Romie Gallardo, Carlin Dunnes’ 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 4 th
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
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.