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.
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.
Sills recently achieved yet another milestone in her illustrious career, setting three new records with her Hunter Sills Racing team on the Bonneville Salt Flats and El Mirage Dry Lake. Having lost her husband Andy Sills in 2015, Erin has rededicated herself to the life-long passion of riding that she shared with Andy, not only continuing to pursue the record book, but also becoming certified as an off-road instructor with Rawhyde Adventures. In conjunction with Trev Richter of Colorado ADV Moto, the two also launched “Race For Relief” to benefit The Motorcycle Relief Project, an organization that uses motorcycles to aid veterans suffering from P.T.S.D.”
Mike was born and raised in the rugged and isolated town of Atikokan in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. An area that has more dirt-roads than paved and more fresh-water then land. As the youngest five, his sister and brothers blazed countless trails through the jungle of life ahead of him. The one path where all four brothers converged was with a common passion for dirt biking. Mike cannot recall a time where dirt bikes were not a part of his life and now, fourty-some years later, the Cox brothers still bond through riding despite living in different parts of the country. Dirt-bikes cultivated a strong mechanical aptitude and the understanding of various complex systems which led to careers as both a marine mechanic and an IT specialist and website developer. Now living in Ottawa, Ontario, Mike spends his time between his family, his passion for dirt-bikes and music, and his work life.
Orlin is from Bulgaria and has been based in Singapore for the last 10 years. Since he was a little boy he has been genuinely passionate about motorcycles. He loves any type of riding – from trailing the jungles of Laos and Cambodia to touring along the twisties in Thailand and Malaysia, or going around the track at Sepang or Phillip Island. He enjoys nature, loves animals and wishes he had more time to contribute and give back to the environment. He lives with his girlfriend Lynn and their 2 cats – Michelin and DoobieWaffles.
Hamilton grew up on the beautiful West Coast of Canada where he first rode a dirt bike and has since ridden in various countries including India, China, Indonesia and the Philippines. At an early age he developed a love of the outdoors and remote environments while skiing, sailing and hiking whenever possible.
For the past few years he has been involved in the development of renewable energy projects in Asia and is currently based in Hong Kong and Bali.
He is thrilled to have been chosen for the 2018 Rally for Rangers along with his little brother Robert and can’t wait to explore this incredibly beautiful country on two wheels. He is honored to have this opportunity to be able to help the dedicated Rangers in Patagonia to conserve and protect these important natural resources and raise awareness for this amazing cause!
Robert (Hamilton’s brother) is an artist who lives in Toronto, Canada. He has been involved with many charities over the years including volunteering in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with an organization called Artists for Peace and Justice, as part of an initiative building free public secondary schools for youth in the poorest neighborhood in North America. He has also raised extensive funds for stem cell research and local hospitals.
Growing up in British Columbia, Canada, Robert has always had a love for riding and anything involving the great outdoors. Robert now rides a Yamaha R3 on the road in Toronto and plays on a KTM 250 up in the country in a place called Caledon. He has travelled to over 25 countries and his riding experiences range from the sand dunes of Namibia overlooking the border of Angola to the outback of Australia.
As a sculptor, Robert often finds inspiration for his work through developing diverse relationships and cultural experiences while traveling the world. He is very much looking forward to the journey, building new friendships, and equipping his Ranger with the means to protect the truly majestic environments of Patagonia.
Arlette Thibodeau is new to motorcycles but already long on seat time; she’s laid down more miles in her first six months of riding than most people do in their first couple of years. A Bay Area native and solo road trip junkie, she loves throwing a pack with a sleeping bag, some decent coffee and and her national parks pass onto her KLR and and heading out to rediscover the familiar turf of California and the Southwest on two wheels. She’s already learned a ton about herself along the way, and accidentally tipped over her bike in an impressive number of counties and states.
Rally for Rangers speaks straight to Arlette’s boundless enthusiasm for wilderness conservation, adventure, people who enjoy challenging and not-always-fun kinds of fun, and a fledgling love for dirt riding, even though she still falls over a lot.
Elias Bikahi became interested in participating in the Rally for Rangers after assisting with a fundraiser for fellow rider, Tom Medema. Watching the video footage of the rangers in Mongolia moved him to volunteer to ride a bike out to support these rangers who have devoted their lives to protecting the park. Offering the bike to help the rangers better preserve their park and forest and protect the land more efficiently is an important adventure for him.
He started riding in 1986, on beautiful, paved American roads – so the Patagonia landscape will be an exciting off-road challenge. Riding long distances with friends and taking in the scenery in remote areas is his favorite kind of riding.
