I'm Alessandro D'Angelo, photographer. I work as a freelance for many magazines and web sites. Life, passions, sadness, joy, love or hatred, victories and defeats, all "the human comedy" I try to capture, to absorb in me and tell with portrait photography. Maybe it's a way for me to live more lifes than this world there allows. Understand the other for find myself, to discover that there aren't right streets to live but many hidden paths to go. alessandrodangelo.it
The Elephant Rally, or Elefantentreffen, is a winter motorcycle rally, which takes place on the first weekend in February or on the last weekend in January annually in a valley between the towns of Thurmansbang and Solla in the Bavarian Forest in Germany. It is organized by the Federal Association of Motorcycle Riders in Germany.
He has take place in the Bavarian forest, near the Czech border, where snow is guaranteed. Each year between 5,000 and 10,000 riders from all over Europe participate, some bringing modified motorcycles and special designs. The most important thing is the complete prohibition of all vehicles except motorcycles for several kilometers around the periphery of the meeting area.
Johan, age 41, motor mechanic, Holland.
Article from BIKE magazine UK with my photographs:
Held since 1956 at various frozen venues, it attracts a hardcore of regulars and plenty of one-off fringe visitors, it is routinely bitterly cold but far from inhospitable. Despite the appearancesof the majority of bikers it is not compulsory to look like a Woolly Mammoth at the Elefantentreffen. But deep in the Bavarian forests winter temperatures can sink as low as minus 15 Celsius with snow cover for six months. Only the last week of January or the first week of February are considered suitably cold enought to hold this event for masochists and sub-zero filth monkeys.
The organisers (Bundesverbrand der Motorradfaherer aka German Federal Association of Motorcycle Riders) reckon to attract 5000 souls to this holiday on ice. Exept the 2014 event was more of a mudfest owing to this year's unseasonably warm winter. The name Elefant was chosen because the majority of machines employed for early rallies were Zündapp KS601 combos, known affectionately as Green Elefants when the event was held at Solitude near Stuttgart.
This experience in suffering is leavened (slightly) by mass fireworks displays and heavy drinking, but despite the anarcho-Goth meets Grizzly Adams costumes, there are no bands - no music. Instead attendees are asked to enjoy the silence of the mountains. That is when the fireworks have been exhausted and various specially-built snowpeds have either run out of petrol or exploded.
Danielko Jaroslav, age 55, truck driver, Czech Republic.
My experience about:
While I'm looking for a spare part for my father's old motorcycle, the mechanic tells me: if you want to photograph a motorcyclist you must go at Elefantentreffen.
01/ feb /14 "The bad thing of summer is that the motorcyclist mingles with who have the bike." This phrase written on a leather jacket greets me in the Forest of Loh (Bavaria), in an abandoned quarry, frozen. Thousands of motorcyclists are reaching this place, with the bikes loaded with tents, axes, beer and meat. It's 58 years that this is repeated, that snow, rain, mud and frost greet men with their partners: the bikes. For three days only with straw and firewood, without no other entertainment if not the noise of the engines, motorcyclists from all over Europe celebrate their passion for two wheels.
Martin, age 31, maintainer of roofs, Czech Republic.
The work has been greeted with success by the best European magazines (Moto Heroes FR, Bike UK, etc.), and from there I had an idea to complete the project with new images, for a exhibition or a book in future, that celebrates the sixtieth edition in 2016.
Tomas During, age 66, Germany.
Here you can see the story in black and white of the three days I spent with the bikers, in the cold in the snow and mud, wrapped in the smoke of engines and roast pigs, between gasoline and beer: alessandrodangelo.it
Dotze, age 26, job unknown, Germany.
Helmut Stockinger, age 46, truck driver, Austria.
Gianni, age unknown, farmer - Valentino, age unknown, construction worker, Italy.
Manuel, age 26, carpenter, Germany.