The new community memorial park outside Melissa Little's home on Barrier Store Road has just the natural feel her husband would have loved.
It has a stone arch, waterfall, fountain, native plantings and space for children to run about. Adam Little, ever the outdoorsman, would have been perfectly content there.
"He always had cabin fever," said his mom, Gloria Carson.
Little, 35, died March 17, when a car struck him while he was riding his bicycle to work.
Stacy Renee Shaw, 24, the driver of the car that struck Little, was found guilty of misdemeanor death by vehicle and received a suspended sentence and 18 months of supervised probation.
Adam Little was the N.C. manager of the Carolina Subaru/Gary Fisher Elite Road Team, a group of more than 20 members who compete in races across the country. He was wearing proper safety gear, including a helmet at the time, and had a safety light on the back of his bicycle, police said at the time.
Adam Little worked as a manager at Contractors Flooring Charlotte. He previously taught biology for 10 years at Mount Pleasant High School.
Cyclists locally and from across the country raised $35,000 to build the memorial park, which Melissa Little said is dedicated to area cyclists in her husband's honor.
She sees it as "a place of refreshment, reflection and refueling for any cyclist who wants to visit." Dozens of filled water bottles were bunched together last Sunday at the entrance for thirsty riders.
Melissa Little and the couple's daughters, Aidan, 7, and Wesley, 3, joined about 100 friends and family to dedicate the park that day. Aiden walked the family's pet Yorkshire terrier, Sophie, on a leash.
Some cyclists rode an hour together from Albemarle, many others from Kannapolis. They gathered around a rock monument where a Gary Fisher bicycle had been placed, a bike like the kind Adam rode and a racing vest like the one he wore.
"This memorial has been built not to mourn lives lost, but to celebrate lives that were enjoyed," Mike Farley, senior pastor at West Concord Baptist Church, said in leading the ceremony.
Cyclists Darren Fuller and Chris Harkey placed a box containing Adam's ashes into an opening in the rock monument. On the front of the box is a color picture of Adam on his bike.
Adam's brother, David, placed another box into the opening that contained the ashes of the Littles' son, Ethan, who died of a heart ailment in 2006 when he was only days old. Adam always wanted to build such outdoor features honoring his son's memory, but the family didn't have the money, Melissa said.
Cyclists at the ceremony wore jerseys with Adam Little's photo on the front and back. The right-shoulder sleeve read, "Get 2 It!"
"That's what he always said," cyclist friend Lisa Preslar said with a smile.
Adam always had a smile and liked to joke around with his teammates. He also was the one who'd head to the rear of the team pack to encourage the last of the riders on.
The jerseys the cyclists wore Sunday may have summarized what he'd meant to them best:
"Live Like Adam," they proclaimed.