The beginning of December is not considered a good time to ride one´s bike in many parts of the world. The weather might be disgusting with a lot of rain, snow and without sun. Not so in Nicoya, Costa Rica, where on December 6th and 7th the “BMX War Jam" was held. Throughout the weekend we were literally grilled by the sun that was burning down on us. So we didn´t hesitate to cruise down to the marvelous beach of Carrillo on Saturday, where we were chilling a little in the fresh water of the Pacific Ocean, while enjoying the awesome sight of a line of colored palm trees back on the beach.
The next day the competition started and I was surprised by the number of street riders present. Somebody told me that in the nearby city of Liberia they were about 300 riders and that only 2 of them showed up at the event. But still there were like 50 street riders around. Due to the word of Lawrence Westerfield - one of the organizers of the event - there were supposed to be built dirt jumps which would have contributed a lot to this event. However, it looked like some sponsors dropped out harshly plus he was lacking man power from the riders´ side.
The setting of the event was a sports field and when we arrived, a marching band was practicing for a parade. Man, you can´t imagine how weird it was for me to hear them play the Christmas song "Silent Night" ("Stille Nacht") without the slightest notion of a cloud in the sky and while I was soaked with sweat.
Then the event started with street. With the help of a "Tiger truck" pick-up we carried some curbs to the site of the event. Other obstacles also were improvised so that we ended up with a nice course.
The flatland part started with a "longest (peg) wheelie" contest. A cool idea - especially because we could take advantage out of the race track. With more than half a lap of distance covered, Jorge Cruz “rajado” and Alonso Rodríguez tied this part of the contest.
A lot of good flatlanders had come to this event. We even had a special guest from Panama. I liked the mode of the contest. At least in theory. It was used the "best combination" mode with 2 runs. Everyone had 3 chances to pull their combo in the first run and then one chance to pull it in the second run. If you touched the ground, you wasted one chance. In reality those who pulled their combo would also go for another different one. So maybe this lead to some confusion regarding the evaluation of the riders by the judges. Were the judges only to take one or all a rider´s combos into consideration? I think it´s important to agree on a certain set of rules with all the riders before getting started.
The famous Harry Sánchez got first with one fierce front wheel combo. As always, this guy rode pretty consistently. Second place for Douglas Vásquez who also showed some impressive and energetic stuff. Jorge Cruz “rajado” got 3rd. I´d also like to mention the smooth and consistent run of Adrián Gómez, which was underrated by the judges. Thanks to all who made this possible. I look forward to returning next year to this nice, cozy city of Nicoya.