While the first bloke revs up for a charity ride

Tim Mathieson is about to climb into the saddle to raise $100,000 to fight child slavery in Cambodia.

The Prime Minister's partner plans to ride in a pack of about 50 bikers from Kirribilli House in Sydney to The Lodge in Canberra, via Wollongong, Kangaroo Valley and the Hume Highway, astride a brand new machine on loan from BMW.

Each of his riding partners, most of whom will come from the business community, will pay a minimum of $2000 to undertake the ride. He is inviting some of Australia's best-known motorcycle racers and enthusiasts, including world champion Mick Doohan and V8 Supercars driver Will Davison, as well as ''old mate", Glenn McGrath, who rides a Ducati Multistrada 1200.

The event, on Sunday, April 14, has been dubbed the ''First Bloke's Ride Against Slavery''. It is being organised by Hagar Australia, a charity that supports children who have been victims of human rights abuses.

Money raised will support the organisation's Catch-Up School in Cambodia, which aims to help children who have been subjected to severe trauma and missed years of schooling.

Mr Mathieson said he was happy to offer his name to Hagar's cause.

''I was very taken with Cambodia when I visited the country last year with the Prime Minister, and I'm going to visit again in a couple of weeks, this time alone, when I'll see the school and study the work the Hagar organisation is undertaking,'' he said.

As to Julia Gillard's view of his return to motorcycling, Mr Mathieson said that when she became Prime Minister, she had told him ''I don't think you'll be getting on a motorbike for a while''.

''But she doesn't mind me riding bikes every now and then, particularly for charity,'' he said.

Fairfax will accompany Mr Mathieson on his ride.

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