13-16.09.13 Abetone, Tuscany, Italy PIC © Andy Lloyd
13-16.09.13 Abetone, Tuscany, Italy PIC © Andy Lloyd

Rolando Galli is a super friendly and keen mountain biker from Italy who we met while out riding in Abetone Bike Park for our travel feature in Dirt #145. ‘Energetic’ does not do the man justice – he is motivated beyond belief. For the entirety of our visit he darted from one place to another, one conversation to the next, shaming every single one of us with his relentless drive and obvious dedication to both his personal and professional pursuits.

DIRT ISSUE 146 - APRIL 2014

Words by James McKnight. Photo by Andy Lloyd

A dedicated skier, talented bike rider and a man devoted to evolving downhill mountain biking in the resort he calls home, Rolando Galli’s enthusiasm is nothing short of inspirational. Clearly much liked by his peers, Rolando has a ‘high–up’ job in a busy ski resort but displays little in the way of ego and lives for experiences not money. He was even modest enough to ‘forget’ to mention his win at the 2012 Masters Ski World Cup…

Who is Rolando Galli?

Male, 50, passionate rider and skier.

Where do you live?

Between Florence and Abetone in Italy.

What’s your job title?

Abetone Lift Company President.

What do you do?

I produce and market Abetone as a sports holiday destination both for riding in summer and skiing/snowboarding in winter.

How long have you been working for Abetone?

Since 2004.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I’ve been lucky in my life, I never made money but I’ve always had passion for any job I’ve had.

Where’s your favourite place?

Tuscany, Italy.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

The Appennine ridge ring between Sestola and Abetone.

When are you happiest?

Riding under the sun in summer, skiing under a snowfall in winter.

What makes you angry?

Not having enough time to complete my duties.

What makes you happy?

Seeing my daughter having fun doing sports.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Never give up.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

Never give up!

What are your extravagances?

I like to race… any race, any sport.

Who do you admire?

Anyone who is passionate about their work.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

My daughter.

What would you never throw away?

My health.

What’s your greatest fear?

No fear.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Breakfast.

What’s the last thing you do at night?

Read a sports magazine.

What would be your dream meal?

Pizza and beer.

What things do you always carry with you?

Unfortunately, the phone…

Do you have any regrets?

Maybe, but I keep saying that even if I did something wrong in the past, it was the right thing in that moment.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?

That time doesn’t come back.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?

Ayrton Senna, Ned Overend and Valentino Rossi.

Who is your favourite rider?

Marco Pantani.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

Clipless pedals.

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?

Bar ends.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

Se sei incerto tieni aperto. The translation is “if you aren’t sure, open the throttle".

What saying do you use too much?

Cazzo! (a rude Italian exclamation).

What bike are you riding at the moment?

Trek Session 99 and Remedy 9.

What was the last magazine you read?

Evo.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Bob Dylan.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

I’d take more care about the money and less about the passion. But I can’t overdo it.

What are your weaknesses?

I’m too passionate in what I do and sometimes I forget about the money.

What does the future hold for you?

Travel with my bike.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

Focusing on the fun more than on the sweat.

How would you like to be remembered?

Working class hero…

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