Thousands of motorcyclists had attended the "Elephants' Meeting" last weekend in Thurmansbang (County Freyung-Grafenau).
The police in Straubing stated Sunday that around 4000 participants and 2000 visitors attended, reports Muenchener Merkur. With a snow depth of about half a meter and sunshine, the conditions for the traditional meeting were good. "People are happy, but they are closer together, because it is so cold," said the chairman of the Federation of Motorcyclists, Michael Lenzen.
The Elephants' meeting is regarded the world's oldest and largest winter-biker meeting. Every year a large meadow area is transformed into a huge tent camp on the ice. There is no major program as such, with the meeting around the campfire as the focus point.
To warm up, besides the statutory task of shoveling snow, there are a few smaller contests like tug of war, wood saws and snow sculpture. Especially popular is the biker-meeting of the motorcyclists from Italy. But it also attracts many bikers from England, France, Spain, Scandinavia, the Benelux countries and the Far reaches of Russia to the Bavarian Forest every year.
The first elephants' meeting was 1956 in Stuttgart. Initially, during those early days only drivers of the Zündapp KS 601 came to the winter meetings. These old machines were called by fans as a "Green Elephant", hence the name of the meeting. Since 1989, the traditional event always takes place in Thurmansbang, in some years up to 8000 visitors came to the event in Freyung-Grafenau.