What an experience! Don’t even know were to start to describe it all. I think I will do it in a few posts. Let’s start with a general wrap up. For those who don’t know it: LAUCC is the Latin-American Unicycle Championship and Convention. The 11th edition is called LAUCC2024 and was held in Bogota, Colombia. It was 8 days packed with workshops, competition, culture, fantastic food, beautiful people and great, great fun. Thank you LAUCC2024, you were absolutely amazing!
An event of firsts
LAUCC2024 was my first Unicycle event overseas. It was the first time that I had to put my unicycle in an airplane, to name just one aspect. But I also had to look up a lot of other things about local currency, some legal things and you name it.
For the first time I entered a Muni competition, ran down-hill, up-hill and even cross country. I survived and even finished the cross-country within the time-limits. It was difficult, but a great experience. I had a ball and will definitely do this more often.
For the first time I participated in a Wheelwalk-competition. I know the technique, as I use it in my theatershow and during flatland-competitions. But I never sprinted wheel walking over 50 meter. I wasn’t the fastest (came in third), but enjoyed it more than I probably want to admit.
LAUCH2024 presented some great games. Like unicycle-jousting, unicycle-wrestling and even an indoor race on Giraffes. We also played a basketball-competition. It was absolutely great fun, as you can tell from my reels.
People & Culture
Unicycling for me is about meeting people. People that share the same, but-not-quite-standard passion, for the unicycle. The best thing about international events is that you meet a lot of different people, from different countries and cultures. At LAUCC2024 I met unicyclists from eg. Colombia, Chili, Peru, Mexico, Equador and Brasil, but also from the US and Belgium. We talked about homes, lives and dreams. An experience so rich that I can’t describe it, but that I will cherish for life.
Bogotá is awesome
Bogotá is a huge city with 8 million people. I have been to Moscow with 13 million people, so it isn’t the biggest city I traveled to and stayed in. But the dynamic here is something different. This city is alive. Where Moscow is kind of dull and boring, with people shy and laid back, Bogotá is colourful and warm. People are outreaching and full of joy. You find art and music everywhere. The city is surrounded by impressive mountains and is built in a bowl with a huge volcano in the far distance towering over the city.
LAUCC took us to several places in Bogotá. We travelled there by foot, unicycle, bicycle and also public transport. We did see quite some parts of the city. Most locations were outdoor, as the weather was nothing short of fabulous. But we also had a few competitions and workshops in some really cool indoor places.
Is Bogotá dangerous? Like in every big city you have te be aware of people around you and where you are going. That goes for Amsterdam, Berlin as well as for Bogotá. There are neighbourhoods that you should not visit and it is better not to play with your phone on the street. The traffic is hectic and noisy, like in most big cities. Overall the police is very active and present, and they are nice and friendly (also a big difference compared to eg Moscow).
An experience of a lifetime
Last year I have worked hard to earn and save money for conventions and championships like this. I play my theatershow in (eg) schools and work as a sound-engineer in small theaters and during theater-tours. That can be quite stressful, but I like it a lot and I learn a lot by doing it. And it helps me to fund these kind of experiences. And to meet a bunch of great people and to have an awful lot of fun, while doing sports like a maniac.