Neighbor's Guide

The Biker's Guide to Zagreb: Don't Miss This out If You Are One

This is a short guide for the motorcycle-loving people.

Up until now, I never got the chance to meet a biker. Unlike a lot of people, I never had any prejudice towards them. Bikers are usually depicted as tugs and trouble makers in popular cultures, but I always knew that has to be taken with a grain of salt. Actually, I'm not entirely sure why they are depicted as such. Of course, it could be the black leather jackets, long hairs, and bears or maybe even tattoos — a detail which has been connected with fellons through centuries of humankind. The Yakuza, infamous Japanese mafia used tattoos as their recognizing marks. But when I'm talking about bikers, I'm not talking about a person on a motorcycle. I'm talking about a man or a woman with all the features above who is a member of a motorcycle club. So, I'm not sure what's the case with the bikers throughout the world, but in Zagreb, bikers have managed to break down the majority of the prejudice about them.

Photo Credit: Vintage Industrial bar

Motorcycle club: A crucial feature for every biker

What they say is that people usually tend to have a negative attitude towards them until they meet them. During the working hours, the bikers do their jobs, and when their shifts are over, they shift (pun intended) into bikers, sit on their motorcycles and become the members of the Hollister MC Croatia club, the oldest motorcycle club in Croatia. The club was founded in 1993, and it gathered the men from the western part of the town. In the beginning, they toured biker meetings which inspired them to complete the whole story. It was then that they've decided to open a motorcycle club. Today, they organize an international bikers meeting, which gathers around 2,000 bikers from all over Europe. The fun fact about the "Hollister" is that the part "MC" in their name means that they're acting in a broader area and that they have a military-like structure. 

The majority of members are maritally involved, and their wives are pretty supportive of this way of life. In fact, they are motorcycle lovers as well. But prejudice is something they often encounter. However, they're busting them wherever they go. At the end of the day, a biker is just a motorcycle fanatic, prepared to ride regardless of the weather conditions and such.

Where are they sitting in Zagreb when they're not sitting on a bike?

Photo Credit: Sanja Matić/Bikers Beer Factory

As much as any other true metropolis, Zagreb has the appropriate place for all kinds of subcultures. Although I couldn't find any bars which are reserved only for the group, there are some places which are more prone to the visit of a biker. The first one is pretty obvious. Bikers Beer Factory is a place you can find at Savska cesta 150, and it has everything a biker's heart could want. Besides the fact that they have a concert organized there almost every weekend, BBF is conceived as a true bikers utopia. There, you can grab a bite to eat (great ribs by the way), get your beard trimmed at the POLYBOY barber shop and maybe best of all, they have free parking at the back which is a real rarity in this part of Zagreb.

Photo Credit: Sanja Matić/Bikers Beer Factory

Another place fit for an authentic biker found its home just below the National and University library. Hard Place is a proper rock 'n' roll sanctuary with a wide range of beers and a good r'n'r tune to listen to. Besides small festivals and pub quiz, you can always find a parking spot in front of it which is also free after 8 p.m.
Among other places, when in search of some great music, bikers also tend to visit Vintage Industrial bar when they feel the craving for some great ambient and music.

Photo Credit: Hard Place

3rd Zagreb Harley-Davidson Rally

When the month of May ends, the rally begins. The third Harley-Davidson rally is once again going to gather the bikers from all over Croatia, and broader from May 31st until June 2nd. The rally will take place on the lake Jarun, on the island Trešnjevka where the bikers will, exceptionally, have the opportunity to get to the rally site by their motorcycles all the way. The rich program of the rally will see the on-stage changing of the best rock bands and DJs which will provide the visitors with some good open-air fun. 

Image Credit: Zagreb Harley-Davidson Rally

The visitors from outside Zagreb will have the opportunity to stay in one of the four hotels in Zagreb on which you can find some more information on the official website of the rally. If the two-wheeled vehicles are what gets you going, this is an event you shouldn't miss. 

Image Credit: Zagreb Harley-Davidson Rally

The event will be another opportunity for everyone to meet the bikers and see what are they honestly like. In the end, just as they say from the Hollister MC Croatia: 'A biker will always be ready to help you. First, they will offer you a cold beer, and then a helping hand.' 

Header Image Credit: Sanja Matić/Bikers Beer Factory

Author: Tibor Trupec