The sub-heading on the programme as “the friendliest trial in Scotland” says it all about the Inverness Club’s Highland Classic Two Day Trial, held on the wonderful Alvie Estate just a few miles south of the Highland town of Aviemore. Each year the trial grows in stature, from being very much a tiny club event to one of the highlights of the classic trials rider’s year. The result was a full-house entry of 150 who filled the entry list within a day or so way back in February, and a further small number of guest riders invited by the club to add even more exceptional status to the trial.
Back in 2013, the club lifted the level of the trial with the introduction of the Bultaco Edition when famous riders of the marque were invited to attend. Following on from the Thorpe Edition, the Tenth Edition, the Yamscot Edition and the Honda Edition, this year it was the Montesa Cota Edition, and in 2019 it will be the SWM Edition.
There was a significant number of twin-shock Montesas entered, most of them very smart rebuilds, and it was former British Expert Trial winner Clive Smith who was the guest of honour to represent the marque. He had done the invite justice as his Montesa was an immaculate Cota 247 version cobbled together from three machines that he’s owned since his days when he was supported by Jim Sandiford some 30 years ago. His brother Steve was also there, as was his son, but unfortunately the other two brothers of the famous trialling family Eddie and Ray are no longer with us.
The Alvie Estate’s Laird, Jamie Williamson and his staff have been welcoming trials riders to the land for a good number of years, and his speech at the riders’ gathering before they tackled the two laps of 18 sections each day proved once again how much the estate values the attendance of the trial. The club has the trial entirely correct for a classic trial; there are no tight turns, everything can be ridden without the use of the clutch if so desired, and the classic rocky streams provide a level of grip that is rarely found outside of the Highlands.
Clive Smith (1975 247 Montesa Cota)
John Moffat with Douglas Bald