trips across Canada, 5 across the USA including Blues Tour Tennessee to New Orleans, Route 66 Chicago to Las Angeles, 8700 mile trip from Cusco, Peru to Ushuaia, Argentina at age 70. Rides KTM 450 Dirt and BMW R1200GSA street and dirt.
Active in Kiwanis Club Atascadero and supports many charities for Homeless, Boys and Girls Club, Cancer Research, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Local Food Bank.
Just had 50th Wedding Anniversary.
My first motorbike was a 1974 Honda CB550, which I bought in college with money I earned after hitchhiking to Alaska for a cannery job. Since then I’ve explored many parts of the world by moto, in places like Africa, Asia, and South/Central America. My appetite for raw, gritty travel is stronger than ever, and motorcycles are still my tool of choice. The places I want to explore are endless. When I’m not on a moto I like to mountain bike, kite/windsurf, freedive, hike/backpack, snowboard, and do pretty much anything else outdoors. The Columbia River Gorge is my home & basecamp.
Sebastiaan is a Dutch guy with a penchant for getting lost. From an early age he enjoyed nature and wandering off, which he did with great regularity in the Dutch countryside until he reluctantly learned to ride a bicycle. Maintaining both a wandering lifestyle and mind, he proceeded to somewhat bumble through his early life by attending art school and working as a freelance artist starting at age 16. An avid designer and artist, he taught himself digital design from an early age and worked for clients like HP, Mozilla, Sony and Apple by age 18. He moved on a whim to San Francisco in 2011, pursuing a self-taught passion for design, to head up design at a small music startup, managing a small team and designing everything from branding, websites, and user interfaces. San Francisco enthralled him with far more than work, though: he found the proximity to nature and the sheer beauty of the environment truly inspiring.
In California, he fell in love with photography and motorcycles, the latter enabling his favorite past-time: wandering. He joined his best friend Stuart Philkill on a motorcycle trip from San Francisco to the Arctic Ocean after having learned to ride for only a year, photographing the journey from his Ducati. After that, he could not stop himself from continued explorations of the far reaches of the planet, riding through the US, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe and more. When Sebastiaan is not riding, he’s shooting photos on big cameras for motorcycle brands and other assignments, or taking them on his iPhone for Lux Optics, the iPhone photography company he co-founded in 2017. His hobbies involve spending as much time as possible in nature, through hiking or camping, traveling, cooking, and reading.
This is Sebastiaan’s first Rally for Rangers.