Forsyth County’s Big Creek Greenway, an 11-mile concrete and boardwalk path from Ronald Reagan Boulevard to Kelly Mill Road, gets a lot of use from walkers, joggers and bikers, the latter of which can be a hassle with loading and unloading bikes in vehicles, space issues and planning and costs involved to make it all happen.
With that in mind, in June, husband and wife team DeMario and Kristle Pressley, opened the first location for Geaux Bikes, a bike-sharing program, at Fowler Park, which has a trailhead for the Greenway.
The unique spelling of the name is a nod to the couple’s New Orleans background, Kristle is a native of the Big Easy, and DeMario played for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints for three seasons, including the team’s Super Bowl-winning season in 2009.
Bikes can be rented for $5 an hour, and all arrangements can be made from a smartphone app called BLOOM Sharing, which also provides a map, current speed and other information once the ride starts. The bikes even come with mounts for phones on the handlebars.
400 Life caught up with the Pressley’s to talk about staying healthy, working as a family and the rivalry between the Saints and the Atlanta Falcons.
How has the business worked as a husband-wife duo?
Kristle: “I think it’s been amazing for both of us. DeMario and I have been together for 11 years between dating and marriage, so we know each other very well, we know each other’s strengths, each other’s weaknesses and I think we know how to work well with each other and prioritize and give each other tasks based on strengths and weaknesses.”
DeMario: “For me, it’s been enlightening and inspiring because I get to see another part of Kristle. For so long it’s been girlfriend, fiancé, wife, mother, homemaker, what have you, but in this instance, I get to see her as a businesswoman. It’s really cool and it’s inspiring.”
How are some ways your family stays healthy?
DeMario: “We live at the Forsyth County YMCA at Vickery Village. We’re always there and we’re working out at least three or four days out of the week. We have our little groups and cliques there that hold us accountable, we hold them accountable. Guys I play basketball with, ladies that she works out with.
“Sometimes if I feel like running or if I have a flashback to my football days and need the smell of grass, I go and I will either work at Fowler Park and do some cone work or I’ll go over to Sharon Park.”
Kristle: “Up until recently, I was a boot camp instructor, so I did that for the last year-and-a-half. Even with that, I was still supplementing at the YMCA at Vickery, as well. They have great classes. Overall, we try to be as healthy as we can.”
Given the New Orleans background, what are some of your favorite dishes from the city?
Kristle: “Mine is gumbo. The day that fall comes and the temperature drops, I’m making gumbo. Gumbo is my go-to thing.”
DeMario: “My go-to thing is 100%, hands down red beans and rice. I love some Cajun red beans. When I first got to New Orleans and got drafted, one of the meals I had down there was red beans and rice, and I fell in love. I still ask her to cook it for me today. The thing I learned is it’s good luck if you cook red beans on Monday.”
With the rivalry between the Saints and the Falcons, how has it been living behind enemy lines?
DeMario: “It’s actually been awesome because I get to pick on people, but I mean, it’s been great. I don’t have any negative stories because, at the end of the day, everyone’s a football fan, so just because I played for the Saints, the fact alone that I’m a football player, people welcome me, they accept me, but they don’t talk to me if there’s a Saints-Falcons game.”
Kristle: “We love a good rivalry, especially when Saints-Falcons comes around, it’s just such a tradition as long as I can remember to kind of taunt each other. Even in Forsyth County, the funny thing is someone just started a Who Dat [the Saints’ slogan] group. We actually started watching the games on Sundays at Black Diamond Grill with a group of Saints fans living in Cumming.”
For more information on Geaux Bikes, visit www.geauxbikeshare.com.