Trials legend Martyn Ashton confirmed as having suffered "life-changing" spinal injuries

MTB trials ace vows to work on finishing follow-up video to last year's Road Bike Party

by Simon_MacMichael   September 12, 2013  

Martyn Ashton 2 copyright Robin Kitchin_lo_res

It has been confirmed that mountain bike trials legend Martyn Ashton, introduced to a new audience last year through his Road Bike Party video, suffered “life changing” spinal injuries when he fell while attempting a stunt during a trials demo at the Moto GP at Silverstone earlier this month. Update: Ashton said he was determined to see through a sequel to that film, Road Bike Party 2, which made its YouTube debut in December 2013.

Ashton, aged 38, was taking part in the Animal WD40 Action Sports Tour when he fell backwards from a bar 3 metres from the ground, which he hit “with significant force,” suffering sever spinal damage and dislocation of his T9 and T10 vertebrae, positioned around the centre of the back.

He was taken by air ambulance to Coventry Hospital, but his initial prognosis is not good, with Ashton said to have lost feeling at present beneath the point of the injury.

He is now at The Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, where he is undergoing further assessment and testing to establish how serious his injuries are.

Following six weeks of total bed rest, and once the damaged joint is stable, he will begin what is expected to be a difficult and lengthy rehabilitation programme.

But Ashton – who in 2003 recovered from a compressed fracture of his T8 vertebra after a landing went wrong – is in a positive frame of mind.

“Since the accident I've received so many wonderful messages and well wishes, I can't thank everyone enough for those – it has been hugely supportive,” he said.

“I'm also incredibly lucky to have amazing family and friends, who are all rallying around myself, Lisa and Alfie, and helping us through this tough time.

“As a result I'm feeling very positive and ready to face the tough challenge ahead. I'm just taking it day by day, hoping that I can make enough progress over the next three months to be home for Christmas.”

He also revealed that he has been working in secret on a sequel to Road Bike Party, and that he is determined to see the project through.

“My main focus this year was to make my next video Road Bike Party 2 – this has not changed,” he explained.

“I've been training really hard on the new road bike and I've felt like I've been riding better on this video than I've ever ridden in my entire life. I was so confident on that bike.

“Unfortunately we hadn't quite completed the filming – we were so close – but thanks to the team behind me and some great friends I’m excited that we are close to pulling the final edit together... so watch this space!”

Update: Road Bike Party 2 was posted to YouTube on 10 December 2010. Those "great friends" included Danny MacAskill and Chris Akrigg, both of whom feature. Here it is:

Here’s the original Road Bike Party video, which has had more than 8.5 million views on YouTube since being released a little under a year ago.

Ashton’s career began with him riding motorcycle trials as an 11-year-old, and in his late teens he switched to the pedal-powered variety, soon winning the British Bike Trial Championship.

In 1995, he signed up to the Volvo­Cannondale Mountain Bike Race Team, where he spent seven years, and during that time he won a World Bike Trial Championship.

Since 2002, when he began riding for Animal Clothing and also launched his Ashton Bikes range, he has focused on live shows, including an annual tour showcasing some of Britain’s top extreme sports talents.

Martyn Ashton (copyright Robin Kitchin)

24 user comments

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Martyn is the nicest bloke you'll ever meet. Hoping this is just a minor setback.

posted by Mat Brett [1722 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:06

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Shudders! Hope Martyn makes a full recovery!

posted by onlyonediane [158 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:07

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Shocked to hear the news...........fingers crossed for a full recovery!

posted by BikerBob [114 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:32

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Get well soon Martyn Sad

posted by turboprannet [36 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:38

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Martyn is a legend.

Any idea what the best way to send him a message is?

posted by SpooksTheHorse [26 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:41

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You can find him on Twitter https://twitter.com/MartynAshton

Spare time project - cycling price comparison: http://www.leadoutbikes.com

posted by mckechan [158 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:45

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Gutted to hear this. Martyn is a smashing bloke, hoping for a full recovery soon.

posted by 5th [28 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:50

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Road Bike Party is my go-to video when I'm feeling down or I don't want to get on my bike. It always cheers me up and re-inspires me.

