„After I had visited the open house of the BTBW chapter in Stade together with half of the Daalschlag crew on Friday evening, I was already looking forward to visiting the 8th World Vikings Run in Obernkirchen near rinteln, organized by Met-Brüder MC Niedersachsen on the way back. Particularly because I had the chance to spend an entire day with my brother Shovel Jürgen as we rode together.
I have already reported extensively on the origins of the run and participated in the first European Vikings Run in Ostfriesland in northern Germany which was organized by the MC Waterkant de Wikingers back then (in 2008).
On Saturday, we were on our way to Obernkirchen – and had great bike weather.
The area Met Brüder MC Niedersachsen selected for their event was the ground of a youth hostel and is simply awesome – I was just overwhelmed by the possibilities it offered.
A great place for a club holiday!
Prior to the event I arranged a meeting with Heiko, the secretary, and also organized an interview with President Merlin and André, the initiator of the Vikings Run and Vice President of MC Waterkant de Wikingers.
We went for it directly so that I’d have enough time for chats and gathering impressions afterwards.
So let’s get to the live interview right away:
André, you initiated the World Viking Run.
What was your motivation back then?
Our motivation was the fact that we wanted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our club in 2008 and offer something special to our guests.
I suggested to invite clubs from all over Europe that had something to do with Norse Mythology. The others liked it. I searched the internet for clubs with which we hadn’t had any contact so far. A hot iron, so to speak. Fortunately everything worked out and we had a lot of clubs attending our first run. As time passed by, the European Viking Run turned into the World Viking Run.
And how did you proceed from there?
We held a small meeting at the Run and decided that in future the event should take place every year, always at a different place.
Are there any criteria that have to be met before a club receives an invitation?
Yes, the clubs either have to have a Viking name or use a Viking symbol as part of their patch to demonstrate their link to Norse Mythology. We don’t care whether the club is a 1%er or a social club. This is our only precondition.
Are there any clubs that no longer participate in the event?
The Viking MC England resigned officially. However, their supporters, the Nordic Brotherhood, are still registered here.
André, have you been to all Runs so far?
Yes, and apart from me Ramon from Spain and Michael from Varrel.
Now a few questions to Merlin: When did the organizational phase for this Run begin?
Basically we started the year before last.
After we confirmed the organizational team in 2014, the first flyers went out right away.
In November, our plans became more precise and the hot phase started.
We received our first registrations then and had to resolve the logistics.
Did you have to overcome any particular obstacles?
Generally speaking – no. There was no resistance from the authorities or the scene.
The only thing that sometimes makes it difficult to understand each other was the language barrier. But that doesn’t play a role anymore. The biker language is a universal one.
You are hosting people from all over the world. How do they all get here?
By bike or by plane – depending on the distance. We have organized a dedicated shuttle service to pick up the arrivals from the airport.
Doesn’t it get monotonous after a while?
Quite the opposite: Every run is different. Each time, you bring something from the local culture with you. In different countries clubs are celebrating differently as well. Each time you can feel that the clubs are growing together. Some of them only meet once per year at the run, but the cordiality of the people is continuously increasing.
Are there any contacts beyond the run?
Yes of course. We regularly talk about issues connected to the organization of the event and support each other. André has always been a great contact person. Some participants are visiting each other. For example, the guys from New Zealand proceed from here to Norway and maintain their contacts there. The biker code is working out great here. And this is what keeps the run alive!
André, is there anything else you’d like to add?
There is a mutual understanding that we don’t get involved club policy here. The only reason why people come here is to celebrate together. Just yesterday some guys from Norway told me that they can hardly ever party during the year. To some extent, they always have to watch out who is standing next to you or behind you. At our runs, this is definitely not the case.
Merlin, can you confirm this?
Yes, this is one of the very few events where you can get completely wasted but you can always feel safe. No-one has to justify themselves for whatever reason. There is no tension and no aggression – which is not always the case: just look at some other biker parties. This is something very unique for this run.
Clubs from a total of 14 different countries were on site:
Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, UK, Liechtenstein, and Germany.The World Vikings Run continues to establish itself. André has all the right reasons to be proud of what he has achieved – something, that is hard to imagine here, given the current German club scene. Or maybe there is a way after all?
Anyway: since the traveling expenses from overseas are huge, the presidents of all participating clubs agreed to have the Viking Run take place overseas every 5 years to give the numerous clubs that are interested in the event the opportunity to participate as well.
The World Viking Run is a good example for the motto: „Separated by color, united by cause!“ In this case, it is about the affinity to the lifestyle of the ancient Vikings. If an event like this is working on an international level and despite significant cultural differences and the language barrier one has to ask oneself whether this seems to be impossible on a national level. But that’s a different topic for another day.
Shovel Jürgen and I had a blast. I would like to thank Met-Brüder MC Niedersachsen for the invitation and their hospitality (the latter also in the name of Shovel!) and I’d be happy to receive (and accept!) an invitation to the 10th World Vikings Run hosted by Waterkant de Wikingers MC.“
This article is a guest contribution by „Obelix“, our cooperation partner from „Bikes, Music and More“. Thanks a lot for the interesting insight!
You can find a lot of pictures from the event on his own page: