Peter Valente 1953-2021

Peter Valente enjoying the Highland Classic – Photo: Iain Lawrie

Funeral Arrangements:

Peter C. Valente’s funeral took place on Friday, May 28th at 2.00pm at Warriston Crematorium, Edinburgh, EH7 4HW (off Ferry Road). Due to ongoing Covid restrictions, attendance was limited and by invitation.

The Scottish Trials community was both saddened and shocked by the sudden passing of Peter C. Valente on Sunday 2nd May 2021.

Peter Cosmo Valente was a trials rider from Edinburgh who rode his first trial in April 1971, The Campbell Trophy Trial organised by the Dunfermline and District MCC on his four-speed Bultaco Sherpa.

Sadly, Peter died after suffering a suspected heart attack at a trial run in Fife, exactly 50 years later. He competed every season from 1971 to 2021.

He had ridden events for 50 years and died doing what he not only enjoyed, but was passionate about.

Peter had been participating at the East Neuk club’s trial at Drumcarro, near St. Andrews in Fife when he felt unwell, returning to his vehicle. There were first aiders present and then Paramedics who did their utmost to revive him, but sadly he slipped away peacefully.

Peter was born in Edinburgh in June 1953 and was Trials Secretary of the Melville Motor Club in the 1970s. He was also a member of the Hawick & Border club and latterly had been actively helping the Galloway MCC set up their trials section.

He enjoyed road runs and took part in the annual Moidart Run and T. Arnott Moffat Memorial Run since its inception in 2017. Peter always turned up with something interesting and enjoyed the cameraderie and friendship of like-minded enthusiasts.

Peter and his younger brother Simon were active riders in trials both north and south of the Scottish border. He was the type of person that proved you did not have to be a ‘top flight’ rider to gain the respect and comradeship of other competitors and officials in the sport.

Peter also enjoyed fun at events and around 1975, he and brother Simon appeared at an Edinburgh St George trial wearing bright red jerseys that were almost identical, but written in block capitals on the backs were the words: “THIS ONE” and “THAT ONE”.

Peter was inspired to ride trials in February 1968 while spectating at the Edinburgh Southern ‘Coronation Trial’ which took place near Bathgate, West Lothian and was bitten by the trials bug.

Over the years, Peter owned just about every trials bike known to man, this included his first Bultaco Sherpa four-speeder, progressing to five 5-speed Bultacos,  one of first Mk 2 Ossa MARs in Scotland, then a Kawasaki KT250  followed by a Honda TL250 which he found overweight and didn’t keep it long. He also owned one of first Beamish Suzukis in Scotland, followed by a Montesa 348, Fantic 200, Yamaha TY250 and latterly a Montesa 4RT.

Peter competed in two Scottish Six Days Trials. His first was in 1977 on the Beamish Suzuki, but the front forks compressed heavily and failed to rebound, he soldiered on with no front suspension for a couple of days but cried enough and was forced to retire. Undeterred, Peter returned six years later in 1983 on the 156 Fantic when he finished in 206th position and he was satisfied that he had taken on and finished the historic event.

Trials Guru’s John Moffat gave his own personal tribute:

I have known Peter Valente since he first started riding, three years before I took up the sport, as I observed at Scottish trials for five years prior to riding myself. He was the sort of person that was easy to talk with and when I got a bit older, I was in Peter’s company along with his brother Simon, Graham Smith, Dave Mowat and Roy Kerr when we all were members of the Hawick & Border club which was run by the Smith family and some others.

I remember when we all went south to spectate at the Scott Trial, in 1978 and we all squeezed into Peter’s Renault 5 car and followed round the course, stopping off at various sections to watch the aces at work. We had the time of our lives that October Saturday and on several occassions Peter had the little Renault airbourne. Going up was fine, but the landing was rather interesting!

I discovered that Peter’s middle initial ‘C’ was actually ‘Cosmo’ and this highly amused us all, because there was a television character at the time portrayed by Les Dawson called ‘Cosmo Smallpiece’. We all thought it highly amusing, well all except Peter, and when he got over the initial ridicule, he actually entered a few events as ‘Cosmo Valente’.

Peter C. Valente was a keen trials rider, an enthusiastic road rider, cyclist and sportsman. He was highly regarded by all who knew him. He never lost his schoolboy enthusiasm for the sport and the pastime of motorcycling. I had heaps of respect for Peter and also his brother Simon, they were a fine pair of brothers.

We had the best of times and the best of friendships.”

G.F. Smith; J.O. Moffat; P.C. Valente & R.A. Kerr – Photo: Eric Kitchen

13 thoughts on “Peter Valente 1953-2021”

  1. Sad to hear of the passing of Peter I rode with him over the years Scotland &England sometimes when he rode Andy Johnstons pre 65 bikes I lent him my new 348 Montesa in 1978 and he won the club championship on it and returned as good as it was when I give him it .like my self he loved motorcycling on or of the road .at the Modart run one year I was doing my Marc Marquez I passed him he was in his Honda moped. I was on my 4cy 250 cc17.000 reving RPM Honda Hornet. only to look back and he was right with me .a great guy he will be missed by us all in motorcycle sport in Scotland .RIP Jock.

  2. Excellent tribute John very well writen wish I had the words, I’m in complete shock but have lots of happy memories from Hawick and border trials and nights out in Hawick, to practice days at Innerleithen Hawick and Lauder, a very genuine guy who will be missed for a very very long time.

  3. Nice tribute to peter, a true gentleman. Being a late starter Peter was my mentor, now that was a challenge for him, not allowing me to give up in my early trials along with Doulas Bald at Knockhill with the Dunfermline Club. Peter introduced me to trials in the North East and again introducing me to so many great people in the trial’s community. We enjoyed many events together over the years, my aim was just to beat him!! So may Good memories. RIP Peter, James.

  4. Such a lovely man. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. RIP Peter

  5. I was at school with Peter. My first memory of Peter being sitting on the playing fields of Forrester’s Secondary school listening to the TT on a radio. Also his first bike, a green BSA bantam and running around his parents garden on an Ariel three wheel trike. He bought his 4 speed Bulto from me. We kept in touch over the years, meeting up usually at some bike event.
    Both my wife Frances, who met Peter at the motorcycle training scheme run at Gorgie cattle market and I were shocked to hear of Peter’s passing, a true friend and gentleman who is sadly missed.

  6. I knew Peter but not very well. Always found him an interesting gent, but didn’t ride round a lot with him.
    His passing is a loss, and my thoughts are with his family and friends.

  7. I’m not a trials guy but knew Peter well having worked with him for many years. He got me back onto a motorbike in the 90s after too many years off them. Went to a couple of 6 day trials with him plus a couple of trips to the Grand Prix in the IOM. Really nice guy.

  8. Just heard today the very sad news about Pete, great tribute to a great guy. Spent many weekends trailing or mountain biking, with him, also back marking at the Pre 65. A great guy to be with, will be missed.
    Walter Stratford

  9. Sadly l have just read your article and the wonderful comments about Peter. We started riding in trials at roughly the same time. Up the Bathgate hills and places like Muiravonside. Always warm, eager to compete, and help you. I last saw Peter at the Bo’ness Hillclimb. I and my brother John will miss him. Simon my condolences. RIP Michael Grimes.

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