National Park of Bhutan
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, Co-Founder
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 over 25 years. He 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 development of relatively new national parks in Mongolia 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 at his teenage kids volleyball, soccer, and alpine skiing events. Tom also loves 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 a KLX 400 on the back roads of the Sierra Nevada foothills in preparation for this epic and compelling adventure.
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!
Enkhtuvshin was born in Selenge province of Mongolia. He is a successful businessman in transportation and real estate. He lives with his wife, a son, and a daughter. Because of his Buddhist upbringing and travel enthusiasm, he is excited to join the Bhutan rally.
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 de With
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.
Ash is a native of Texas but has spent most of her adult life in the Pacific Northwest. Exploring the trails as a kid on her XR70 gave way to adventure riding as an adult where she logged 15,000 miles off road on her first street legal bike. After graduating with a BA in Chemistry and pursuing a career in medicine her love of motorcycles and thirst for international travel was growing and eventually became all consuming. Her first international trip, riding through Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa set her on a path to see the world and meet everyone in it. In 2016 she landed at Mosko Moto and has since become its Brand/Creative Director. Ash became aware of Rally for Rangers first as a gear sponsor supporting the fundraising effort of the organization as well as providing bomber Mosko gear to the park rangers in Mongolia and elsewhere. She’s been so inspired by the work of outfitting park rangers with motorbikes and gear that she stepped up to join the Advisory board and bring her considerable skills to expand the work and reach of the organization.
I was born and raised on the West Coast of British Columbia where I learned to ski, mountain bike, and ride motos. I traded a pair of skis for my first bike, an SP250 Enduro. I loved long, solo explorations on the logging and mining roads north of Vancouver. Jeans, ski gloves, and hiking boots were my riding kit. I knew nothing about the sport of riding, and none of my friends had bikes, but I was hooked for life.
After high school I went to art college, and from there to a two year apprenticeship with a stone sculptor/designer in France. At 19, being free in Paris with a cash job and a bachelor pad was a very formative experience. As sculptors, we completed large installations all over France. We traveled to Spain and the stone quarries in Northern Italy. We even installed a large sculpture in a Saudi Arabian palace. In my free time between projects, I hitchhiked all over Europe. During this period, while living in France, I realized I was drawn more to product design than sculpture. For me, designing is like inventing: I enjoy creating functional items that people actually use.
When my apprenticeship in France was complete I enrolled at Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, earning a degree in Industrial Design. Since then, working for companies like Burton Snowboards, Gravis, and Mountain Equipment Co-op, I’ve created many different kinds of action sports equipment, with a particular focus on soft goods. Most recently I spent 9 years as the lead pack/bag designer at Dakine, a soft good company based in the Columbia River Gorge. Designing products for ‘peak’ experiences like backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and moto really excites me. When Pete and I had the idea to build a business making hardcore outdoor gear for motorsports, I knew it would be a perfect fit. So together we started Mosko Moto.
Robert came late to motorcycling at age 26 and was surprised to fall head-over-heels in love with it while taking a beginning rider course. That’s more than half his life ago now, and in the 29 years since, motorcycling has provided countless lifelong friendships, nine exhilarating years of motorcycle road racing (three class championships), and not least, his introduction to Linda Cicero, his fellow traveler and spouse.
Race bikes aside, since starting out on a Honda CM400T, he has racked up the miles on a Honda Nighthawk 650, a Kawasaki Concours, a BMW F650GS Dakar, and most recently a Honda Africa Twin. He enjoys mainly sport touring and adventure touring, and is lucky to live in northern California where great riding abounds.
For years he maintained dual careers as a computer programmer and a performing jazz musician on piano, organ, and accordion. He is glad now to have set technology work aside and to be giving music the focus and attention it has always deserved.
Rally for Rangers excites Robert because of its irresistible mix of travel complete with encountering locals off the beaten tourist path, the appeal of motorcycling as transport, and most of all the prospect of helping preserve precious land, heritage, and resources in dire need of stewardship. Highlights of his past motorcycle travel include a coast-to-coast journey across the US and back, Baja California, and several countries in southern Africa.