Niko Ihander | RIDER OF THE WEEK

In the first part of “ROTW”, We take focus on our only international rider Niko Ihander.
Niko is from Helsinki, Finland and He has been ripping His bikes for nearly 11 years now. Mr. Ihander started out riding MTB’s and then after some injuries and recoverings, He somehow fell into BMX instead. We are truly happy that we met Niko in first place and that now, He has been riding for OnWheels BMX for almost half a year.

Niko 1

photo by Artur Sadovski

I guess that it all started out with Niko, when He took part of OnWheels Kuldrula 2015 back in summer. Well yes, He didn’t finish in TOP 3, but nevertheless He killed it with style, positive attitude and heavy tricks. Crowd seemed to love this guy alot also!
At that time, We were actually looking for riders from Finland to team up with, but kind of struggled to find “the perfect candidate”.
After seeing Niko’s runs and getting to know him a little better, We pretty much instantly started thinking that it would be so awesome if Niko could be part of OnWheels BMX team…

Niko Ihander from Finland had fun at @onwheelskuldrula2015 ! photo credits: @sofikaz #bmx #WEAREKULDRULA

A post shared by KULDRULA (@kuldrulaofficial) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/94NUdIN3yA/?taken-by=nlkbmx

Couple of months later, somewhere in December I guess, Niko was filming a video at Kontula indoor skatepark with a really good homie Ragner Trepp. They piled up a lot of great material in relatively short time. Ragner showed us some of the footage and we were stoked about it. That same project finally turned out to be Niko’s “Welcome To OnWheels BMX” edit. Now it was official and Niko was on board! We were super excited about him joining the team and were eagerly waiting to see how it all would turn out…

 

Some short weeks later, We realised that Niko is the real deal and He takes riding, progressing and being part of OnWheels BMX really seriously. He simply does what he loves and loves what He does…

https://www.instagram.com/p/-Zb-Zst35Q/?taken-by=nlkbmx
https://www.instagram.com/p/-wlXCtt37x/?taken-by=nlkbmx
https://www.instagram.com/p/BBqV6ukt34S/?taken-by=nlkbmx

Then some very exciting news came for all riders in Estonia. The biggest skatepark facility in Estonia “Spot Of Tallinn” was about to open their doors. We were honoured that our team was invited over to test it out first. They also allowed us to film there before the official opening. Thank You Mario and Risto for that!
So Rasmus called Niko up and asked if He could come overseas to Tallinn to jam and film with the team. He was down with the plan!
I thought that it would be pretty cool to do a little intro talk with the freshest member of the team. He said that He’s English is not perfect, but He’ll try. It turned out pretty cool, check it out yourself:

Over next couple of months Niko put in lot of effort to ride and represent OnWheels. One day He sent me a message that said: “Yo, check out this edit we made in Malaga just couple of weeks ago for OnWheels”. We knew that he was taking some time off and chilled out in southern Spain, but We didn’t know that He was actually working on OnWheels edit there. The edit was really good and it was a cool suprise by him. Check out His Malaga 2016 video:

Our “partnership” is working out really well. We respect what He is doing and He respects what We’re doing. Perfect symbiosis!
Then, just couple of days ago, when scrolling the instagram feed, I saw a photo posted by Ride BMX UK of a guy whose face was smashed in really bad. It had 1K+ likes and tons of comments. I took a closer look and was like: “WTF, is that Niko? What the fuck happened?!”. Turned out that the day before, He had a really bad crash and fell face first into the concrete floor. He smashed in couple of his teeth and got a really bad concussion.

Thank You Niko for going all in at it while representing OnWheels BMX!
Knowing Niko, I can say that He is not a quitter and even the hardest slams like this won’t break His spirit.

Keep up with Niko by following him at instagram – @nlkbmx

| Article by @henriholland |