Pedal power helping to beat prostate cancer

Balsall Common resident Richard Murray is riding from London to Amsterdam in support of the charity Prostate Cancer UK.

He’s part of a team from business coaching company Elephants Child. Their Managing Director Martin Brown, lost his father-in-law to the disease.

In total the team has raised £7000 with four weeks to go. The 145-mile trip is backed by the English Football League and the League Managers Association with high-profile former players and managers such as Les Ferdinand, Terry Butcher and Simon Grayson taking part.

Balsall Common Lions Club are just one of many local organisations, residents and businesses to support the team. They have a long history of supporting prostate cancer awareness events. They are organising a prostate cancer screening session in Balsall Common this weekend, their 3rd such event. The screening takes place at St Peters Church Hall from 10am to 1pm.

Balsall Common Lions Club Committee Service Chairman, Lion Steve Meakin with Richard Murray

Richard Murray explained: “This is a cause dear to my heart as my grandfather and uncle both lost their own battles with cancer. Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop men dying from this condition. I’m looking forward to getting into the saddle and raising money in support of this tremendous charity. Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far.

“I’m also desperate to raise awareness and encourage men to get themselves checked. We’re notoriously bad at visiting doctors and looking after our health. Anyone that has concerns and can’t make Saturday’s screening should book an appointment with their GP,” he added.

The trip begins on 9 June and will see around 500 riders making the two-day journey aiming to raise a total of £500,000 for the charity.

To donate please visit Richard’s Just Giving page.

For more information on the event visit Prostate Cancer UK’s website.

Charity cyclist reaches for the sky

Local resident and keen cyclist Stefan Bird had a very busy summer. Having organised a very successful 1940s themed afternoon and evening in the village in June, he then took part in the Ride London 100 bike ride. All his activities have been in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund, and he’s raised around £1500. Having served in the RAF for six years, it was an easy choice for him to choose which charity to support.

Stefan Bird medal

He really enjoyed doing the ride and completed it in just over six hours, despite having slowed down over the last few miles to support another rider who was struggling with the distance. “The best part was coming round the corner at Trafalgar Square and seeing my family there supporting me” he said.

stefan family

His fundraising won’t stop though, he’s already applied to do next year’s Ride London 100 bike ride, and another social event with music next Spring, again in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

If you’d like to keep in touch with Stefan and find out about next year’s events you can email him on

Cycling: Clinton endures heartbreak at ‘Manx’ End-to-End race

Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton suffered the frustration of a double puncture, putting paid to his hopes of winning the annual Isle-of-Man End to End cycle race, to finish in 6th place.  The predominantly off-road event attracted 1700 riders to the starting line from all over the world. Clinton, riding for Kenilworth-based Mike Vaughan Cycles, went into the race with hopes of bettering his previous year’s 3rd place on a tough day, made harder by increasingly poor weather conditions.

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Cycling: Clinton takes Hinckley CRC Challenge weekend title

Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton came out on top at windy Wolvey near Lutterworth to win Hinckley CRC’s Challenge Weekend, which combined a 10-mile time-trial on Saturday, followed by a tougher 25-mile course the following day.  


Strong winds would be the dominating feature of the weekend, with the 10-miler, a straight ‘out and back’ time-trial to Magna Park roundabout on the A5.

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Cycling: Clinton claims remarkable 2nd place at West Midlands Champs

Balsall Common’s Matt Clinton beat off a number of professional cyclists to claim a remarkable 2nd place after an 8-month road racing hiatus to an end at the West Midlands Road Race Championships in Bridgnorth.


The Mike Vaughan Cycles found himself lining up for 5 laps of the 17 mile circuit with several professional riders topping the start-sheet.  The 86 mile contest was more than double the length of any races Matt had done this year in his first foray away from time-trial racing for some time.

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