Originally from the east coast, Mike is a freelance engineer based in Oakland, CA. He’s spent his entire career designing, building, and working with machines of all types. He thinks riding a motorcycle is the by far best way to enjoy the beautiful weather and majestic landscapes of California.
Mike Kennan heard about the Rally for Rangers from riders that did it in previous years and he’s extremely excited to be a part of the ride in 2018. In addition to the excitement of having the opportunity to ride a motorcycle across some of the most amazing terrain in the world, it’s a unique opportunity to help protect this same area before it gets developed or otherwise spoiled. As someone from the West, he thinks they have a limited appreciation for how things work in developing nations. While it’s good that a government can make laws, it doesn’t matter if no one is able enforce those laws. This is a chance to give the rangers the tools they need to help protect this ancient landscape.
Trev Richter is from Colorado and grew up spending his free time hiking, climbing, and camping all over the western United States.
He has been on two wheels for most of his life, from BMX as a kid and motorcycles from his teenage years until now. “I have always wanted to combine my passions of camping, travel, and motorcycles, and adventure riding has done that for me! It’s amazing how many great people approach you when on a bike. In my opinion, it’s the only way to travel!”
Trev owns Colorado ADV Moto, a business that outfits motorcycles for adventure travel, is part of the marketing and rally team for Sena Bluetooth, and has been a coach and tour guide for Rawhyde Adventures since 2014.
He has extensive riding experience, having ridden many of the Backcountry Discovery Routes, Peru, and Baja in addition to scouting and leading tours. Trev also piloted The World’s Fastest BMW GS in land speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats and El Mirage, and will race the same GS in the Baja Rally in October 2018.
Once he learned of the Rally For Rangers, he knew he had to get involved. “I have always wanted to ride in Patagonia, and what better way than to do something great for people, and ride in such an amazing place?”
Charles “Chuck” Flinton is a forensic psychologist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Patagonia is his second “Rally for Rangers” outing. Raised in Saratoga Springs, New York, he became an early fan of state parks. Having ridden a motorcycle in every state except Louisiana and Alaska, he became enamored with gifts of nature. Over the years, he became aware of the threats to our environment, and the importance of protecting it. This starts with preserving national parks both locally and around the world.
When the opportunity arose to assist in providing motorcycles to the park rangers in Mongolia in 2015, he signed up immediately. The motorcycles empowered park rangers to access areas of the park more quickly and safely.
Protecting our environment against corporate forces and un-informed individuals is a mountainous obstacle. We can climb it together with education and providing resources to those at the forefront of protecting nature. Specifically, our PARK RANGERS!
On a more personal note, many years ago, Chuck was immobilized with pain due to ankylosing spondylitis (a spine and joint disease) forcing him to give up riding motorcycles. With the help of friends and science, the ride continues. So, in addition to promoting national parks, Chuck promotes the awareness that anyone (or any community) can overcome challenges on any level (personal, local, or global). Let’s save ourselves while we protect our parks.
Steven is a Dutch entrepreneur who lived in Asia for 14 years before moving back to Amsterdam with his family in 2017. He is passionate about creating commercially attractive business strategies to solve economic issues and improve living conditions in emerging markets and founded companies in the affordable housing and renewable energy sectors.
At an early age he developed a love of sports, the outdoors and adventure travel. Steven rode dirt bikes through remote areas in Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia and Kazakhstan and can’t wait to explore the Torres del Paine, Los Glaciares, Tierra del Fuego and Karukinka parks in Patagonia.
He is a big fan of the Rally for Rangers cause and excited to have the opportunity to help the rangers in Patagonia preserve and protect this critically important wilderness and raise awareness for the importance of their long term preservation.
David’s interest in participating in the Patagonia trip is fueled by his passion for preserving special places in the world and his love of off road riding.
He grew up tinkering with all things mechanical and has a passion for two wheeled travel adventure. David enjoys exploring the Northwestern US on his Ducati touring motorcycle. Cyclocross bicycle racing is a hobby that combines bicycle handling skills, fitness and reading the traction in varying surface conditions.
David retired recently from his career as a design engineer and engineering manager. He lived in Barcelona Spain for two years and thrived while learning the culture and work life of the Catalan people. He enjoys volunteering as a climbing steward at Mt St Helens and as Nordic ski patroller at Mt Ranier.
He is looking forward to experiencing some of the culture of the people in Patagonia and understanding the challenges faced by the local Park Rangers.