Bakken: Opening Day Motorcycle Ride
Several years ago I was visiting an internet forum on Honda’s CB900F. I saw a posting by a guy in Copenhagen who was looking for side panels to replace missing ones on his bike. I replied with a link to some new ones and he thanked me. He also explained that he was working to get his bike put together for the annual spring ride to Bakken. He told me that what had started out as a few friends meeting at a coffee shop was now a major event in Copenhagen. I’ve read this is a tradition dating back to the sixties.
Last Spring we were in Copenhagen on the 25th of March, the day of the opening ride. Late that afternoon we walked to the Norrebrogade to see it for ourselves. As we walked to the last intersection leading out of the city I notice the police had blocked traffic from entering via the side streets. The police were on bikes as well. There were already a lot of bikes filling up the street for about two blocks. By the time we left, the parade was 10 or 11 blocks long.
There were thousands of motorcycles on that street. Everything from late model Ducatis to vintage Hondas. There were bikes that never made it to the American market. Everywhere we turned there were folks wearing the coolest riding gear, gear that had the patina of weather and miles. There were folks riding bicycles on the side walks, bicycles are a big deal here, and many were a bit annoyed at the slow progress. There were people wandering in the street, admiring the bikes. There were shops hawking electronics and hot dogs. The vibe was pretty subdued, understated really. Just a bunch of folks who are into bikes, sharing that experience.
Next time I won’t forget our camera. By the way there is a pretty good Indian restaurant on the same street.