Photo: Bjorn “Bommel” Mager
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to ride with Erik many, many times… and every single time I wondered “How the hell is he not pro yet?” The level of riding Erik is on is undoubtably on another planet and if it doesn’t make you smile or even make you the slightest bit of happy watching him ride, you’re probably a pretty sick and twisted human.
Finally, regardless if Erik wasn’t trying to make it happen, the inevitable happened and he was given the bump up to the Sunday and Madera pro teams pretty much simultaneously at the beginning of the year after putting in his years blowing minds around the world.
We figured with all the good things going on, it would be a good time to catch up with Erik and find out what’s new in the life of the guy from the woods of Wisconsin, turned Minnesotan turned Texan. Let’s see what he had to say!
Name: Erik Elstran
Photo: Nick Steben / DIG
Location: Austin, Texmex
Years riding: 9
How’s it going Erik? It’s been a while since we’ve caught up! You’re living in Austin, Texas dodging the cold Minnesota weather this year, right? What are you getting into down there? Do you have any plans of returning to Minnesota any time soon?
I’m alive and well! Yeah I just moved to Austin. I’ll be here for six months with intentions of mainly catching turtles out of canoes and eating tacos. Oh and riding bikes too. We live across the street from a skatepark so I’ve been riding so much lately. I want to save some money while I’m here and then be on the road traveling as long I can. I’d like to do a trip to Europe for at least a month this summer then travel and hitchhike all around the states. I’ll definitely visit Minnesota this summer but I don’t really have any intentions of living there again anytime too soon.
Are you still doing the film school stuff, are you done now or is that on a bit of a hiatus now? That’s what landed you in Minneapolis in the first place, right?
Yeah, I attended and graduated from a two year school in Minneapolis for film. As far as filmmaking is concerned, yeah it’s on a bit of a hiatus. Right now I’m doing exactly what I want to in life and that’s riding bikes and traveling as much as possible. I mean how could I not? Riding BMX is pretty much 100% fun and getting paid to do it is pretty unreal. Filmmaking, however, is a lot of real work and can be pretty stressful. Making films is the main thing I want to do in life but I’ve been given such an amazing opportunity that that can wait.
So it was just announced the other week that you have joined the Sunday Bikes pro team after a few years on the flow team. How did they break the news to you? Did you ever think you would find yourself on the pro team list?
Jim C rented the Goodyear blimp and had it tow a giant flag that said “2014 is gonna be a Goodyear©. Erik want to be on the Sunday bikes pro team?” Or so I was later told. I was actually inside sewing that day so I missed it. Nah, I never thought be a pro. It’s really just something I never worried or thought about. I’ve always thought assuming that you deserve to be paid to ride is indicative of a complete misunderstanding of what BMX is all about not to mention arrogance. I don’t really care that much about being known or involved in the industry or anything. The last few years I’ve been doing exactly what I want to do with BMX and that’s meeting new people, seeing new places, and having fun.
Photo: Nick Steben / DIG
What do you have planned with them? I feel like trips and some signature products could be in your near future?
Yea we are working on some things bike related. Trips happening soon too. You’ll see!
Are you going to do a welcome to the pro team edit? I could really use some fresh footage from you.
Yes! Filming for it now. I’ve been filming a lot lately for that and other things.
You’re also now doing it for Madera! How did that all come about? I feel like this has been a long time coming as well!
Mike Hinkens, Madera team manager, felt bad for flipping me off constantly so he flowed me some hubs. Then I suppose he heard Sunday was bumping me to pro and he reckon’d he do the same. I’m psyched. I’ve known and looked up to Hinkens since I was a wee lad so it was definitely an honor to get asked to ride for Madera.
What does Mike Hinkens and Matt Coplon have in the works for you as far as Madera goes? Do you guys have any trips or anything going on there?
I am currently doing a limited edition shirt giveaway for Madera. I bought five different button up shirts from used clothing stores and modified them. Sewing things on the pockets, collars, sleeves, swapping buttons etc. The contest just started today. Funniest instagram video wins! Also yeah, lots of trips planned this year!
Do you have any other sponsor news you can tell us about?
Vantagesouth Bancshares Inc. stocks were hot a couple days ago… Nope
Other than those welcome edits. Have you been working on any other videos or video parts? Is Kyle Stark secretly filming for a new Team Dilly video?
Hahaha. Kyle is filming for Team Dilly but it’s no secret that Dilly videos have pregnancies of at least five years. I filmed a bunch with Rob Diquattro when we went to Albuquerque and Phoenix a while back. I think he’s making a Hood Antics edit with that. I’ve been filming a lot with Charlie Crumlish lately here in Austin and that footie will go to some kind of somethin.
So you’re doing the Texas thing now. What’s next? Where are some places you would like to get to in the next few months? Any chance we’ll see you at Simple Session or anything event wise?
San Diego, New Orleans, Atlanta and Arizona in the next couple months. Nah no Simple Session for me. I will be at X-Games selling ice cream treats though.
I’ve known you for a few years now from back when you were still just riding your mini ramp in the woods of Wisconsin at your parents place. Did you ever imagine you would be where you are today because of BMX? Is the North of 10 still in your blood?
In some ways yes. The first BMX video I watched was Road Fools 8 which opens with a Steve Crandall quote talking about all the different places his bike has taken him. I feel like the mantra of “I never would have expected BMX to take me here,” was so branded into my upbringing that I came to expect the unexpected. I mean, I never expected I’d be pro and I’ve definitely been in some weird situations/places just because of my bike. However, when I first started riding I quickly learned that things like adventures, good times, traveling, amazing friendships, traveling, and bloody shins are an integral part of BMX. My mindset towards riding has remained unchanged since the beginning. It’s still fun. And yea, I reckon I still have some Woodsman in my blood…
Photo: Ben Austin
What are you getting into these days when you aren’t riding? Any new hobbies? Have you been working on any crazy non-BMX films?
I haven’t worked on anything non-BMX related since last summer. However, I’m currently working on a film that incorporates BMX but in a much more abstract way than a typical BMX video. I shot some stuff this winter of bikes in the snow through water and mirrors. I plan on heavily manipulating the footage in post. It’s sort of hard to articulate the feel of this project but the vision I have for it is dope ha. That project is currently on hold till I get a laptop. I guess I’ve been sewing a lot working on those Madera shirts, staying up late watching movies, and finding new music.
What’s something about yourself that might surprise people?
My great grandpa met Bilbo Baggins’ son.
With it being the new year and all. Do you have any goals or things you would really like to accomplish?
Do the new. See new places, meet new people, experience new things, move forward and progress as a human being.
How can people keep up with you these days? Are you on Instagram, Twitter or any of that social media stuff?
Yes! Follow me on instagram at @devonlampmanual.