Don Mountstevens

Classic Trial - - HOW TO RIDE WITH... - Words: Clas­sic Trial Magazine Pic­tures: Alan Vines

At the end of the 1970 tri­als sea­son Gor­don Far­ley had ended the elevenyear reign of Sammy Miller in the British Tri­als cham­pi­onship. Miller had first won the se­ries on the fa­mous 500cc Ariel with the reg­is­tra­tion no: GOV 132 be­fore he recorded the first win on a for­eign ma­chine with the Span­ish Bul­taco in 1965. The ri­valry be­tween Far­ley and Miller was very in­tense, as Far­ley rode for Mon­tesa and Miller Bul­taco. The meet­ing of the two riders at the Bris­tol Mo­tor­cy­cle Club’s Don Mountstevens Re­gional Re­stricted Trial on the 21st Fe­bru­ary was the first time they had rid­den to­gether in com­pe­ti­tion since Far­ley’s win­ning British Cham­pi­onship ride in De­cem­ber 1970 at the Knut Trial.

Based around the Chew Val­ley in Som­er­set this trial was a very tra­di­tional event tak­ing in a 34 mile road-based sin­gle lap start­ing at Lamb’s Lair with eight groups of haz­ards at Mid­dles, Stowey Steps, Old Tan­nery, Spring Farm, Town View, Dundry Lane and Strode Lane be­fore re­turn­ing to Lamb’s Lair con­tain­ing 30 ob­served sec­tions.

Kind weather

With an ex­cel­lent en­try of just over 60 solo riders start­ing the event promptly at 10.00am, the weather was very kind for the early part of the year with fine but cold con­di­tions. The fast-flow­ing river with its large rocks at Stowey Steps wit­nessed ex­cel­lent rid­ing from Miller, Far­ley, Brian Shut­tle­worth and Lawrence Telling who parted with no marks. Derek Ad­sett had a sin­gle mark loss in the open­ing haz­ard as the pre­vi­ous day’s St David’s Na­tional Trial win­ner Jack Gal­loway parted with five marks on the Sara­cen for a stop in the se­cond haz­ard, which ef­fec­tively re­moved him from chal­leng­ing for the vic­tory. Next it was a visit to the mix­ture of mud and rocks at ‘Old Tan­nery’ where Telling parted with a loose mark as the other lead­ing con­tenders parted with no marks to stay in con­tention for the win.

Easy Opener

The early part of the event was sur­pris­ingly easy for the ma­jor­ity of the en­try, with many re­main­ing on very low scores as they ap­proached the half­way point at Spring Farm. Miller was still un-pe­nalised, with Far­ley close by on one mark lost and Telling on two. The four haz­ards at Spring Farm soon changed the sever­ity of the haz­ards as the en­tire en­try, apart from Miller and Gal­loway, were pe­nalised on the slip­pery banks and climbs. Jack Gal­loway rid­ing the 125cc Sara­cen was prov­ing just how good the ‘Mi­cro’ tri­als ma­chines were against the ‘Span­ish Ar­mada’ of Bul­taco, Mon­tesa and Ossa. Hav­ing recorded his se­cond na­tional win of his ca­reer the day be­fore, he rode out of his skin to try and close the gap on Miller’s lead of the event, watch­ing his ri­val’s ev­ery move.

Miller’s the Man

Gor­don Far­ley was start­ing to show his true form as the riders vis­ited the six haz­ards at Town View. All the en­try parted with marks on the climbs over loose rocks and mud steps but Mon­tesa-mounted Far­ley only lost one with Miller part­ing with seven and Telling nine, bring­ing the marks of the lead­ing riders close to­gether as they ap­proached the con­clu­sion of the day’s ac­tion at Dundry Lane. With steep climbs and de­scents the or­der of the day Miller came into his own, adding a sin­gle mark to his score as Far­ley blew all his hard work from ear­lier in the day out of the door with a huge loss of fif­teen, giv­ing that man Miller the vic­tory at the close of play. The rest of the year would wit­ness a huge tus­sle for the top spot but Far­ley would add an­other title to his suc­cess, tak­ing the 1971 British Tri­als Cham­pi­onship once again for Mon­tesa.

Sammy Miller (252cc Bul­taco) Gor­don Far­ley (250cc Mon­tesa): A foot goes down at Dundry Lane on the slip­pery rocks. Sammy Miller (252cc Bul­taco): Show­ing 100% con­cen­tra­tion; Miller on form was a very hard man to beat

Lawrence Telling (250cc Mon­tesa): Rid­ing the John Brise-sup­ported Mon­tesa for Mon­tala Mo­tors, the UK im­porters of the Span­ish brand, Telling had some very good re­sults. This Mon­tesa Cota 247 sports the newly in­tro­duced smaller moped-type wheel hubs. Derek Ad­sett (175cc Greeves): The as­so­ci­a­tion of the Greeves man­u­fac­tured Pathfinder tri­als model with the Steyr-Daim­ler-Puch two-stroke en­gine was not a suc­cess­ful one. Priced in 1971 at £259.00 in kit form, very few ma­chines were sold. Gor­don Far­ley (250cc Mon­tesa): He blew all his hard work ear­lier in the day out of the door with a huge loss of fif­teen marks lost at Dundry Lane. Derek Ad­sett (175cc Greeves): Ad­sett was one of few riders who won a Na­tional trial on the ‘Pathfinder’ model. Jack Gal­loway (125cc Sara­cen): The on-form Gal­loway on the ‘Mi­cro’ Sara­cen was very hard to beat as he proved the small-ca­pac­ity ma­chine’s per­for­mance time af­ter time.

Graham Love­lock (125cc Sara­cen): As with the ma­jor­ity of the ‘Mi­cro’ ma­chines the en­gine char­ac­ter­is­tics left them prone to stalling at very low en­gine rev­o­lu­tions. Jon Bliss (125cc Sara­cen): Sara­cen boss Ron Good­fel­low was rev­el­ling in the suc­cess of his ma­chines. At the pre­vi­ous day’s St David’s Trial Jack Gal­loway had taken the win with Bliss tak­ing the award for the Best 125cc Class rider in 6th po­si­tion. Jon Bliss (125cc Sara­cen): Pow­ered by a Sachs en­gine with a five-speed gear­box the Sara­cens were very com­pet­i­tive in the right hands. Bliss not only rode them he also worked on the pro­duc­tion line in the UK based fac­tory as­sem­bling them. Pat Lam­per (250cc Bul­taco): With Sammy Miller lead­ing the way the pro­duc­tion Sherpa T tri­als model was a very pop­u­lar choice for the buy­ing pub­lic.

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