Martyn Ashton rides again

by 40

Sometimes little things stop us from riding bikes. Things like being too busy, or having too much work on. Martyn Ashton, a professional trials rider who broke his back in an accident three years ago hasn’t let it slow him down. He’s done hand-cycling on the track and even ridden a motorcycle with outriggers.

Preparing to tackle the descent!

This, however, is his most impressive ride yet. With the help of a few world-famous trials riding friends, Martyn was strapped to a downhill bike and let loose on some of Antur Stiniog’s downhill trails.

This is four minutes of video you need to see for yourself:


As Martyn said to video house, GCN, who filmed the adventure:

“Of course I have questioned if I’ll walk again, and I don’t know if I will or not. But with riding a mountain bike, for whatever reason, it was always ‘how are we going to do it’. Never riding a bike again? Well, that never came up,” says Ashton.

“I’ve been riding bikes for so long that I think it defines my life. Riding is such a natural thing to me – it’s who I am. I’m not willing to let go of it despite the situation. All of us who ride bikes – whatever level it is – has the same feeling when they start riding: the exhilaration of riding. The freedom. For some of us that sticks and never goes away. And for me, it’s like that.

“Being able to mountain bike again feels like I’ve got something back that a higher power took away. I feel like I’ve cheated the game and that feels… triumphant.

“As soon as they’ve pushed me off at the top of the summit, I was no longer the guy in a wheelchair: we were four mountain bikers riding together and we were having so much fun; I was having the best time I’ve ever had on a bike. Genuinely.”


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (40)

    Wow, just wow. So happy for you Martyn.


    inspirational video – good luck for the future


    1:42 captures why anyone rides bikes. Heart liftingly brilliant.

    That video is brilliant.

    Proper bike riding joy. Inspirational stuff.

    Just fantastic. Massive grin face deserved.

    Smiles & happy tear keep it up Martyn

    Brilliant! Really brings together everything great about mountain biking, the trails, the laugh, and good mates. The grin on yer face. Congrats to be back on the bike Martyn.

    superb. bit dusty in here…

    The smile says everything. True inspiration.

    Genuinely wonderful and hugely impressive. I defy anyone to not smile watching that…

    Just Brilliant ; Good man keep it up 🙂

    Amazing stuff, truly inspirational. Fantastic work Martyn 🙂


    Incredibly inspirational

    Brings a tear to the eye. Absolutely brilliant

    A true example of human spirit and determination to find solutions and over come life changing events.

    Absolutely amazing! Wonderful to see Martyn back on two wheels and seeing that grin on his face!

    Can the OED replace the word “can’t” in the dictionary with a picture of Martyn Ashton giving the finger? Bloody amazing Sir.

    I am filled with joy watching that, I suspect nowhere near the joy you obviously experienced there however!! Well done Martyn and welcome back!

    So good to see Martyn back on a bike with a huge grin and getting some air with the rear wheel. It reminds me why we ride off road with mates!

    Great stuff. He still rides a bike better than me 🙂

    Well done Martyn. Totally inspirational .

    Best think ever! Now get him an E bike and get rid of pedal assist.

    “So good to be back…”

    Lump in throat and tears in eyes.

    Ace! Will ‘downhill’ be in the Rio 2016 Paralympics?

    Made my Friday morning that! That’s the best video I’ve seen in years, really moving. Well done Martyn!

    “So good to be back…”
    Lump in throat and tears in eyes.

    ^^ this

    “Lump in throat and tears in eyes.”

    Same here. Utterly brilliant

    Wonderful. watched it last night in a hotel bar. might have been some dust in the room. well done Martyn – an inspiration to us all

    Sat here with a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes. Good to see him on the slopes again. Have only met him a couple of times at events and so good to see that cheeky smile on his face, inspirational.

    Utterly brilliant. Best mountain bike video ever made. Inspirational, heart warming, and joyous.

    Marcus Farley.

    Real inspirational stuff. Now add an e-bike to the mix……Imagin(ate)

    What they all said and more. Wonderful stuff. I love bikes.

    What an inspiration for us all, thanks Martin.

    no dust here, streaming,… after a pretty crap week, things are not looking quite so bad and now i know just what i need to go and do. Thanks Martyn.

    Just seen Martyn talking about this on BBC News.

    Truly inspirational.

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