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Living the Life of an MTB Guide in Livigno: What’s the Year-Round Drill?

By Adam Marsal

Coming from Chiavenna, Italy, a small town by the Lago Como lake close to the Swiss border, Adam Quadrioni has always loved mountains surrounding his home. Riding mountain bikes since he was 14, Adam won the Italian Junior championships title in Cross Country in 2001. Supported by the official Italian team Bianchi, he ended up 12th overall in the World Championships in Vail, USA, the same year. Since he’s been living in Livigno for 13 years, you’d hardly imagine a more competent rider who could guide you through mountain trails in one of the most user-friendly mountain biking resorts in Europe.

What kind of cycling do you like the most?

I like all types of cycling, I still use my road bike for early-season rides but, of course, I’m more into the whole mountain-biking thing. Enduro-style rides, in particular. I also like some bike packing but always with my enduro bike.

Adam Quadrioni on his home turf.

What convinced you to do the job of a mountain biking guide?

I’ve always had a dream of turning my passion into a job, so that’s why I started to take people on tours around Livigno as a hobby five years ago. I was – and still am – working in a bike shop called “The Bike Store” in Livigno and that’s how I started to get people interested in my tours.

Have you ever experienced any really dangerous situation with your customers?

Last year, I had two accidents where we had to call a helicopter for rescuing the rider who had the accident. But at the end of the day, it turned out to be nothing serious and we ended up having a beer together!

Why have you chosen Livigno in particular?

Livigno isn’t far from my hometown and I used to come here on day trips with my parents when I was a kid. Then, during my racing years, I used to come here for altitude training with the Italian National Team and that’s why I moved here in 2005. And as I was looking for a job, I naturally asked in a bike shop where I still work until now.

How does it feel to be a guide in Livigno, compared to other Alpine resorts you’ve visited?

I think Livigno has great local policies. The administration really pushes for promoting mountain biking so I think here we’re actually quite lucky in this respect. By the way, we have all the features we need like a bike park or flowy trails to satisfy all kinds of customers.

Why should I take a guide when I come to Livigno? Will I experience something special apart from the things that are apparently available for all visitors?

Anywhere you go for a cycling holiday, a guide always shows you the best of the area. Also, when I go on my own holiday biking, I myself hire a guide, to make sure that I will be riding the best trails of that specific area. And, if one of our clients has either mechanical or health problems, we do our best to solve it so we are a secure choice!

What is the most frequent customer question? Can you satisfy all their wishes?

We always try to do our best. Probably, the most common question is: “Will the weather be OK for the tour tomorrow?” And while I obviously answer that it will, I always keep fingers crossed behind my back.

Are there some new trends in your profession?

Well, you really always have to be up to date with new trends! Bikes, clothing, and anything that has to do with mountain biking!

Which kind of bike do you use and why?

Personally, I ride a Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 1 bike, an enduro monster with 170 mm travel on the fork and 165 mm on the rear shock. I use this machine for both mountain/enduro rides and downhill lessons in the bike-park – a really versatile bike!

Actually, what do you do in winter?

I work in the bike shop and make fat-bike tours. I try to do the same things as in summer, but through shorter rides just around Livigno. There’s a weekly program with easy tours and also more technical, enduro-style rides, using ski-lifts and gondolas!

Interested in visiting Livigno for a cycling holiday? Check Bikelivigno.com