Update: Salinas search Sunday for missing Gold Run cyclist called off

Eric Pohley a Placer High grad with roots in Auburn
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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UPDATE: A search in the Salinas area in connection with Eric Poley has been called off on a report that he has been located alive in another area. The Journal will update this story as more information becomes available.


No e-mails. No phone calls. No text messages. Nothing since April 10.

That’s the mystery friends and family of Gold Run’s Eric Pohley are facing as the days continue on and no traces of the former Auburn man emerge.

Pohley was on the first leg of a solo, cross-country bicycle trek, bound for San Luis Obispo on his Cannondale F4 mountain bike to meet up with old Placer High School buddies when he inexplicably disappeared in the Salinas area. Neither he nor his bicycle, equipped with a trailer, have been spotted since, his brother, Marc Pohley said Thursday.

Acting on concerns by family and friends, the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert on April 27.

On Sunday, a contingent of searchers will travel from Placer County to join law enforcement and search and rescue personnel in an attempt to find Pohley.

The search staging area is at Salinas Airport, 30 Mortensen Ave., in Salinas. Start time is 9 a.m. and the search could last all day, Pohley said.

Eric Pohley, 60, was in good health and good spirits when he set off on a cycling trip to San Luis Obispo, with plans of cycling east from there to New York. His brother said Eric had made the same cross-country cycling journey 40 years earlier and was used to traveling on his own.

The missing man was also in good physical shape, having spent two to three hours in daily gym training sessions as well as regular bike rides, Marc Pohley said.

Pohley added that his brother had never lost contact with friends and family in the past over an extended period of time.

Ben Barker, whose father is a friend of Eric Pohley’s, said it was not like the missing man to fail to contact friends and relatives. The last text message was made on April 10. Otherwise, the messages had been coming daily or, at least every two days, he said.

There were possible sightings of Eric Pohley on his bike between Salinas and Hollister on April 12 and possibly April 13 but none since then, Barker said.

With no wife or children, Eric Pohley has strong school, work and family connections to the Auburn area. At Placer High, we was a member of the baseball team before graduation in 1971. He worked for several years in the home construction industry building log homes.

Barker said Pohley set out on the bike journey to spread new ideas he had about providing low-income families with housing.

Somewhere along the way, that message - and any messages to family and friends - have gone silent.

“He wouldn’t just drop off the grid,” Marc Pohley said. “And he was the picture of health. It’s a total mystery.”