I hope Martyn recovers soon, and gets close to where he was before. Good luck!

posted by Not KOM [79 posts]
12th September 2013 - 22:13

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Total legend. Here's to seeing Mr Ashton on a bike again in the not too distant future.

jugster's picture

posted by jugster [40 posts]
12th September 2013 - 22:34

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Legend. If anyone can recover, Ashton can.

Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself

posted by therealsmallboy [84 posts]
12th September 2013 - 22:50

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wow. Met him at the Fishers 2013 launch and he fulfilled what I had expected him to be, a thoroughly nice guy who was keen to chat to anyone about any type of riding. I wish him all the very best.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1076 posts]
13th September 2013 - 7:44

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How awful.

I rmember first watching him on MBUK videos when I was 14 or 15, the one of him and Martyn Hawyes riding down a huge slab of rock in Clifton Gorge just blew me away.

Get well soon.

Trek Navigator 200
Old, heavy and upright, but that's enough about me!

posted by behemothprocycling [31 posts]
13th September 2013 - 8:01

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Really sad news.

All the best Martyn.

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
13th September 2013 - 8:15

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All the best for a speedy, full recovery.

posted by Securivaj [41 posts]
13th September 2013 - 9:47

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horrible, best of luck marty.

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posted by benjam [16 posts]
13th September 2013 - 10:12

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Horrible news. Best wishes for a full recovery.

posted by Sadly Biggins [261 posts]
13th September 2013 - 11:06

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Martyn, please, please, please recover soon - Road Bike Party is loved by the whole family and everyone to whom I show it. There is more where that came from ...

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [200 posts]
13th September 2013 - 11:29

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Terrible news, best of luck in his recovery. I seem to remember he had a bad back injury before, thought id seen pictures of him in a wheelchair (trial'ing it up as youd expect!), hope a recovery is possible for him.

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [400 posts]
13th September 2013 - 12:08

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Really, really sad to hear this. Martyn was a huge inspiration when I started riding MTB in the mid-90's. I remember the aforementioned Clifton Gorge slab piece well, along with other classic footage like 'Rio's Burgers' in Newbury and the shoreline piece with Martin Hawes in Wales (great remix of Garbage's 'Milk' on that bit of Chainspotting too).

Just last month I saw Martyn performing in the flesh for the first time in years, at the RideLondon100 registration show at Excel. He is still such an impressive rider - really busting the moves.

Here's hoping he can make a full recovery - good luck Martyn.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [207 posts]
13th September 2013 - 12:36

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Terrible news. I hope he makes a full recovery.

posted by tarquin_foxglove [72 posts]
13th September 2013 - 13:46

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andyspaceman wrote:
Really, really sad to hear this. Martyn was a huge inspiration when I started riding MTB in the mid-90's. I remember the aforementioned Clifton Gorge slab piece well, along with other classic footage like 'Rio's Burgers' in Newbury and the shoreline piece with Martin Hawes in Wales (great remix of Garbage's 'Milk' on that bit of Chainspotting too).


That's what I love about the internet, it makes up for my terrible memory. What a great video that was.
"Don't mind me..." Laughing

Trek Navigator 200
Old, heavy and upright, but that's enough about me!

posted by behemothprocycling [31 posts]
13th September 2013 - 14:06

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An absolute legend, Road Bike Party deserves every one of those 8.5 million plus viewings and more. Amazingly positive mental attitude to his injuries, and I'll join everyone wishing him as full and speedy a recovery as possible.

Utility Cyclist

posted by utility_cyclist [13 posts]
13th September 2013 - 18:27

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Martyn hope you make a good recovery and get back on a bike soon.

posted by Roberj4 [162 posts]
14th September 2013 - 23:42

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What terrible news. Hope you get well soon and back on your bike Martyn

posted by Ciaran Patrick [116 posts]
17th September 2013 - 20:08

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