Ever since my first trip to a foreign World round in 1984 I’ve always been fascinated by the enthusiasm around the globe for trials, especially in France and Spain. I am still around people I first met on my first trip across the water to the WTC all those years ago, even more so with the magazines we produce together. My passion for collecting motorcycle trials sales brochures from 1965 onwards has always thrown up some surprises, but at the press launch for the new Montesa Cota 4Ride I could not believe the one that was about to happen.
It’s hard to believe that I first witnessed Miquel Cirera at the World Trials Championship in action on a cold day in Great Britain in 1977, riding a Montesa, of course. Over the following years he has stayed loyal to the Spanish brand and, as we all know, he is now the man in charge of the factory Montesa team.
While I was at the recent FIM X-Trial World Championship event in Barcelona at the Palau Sant Jordi stadium we were talking, and I mentioned to him that I would be attending the press launch of the Montesa 4Ride later in the month in Spain; he noted the day I would arrive and said that he would try to be there. As good as his word, there he was.
Issue 16 of Classic Trial Magazine had just been printed and so I took some copies along with issue 55 of Trial Magazine with me for the invited guest to enjoy. In issue 55 there was an article on the history of cycle trials and I had included some Montesita brochure shots from the early eighties. Also in attendance was Amos Bilbao, who is still involved with Montesa working on development projects. He was sat at the table with the Montesa support team for the machine launch. Full of enthusiasm, Amos came over with issue 55 of Trial Magazine held open; he was laughing. The guy in the cycle trials brochure was one of the guys at the table, all these years on. I was gob smacked and, believe it or not, stuck for words! His name was Antonio Talavera, and a huge smile erupted as he looked at the brochure shot.
Over a few beers we talked about the cycle trials times, in a rough broken Spanish dialogue, but what was impressed me the most was the enthusiasm that was still there all these years on!