Monday, 28 June 2010

Knowledge is power!

I can still remember the day I bumped into Martyn Ashton. It was at a very early downhill race at Checkendon near Reading. (When I say early I don't mean 7am , this was around 1993/94). Martyn was there with his mate of the same name and both were wearing clothing slightly different to that most mountain bikers of the day tended to sport. Tighter and brighter and with some odd shoes. I soon discovered this was trials riding gear. But more than that I saw close up the skills that riding trials brought to the mtb arena. Between fits of giggles and jokes, these two were making the course - which by today's standards is just about XC - look positively flat: hopping logs and putting their wheels exactly where they decided they should go. Between then and now Ashton has put himself firmly at the top of the skills set league. He has ridden for major teams such as Volvo Cannondale and regularly rolls out to perform his brand of two wheeled wizardry at demonstrations around the UK and beyond.
So it is only right that he should produce this book 'Mountain Biking Tricks and Techniques' to pass on his knowledge and help us stiffbacks to understand the dynamics of a bunny hop or a rolling endo. (If you don't know what tht means it's all in there!) Starting at the beginning with safety gear and progressing through a catalogue of tricks and bike skills that would have me kidnapped by a travelling circus should I master them all, Martyn's straightforward and clear prose breaks down each technique to have you up and away in no time. But there's more: he's only drafted in his best mates to add their voices to the book, and Martyn's mates are world class riders such as former World Downhill Champion Gee Atherton, freeride sensations Danny MacAskill and Grant Fielder, Current World DH champ Steve Peat and all time trials legend Hans Rey amongst others. The boy's got some book of contacts!
Clearly laid out and with great images by Ashton's Animal colleague Robin Kitchin, the book deserves a place on any budding mountain biker's shelf-and some not so budding too. Published by Cordee and priced at £14.95 I'd say it's a bargain. Go on splash some cash you tightwads! To see more click here

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