This past weekend, while most Los Angelenos abided the warnings and stayed clear of the closure of one of the busiest freeways in the country, the 405, 70s legendary female pro skateboarder Cindy Whitehead used "Carmageddon 2" to skate the shutdown interstate.
Notoriously listed among the top five most congested freeways in the country, it's often contended that the 405 freeway got it's name because, "cars travel four or five miles and hour" or because "it'll take four or five hours to reach your destination."
Over the past two years the 405 has been shut down twice as part of the ongoing Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project. In anticipation of the gridlock and road rage ensuing from shutting down such an important roadway, the media labeled the 405 Freeway's closure "Carmageddon." However, for Cindy Whitehead "Carmageddon 2" was her opportunity to skate the busiest freeway in California.
"I had been thinking about it for a while and on Saturday night my husband, photographer Ian Logan, and I discussed it at length." Whitehead said explaining her plan, "Everything from where we'd try to get on the freeway, time of day, to what board I'd ride. The Bulldog Skates board was the one I went with since it's a stable old school type design and the Krypto wheels are soft enough to roll over any small debris I might encounter. We knew the ten-mile stretch of freeway was only going to be closed for forty-eight hours, so it was now or never."
After two hours of hunting for the perfect, unguarded entry point, Whitehead went for it, with her husband in tow, camera readied to capture the moment. She says, "As we went through the fenced in area, a police car drove by. I guess he didn't see us as he kept on going. As I was skateboarding down the freeway I saw some Cal Trans vehicles and another police car coming up towards me in the north bound lanes. Before we found this particular spot we tried five other places but every time we saw police or Cal Trans, so they were all a no go."
No stranger to concrete, Whitehead was once ranked the number one women's skater in pools and vert int halt 1970s. Now a full time (and much in demand) stylist, Whitehead was stoked on her "Carmageddon 2" ride, describing it as, "fast, smoother than I thought, and exhilarating!"