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Charity ride: Cyclists stop for refreshments en route to Kalbarri during the Team Alex event last December.
Communities unite to honour courageous Alex

Mid West Gascoyne police are putting the wheels in motion for this year’s annual charity bike ride from Geraldton to Kalbarri in memory of Alex Ashworth-Preece.

Police have been working with Kalbarri businesses and schools to help turn the event into a two-day bike bonanza in support of Ronald McDonald House.

Police and other cyclists took to the pedals last December, raising $18,000 for the cause.

The ride, named Team Alex after the late leukaemia battler and former Geraldton Grammar School pupil, left from Geraldton and covered 150km to Kalbarri.

Kalbarri police officer-in-charge Sergeant Matt Froude said there had been an outstanding show of support for this year’s event, locked in for November 30.

“This is going to be a great opportunity for the Kalbarri community to jump on board for what is a brilliant cause,” he said.

Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation for regional families of children being treated for life-threatening illnesses at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Sgt Froude said Kalbarri PCYC had offered support to help run a cycling clinic with schoolchildren the day after the riders arrive.

Sergeant Nathan Johansen, organiser for Team Alex last year, hoped the support would lead to another windfall for Ronald McDonald House.

“We’re delighted with this show of support from the community up there,” he said.

“We’re hoping we can tip the $20,000 mark this year,” Alex’s father Jeremy Ashworth-Preece is also a police officer.

He said his family was honoured the event would again support the charity which came to his family’s aid during his son’s courageous battle.

Sgt Johansen said the ride would likely be split into two stages again, with a second group leaving from Northampton.

He said this would again allow the event to be attractive to novice cyclists.