Hermosan Skateboards the 405 During Carmageddon Closure

Cindy Whitehead had the ride of her life on Sunday as she and her photographer husband scouted and found the perfect place to ride a closed San Diego freeway, without getting caught.

Hermosa Beach native Cindy Whitehead has done what no one has.

The former skateboard pro grabbed her board, found a place to access a closed 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass Sunday and found her way into infamy by skateboarding for a brief two minutes without being detected.

Media have covered her exploit, including the Los Angeles Times and Huffington Post, turning her ride into perhaps the memory of a lifetime.

Patch caught up with Whitehead and asked her about her 405 skateboarding adventure, her life, and her love for Hermosa Beach.

Patch: How old are you and how many of those years have you lived in Hermosa Beach? 

Cindy Whitehead: I'm in my 40s and I have lived in Hermosa Beach my whole life--born and raised here.

Patch: You live there, now, yes?

Whitehead: Yes.

Patch: What do you for a living?

Whitehead: I am a fashion stylist who specializes in athletes for editorial, catalog and advertising shoots. 

Patch: When did you first pick up a skateboard and why? 

Whitehead: When I was 15; I surfed a bit and skateboarding looked like fun and it was something to do that my older brother hadn't mastered!

Patch: When did you become a pro skateboarder, for how long and what was that like?

Whitehead: I turned pro when I was about 16 years old and "retired" from competitive skateboarding at about age 22 when all the skateparks were being closed down.

Patch: Could you make a living at it?

Whitehead: During that time, being young and having no overhead except a car -- yes.

Patch: You're a notable sports stylist®. What is a sports stylist® and what do you do? 

Whitehead: It's basically the same as a fashion or wardrobe stylst but I choose to specialize in athlete-related photo shoots.  

Patch: How'd you get into sports styling? 

Whitehead: I was styling young celebrities and one day I met a photographer who mainly shot all sports and I decided that was the direction I needed to head since my skateboard background combined with my styling work was a foundation for that.

Patch: Obviously, you still ride a skateboard. How often do you ride? 

Whitehead: As often as I can but not as often as I would like.

Patch: What else do you do for fun, athletic wise?

Whitehead: Surf, snowboard, mountain bike.

Patch: What inspired you to ride your skateboard on the 405 while it was closed and supposedly off limits? 

Whitehead: I thought it would be something very iconic "L.A." to do and my husband, who was the photographer, had a picture in mind he really wanted to make so that sealed it for me.

Patch: The L.A. Times reports you and your husband spent quite a bit of time scouting for places to access the road. What roads were you driving when you were doing your scouting?

Whitehead: Up and down Sepulveda and back into some residential areas as well.

Patch: Did you climb any fences, span any barricades? 

Whitehead: No comment.

Patch: Now that stretch of the 405 is fairly removed from the South Bay, so why did you decide to try to skateboard on it? 

Whitehead: Well, for Carmegeddon a 10-mile stretch of the 405 was closed-- from the 10 to the 101 so that's the section I had to work with. I also drive the 405 almost every week for work or meetings and it's usually bumper to bumper when I am on it so to have a nice memory of it is pretty awesome.

Patch: Did your and your husband Ian think you both might be arrested? Is that why you wrote the phone numbers of a bail bondsman and three friends on your arms?

Whitehead: It crossed my mind. 

Patch: Ian's photos are great! Is he a professional photographer? 

Whitehead: Yes, Ian is a professional advertising and editorial photographer.

Patch: Did police speak with you after you skateboarded? 

Whitehead: No. No one saw me.

Patch: How often do you do skateboard stunts like this?

Whitehead: Never.

Patch: Your original skateboard gear is in the HB Historical museum. What does the gear consist of, what's it from and when was it put on display in the museum? 

Whitehead: Right now, due to space issues, the skateboarding magazine centerfold of me riding a plexi glass 1/2 pipe is hung in the museum. When they had the Skateboard History show they had my skate shorts, helmet, pads, sneakers, board, photos, etc. all on display.

Patch: Where is the HB Historical Museum?

Whitehead: The Hermosa Beach Historical Society is located at 710 Pier Avenue -- in the Community Center by the skatepark.

Patch: Anything else you'd like to add? 

Whitehead: I'm happy to still be living in Hermosa Beach after all these years, and I can't imagine living anywhere else!

H. Schwartz October 02, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Wow, a new low for patch! I ran a stop sign the other day, want an interview? How about if I do 60 down Valley Dr. "undetected" or does it have to be a misdemeanor? Save the human interest interviews for the people who actually accomplish something we have enough people breaking the law.
john wayne miller October 02, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Good on you Cindy, We love you in our community! Great shoot Ian! Pura Vida my friends. JW.
Remain Annonymous October 03, 2012 at 02:13 AM
I agree with you Schwartz. I think their "accomplishment" is in poor taste. Whoopee, let's hear it for the scofflaws!
Ian Logan October 03, 2012 at 02:26 AM
The difference is 60 on Valley is dangerous as well as idiotic, please find something that pertains before you sit at the keyboard, plus do you really live here at the beach, the beach culture is all about the freedom and small rebellions that don't endanger anyone.
H. Schwartz October 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Ian,some of us beach people might think skateboarding without a helmet on the 405 is dangerous and idiotic not to mention immature. You miss the point, reread my last sentence, to romanticize illegal behavior is to promote it.
Cat October 04, 2012 at 04:52 AM
H. Schwartz, If you think skating on the 405 is romanticizing illegal behavior, then I can't wait to promote more of it! I'm only sorry I didn't think of it first! I can't wait until you tell us what else you think is illegal behavior. Let me guess...... returning your library book late? Spitting on the street? Jaywalking? Usually the people who post stupid comments, like yours above, are the ones that have the most to hide. Get a life loser!
H. Schwartz October 05, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Wow,where do I start. Try to comprehend when you read. I never stated nor do I "think" skating on the 405 is romanticizing illegal behavior. Skating on the 405 is immature illegal behavior. For Patch to devote as much space and time with pictures and an interview is to romanticize it, again, comprehension. You state " I can't wait until you tell us what else you think is illegal behavior." Talk about "stupid comments" you obviously never read the interview, the legality was never a question, she carried bail bondsman phone numbers anticipating arrest if caught. Maybe you should get an education before you tell people to get a life.
Cat October 05, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I'll say it again, go get a life loser.
H. Schwartz October 05, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I'll say it again, get an education.


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