Tuesday June 8th 2021

A final D Day pic and one that perhaps brings a different aspect on the horror of that day in 1944

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Classic Trials are HUGE in Europe  - and the bikes they ride are works of art
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Not sure if the pic below is from the same event - but what glorious scenery - the reason us old guys like  the old fashioned Trials. ( Long loops and great scenery)
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Another “Blast from the Past” the start  at the 1973 Moose Mountain Cross Country ( Yes I know we have posted this before) I’m on the Bultaco Sherpa T on the far right of the 172 riders in the line up, waiting for the shotgun start.

And this was me at the finish of the two 50 mile loops - 3rd open & 6th overall - out of 10 or 12 finishers.

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Still on the Bultaco theme - check out this poster of all the Trials models they built !!  Did you know the reason they shut down was because there was a down turn in the Industry, but because of Spanish Laws ( and unions) - they could not lay any workers off - so they shut the factory down - rumor has it that Ossa closed for the same reason. - Only Montesa survived, because they were bought by Honda - not because the Japanese wanted the Trials bikes, but because they needed a Tariff  loophole to sell their Honda Scooters in Spain. -

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And a great pic of Gary Baily with his son David Baily. - Gary was the guy who used to set up all the Super cross tracks, David went on to become a super-star, before a bad crash put him in a wheel chair.

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There have been quite a few very good pics posted recently on the media, with stories of Mountain riding on old twin shocks - here is another one.  - it mentions going down into a valley and the difficult task getting back up, something that I was always very concerned with, when riding in Alberta in the 70’s.

MEMORIES “Carança”
The return to the Valley, now a natural park, was something that I did for the first time in 1975, being the youngest of all and the least accustomed to the long routes that the group of “elders” had already done.
My Cota 74 at the time, gave what it gave but, on that occasion it seemed a bit fair for the climb they had planned and that it would be the first time they tried to do it on a motorcycle so I asked to borrow a Cota 172 to my best friend of then.
Presented in autumn 1974 at the Paris Motor Show and launched in 1975, the Cota 172 was an adaptation of the Cota 123 in which it was fitted with 21 and 18-inch wheels (instead of the typical 20 and 17-inch) and the engine was raised to 157 cc.
The other differences towards the Cota 123 were the suspensions: in front it had a Montesa fork (manufactured by Betor) more robust than those of the Cota 74/123 but smaller than that of the Cota 247; rear, the swingarm was longer than on the Cota 74/123.
Happier than a partridge in spring, for the excursion and for thoroughly testing my new motorcycle, we went on the classic route until, arriving at Coll de Carança, one of the veterans decided to go down for the first time on a motorcycle, to the first pond called the blue, thus fulfilling the promise to try.
The Carança valley is known for its beautiful glacial lakes and spectacular gorges, it is located on the northern slope of the eastern Pyrenees, in the French region of Conflent, bordering Roussillon and Ripollès and structured by the Tet river.
The valley, oriented from north to south, is structured by the Carança stream that rises from the Negro lake, located on the western slope of Pico del Infierno and the north of the Picos de la Vaca, and which flows into the Tet river.
The Cirque de Carança is a magnificent example of glacial modeling with steep slopes, lakes of glacial origin and numerous peat bogs, highlights the Tortilla pond, frequented by French fishermen, the Negro tin and the beautiful Lake Blau, located at 2,583 meters above sea level. altitude.
Happy for having introduced the front wheel for the first time in the frozen waters and especially for having made the descent without mishaps, on the way back we did not realize the difference between going down and going up, arriving exhausted at the crest and border between France and Spain.
Lakes that together with those nearby and called Estanyet, I would continue to visit assiduously during the summers for the greater glory of the French forest service at a time when, fortunately, there were no mobiles to report our incursions into the neighboring country.
The bike was returned to my friend without a scratch, that night I began to dream about what would be my next mount, the Montesa Cota 247.
PD: To the right of the current image, the strenuous way up.

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