She understands why her son did what he loved better than most, and doesn't want to take that away from any racer.

Following the news that Pikes Peak International Hill Climb officials are considering an outright motorcycle ban for future events, Carlin Dunne’s mother has issued an official statement. Her name is Romie Gallardo, and she knows better than many the high price that racers can pay when a race week or weekend doesn’t go as planned. 

Carlin loved the mountain. She challenged and enticed him, calling him back again and again. He gave her due respect. He was fully aware of her ability to “take,”" Gallardo wrote. 

“With that being said, I know for a fact that he would not want the motorcycle program to end. He would want us to learn from this tragedy. He would encourage the official accident reconstruction authorities do what they are trained to do, and for the race officials to implement additional safety precautions required,” she continued.

There’s no racer anywhere who isn’t aware that their love of their sport might someday end in a way they don’t like. Even so, their love is so strong, they continue tackling that risk anew each time, honing their skills to the finest and sharpest of points. Close family and friends of racers know the risks, as well. The ones who understand why their loved ones race have a unique level of empathy that not everyone always shares. Some people simply can’t or won’t understand the level of commitment that racers feel toward their sports. 

“Three days after Carlin’s crash a reporter asked me, “How do you feel about the race now?” To which I replied, “The same way I felt on June 29th, the day before he crashed,”" Gallardo continued. 

“All his life I’ve known that losing him was a possibility. We went into this with eyes-wide-open. We were aware of the flip side of this sport. I was committed to him and his dreams. He was doing what he loved. So, who are we to take away other racers’ dreams of racing Pikes Peak International Hillclimb?” she concluded. 

Her statement is attached in its entirety. Have some tissues handy when you read it; it’s beautiful, heartfelt, and shows a profound empathy that underscores what a great relationship she and her son must have had. 

 

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OFFICIAL STATEMENT 

by Romie Gallardo, Carlin Dunne's Mother 

It’s been two weeks now since my son left us. In my heart I knew the instant that Carlins time did not register in the 4th and final section of the race that I’d lost my baby boy (Yes, at 36 he was still my baby boy). Dear Lord, take care of my boy, he is truly in your hands now. 

From the moment of his crash, the entire Pikes Peak International Hillclimb officials handled the situation with my full support. They exhibited the utmost privacy, respect, and dignity, and continue their steadfast support today. Media was instantly shut down and an outpouring of love and support was extended from the moment that I arrived in Colorado Springs. Megan Leatham, Executive Director of The Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, Tom Osborne, Chairman of the Board of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, Paul and Becca Livingston, Owners of Spridergrips, Jason Chinnock, CEO Ducati of North America, and Ducati Motor in Bologna, Italy, all took care of me, protected me, and more importantly protected my son. I will forever be grateful. 

Carlin was beloved by all who knew him. He was everyone’s friend. Whether playing the role of little brother, big brother, son, or best friend. From a young age, I shared him with the world because I knew he was bigger than me, bigger than our mother-son bond. He fiercely pursued his passions with my full blessing and complete support. He held the security and confidence of knowing, “Mom will take care of the homestead.” He was never reckless in action or deed. I trusted him implicitly. Many years ago, he evolved beyond me. The funny thing is, Carlin never thought of himself as a “big deal.” I did, but I was “just the mom.” He still did his own laundry, picked up Sonny’s dog poop. He always said, “please” and “thank you.” 

Carlin loved the mountain. She challenged and enticed him, calling him back again and again. He gave her due respect. He was fully aware of her ability to “take.” With that being said, I know for a fact that he would not want the motorcycle program to end. He would want us to learn from this tragedy. He would encourage the official accident reconstruction authorities do what they are trained to do, and for the race officials to implement additional safety precautions required. 

Three days after Carlin’s crash a reporter asked me, “How do you feel about the race now?” To which I replied, “The same way I felt on June 29th, the day before he crashed.” All his life I’ve known that losing him was a possibility. We went into this with eyes-wide-open. We were aware of the flip side of this sport. I was committed to him and his dreams. He was doing what he loved. So, who are we to take away other racers’ dreams of racing Pikes Peak International Hillclimb? 

In closing, I would like to give a massive worldwide THANK YOU to all of Carlin’s extended family and friends near and far! Our family is humbled beyond words. All of your love, support, stories, videos, and pictures without a doubt have helped me – and continue to help me. I am truly touched by your love and the ways in which you honor my son. Carlin would have been in awe at all the attention. He would have loved everyone coming together in harmony. He truly lives on in each and every one of us. 

Rest easy baby boy, we’ve got this. We’ve got Sonny. As you told your little sister many years ago, “Just keep pedaling.” That’s what we are going to do – just keep pedaling. I’ll see you when I get there.