Of Brides and Bikers

Today, I visited the annual Oldenburg Motorbike Show with my Dad. Apparently, this is the sixteenth year of the show and I have been visiting the event almost as long. Check out my post on last year’s show.

There usually isn’t much change to the Oldenburg Motorbike show. Okay, so the motorbike models on display change, but there is remarkably little turnover among the exhibitors themselves – it’s usually the same motorbike dealers, biking equipment dealers, motorbike clubs, clothing and jewelry dealers.

However, one thing was different this year. For starters, the motorbike show had to share the venue, the event centre Weser-Ems-Halle, with a wedding and bridal show. I don’t know who had the stupid notion that holding a bridal and a motorbike show on the same weekend was a good idea – the reasoning probably went something like, “Well, the men can go gawk at the motorbikes and the women can go gawk at the wedding gowns.”

Of course, that’s a totally stupid idea of gender roles, but then what do you expect of the manager of a provincial events centre? (When the position of events manager for the Weser-Ems-Halle was advertised in a local newspaper a few month ago and included a request for innovative ideas, I said, “I’ve got an innovative idea for them. Tear down the damned centre and build something decent in its place.”) And indeed, walking across the parking lot I said to my Dad, “Look at them. Totally uncool. Bet they’re going to the bridal show or rather she’s dragging him. But look at them. They’re cool. Definitely bikers.” I wasn’t far off, either. You can immediately recognize bikers much of the time, even if they’re not wearing club jackets (and there are a lot of club jackets on display at the Oldenburg Motorbike show). And the sort of people who would attend a bridal show are not the sort of people you’d find at a motorbike show.

We even met some of my parents’ neighbours, bikers as well, at the show. I know them by sight and the man’s usually okay, though the woman only acknowledges my existence when I’m standing next to one of my parents (I don’t like her, ever since I asked her something perfectly reasonable and she turned me down and was rude about it, too, even though she knew me). And since I was with my Dad, she actually did acknowledge me this time. I still don’t like her, though. The neighbours, by the way, were also really confused about the convergence of motorbike and bridal show.

The local biker club deemed among the one percent of criminal biker gangs was present as well and had their own booth as every year. Another club deemed potentially problematic was present as well, though the main rivals of our one percenters were missing and the police presence was less overt than in previous years. Oddly enough, I don’t find the one percenters scary at all. They’re all men in their fifties, and while they might get pissed off, if I stood up in front of their booth and told them that their club sucks, they don’t scare me. A guy in a club jacket was rude to me today, when I accidentally bumped into him at a booth, but he wasn’t a member of the one percent gang. Those people are perfectly polite, criminals or not.

Still, the convergence of bridal show and motorbike show with criminal one percenter gang in attendance – that’s a bad Hollywood rom-com just waiting to happen. I can almost see it – the massive battle between bikers, criminal and otherwise, and hysterical women in bridal gowns.

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