Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Carmageddon II: Skateboarder rides stretch of empty 405 Freeway

October 1, 2012 |  9:08 am

Authorities cited the newlyweds who tried to get on the closed 405 Freeway over the weekend. And the group of rollerbladers.

But they didn't see Cindy Whitehead.

Whitehead, a former professional skateboarder who lives in Hermosa Beach, said she took her board out for a two-minute ride down the empty 405 on Sunday, during the Carmageddon II closure that kept drivers off 10 miles of one of the nation's busiest freeways.

PHOTOS: Carmageddon II

Inspired by the friends who had a dinner party on the vacant freeway during last year's Carmageddon, Whitehead and her husband, Ian Logan, started talking about skateboarding on the freeway about a month ago.

"They were kind of my heroes," she said of the trio that photographed the dinner party. "I was thinking, 'God, I'm so stupid. I should have skateboarded down the 405.'"

But by Friday, Whitehead said she had decided against it. The risks were too high—officials had warned they wouldn't tolerate pranksters, and she thought it would be too difficult to get past barricades.


The next night, she changed her mind.

Whitehead and Logan were at the freeway by 6:15 a.m. Sunday, scouting out places where she could ride. After about 90 minutes of avoiding police and construction crews, they decided to head home.

On the way, Whitehead said, Logan paused south of the Skirball Cultural Center. "God," he said. "That's a beautiful stretch to ride."

They parked the car and walked onto the freeway—there weren't any barricades, she said. And then, she said, she went.

The ride lasted only about two minutes, Whitehead said. Police cars and construction vehicles were headed toward her, so she got off the freeway pretty quickly, she said.

"Our plan was to do it fast, do it quick and don't get in anyone's way," she said. "I wasn't there to cause problems. I really wasn't."

The couple wasn't cited, but Whitehead wrote the numbers of three friends on one arm and a bail bondsman on the other just in case they ran into problems.

Whitehead said she was glad to finally have a positive experience with the freeway, admittedly one of the third-generation Angeleno's least favorites.

"It's pretty cool to be on the 405," she said. "With no traffic is amazing in itself, but to be skateboarding down the 405 is pretty iconic for me."

"It was a pretty fun day."


Schwarzenegger: Affair with housekeeper hurt Shriver, kids, family

Carmageddon II: 405 Freeway reopens well before morning commute

California allows driver's licenses for young undocumented immigrants

— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: Former pro skateboarder and Hermosa Beach resident Cindy Whitehead rides down an empty stretch of the 405 Freeway on Sunday morning. Credit: Ian Logan