Back on Track
The film, Back on Track, marks a significant step in what Ashton hopes will be a continued recovery from the injuries he sustained when an an accident at a trials display at Silverstone in the autumn of 2013 left him paralysed from the waist down.
In the new video, Ashton accompanied by trials legends, Danny MacAskill, Chris Akrigg and Blake Samson tackles the downhill trail at Antur Stiniog in Snowdonia on a lightly modified Nicolai Gemetron - the light modification being replacing the saddle with a ski chair. Ashton rides the trail with his feet taped to the pedals and demonstrates that none of his bike handling skills have deserted him.
Ashton has been planning the ride for 18 months - although he may never walk again, not riding a bike again was never a possibility that entered his mind.
“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,”
“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.”
There is also a film to accompany Back on Track in which Martyn Ashton talks about his journey back from the moment at Silverstone in 2013 that changed his life to sitting on a bike at the top of Antur Stiniog with Danny MacAskill, Chris Akrigg and Blake Samson.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.