Martyn Ashton was a world champion trials rider and at the top of his sport, but two years ago, a crash left him paralysed from the waist down. Since the accident, he has been looking for a new way to get back on the bike.

This was his career and his passion — he couldn’t live without the bike.

Undeterred by his injury, Ashton crafted a mountain bike with a makeshift sit-ski seat which gave him back the ability to ride on two wheels.

“I never once thought that I would never ride a bike again, I just thought about how I would do it, I’ve developed this bike that keeps me stable on a seat, so once I’m rolling, it feels very much like just a normal mountain bike. All I really need is gravity, and thankfully that never goes away. ”

Ashton became famous on YouTube with “Road Bike Party” and the sequel, “Road Bike Party 2.”

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These videos feature him riding on narrow fences and airplane wings, doing backflips out of sand traps, and many other tricks.

But after falling from a 10-foot high platform and breaking his back, it seemed impossible for him to star in another riding video.

Until he did… Ashton recently released “Back On Track,” which features him riding his new, custom-made mountain bike with fellow pro riders Danny MacAskill, Chris Akrigg, and Blake Samson.

“This video is very much about making a statement that I am back riding. It was great to have all the guys there. It seems that for a lot of us, going out and riding bikes a lot of the time is about who we do it with — my friends and all the banter and laughs that come with it. That is what I wanted to achieve. It wasn’t to just be back riding, but to be back riding and feeling like I wasn’t the guy in the wheelchair.”

Ashton attributed his success to the constant support from his wife and son, Lisa and Alfie, who both encourage him to push toward his goals and ambitions.

“I am really lucky that my family have been incredibly supportive. You know, my wife and my son, we are a little trio.”

Along with his family, friends, and sponsors to keep his passion alive, Ashton has been receiving thousands of emails and messages of encouragement.

“I am doing this for myself, I will be honest, but if I can have a positive effect on someone in the process, then it is worth more.”

“This accident hasn’t ruined one a life, it’s just changed one.”

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Ashton hopes his videos can inspire, especially for those who aren’t pro trials riders.

“I have been a professional cyclist for a number of years now, and I decided that if I’m going to make a video, I want people to sit down, watch it, and then afterwards think, ‘Man I really want to go out and ride my bike.’ If I could achieve that much then I have done my job as a professional bike rider.”

And that is exactly what he is doing with the launch of “Back On Track” video. Since the video’s release on July 2, it has accumulated almost a million views and even more encouragement from his followers and fans.

“What I have learned up to this point, is that you may try something, and you may fail. But if you don’t try, then you will never know if you could or couldn’t, and that is what I have been thinking about up to this point. I think we have flipped the coin, turned things around, and I am really proud of that. I don’t know what’s next but I can’t wait to see. No matter what the situation, there is always opportunity.”

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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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