Born to Ride revs up milestone celebration
BRANDON - Ron Galletti likens publishing his magazine to having a child. "You do all this preparation and all this worrying and, before you know it, it's time to send your baby out into the world," Galletti said. "The difference is we get to do it every month." This month, Galletti's "baby" hit a major milestone. Born to Ride, the Brandon-based magazine that debuted in June 2004, published its 100th issue in September. The Rack Sushi Bar and Billiards Lounge is hosting a party Sept. 30 to mark the occasion, and toast the monthly publication that celebrates motorcycles and biker culture.Every month, in addition to profiling new and classic rides, the magazine provides a rundown of what's happening and important in the biker world. That includes everything from charity events — an upcoming Born to Ride gathering will benefit the Sylvia Thomas Center in Brandon, which helps adopted children and their families — to helpful legal and insurance information. "It all started in Brandon, so it made sense to have our anniversary celebration here," said Debbie Galletti, Ron's wife and business partner. The couple, who live in Valrico, met while attending Brandon High School. They distribute about 20,000 copies of the 80-page magazine across the state each month and an additional 15,000-20,000 copies to readers in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia; all of the layout and design is done in Born to Ride's Brandon office. The magazine is mostly available in motorcycle shops and biker-friendly bars and restaurants across the state, where it will give advertisers the biggest bang for their buck," Ron Galletti said. The Sept. 30 party also will honor the 17th year of the Born to Ride brand, which started with a half-hour TV show in 1995. "We were fanatical about motorcycles at the time, and I started to wonder why there were no programs on TV for people like us," said Galletti, whose colorful career also includes wrestling for the International Wrestling Federation as "Nasty Ronny" and singing for Brandon's own Nasty Savage, a thrash-metal band popular in the 1980s. Galletti said his love affair with motorcycles was sparked by the Suzuki 750 he had in high school. Then, he and his wife bought their first Harley in the early 1990s. Today, Galletti's preferred rides are his 2007 Harley Street Glide and a 1993 Harley with a 1988 FXR engine. Born to Ride TV presently airs three times a week in more than 3 million homes across 22 counties. The show airs locally Sundays at 11 p.m. on MyTV Tampa Bay/WTTA-TV. The idea to start a magazine came from a different publication in the early 2000s. "We were doing trade-outs and bartering with another magazine, and the person there told me they were going to do a TV show," Galletti said. "After that, I decided I needed to become a publisher." The magazine allowed Galletti to extend his brand's reach and recruit a team of like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts. "We've been able to find some great moto-journalists from across the country, which is good because I'm not really a writer," he said. "Our goal is to document the biker lifestyle in a proper manner, because if we don't, who will?" Born to Ride magazine includes regular features such as the Page 3 Girl, a pinup model, as well as book and movie reviews, a regular test-ride feature and photos from local bike shows. The magazine has found an audience. "It keeps us updated in terms of what shows and other events are coming up and anything having to do with the biker community," said David Goulding, of FJ Motorsports in Tampa, one of the bike shops that distributes the magazine locally. "It's been the best thing for us as a business and for me as a rider." Galletti believes his is an ever-growing audience. "We're a niche market, but we've got blue-collar and white-collar people, we have people of all ages, and women make up a third of the motorcycle market," he said. "I don't think we're going to run out of ways to write about the life and times of motorcycles and the people who ride them."
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