Chipps takes a look at the inspirational rider behind the 2015 Singletrack Legend Award, Martyn Ashton.…
So, I have decided to retire, really badly, because, quite simply:
It does not cost a lot to be poor and ride your bike all day.2015, A Surly sticker
How I Ended Up Here
I’ve been riding bikes offroad since the 1970’s, then grew up a little bit. I wanted to work in the bike world but no one would employ me. So I started “Charlie The Bikemonger” as an ebay shop and eventually it became a high street shop pumping out singlespeeds, fat bikes and all kinds of cool niche stuff. I sold the business as part of successfully completing my marriage (aka divorce) and then joined Singletrack in 2019 where I have looked after their marketing and merchandising.
There are a lot of bums in the bicycle world and they won’t butter themselves. Happy Bottom Bum Butter is a very popular chamois cream, a significant sized business and keeps me fairly busy. Singletrack members will find a cool 25% discount code in the Singletrack Discounts portal.
There is also the Lezyne Kinesis Dirt Dash bikepacking events that I run with round the world singlespeeder Markus Stitz which are expanding too with new events. Watch out for a turbo cool Yorkshire Coast event in 2024. Check out the short film below for a taste to bikepacking the Dirt Dash way.
On the personal side, beyond work, I am leaving to spend more time with my bikes. I am going to get my dog a passport, make the most of my Brexit 90-day European allowance (I’m still bloody angry. The only country ever to introduce sanctions against itself!), load up the van, and then surf and play on bikes forever, or until I get too old, whichever comes first.
Yeah but you’re gonna miss Singletrack
Singletrack has been great. By far the best PAYE job I have ever had. I would encourage everyone to support Singletrack as one of the few remaining mountain bike media outlets. You really should be a subscriber (click here for subscription deals). They are a great bunch and I sincerely wish them a fun and successful future.
I am going to miss Singletrack… the buzz of working in a newsroom, the turbo strength coffee, Benji’s slaying tech statements such as “bike design is just all bloody circles and triangles”, Amanda’s honest confessions (rabbit eggs?), Mark’s professional balancing act of being dead pro whilst knocking off early to go skateboarding. Hannah’s insightful and powerful opinions (Hannah is proofing this and suspects this is a euphemism). And the rest of the gang for doing what they do so well.
Do I Actually Ride A Bike?
It is true that I don’t ride as much as used to. But I am 51 years old so I don’t have to. It’s OK to take it easy and just please yourself. And it will please me greatly to get more riding in. Anyway, I have pulled together a wee gallery of me actually on or near bikes.
If I had to give you some advice, the first would be “Ask yourself… what if it all goes RIGHT?“. The second comes from a 1970’s surf film maker. These are very good words and have guided me for many years.
“People spend their lives pursuing things to make their lives better – but these thing are not better than life”Albi Falzon introducing “Morning Of The Earth”.
Have fun, ride bikes, stay rad, think it, feel it, ****ing do it.
Love is the answer.
Make Charlie’s Last Day A Nightmare
Charlie didn’t write this bit… If you’d like to make sure he’s really busy right up until the carriage clock presentation, go and order a few bits from the shop…
Singletrack Not Jumpy Not Grumpy 426ml Coffee Mug£9.99
Product on saleSingletrack Wisecracker Headset Spacer Bottle Opener£7.99
Product on saleSingletrack Recycled Bottle Opener Dog CollarsFrom
Product on saleFurther Adventures in Rough Stuff Book£19.99
Print & Digital Gift Subscription£49.00