The historic rainfall in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region earlier in May 2023 lasted for 36 hours and dumped approximately six months of rain on the area in about a day and a half. That’s the story that made international headlines—but even though the weather event is over, the aftermath unfortunately continues for the people living in the region.
Landslides, crumbling and impassable roads, rivers that have burst their banks—all that and more have put untold strain on emergency services, both at a local and a national level. Thankfully, a group of local enduro riders calling themselves Enduro Motor Valley decided to leap into action and offer their assistance.
After all, who knows how to get around and through difficult terrain better than a seasoned enduro rider? Also, who has the equipment and mindset to overcome unforeseen obstacles and changing ground conditions? Most people want to help if they can, especially when a disaster hits home like this—so what this group is doing is completely relatable and understandable.
Riders like Santerno Valley pharmacist Alessandro Magnani, whose family has been in the pharmacy business for generations, have been instrumental in getting critical supplies like medicines, food, water, and more to people who have been stranded by the aftermath of the flooding. Santerno is located southeast of Bologna, situated between Imola and Castel del Rio. It’s a mountainous region and is home to a number of elderly residents—many of whom have been left temporarily stranded by roads made impassable through the weather.
Rider Luca Medaglia wrote a moving first-person piece for Endurista Magazine (which we’ll link in our sources), talking about the overwhelming feeling he had that he couldn’t just sit and do nothing when he knew that people needed help, and he had the means to help them. So, he phoned up his local branches of the Civil Protection service and the Fire Brigade to ask if there was anything he could do to help.
In his telling of what happened next, the emergency officials were at first surprised, but then quickly realized just how useful enduro riders could be in getting places that no one else (save a helicopter) might be able to reach. They told him that they’d get back to him, but he said they called him back within an hour and asked him to bring some of his friends to the station the next morning for assignments.
From there, Medaglia wrote, he and his fellow riders went on both scouting and delivery missions. Emergency officials gave them a GPS, a radio, and a map, and asked them to scout and mark landslide areas, as well as assess the passability of the roads. They marked GPS coordinates, took photos, and relayed the information they gathered to the Fire Brigade as they systematically worked in teams to canvass the area.
Thanks to the help of these riders, local emergency officials were able to identify a meditation center full of stranded people in need of rescue, who were then taken to safety via helicopter. Later, some of these riders brought medicine, food, and water to other people who were stranded in their homes but otherwise mostly OK.
It’s exhausting work, of course—but according to Medaglia, it’s the kind of work that makes you feel tired in the best way when it’s done, as well as proud of what you’ve accomplished. Some say that helping others in need is its own reward—and they’re not wrong.