What to say about Wheels & Waves that has not been already said (Read my very own thoughts about the subject in 2014 HERE!). Dangerous, tumultuous, inspiring, wild… Nowadays, probably the best motorcycle event in the world, it continues to outgrow itself year after year and we dig the way the organization managed to anticipate and adapt to the new times.
This edition of Wheels and Waves coincided with El Solitario’s 5th anniversary and the wolves wanted to leave a positive impact, on moto people world wide, celebrating with our partners in crime, these fabulous five years of Art, motos, family and fun. For the 5th edition of the festival, El Solitario’s risks and stakes were on the rise and at one point we felt like those that disembarked in Normandy in 1945. Solid news and big names were to accompany us through all the week, adding value, hopefully helping to make it all, (even more!), worthwhile
The increasing presence of big brands, all pushing to create their own content and voracious to bring their own crowds, could easily jeopardize the ethos of the festival but far from that, it only encouraged us to fight harder for our incorruptible DNA. This year the Southsiders prepared a few surprises to keep the event fresh and alive. The first kick was the addition of the Wednesday to the calendar, celebrating, in collaboration with Sideburn El Rollo Flat Track Race. Specially for the occasion we had furtively prepared 2 awesome bikes to hijack the grass. Our brand spanking new El Solitario Pluto, constructed around the awesome Zaeta 530, and an elegant 1937 Indian Racer that gave her body and soul to the race.
In another move towards keeping the event a riding party, and not another of those static venues where people go to drink beer and fart around bikes, the Art Ride was celebrated in the Port of Pasaia. At 50km from La Cite del Ocean, this beautiful blue collar town, was stoked to hold the congregation with open arms and we had plans for a big bang! For this year’s Art Ride, El Solitario teamed with Spanish Photographer Alberto Garcia-Alix and North American Painter Nicholas Coleman, creating a dark and avant-garde space, with a visual potency and language never experienced up to date in Wheels and Waves. Visitors coming in with just curiosity, left perplex in ecstasy clapping on their way out.
On Friday, at the top of the Jaizkibel at Hondarribia, the weather reminded us why the Pais Basque is so beautiful and its vegetation so rad. This year El Solitario was defending our own race: La Copita (Spanish for the little cup). Rebellious, reckless and fun, we arrived with 16, as silly as outrageous, 50cc-powered motorcycles designed ex-profeso to thrill the array and make the bigger badder Grizzly Bears, in the other classes, look like a waste of time. The thick fog accompanied by strong winds & incessant rain gave us a visibility of roughly 20 meters max, so the race had to be cancelled, but we still had time to have fun and we did!
This is just a mere introduction. Stay tuned for a detailed description and an awesome photo essay of each and every event around Wheels & Waves in this corner of the the blogosphere!
El Solitario wants to special thank The Southsiders, Classic Co. Zaeta, Cabeza de Chorlito, Alberto Garcia-Alix, Nicholas Coleman, La Copita Family, our very own Wolf Pack, SHOEI, The Dyneema Project, MOTUL, Dunlop, Astromal, Gonzalo Arroyo, Sancho y Angela, Juanra y David, Martin, Pachi and all of you that made this dream possible for another year. AWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!@#$%
Photography by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno