Martyn Ashton is no stranger to the world of mountain biking, but over the past few years his name has been cropping up on road rides all over the country…
Martyn’s outrageous Road Bike Party video will be the cause of this, which featured him performing highly technical trials-based moves on a conventional road bike – combined with locations and stunts that left viewers gasping.
Its timely release helped things along too, as the bike he used in the video was identical to that used by Bradley Wiggins in his moment of glory at the Tour De France.
The concept came from this vidoe Martyn did promoting the BikeRadar Live show in 2010 – which his Animal Biketour was a major part of. It’s still impressive, but with his latest Road Bike Party 2 video currently astonishing people all over the world, it’s easy to forget about.
Robin Kitchin also flies under the radar, but his role in RBP 1 and 2 has been vital. Robin’s a multi-talented photographer and filmer, but also manages the Animal WD40 Action Sports Tour and is a very close friend of Martyn’s, and has been working with Martyn on this project from the beginning. It was clear that even though Martyn suffered an awful injury, it wouldn’t stop the pair producing their finest work to date.
We caught up with Robin Kitchin, who produced both the Road Bike Party videos, and found out a bit of stuff that went on behind the scenes…
“I don’t have an actual count, but every location we shot at is in the film. Following Martyn’s accident we wanted to use everything we shot of him and then, having spent roughly three days with Chris and then Danny, we didn’t have any fat to trim off.”
“I think there were just six flats in total, spread pretty evenly between them. However, the first one was the worst as it happened in the first scene (the last scene in the video) when Martyn dropped to the rail – see the credits in the video to witness the result!”
Martin Hawyes and Blake Samson make cameo appearances…
“Blake can be caught out fairly easily, but Hawziee less so – it would be telling but I’m sure some will spot it! Let’s just say there was a scene we wanted to film and were unable to after the accident…”
Side-hop world record
“The tennis net that Martyn side-hopped over was set at 91cm, which we believed was the official tennis net height. It’s got to be a world record right? At least for a road bike!”
More construction, less filming
“We had a lot of GoPro footage to sift through, but we actually spent far more time making the scenes work than on the actual filming of them. The loop that Danny rode round, for instance, required us boarding a 25ft run over a wet grass bank to the pipe, as the stunt would be even more ridiculous with wet tyres!”
It took 12 days to edit
“I think in total I spent 12 days editing – a good portion of this was locating and organising the specific footage I wanted to play with. The best days were spent with Martyn at his bedside, and in the canteen – watching our faces light up as we viewed the scenes was great rehab for us both.”
Many hands made light work
“For the scene where Martyn hops on to the skateboard that knocks the pallets over, we did an initial run where he just pushed it over as we thought it would be good to get one in the bag. However, I have little legs and my route up the pallets while filming was as treacherous as his, so following a slight stumble I cut the shot short. With a bit more planning and a team effort, we made it work with the skateboard first time!
“Blake Samson built the landing, I built the skateboard section and James Jones and Martyn built the pyramid and front flip runway, so it was a great team effort. And we got it in the bag just before the sun set! It’s an amazing piece of riding that we wanted to kick the video off with.”
The bike stayed in one piece!
“Certainly, the front cog is a bit lighter than it was, following Chris Akrigg’s section – but that’s good yeah?
“Chris was incredible on the bike from the moment he first donned his Lycra. His very first bit of riding was the canal lock bridge, which had so many things to go wrong yet he just breezed it, like it was a country road.
“I think from that moment I knew the bike was going to continue having the time of its life – and with Danny to come its grin was probably bigger than mine.”
Some of the riding didn’t make sense to me
“Having worked with all three photographically in the past, I know that the moment these guys plan to take something on, it’s on.
“It may need a hefty dose of timing for all the elements to come together, but these guys all have amazing drive and I just had to be ready to catch it.
“There was one move though, that to me defied physics – and I like physics, so it was a bit troublesome for me. Just how is it possible to roll backwards down a steep, bumpy and wet switchback turn on just your front wheel? I still don’t get it.”
Viewers first, danger later!
“Maybe I’m biased, but when we come up with an idea, all we imagine is the viewer’s face when they get to see it! All those thoughts of the dangers get lost behind a smokescreen of potential entertainment. Is that wrong?
“This video changed in dynamics following Martyn’s accident – when I was at his side as it happened – but we both knew it was something that could adapt. And we knew it could provide Martyn with a much needed distraction from the circumstances he was working to accept, and also help him craft a vision for his exciting future.
“I’m proud to have played my part, and I’m super chuffed that we appear to have made lots of other people smile too!”
Do we have to tell you to go and watch it again? Click right here – and tell your friends too!