This year´s War Jam in Nicoya was able to raise the bar. Not only is the number of riders and visitors growing each year. Also the quality of the event is rising. When I arrived in Nicoya on Saturday evening, the temperatures already had fallen to a pleasant level. I was heading for the "polideportivo" - the site of the event. Some riders were already gathering there and were riding relaxedly in expectation of the upcoming event.
The fact that this event coincided with the town fest was a good starting point for a successful event. During the day you ride your bike and you go out at night.
So far the theory.
In the end only a few flatlanders went out, which resulted in degraded performance during the competition for at least one of them. Others, first and foremost the riders from Panama preferred riding during the night in Nicoya´s central park. Anyway, if you ask me for a one word description for these guys from Panama it would be: ATTITUDE! These young talented riders made such an effort in order to be able to participate in this event. Imagine, they sat 16 hours in the bus from Panama to San Jose and then some 4 more hours in another bus to Nicoya. They ride hardcore all day long until they have cramps, but they don´t care and participate in the contest in spite of this. Their frames are welded and they don´t have the latest nor lightest parts, but they don´t give a fuck and rock anyway. Actually, for me these guys are the best example for the little importance that light bikes have.
So you might have found out already, Panamanian riders ranked amongst the first of the competition. Certainly deserved. I´m wondering how these guys would do in international competitions... A nice gimmick of this event is the bonus competition of the longest wheelie. I was told that in earlier years they were also having a funky chicken bonus competition. The one who could remain longest in this position won. Wouldn´t you be interested in seeing a funky chicken battle between let´s say Martti Kuoppa and Matt Wilhelm? Another good initiative was having the sponsor bring some models around in order to just hang out, look good and to hand out the prizes.