Himalayan Riders Take on Challenge of a Lifetime

November 2, 2022 4 min. read
13 bikes, ready to roll for the Himalayan Ride for Shelter!

Participants in the Himalayan Ride for Shelter returned triumphant from India, having experienced the motorcycle ride of a lifetime and raising over $132,000 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. All fundraising was directed to the local women’s shelter of each rider and national programs aimed at preventing domestic violence. Each rider paid 100% of their riding and travel costs. 

Participants take in the moment and the breathtaking scenery during the Himalayan Ride for Shelter. 

“This was a bucket list trip for me that I was delighted to share with absolutely amazing people for an incredibly important cause,” said the trip’s lead-organizer, Thomas McPhail with Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty. “I am extremely proud of the riders that gave their time and money to come on this adventure and immensely grateful to each and every person who donated. When I dreamt this trip up, I never imagined we’d be able to do so much good in the process!” 

In exchange for experiencing some of the country’s most scenic and breathtaking roads, riders also encountered traffic jams like no other, animal crossings that led to hours-long delays, treacherous passes, and long, hot, challenging days on the bike that pushed them to their limits.

Himalayan Ride for Shelter participants. Back row, from L-R: Debbie Leah, Anthony Boos, Royce Finley, Ken Morris, two local guides, Thomas McPhail, two local guides. Front row, from L-R: Phil Soper, Karen Boos, Brad Johnstone, Melanie Pearce, and Chris Pitman. Missing are Val Brooks, Lee Wigboldus, and Ahmed Helmi. 

“This ride was an epic adventure from start to finish,” said Brad Johnstone, broker/owner of Royal LePage NRC Realty. “While the roads were thrilling, we also experienced break downs, falls, scrapes, and bruises. But none of these injuries or challenges compare with the abuse women and children suffer due to domestic violence. I feel blessed to play my part in helping these families find safe shelter and hope.” 

“During the Himalayan Ride for Shelter, we went from 37C in the low-lands of Himachel Pradesh to freezing snow storms in the world’s highest mountains in Ladakh. I captured this image of a colleague traversing a small road through a difficult high altitude pass, thousands of feet higher than Mt Logan, our highest peak in the Rocky Mountains.” – Phil Soper, Royal LePage President and CEO and Himalayan Ride participant.

The 13 riders who participated, came from communities across Canada, and there was room for everyone willing to step outside their comfort zone. “I never would have thought at 65 years old I’d be taking on the most challenging adventure of my life, riding the Himalayas in India with twelve of the most spectacular people I’ve ever met,” added Val Brooks, sales representative with Royal LePage Crown Realty Services.