Anthony Michael Martin (left), known as Michael, who is missing after cycling in the Berkeley-Oakland hills on Saturday

Berkeley resident Anthony Michael Martin has been reported missing after going on a bike ride on Saturday which took in Tunnel Road in Berkeley. His friends and family are asking the community for help finding him.

The 29-year-old Martin, who is known as Mike as well as Michael, and was formerly a professional cyclist, was reported as missing to the Berkeley Police Department at 10:45 pm on Saturday by his girlfriend, Amaya James, 29, of Berkeley, after he failed to return home, according to Sgt Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley Police Department.

James spoke to him on the phone earlier that day, and they were meant to meet for dinner at 8:00 pm on Saturday.

A cyclist found Martin’s cellphone on Tunnel Road, close to the Oakland Fire Memorial on Saturday afternoon and returned it to James.

Sgt Kusmiss said the challenge for the police is how to conduct a search in such a potentially large geographic area. “Martin could have taken any number of directions from Tunnel Road,” she said. In order to use assets such as search and rescue resources or dogs, the police would need at least a starting point, she said.

The BPD has taken the standard steps of checking with hospitals and coroners’ offices and sending out a state-wide missing person e-flyer. The potential area where Martin may be found covers five police jurisdictions — Berkeley, East Bay Regional Parks, UC Police, Oakland and Contra Costa — although Kusmiss said this is not an issue.

Kusmiss said the actions already taken by Martin’s friends to alert the media are very helpful. Equally useful are reports from community members who are perhaps driving the cycling routes such as Grizzly Peak and Skyline and see somthing out of the ordinary, she said.

“We have no clues or leads. Anything that someone sees, however insignificant — it could be a skid mark, broken brush or a key in the road — could be very helpful information,” she said.

James also reported that Martin had been on a diet which involved some fasting so there is a possibility that he may have been physically weaker than usual.

Martin is described as 29 years old, six feet tall, slender, with brown hair and brown eyes, according to Oakland North which published an alert early this morning.  The article goes on: “If he went missing while cycling, his friends believe he would be riding a fluorescent green and white road bike and be wearing street clothes, a grey and blue helmet, white cycling shoes, and possibly be wearing a blue Mountain Hardware backpack.”

Anyone with information which could be useful in the case is asked to call the Berkeley Police Department at (510) 981-5900.  (Reporters wishing to get more information on Mike can contact friends who are searching for him at 916-910-5588.)

Update, 9:45 pm: NBC Bay Area has an interview with Martin’s girlfriend, Amaya James.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...