Exploration

This Mysterious Motorcycle Rally Takes Place in the Bavarian Forest Every Winter

Bikers ride in from all over Europe wearing fur hats and vintage military uniforms to drink beer and eat roast pig.

<p>Photo: <a href="http://www.alessandrodangelo.it/Elefantentreffen">Alessandro D'Angelo</a><span></span></p>

When you picture a motorcycle rally, chances are you're thinking about lots of leather, bandanas and Harley Davidsons. Elefantentreffen will totally change your perception of what a motorcycle rally is and what a biker really looks like.

According to Wired, every winter, thousands of bikers gather in the Bavarian Forest in Germany -- although the exact location changes -- to eat roast pig, drink way too much beer and bond over their shared passion: motorcycles.

Elefantentreffen, which means "Elephant Rally" in German, was named so for the ZĂĽndapp KS 601 or "The Green Elephant" that was driven during the rally in the 1950s. Bikers from all across Europe attend the 60-year-old festival and their backgrounds are as varied as the motorcycles they ride in on: students, doctors, engineers, men, women, old and young.

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At least 5,000 riders attend every year, some traveling from as far away as Russia. They ride in on old Jawas, BMWs and sometimes even Vespas, all loaded up with cooking supplies, beer, food, camping gear and even chainsaws.

Once camp is set up they start roasting pigs and guzzling down foamy beer and various other homemade alcoholic beverages. Laughter echoes off the trees around them as they settle into one of their favorite places in the world.

Photographer Alessandro D'Angelo went to Elefantentreffen in 2014 and 2015 to capture the spirit of the bikers who attend this truly unique festival. He says he was fascinated by the fact that everyone came together around the rally, even though some didn't even speak the same language.

"The beauty of this rally it's that to all the people no matter who you are, how you are and what you do. Everybody is equal as long as they get there," he told Wired.