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“Beo Bike Week: Roaring Engines, Cold Beer, and Breathtaking Panoramas

Beo Bike Week | 6. August 2023

After the controversial cancellation last year due to the biker trial in Bern, the Oberland bikers’ favorite week could take place again this year. From Friday to Sunday, bikers from Switzerland and Europe drink beer together, exhibit their machines and enjoy a ride in the region or live music. The men and women in leather jackets with their hot ovens also attract quite a crowd, with Beo Bike Week counting around three thousand visitors in total.

The international Beo Bike Week has become famous throughout Switzerland and even abroad with the concept of powerful machines in front of a breathtaking panorama. Photos: Manuel Glaser

Motorbike enthusiasts have made themselves comfortable on the tank slope in Thun: A large arch invites motorcyclists to take a lap of honor over the military site, after which they can park their machines right next to the entrance to the festival site, where they can be admired by the fans. The entrance to the site is adorned with two wooden towers and a large welcome poster, and you immediately think you are in the Wild West, which, however, comes with the latest motorcycle models.

You can already tell on the festival grounds that this occasion is close to our hearts. OC President Jürg Burkhart is one of those who gives full commitment to the biker festival. Since Monday he has been involved in the construction with 30 to 40 helpers every day. The reward: a great, cozy party on a site where otherwise bullets fly and tanks roll. The highlight for the president of the organizing committee and the Beo Biker bike club: “Especially now, after four years without an event, seeing all the heads we know again, including those from abroad, that’s the highlight.”

The Beo Bike Week promises crazy rides and cozy beer. The craziest of all bikes in different categories will be chosen as the winner of the bike show.

In addition to the beer, there is of course also something to bite. The otherwise not so green festival even boasts a depot system for cups to avoid waste.

Controversial cancellation

Beo Bike Week traditionally takes place every two years. After the cancellation during the pandemic, no Bike Week could take place in Thun last year. The reason? The biker trial in Bern stirred up the motorcycle world in such a way that the authorities judged the motorcycle event to be too dangerous. The police put the likelihood of a conflict at 90 percent and the event was not approved, the Jungfrau Zeitung reported.

Jürg Burkhart, long-standing president of Oberländer Biker with a calm demeanor, saw the assessment a little differently at the time: “If it had been up to me, we would have done it.” The ban came three weeks before the festival, which had already been planned and was about to start. However, the OC President understands the authorities’ decision and accepted it, despite the losses that resulted. Now he is happy, together with all the other motorbike fans in Thun, Switzerland and nearby Europe, that the festival was able to rise this year.

In a small incident, a motorcycle caught fire, whereupon the fire brigade arrived with blue lights.

OC President and boss of the Beo Bikers, Jürg Burkhalter, can understand the ban imposed by the authorities last year, even though he didn’t let a small protest trip be missed at the time.

Exit with 250 machines

Throughout the weekend, visitors can test the new models from various manufacturers on site, which is actively being done. There are also other stands that offer plenty of liquids and solids, but also have homemade art and other things on offer. There is a stage in the marquee, which is used for rock music in the evening and on Sunday afternoon.

What must also be a highlight for many motorcycle fans is the joint ride on Saturday. In the morning we practice how to close the roads and how to lead the convoy before we get down to business shortly after midday. As the motorbikes slowly line up, you can see why such a joint trip requires a lot of organization: at least 200 motorbikes, probably a lot more, line up and form a queue of over a hundred meters. It is unimaginable how this colossus of engines, leather and petrol could drive through the Emmental in one piece without around 20 well-rehearsed helpers blocking the crossings for the convoy.

The approximately 250 bikers create an impressive picture as they line up and get ready for the ride together.

Many of the guests from afar stay overnight with their tent or caravan on the site, right next to their machine.

“Big Ben” prefers it fast, so he isn’t there on the exit. The young biker definitely attracts attention with his outfit at the Beo Bike Week.

But the young biker “Big Ben” doesn’t see the joint ride as a highlight: “It’s boring, you fall asleep there. I like to drive fast!” The tall man can be found in a tartan skirt, biker jacket and sandals just examining the motorbikes on display. He doesn’t drive a Harley-Davidson himself, but probably something sportier. “Big Ben” is one of the younger bikers at Beo Bike Week. The festival, which describes itself as international and is actually a fixture in the calendars of some bike clubs in neighboring countries, tends to have a higher average age. Perhaps related to this, taste is also elevated: Harley-Davidson is by far the most prominent motorcycle brand at the festival.

Motorcycles as far as the eye can see. A real boy’s dream for many a seasoned man in a leather jacket.

The biker on the left was from Ins and spent his last moments as a bachelor at Beo Bike Week, with the associated chores and singing routines.

Sausages on the grill and motorbikes galore, what could be better?

In fact, there was also something for the finer senses on the festival grounds: Homemade art, which you could watch as it was made, was also offered for sale.

2023-08-06 17:06:03
#Peaceful #celebration #years

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