Ashington-born cyclist pens his first book

An Ashington-born man is hoping to provide an insight into the life of a gig economy worker with his new book, You Got the Gig!

The cover of You Got the Gig!.
The cover of You Got the Gig!.

The gig economy refers to short-term or freelance work, for example, as a Deliveroo rider.

Ryan Murphy, born and raised in Ashington, first discovered his love for cycling early on in life and later went on to work as a cycle courier.

Having studied sports at Leeds, the 35-year-old decided to use his cycling abilities as a method of making money as a student, to help him to pay for fees and equipment.

Remembering his life in Ashington, he said: "Being in Ashington and being outdoors quite a lot, I got into cycling when I was quite young and I did it until I hit my teenage years and everything that goes with that. Then I went away to university and started cycling again properly

"There’s quite good infrastructure there [Ashington]. You can go along the coast, I used to go to Newbiggin quite a lot. So that, in terms of a story, started off my obsession with cycling and sort of led on from there”

Describing his first jobs in Ashington, Ryan said: "I started off with a few odd jobs in sixth form. I used to work at the officers’ club in Cramlington with the factory.

“I had a lot of odd jobs. I worked at the Metro Centre at Sports Direct which used to be Sports Soccer.”

The book is described as a “behind the curtains access-all-area story of how it is for me and other people and how it [cycling] affects your mind and your body.”

You Got the Gig! was considered by Ryan for a while, but the first lockdown was his catalyst for finishing the book as it gave him much-needed time.

“It was during the first national lockdown where I thought ‘right, I’m going to start putting the story together’ and hopefully I have a few funny stories to tell,” he said. “There are some right characters in the industry.”

Looking back on his hometown, Ryan described Ashington as "a fantastic place for outdoors.”

He added: “It’s a fantastic place just to get out. People are really friendly, as opposed to the city, where I just get my head down.”