In the period 1970 through 1972, observed trials in N. Georgia and surrounding areas underwent considerable gains in enthusiasm and participation. There were numerous individual trials organized. Initially, the most popular hotspots were:
- Atlanta area
- Marietta area
- Athens area
- NE Georgia (Gainesville, Mt. Airy, Clarksville, and Cornelia)
During this time period, a number of the events were sanctioned with the Southeast Sports Committee in order to accumulate points for a year end trials championship, along with other motorcycle disciplines.
The growing popularity of trials riding and events, led to the desire for more events and a formal organization strictly for observed trails. At a trial late in1972 in Atlanta, GA., Ronnie Garmon proposed that a dedicated observed trials association be started to organize a yearly series of events, mainly in and around Georgia, starting in 1973. Everyone was in agreement. This organization was named the Southeastern Trials Riders Association (STRA).
Ronnie Garmon volunteered to lead the STRA operation in 1973. A full series of trials was held. in 1973, leading up to the first year end Business Meeting, Banquet, and Awards on Dec. 8, 1973 at a Sirloin Stockade restaurant in Atlanta. Some key items were:
- Year end awards for the top 10 riders in each class, Novice, Expert, and Master.
- Award (donated by Cycle News) for most improved rider – It went to Dan Miller.
- Election of officers for 1974
- President – Ronnie Garmon
- Combined V. President., Secretary, and Treasurer – Curtis Comer, Sr.
- Competition Director – Jack McCoskey
- The first STRA Rulebook was formulated and approved.
- A series of 12 trial events were scheduled for 1974.
1974 proved to be another good year for the STRA. There was a total of 73 riders who competed in the 12 sanctioned trials. The class breakdown was 47 in Novice, 15 in Expert, and 11 in Master.
In the early years, most competitors were riding modified enduro and trail bikes. There were only a handful of Bultaco and Montesa trial bikes. However, this didn’t slow down the enthusiasm and number of trial riders in competition. As time went on, the number of trials bikes increased rapidly.
From these beginnings in 1973 and 1974, the STRA has continued and prospered. This didn’t happen easily or by accident. All the many members and officers over the years have worked with dedication for the continuation and many accomplishments of the STRA.