Video superstar disabled in stunt gone wrong four months ago is eager to get back into sport

Martyn Aston, the stunt rider who was paralysed from the waist down after he broke his back is back on a bicycle - just four months after his life-changing accident.

Martyn, 39, fell off a 3m platform while attempting a stunt during a trials demo at the Moto GP at Silverstone in September.

After weeks in hospital followed by intensive physiotherapy, he has managed to begin handcycling with an adapted bicycle at Newport Velodrome.

He told the BBC of his recollection of the accident.

"I landed and I felt the shock go through my body and I think immediately I knew it was very bad," he said.

"Because I knew it was serious I took a moment to speak to my son so that he knew Dad was alert and fine."

"I spent about an hour telling myself it would be ok.”

"And then I had a really great moment once I got into the MRI scan, and in there that's where I believed myself.

"After that I thought, well let's get on with it then, it's changed, deal with it."

Martyn was already famous for his video Road Bike Party - where he took Sir Bradley Wiggins’ bike for a spin - or at least a Pinarello Dogma very like Sir Brad’s bike - and demonstrated that in the right hands a skinny-tyred bike was every bit as capable of being jumped, hopped and backflipped as a trials bike or mountain bike.

For the sequel Road Bike Party 2, Martyn enlisted a couple of good friends - Chris Akrigg and Danny MacAskill - to help with stunt duties while he dealt with his injuries.

But not content to sit on the sidelines of his sport, he said: "I made a bit of a pest of myself, emailed and phoned as many people in disability sports as I could in Disability Sport Wales and they've been really supportive.”

Having tried wheelchair-based tennis and basketball, it was a revelation to take to the velodrome.

"It was awesome but really hard", he said.

"I'm not used to having power in my arms, but it was brilliant."

Neil Smith, from Disability Sport Wales, said Ashton will need time to work out if he is ready for top class racing.

"I think he was nervous to begin with - he was only just out of hospital," he said.

"But once he'd got in it and did a few laps in it, it was like 'oh, this is not as hard as it looks'.

"It built his confidence."

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.


Gkam84 [9110 posts] 3 years ago

Ashton vs Zanardi in the future  3

I had a go at handcycling not long ago, while visiting Wheels for Wellbeing at Herne Hill Velodrome. Two laps of the inside circuit and my arms were wrecked, I enjoyed it very much through, totally different experience

jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago

Great to see that he is back riding already. Wish I could have that mindset of his

notfastenough [3728 posts] 3 years ago

Martyn Ashton for the 2016 Paralympics!

mikroos [257 posts] 3 years ago

Does this news mean he won't ever be back on his feet? That's a real tragedy. But knowing his attitude, I'm just sure he'll keep doing great things - and if he does it by overcoming his physical weakness, that would be even more awesome.

Chrisbibby06 [3 posts] 3 years ago

a true superstar.. shows that we should never just give up!