First official German Harley-Event after Covid 19.
Back in Dresden 2021:
Dresden Harley Days
July 23rd-25th 2021 - Harley's return to rumble the Elbe Valley, European "Sportster S" Premiere
Saxonia's Dresden is one of the certain touristic highlights of East Germany – or rather will be – when the town will be recovered from extensine restauration and construction works in the city's former historic center. For the 3rd edition of "Dresden Harley Days" not just the Augustus bridge was still taken apart, but the popular promenade was closed too and cranes towering less scenic over much of what "Bomber Harris" Lancaster's have left when the Elbe valley in February 1945. The 2020 event was cancelled due to Covid and beside the pandemic, this years event was threatened by weather: Despite all claims for "climate change", Germany has been experiencing one of the wetter summers, including severe flashfloods in many german states. For those who know a little bit of history, "Old downtown Dresden" was not as far away as the images show: In fact, the event was held just a stone throw away from old Dresden, as the hill beside the eventside is one of three locations where the rubble of the ruins was buried...
What today is called "die Rinne" has for centuries been an overflow in the Elbe River which here, just about to exit the Dresden Basin to the north, twists snakelike in a sharp "S" turn, often overflooding the area which was in use as animal reserve for the neighbouring slaughterhouses, now trade fair "Messe Dresden". Since the Elbe river collects the waters of almost the entire Czech Republic as far as down to the Austrian Border, floods are completely out of control of the German authorities – so when sheduling any event at this location, it is mandatory to look for the Czech weather forecast. Held for the third time after another one year break, Dresden Harley Days were blessed by great weather, quite unlike other parts of Germany. The "rebirth" of the Dresden Harley Days have been appreciated by many Harley-riders as East Germany and Dresden have quite a lot riding opportunities to offer and Saxonia was somewaht hit by Covid and the accompanying restrictions which were partially lifted only shortly before the event date!
Dresden is the home of two Narrow Gauge Railways under steam, one which passes the spectacular castle of Moritzburg from Radebeul to Radeburg, the other from Freital to Kipsdorf. More steam is operating in the mountains east and west of Dresden, making the area a popular location for railways enthusisasts. South of Dresden, the Saxonian Switzerland and Fortress Koenigstein are offering spectacular views and Dresden itself, if you can live with the fact that its difficult to get something to eat after 8 pm – is still a great destination to shop and visit.
It was at this event that Harley-Davidson decided to unveil the new Sportster S to the public and with 8.500 visitors in three event days the crowd did watch Luke Mansfield, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer and Kolja Rebstock, Regional Vice President Europe, Middle East and Africa of Harley-Davidson Motor Company lifting the cover from Harley-Davidson's next generation Sportster! The event had all the usual fun of a Harley-Party, including Bikeshow, live music and several local customizers present, visitors came from all over Germany as this was the first "official" event after more than a year in different version of "lockdown" and total inactivity, not to forget travel bans and curfews that made events like this impossible. The riders even ventured out for a parade into the City of Dresden, much of which is still lacking international tourists and is welcoming every visitor with open arms.
While other events in Germany are still "Locked down" or under consideration, Dresden is back on the calendar and it has been confirmed that European Bike Week in Faak also received a "go" to receive the well-spending Harley crowd. And as you can see on the map or in the images: There is plenty to experience in and around Dresden – especially by motorcycle!
Text: Horst Roesler; Fotos: Motographer/HD Press