Lancashire Police take on dangerous Indian trail for disadvantaged youngsters

A group photo of the Lancashire Police team at the top of the Khardung La Pass after their motorcycle challenge for the AWARE charity
A group photo of the Lancashire Police team at the top of the Khardung La Pass after their motorcycle challenge for the AWARE charity

A team of Lancashire police officers past and present took on a very different kind of shift with a gruelling motorcycling challenge, riding across two of the world’s highest routes for charity.

Thirteen bikers – four serving and three former officers – travelled to the Himalayas in India navigating two of the most difficult and dangerous roads in the world – the Taglang La pass and the Khardung La pass.

Left to right Nigel Ralphson, Brian Mills-Woods and Robert Hodgson at the top of the Khardung La Pass.

Left to right Nigel Ralphson, Brian Mills-Woods and Robert Hodgson at the top of the Khardung La Pass.

And the route wasn’t without its’ difficulties with three riders forced to seek hospital treatment for breathing difficulties and fractured ribs.

The group have been raising money for The AWARE Foundation, which helps to support disadvantaged children in India. They completed the route on Indian-built Royal Enfield 500cc motorbikes.

Nigel Ralphson, a former sergeant and now retired from Lancashire Police, said: “These are some of the toughest, most dangerous roads in the world and to make it even more difficult we made the journey entirely on motorcycles.

“Starting in in the town of Leh, 12,000ft high up in the Himalayas, we covered more than 1,300km as we navigated the Taglang La Pass and Khardung La pass, reaching around 18,000ft in height.

“During the ride we used Royal Enfield motorbikes, just like the ones we had in the UK in the 1960s, stopping in villages and camping overnight.

“Most of us came off the bikes at one point or another.

“Three riders required hospital treatment, including two for breathing difficulties, while I fractured eight ribs in one collision.”

Nigel was joined by serving officers including PC Finn Quainton, PC Martin Wilcock, PC Dave Wilcock and PC Sean Erett, as well as PC Bob Hodgson and PC Brian Mills-Wood, who have both retired.

The riders hope to raise more than £10,000. Their current total is around £5,000.

Sgt Ralphson added: “The objective of The AWARE Foundation – Action With Awareness Regarding Education – is to give dispossessed, disadvantaged and vulnerable children in India the right to an education.

“AWARE reaches out to children in deprived communities throughout India by using education as a way of transforming their lives for the better.

“It also provides street and runaway children and orphans with a protected childhood so that they can go on to make well-informed decisions in life.

“The money will help about 20 kids in India and put them in a yearlong education programme which will hopefully get them off the streets for the rest of their lives.

“I would like to thank Ghostbikes of Preston for its very kind sponsorship and to all the people who have donated so far.”

To donate, go to: www.mydonate.bt.com/events/motorcyclechallenge/410070.

Alternatively you can donate directly through BT Mydonate, where Gift Aid will automatically be added to every donation received. The deadline for donations is October 31.