REMEMBERING CARLIN DUNNE: RIDE INTO THE CLOUDS
A fleet of sport motorcycles lined Montecito Street outside the late Carlin Dunne’s Ducati shop Sunday morning. They joined groups of hikers, cyclists and other riders, stationed throughout Santa Barbara, in a climb up La Cumbre Peak.
“It’s basically all of Carlin’s disciplines,” said Mr. Dunne’s friend, Marcus Boyle, who explained that the mountain bike riders took a path up Gibraltar Road and the hikers made their way up Tunnel Road.
A group of dirt bikers also rode up the peak from East Camino Cielo.
“We’re just paying tribute to those disciplines, that made (Mr. Dunne) who he was … and honoring him in the best way that we possibly can. By partaking in the activities that made him him,” Mr. Boyle said of his closest friend.
Mr. Dunne, a professional motorcycle racer, died June 30 in a crash during 97th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs. He appeared poised to defend his 2018 Hill Climb win when tragedy struck just 20 yards from the finish line.
On Tuesday race officials confirmed Mr. Dunne’s 2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Prototype highsided during the final turn of the race. According to motorcycle instructor Steve Munden, a highside crash occurs when the rear wheel of a motorcycle loses traction then quickly regains traction.
Mr. Dunne’s first name, Carlin, is Irish Gaelic for champion. His career accolades include three Hill Climb wins, and wins in the Baja 250, 500, and 1000.
On Sunday, the motorcycle riders snaked their way through wispy fog to the peak where they enjoyed a picnic lunch and reminisced about Mr. Dunne.
“He was on a bike … literally weeks after birth. Kids get bicycles, we got bicycles and motorcycles. It’s kind of a family requirement” said Mr. Dunne’s sister, Daniela Dunne, who fondly recalled a riding lesson Mr. Dunne gave her when she was 15.
“When he first taught me to ride at the track, he could be going around a corner looking back at me like ‘go like this’ making hand gestures. He was just so talented, and you always love doing what you’re talented at,” she said.
Mr. Dunne’s longtime friend Chris Eberz said the late motorcyclist was like family and pointed out that he was also an accomplished mountain and dirt biker.
“He became a member of my family when he and my kids were kids. He and my son ended up becoming lifelong friends,” said Mr. Eberz.
Mr. Dunne was the best man at Mr. Eberz’s son’s wedding and raced on his dirt bike team during the 1,750-mile Baja 2000 race.
“The kind of person he was, he always had a really good outlook on life,” said Mr. Eberz of Mr. Dunne’s personality outside of racing. “He always seemed to look at everything and had a good judge about how to see how things were and how people needed to be (considered).”
Mr. Eberz’s daughter, Kim Eberz, added that for all Mr. Dunne’s accomplishments, he was always more interested in learning about others than talking about himself.
“He had a great way of making you feel like you were the only person in the world. He never took the time to talk about himself, he just learned about everyone. Now we’re starting to learn about everyone that he knew and all those stories and this amazing community that he was in,” she said.
Mr. Dunne is survived by his mother, Romie Gallardo; father, Trevor Dunne; sister, Daniela Dunne; and his dog, Sonny.
Trevor Dunne said that the gathering at La Cumbre Peak was an appropriate tribute to his son’s memory.
“He was all about bringing people together and making friends. He loved to get together with his friends like this, so I appreciate it. I really do.”