Ever since Carlin Dunne’s tragic death during the running of the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, organizers have been analyzing and discussing whether motorcycles should be banned from the event for good. It’s been a decision long in coming, and both racers and fans weren’t sure they’d like the answer.
In July, 2019, organizers were quick to say that while they hadn’t yet made a permanent decision about the fate of bikes in the Race to the Clouds just yet, motorcycles would definitely be barred from entry in 2020. Plenty of people at the time publicly expressed their dismay at the idea of banning motorcycles from the event outright, including Dunne’s own mother. She felt that it wasn’t what her son would have wanted, and she said so.
On August 11, 2021, PPIHC organizers finally made their official proclamation regarding the inclusion of motorcycles in future PPIHC events. The decision was short and to the point. The statement reads,
“After two years of research, deliberation, thoughtful consideration and advice from colleagues in the motorsports industry, the Board of the Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has made the decision to discontinue motorcycle competition as part of the annual Race to the Clouds,” it begins.
“Motorcycle competition has been part of the history of the race off-and-on since 1916, and has been both thrilling and tragic for competitors and fans alike,” explained Fred Veitch, Interim Chairman of the Board. “This has been a long process and a difficult decision, but we believe it is the right decision and one that is in the best interest of the organization at this time,” it continues.
The statement then goes on to link to a PDF file with a timeline of motorcycle racing history at Pikes Peak, which evidently won’t need any updating for the foreseeable future.