Greg Sousa Memorial Bike Stations
Prior to his last stages of illness, Greg was an avid bike commuter and used the American Tobacco Trail to travel to and from his job, for fitness and to keep moving during times of recovery as he battled cancer.
Shortly after the memorial service for Greg, an anonymous person posted two signs on the ATT as a tribute to Greg. One of those signs is still standing three months and one hurricane later.
The loving gesture started a spark that has been slowing smoldering. Now, with the preliminary approval of the City of Durham Parks and Rec and Sara Sousa we are a happy to announce we are going to install Greg Sousa Memorial Bike Repair stations along the ATT!
The bike stations will be individually designed by Durham metal sculptor Al Frega with a Durham theme using reclaimed materials. Each station will be fully functional and include bike rack, tire pump and basic tools and an acknowledgement to Greg and his love of the ATT. Please see artist concept drawing above.
We are hoping to raise enough money to install 3 bike stations. The goal is to extend help to as many trail riders as possible and honor Greg's memory of helping those in need.
Please share this fundraising effort as much as possible and consider making a donation if you are able.
It has been a long journey, but I'm very happy to share the news that 3 new bike assistance stations were installed on the American Tobacco Trail yesterday. Final welding and tool additions were completed today. The stations are ready and waiting to be used.
Sincere "thank you" to all who contributed to this effort. I have no doubts that Greg would be honored and humbled by the generosity from friends, family and random strangers who helped bring a new amenity to the ATT community.
I encourage anyone in the triangle area to visit the new stations on the trail near downtown (by holly bushes), near intersection of Solite Park path and ATT and at intersection of Scott King and ATT. All 3 locations are frequently used by cyclists. The location near downtown seems a bit "out of the way" but the parks department has a new development in planning which will place the station in a high bike / pedestrian traffic path in the near future. Please note, the bright new look of industrial pumps has been dulled intentionally with brown paint to better blend in with surroundings. The dedication plaques are still in process and will be added later.
Pragmatics aside, I'm going to close this chapter with few ramblings from my heart. Please excuse the indulgence. I never had the chance to say goodbye to Greg. Our last drive to see him was detoured by the news that he had passed away earlier in the morning. As events unfolded and time passed on, I couldn't bring myself to say goodbye. It was much easier for me to say hello to his temporary dedication on the sign on the ATT for the many months it survived countless storms, pedestrians and mowers. Like Greg, that sign just took all the challenges and keep smiling. I miss the sign and still look for it on the trail a year later.
Today, I’m grateful to Sara (the strongest woman I know) who let me run with this project and supported it from the first day. Despite her unimaginable grief, she entrusted this effort to me. Now, the stations are up and 99% finished. It is time to say a final thank you to all for the lemon aid stands, anonymous donations, paperwork wranglers and post-hole diggers. These bike stations were made a reality by many and inspired by one. Now, at long last, it is time to say goodbye.
Quick update to confirm that the design has been finalized for the bike stations and fabrication has started. I know progress has been a bit slow but we are moving along now and I'm feeling very optimistic.
Sorry for the delay in updates but the winter slowed down progress on multiple fronts. Happily, I can now provide a few updates.
We have tire pumps! This a big deal. First, I had to find the right manufacturer to make something that will survive life outside in the NC sun, rain and occasional snow (thanks to one sponsor who did a ton of advance research on this topic). Next, product choice, ordering and the long wait for manufacturing. Today, I worked from home so I could take delivery of these beauties.
Taking shape. The first bike station is in the preliminary design / build stage. Hoping to get a look at it in the next couple of weeks.
The right tool for the job. Thanks to Performance Bike for donating tire levers and tools for all stations. I mentioned this project and local contact stepped up with the donation without hesitation.
Wishing all well as days get longer and the weather warmer.
If you knew Greg you heard him say this often. Now, more than ever I understand the sentiment behind this simple word. 87 donations, 532 Facebook shares, 2,766 page views, and one bake sale later we have the funding for 3 custom bike repair stations on the ATT.
Thank you for your donations, promotions and encouragements. It really did take a village to make this happen.
To those of you who knew Greg, thank you for your trust to honor his memory and legacy.
To those of you who didn't know Greg but wanted to help bring a new amenity to the trail, thank you for believing in the idea.
Also, thank you to the City of Durham and Durham Parks and Rec team for guidance to get this idea off the ground.
As meaningful progress is made on this project I will post updates here. Please feel free to connect via social media if you want to say in touch.