As I wrote in this blog some days ago, the BWM Motorrad Days 2015 has been held in Formigal (Spain) last last 11-13 September.
This XIII edition of what was formerly called Riders, has been the first time I have actually attended this remarkable event, and by the way, also an excuse for another trip with my motorbike.
Those days have been really interesting, and not really for what was shown in the event, but to have the opportunity to chat with some of the people I’ve been following through the social network for quite a long time now, meet others and also listen to anonymous travellers that, although their motorbike tours don’t have the media impact that for example MrHicks46, alexviajaenmoto.com, Noemi and Albert with their Two And The Road or Polo (Con Polo a cuestas) have, keep make me thinking that motorbike tours are one of the last adventures we can face nowadays.
For me, BWM Motorrad Days 2015, started on Thursday evening as I came out of Madrid. My plan was to make the trip to Formigal calm, splitting the over 500 km ahead into two stages: first one being from Madrid to Calatayud and second one, starting from there should allow me arrive rested to destination and with time enough to set up the tent before all the scheduled activities by the organisation would start.
Overnight at the Riders 2015 in a tent?
For sure! Initially I booked a hostel room for those days nearby Formigal, but at the end I decided to cancel it and switch for and amazing grass pitch in a campsite in Escarrilla.
As I mentioned before in my post about camping equipment; I considered some time ago that I would try to live my motorbike trips (although they are not usually too far away) in a let’s say, more “uncomfortable” way, trying to find the essence of the trip being more in contact with the environment and looking for some of the adventure it involves to travel this way.
This time, and what looks like has happened in previous editions of Riders events celebrated in Formigal, there were some rains and chilly weather during the weekend, which was perfect for what I was looking for.
Let’s get the show started!
Once you got to the esplanade where the event was celebrated, you were able to see it was divided into different areas. One were latest BMW designs were exposed, another one where you were allowed to try one of those brand new motorbikes, one more with different tents where accessories’ manufacturers showed up their latest innovations, included a couple of travel agencies that tried to attract visitors attention with destinations like Iceland, Morocco or Portugal.
Not far away, you could also find the delimited area were the Stunt exhibition was going to be held, the Motordome, the Classic Racer area, a tent where Miquel Silvestre and Charlie Sinewan talks were held and finally the merchandising area (one of the most popular areas in the event).
One of the areas that stroked and I personally liked most, was the Classic Racer one, where some of the most amazing customized motorbikes were. Don’t know whether encouraged by some TV shows like Fast N’ Loud (and the Gas Monkey garage’s bearded guy) and similar ones or not, but customizing your motorbike is a booming sector.
Worth to mention that it was quite impressive to see Narcis Roca on his F800R doing all those really crazy stuff at his stunt spectacle in what was called “The Motordrome”, sort of a circus spectacle in which some guys drove their motorbikes trough the walls of a wooden made ring at more than 160km per hour.
Once I have experienced my first Riders, it has left a bittersweet taste on me.
Organizing the BMW Motorrad Days 2015 at Formigal’s sky resort has in its favour the spectacular natural environment it is surrounded, but also a couple of cons that everyone that has ever been there has probably suffered. The most obvious is the climatology, and the second one is that, since it is a sky resort and the season has not started yet, the accommodation, restaurants or even places to simply have a beer while chatting is not what anyone would expect from an event where that amount of people is gathered every year.
A free camping area, activities like for example a concert, or having more motorbikeaccessories manufactures attendance (worth to highlight Lolo Pámanes and Oasisand guys for being entrepreneurs in Spain) would probably give BMW Motorrad Days 2016 a more genuine atmosphere and be a little bit closer of what you can enjoy every year at Garmish’s BMW Motorrad Days.
If you want to take a look at some of the event photos, you can go to the Riders 2015 images gallery.