“I knew I had to ride again”When life dealt the British trial biker the harshest of blows, he faced up to his toughest challenge yet: bouncing back
Martyn Ashton has ridden bikes where most people have never taken them before: down water-park flumes, along aeroplane wings and over the beams of bridges. A pioneer in the world of trials riding, Ashton, 40, made a name for himself from tackling the most unlikely of structures. Then, in 2013, while performing at a bike show at Silverstone, he suffered a life-changing fall that left him paralysed from the waist down.
THE RED BULLETIN: How did you deal with your change in circumstances?
MARTYN ASHTON: You have to just get on with it and not waste time dwelling on the negatives. Some days are tough, but isn’t that the same for everyone? I began to reclaim my life and challenge myself, and that grew into #TrybeforeJuly, where I’d go out and do something new.
What’s been the most memorable challenge?
Canoeing. It was a disaster. I couldn’t do it; they’d push me off from the side and I’d tumble over and nearly drown. My family were there, and every time I came up for air, they’d just belly laugh at how ridiculous it was. I gave it about six goes, then the guy wouldn’t let me try any more.
Do you have anything lined up for this year?
I’ve had a look at sit-ski waterskiing. I don’t expect to be any good, but that’s part of the fun. I’m looking for things that will be more of a disaster than a success! It’s about creating moments, and the most valuable are the ones that make you laugh.
Which one activity should everyone try?
Riding a motorcycle. It’s the greatest invention on Earth. I knew that when I got out of hospital I had to work out how to ride one again.
And you succeeded?
Getting back on the Triumph was one of the best days of my life. I hadn’t expected another life highlight after my injury, but it was great. You have to tell yourself your best days are ahead.
And you’re doing the Wings For Life World Run again.
Yeah, I can’t wait. It’s a wicked event. The car chasing people down feels like such a celebration – whenever people are caught, they’re like, “Oh, finally! Where have you been? I’ve been running for ages.”
Do you have a goal?
Only to go as fast as I can, although the course is quite hilly. My nan and her walking aid travel faster uphill than I do, so I reckon I’m going to be caught a lot sooner than I’d like!
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