Wheels and Waves in the Basque Country

Bikes People Culture

A small edit from the motorcycle event in the misty Basque Country

We love Wheels and Waves. It’s the annual gathering in the Basque Country organised by the Southsiders MC. And it is where the cultures of motorcycles and the (sort of) surfing intersect.

We’ve been documenting the rise and rise of this odd, unexpected fusion since the very beginning. So it was natural this year to run a couple of images from our friend and collaborator John Isaac, whose images have graced these pages many times before. What we love about the W&W event is the relaxed attitude it brings to the culture of sliding sideways and riding on two wheels. The Basque Coast, straddling southwest France and Northern Spain and surrounded by mountains, is the perfect arena in which to ride two wheels and waves. The event in one of our favourite parts of the world has become one of the most important weigh stations in the global bike culture season. And it’s one place you’re sure to find folk firmly in the margins of the mainstream bike scene doing their thing front and centre.

Crux points in the weekend long even include Punks Peak – a no holds barred drag race up in the hills – as well as a lighthearted bellyboard competition that showcases the greasers’ abilities to cut in the water as well as on the roads.

Here are a fistful of images from John Isaac that capture perfectly the atmosphere. Get yourself down their next year.


Zero Visibility in the Spanish Basque mountains at Hondarribia in the Punks Peak Race


A beefy Honda with a classic twin lamp fairing: owned by photographer Olivier Prat.


Wheels and Waves draws characters inclined to the way of the cycle from all over Europe. This lady had more dead animals on her old trike than the A30 at night.


A new Brough SS100, a 1950’s Ford Country Squire & Tudor’s Airstream Caravan. Cultures clash and intertwine. That’s what we love about the event.

Crazy Cafe moped from Corb Customs was a personal fave