Rochdale bikers show love for Ukraine with community bike ride


A community of motorbike riders came together for a charity bike ride to raise over £4,000 for Ukraine.

Based at Packer Street in Rochdale, Brass Knuckle Riders is a group of motorbike enthusiasts made up of men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Formed in 2017, they regularly host bike riding events and fundraise for good causes.

Its members range from 16-year-olds with mopeds to riders in their late 70s. Recently, the group decided to host a charity bike ride to donate money and medical supplies to EastLancs4Ukraine, a team which is distributing aid within Ukraine.

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Brass Knuckle Riders encourage every participating biker to donate what they could, and donations also poured in online. Around 1,426 bikers turned up at Birch Westbound services on the M62 Motorway, did a full lap of the M60 motorway and ended up back at the services.



Over a thousand bikers showed up to the charity bike ride

On Wednesday (30 March), Brass Knuckle Riders presented a check of £4,475 to EastLancs4Ukraine.

Spokesperson for the group Paul Whitaker, 53, told the MEN: “A lot of our members are ex-service personnel, who were in the Armed Forces. We also have Fire Brigade members and nurses, we have got a whole demographic. Our ex-servicemen and ladies know what it’s like to be in a warzone, to be put in danger. We all felt like we wanted to do something for Ukraine.

“It doesn’t matter what walk of life you are from, it touches you. We didn’t want to sit back and do nothing.”

Brass Knuckle Riders contacted East Lancs4Ukraine, and the coordinator, Harley Whitehead told Paul that there was a huge demand for medical supplies.

Paul continued: “Being a British national, Harley was able to go across the Polish border and he has been delivering aid to Ukrainians who are in the actual war zone. Harley told us that he needed bandages, tourniquets and hospital-quality supplies, rather than food or clothing, which could perish on the journey to Ukraine.”



A photo of two bikers
Rochdale biking group Brass Knuckle Riders did a charity bike ride for Ukraine

The community bike ride was organized in just 12 days. Bikers from all over the North West showed up to the event, as well people from Birmingham and Scotland.

Paul added: “The bike ride was absolutely brilliant.We had fantastic feedback from the police and Highways England. They were really impressed. We are eternally grateful to the biking community, both male and female, young and old.

“We want to reiterate to all the riders and all the people who came on the day and who donated, we are forever grateful. We’ve had many messages from people in Ukraine, saying thank you very much for what the British people are doing It’s not just us, it’s British people that are doing this.



A photo of Brass Knuckle Riders with their check for Ukraine
Brass Knuckle Riders with their check for Ukraine

“This is what we’re all about. Brass Knuckle Riders is about showing to the public that the biking community is a very loving, caring and supportive community, because of what we have gone through as individuals.

“Historically, bikers have had a bad reputation because of Hell’s Angels, but that era is gone. We have got riders of all ages and abilities who come along with their bikes, scooters, quad bikes and all sorts.”

EastLancs4Ukraine is ran by Harley Whitehead, 32, and his friend Steve Dickinson. They have been distributing aid to soldiers and Ukrainians who have been injured. They have even managed to deliver aid to Russian-occupied territories and will be returning to distribute more supplies.



A photo of the EastLancs4Ukraine team distributing aid
The EastLancs4Ukraine team distributing aid

Harley, who lives between Rochdale and Burnley, has been in and out of Ukraine for three years now. He said: “It’s nice to see the support of Brass Knuckle Riders. We are kind of grassroots, so it’s important that people like us are supported.

“We’ve donate 6,200 miles in Ukraine in a two-week period. That’s 12 border crossings and over30 tons of aid in total. We’ve sent a hell of a lot of medical supplies like saline, scalpels and tourniquets to lads in Kyiv and through the east of Ukraine.

“There was a guy who had his leg blown off andhe was hopping with his arms around his wife, he didn’t even have crutches. We went to one hospital and there were children with shrapnel wounds and they didn’t even have water. Donations will help us work around the curfews in Ukraine and with our logistics costs and getting the aid to the right places.”

To donate to EastLancs4Ukraine, find them on Facebook or follow the donation link here.

Follow Brass Knuckle Riders on Facebook or Twitter.

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www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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