Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Ilmo Niittymäki and I’m originally from Finland, but have been living in South-West France for the past 11 years. I run my own marketing consultancy agency with main focus in content creation and story telling. Through my passion towards boardsports and motorcycles I managed to create projects where work and play gets tangled in to a beautiful fuzzy mess that somehow pays the bills.
How and when did you get into riding?
My dad had a motorcycle and I would climb on top of it any chance I got to sneak into the garage when I was a kid, but I didn’t get my license until in my twenties. Obviously as a kid there was mopeds and dirtbikes in the group of friends that we would take turns on. I was too busy to skateboard and snowboard that I didn’t really consider getting my own when I was young, but there definitely was a need for speed built in me that had a motorcycle sized hole in it. Once I got the license I haven’t looked back.
What are the best and worst things about riding?
Freedom and roaming around without a destination is the biggest attraction along the speed. Worst thing is when there’s a long highway stretch in the cold rain and you are late from the airport. Not too many bad things to be honest.
Tell us about your most memorable ride to date?
There are many memorable trips, but I guess the biggest highlight was when I was blogging for Latam Airlines and rode a bike from Chile to Ecuador while surfing every wave I found along the 10 000km coastline. 3 months of heaven.
What's the best piece of riding advice you've ever been given?
There are two: Trust no one in traffic, it doesn’t matter if you were right, but end up dead. Second one is to take care of your bike and it will take care of you. Breakdowns still happen, but you can minimise time spent wrenching in the dirt and also you will know your bike better and be able to sort out issues if you are familiar with it.
What do you bring with you on every ride?
Bike specific tool kit.
How do you keep your bikes secure at home and on the go? Share your best tips to help others keep their bikes safe.
I have a garage where I store the bikes long term, but sometimes I have one at my parking spot close to home. I always lock the bike, but unfortunately this summer one of my bikes got stolen. I’m much wiser now about it. I’m installing a ground anchor and will use my LITELOK to secure it to the ground. Good luck trying to move it then. On the road we are usually pretty remote and sleep next to the bikes, so we aren’t too concerned about theft, in the cities its another story though, so better try to fasten your bike on to something solid if possible.
When someone asks what kit you recommend, you say?
For group rides Cardo communication systems are super handy especially for me when I’m taking photos and ride ahead. For everything else the best advice is “light is right”, when packing line up everything you think you need on the floor and then take half back to the closet hahah. Especially on the trails you don’t want to carry anything extra.
What's on your riding bucket list?
There’s two vague plans in the works at the moment: Next winter we want to ride from Hossegor to N’Gor on the trails and then another big one is to continue my trip in South-America and ride from Ecuador to Alaska. Finding time and financing is the hardest bit for that one, but hopefully I get it sorted sooner rather than later. Also riding around the world would be cool, but that’s more of a pipedream rather than something I can realistically consider at the moment. Main thing is to ride and have fun without obsessing about some grand adventure too much. If it happens it happens.