A couple of months ago we received a letter from, the Southsiders MC Chief, Vincent Prat that read as follows:
This is the Grizzly Call!
We shall ride for 3 days. We will cross snowy mountains and camp in the desert. Please make sure your machines will be fully ready to use: cables, spark plugs, additional lights (if you know what I mean…)
We will provide the tools and the gasoline jerrycans
Please bring a sleeping bag and for those who can, a matress or a “military battle field” bed.
This ride-out is reserved to old jalopies and choppers only
Will send you GPS coordinates soon
How exciting!@#$% The Grizzly Ride Out is already a tradition, and its become the perfect celebration of the spring equinox. A great occasion to ride hard with dear friends from around the globe and invigorate the spirit of Wheels & Waves
My Panhead was all set, and in better shape than ever, to tackle whatever the Southsiders were going to throw at us this time. Almost new clutch, rear brake, shocks and even some ultra exclusive SUNDANCE™ internals for the front forks were set to do the job… but… WTF!@#$ My never 100% safe, 60 year old, gas tanks always had problems to keep fuel safely inside, but this time they were ready to leave me driving the van
It was friday Morning and the rendezvous was in the parking lot of a little french ski town. We all met, hugged, did all the homo shit mature bikers are expected to do and unloaded the bikes. Checked the gear and started kicking the fuckers. Retard the Advance, open the fuel, 2 kicks without ignition to settle things up… 1st kick… Pqtafffff… 2nd kick patapoffff pofff pofff… 3rd Kick POW!@#$ FIREEE!@#$%^&^%$#@!@%^&^%$# I’ve always known that Harleys are prone to catch fire, but was not prepared for the meter high flames that were suddenly bursting from under my tanks! WTF!@#$% The whole bike was a fireball!!!!
Luckily enough I was just a couple of meters from the Wolf Van and the Mercedes Benz OEM Fire Extinguisher was there to put the fire to an end. In less than 90 seconds the whole bike was covered in white and my ride was jeopardized but with the Pan almost intact! Can still imagine what if this had happened 10 minutes after? My fate would have been very very different and my 1958 old girl would have burned to the bare bones.
It’s so cool to see our denim aging well and showing its history on our bikes
Also in the van, we had hauled La Sal del Diablo for our big wolf Filo, so we shared it during all the weekend. A good way to say good bye to our lil’ Triumph before she joins her new wolf family in Miami
Alberto Garcia-Alix has the most beautifully aged El Solitario Rascals we’ve ever seen. Alberto doesn’t have a car license and for the last 50 years he has been everywhere on the bike, regardless of the distance or weather conditions
Fred Olivieri rode all the way from Corsica on his crazy new artifact. An Ural Sidecar with a BMW R1150 Motor and frame combo. Totally nuts, crazy scary and one of the best rides of my life, riding bitch with him trying to find the way to the camping spot in the desert at night AWOOOOOOOOOO
Alberto Garcia-Alix’s first ever Harley Davidson. Purchased new in Madrid in 1980. This XLCR has seen more than probably most of the bikes in the trip combined
Dedicated to my brother Danny for taking us all back to the roots and making the time in the Van so fucking rad. Love you mofo!
All photographs© by Laurent Nivalle, Herman Head and Polo Garat