When former trials world champion Martyn Ashton was paralysed from the waist down in a performance accident in 2013, many thought he would never ride a normal bike again. He had other ideas.
Ashton and his team rigged up a Mojo Nicolai Geometron with a sit-ski chair rigged up on the seat post, and went for a ride on the downhill trail at Antur Stiniog in Snowdonia together with Danny MacAskill, Chris Akrigg and Blake Samson.
The result is this uplifting video that will brighten up even the gloomiest day.
“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," Ashton said.
“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.”