Empuriabrava (Catalonia) / Spain – In the last few days, numerous big bikes were seen thundering through the cities of Empuriabrava, Castelló d’Empúries, Santa Margarida and Roses. Their riders are square-shouldered men wearing „Bandidos“ cuts.
To get an idea of what these tough guys are all about, ARENA, a German daily newspaper based at the Eastern Costa Brava, talked to some people who dealt with them.
As you have probably noticed, a large number of big bikes have been seen in Empuriabrava, Castelló d’Empúries, Santa Margarida and Roses. Most of them are ridden by square-shouldered gentlemen wearing cuts with the name „Bandidos“ sewn on them. In the last few days there were numerous discussions both among the population and among the „normal“ tourists. Some of them seemed to be a bit afraid of the bikers as – and there’s no need to deny it – their reputation isn’t the best, particularly not in Germany.
But at least the staff at ARENA does not care about our colleagues at the German newspapers – although some of them give the impression that they are merely coyping from each other just for the sake of being the first to publish another sensational news – but instead we went out to get our own impression and talked to the people who got directly involved with them. Well, what can we say? According to the information provided to us, there weren’t any problems until Friday night. Many business owners – mainly bars and restaurants – were really satisfied and full of praise for the visiting bikers as some of them behave much better than their „normal“ customers and they are also said to be significantly friendlier.
ARENA was able to verify this as we talked to some pub owners and saw ourselves what went on: Large groups of people were sitting together and enjoyed themselves without making excessive noise or attracting negative attention. Joan Serra, the owner of the restaurant „el Celler de Can Serra“ and former vice mayor, was particularly fond of the boys (and girls). He told us he had never thought that the „Bandidos“ were that well-educated and that he was looking forward to the evening visits of their various groups. In the meantime, some of his other guests have also overcome their awe and have started to visit him again like they used to. Joan Serra added that „All of them are keeping their distance and don’t bother the „Bandidos“ with annoying questions.“ A peaceful co-existence, so to speak.
Surely not everyone is of this opinion and we heard that particularly those who have started their holidays on this weekend still have some issues with the presence of the „Bandidos“. But as long as everything works out as in the last few days, they are welcome guests and add some color to the game. As mentioned in our previous issue one should simply go ahead and enjoy the great customized machines, not dismiss the thunder of the engines but enjoy it and accept the sometimes absurd garments of the riders as something they don’t get to see every day.
The entire show is over on Sunday evening, but many riders will still remain in the area to spend their holidays here. Then, it won’t be 2,000 left but probably just a few dozen.
On Sunday, sort of an „open house day“ will take place at the multi-purpose hall in Castelló. There, one can get a closer look at the bikes.
And here’s the remarkable review of the online magazine:
riumphant „Bandidos“ Run! Bikers are an asset to the region
Yes dear readers – this headline is not a hoax but a fact. The last days during which approximately 2,500 „Bandidos“ including their families hit Empuria-Brava and Castelló d’Empúries were a great example how the provocative and in part even false coverage of the yellow press in Germany has crucified and stigmatized a certain group of people – in this case the „Bandidos“ MC. In the last few months hardly a day passed by without coverage on the ‚evil bikers‘, and by twisting the actual facts the impression was created that all of them are criminals of the worst kind.
It is probably true that the „Bandidos“ are no saints either, but their bylaws clearly state that they distance themselves from the criminal or illegal activities of their members and that such behavior might result in an expulsion from the club. Outsiders don’t know whether and how these bylaws are being implemented – what happens in the club stays in the club.
But now back to the Europe Run of the „Bandidos“ which took place in Empuriabrava and Castelló d’Empúries between 25 and 27 July 2015. Just like tow years ago, the first thing one has to state is that this year, this year there were even fewer incidents than at the previous run. While there were two or three minor incidents two years ago, this year nothing was made public – a remarkable feat for an event of this size.
There were some voices in the run-up to the event stating that a meeting of the motorcycle club would not be beneficial for the region, at the latest on Sunday evening these critics had to revise their opinion: Not only were there no incidents – the „Bandidos“ even gathered some fans among the population and the tourists. During the cruises of the motorcycle clubs, the villagers stood at the roadside cheering for the bikers. The deep thunder of the engines, the adventurous appearance of the riders, the customized bikes and the reckless bikers created an image that has never been seen in Empuriabrava and its neighborhood. Impressive, wild, and beautiful!
It was also remarkable that the initial fear or awe of the population and the tourists transformed into respect and excitement in the course of the three days of the run and the „Bandidos“ were eventually met with more openness and fewer reservations than originally thought. Not that the bikers were harassed – the bystanders weren’t that bold – but some people actually dared to ask a question, and most of these questions were answered. The only taboo: the bikers did not want any photos. And the enquirers respected that.
The business owners in the two cities were really excited: Be it bars, restaurants, rentals for houses and apartments or other facilities – no one had reasons to complain and all of them praised the „Bandidos“ for their flawless behavior. According to unconfirmed sources, the bikers and their families left a seven-digit amount in Empuriabrava in the course of three days, and given the challenging economic situation of the region, this was definitely a very welcome cash infusion for the business owners.
On Monday, most of the visitors left again, but some „Bandidos“ extended their stay and enjoyed their vacation in the region.
The members of the motorcycle club allegedly liked the place – last but not least because of the open reception by the population and the businesses which does not seem to be a normal rule for meetings like this. Maybe the „Bandidos“ might even return for another Europe Run. In this case: „Fins a la pròxima“ – „See you next time“.