Could Motorcycles Get Banned From Pikes Peak?


Ducati Dunne at Pikes Peak
Image from Ducati

A Result Carlin Dunne Would Not Have Wanted

In the wake of Carlin Dunne’s death while racing up Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, officials are now considering whether or not to have motorcycles included in the event at all. According to The Colorado Gazette, Cheyenne Edition, race officials are having serious conversations about excluding motorcycles from the hill climb in the future. 

It’s not just Dunne’s death that weighs heavily on the officials’ minds. Since 2014 there have been three deaths at the race. That’s a pretty high mortality rate. “He high sided … but it just happened to be on Pikes Peak with no room for error,” race Executive Director Megan Leatham said in an email to city and U.S. Forest Service officials the day after the crash, according to documents obtained by The Gazette.

Jack Glavan, manager of Pikes Peak America’s Mountain, said that no official decision has yet been made. “I think it’s going to be a big discussion with the Hill Climb board before any kind of decision is made,” Glavan said.

To kick motorcycles out of the iconic hill climb would be a huge mistake. Dunne and the other riders who died racing up the mountain loved what they did. They also knew the risks. I highly doubt they’d be on board with the idea that motorcycles should be excluded. I get that safety of the racers absolutely has to be a priority. However, I would hesitate to exclude motorcycles when there are plenty of people who want to race them in the event.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Matt Gustafson
    July 16, 2019
    Reply

    This sounds like the traditional American knee-jerk reaction. While its terrible that these deaths happened, banning motorcycles from competing at pikes peak would not be a proper response. How many deaths have we seen at the isle of mann, and yet this conversation doesn’t appear there. Racing is risky. It is part of the allure to competitors and spectators alike. Excessive attempts to ensure safety are not only foolish, but will destroy the sport. The risk will always be there, and in fact must be there for the sport to survive.

    • Avatar
      Giovanni DiBenedetto
      July 16, 2019
      Reply

      You’re absolutely right. Life is a risk in itself and just about anything can kill you, from falling space rocks to microorganisms in your food. On the roads, motorcyclists are most likely to die from riding while under the influence, and distracted drivers, neither of which have been stopped. Stop trying to protect adults from making adult decisions. Removing motorcycles from Pikes Peak belittles the memory of those who died trying to conquer it.

    • Wade Thiel
      July 17, 2019
      Reply

      Exactly my thoughts, Matt. It’s a dangerous event, no doubt, but that’s part of why it exists. Risk is one of the reasons to take the challenge. Without risk, why attempt it? It’d be silly to remove bikes.

      • Avatar
        Paul Murray
        October 7, 2019
        Reply

        These articles about motorcycles being considered to be banned at Pike’s Peak has caused rumors to spread and imply not only motorcycle racers but ALL motorcycles.
        These articles should emphasize motorcycle racers not just motorcycles .
        I have been up Pikes Peak numerous times coming back from Sturgis both when it was paved and unpaved and in both cases we are no different than other vehicles.

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