Memorial bike ride held for Raleigh grandfather who died after greenway attack

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 130 cyclists participated in a memorial bike ride for Chauncey “Chip” Depew Jr. at Dorothea Dix Park on Saturday.

“We’re just here, out here to ride and support Chip and let him know he’s not forgotten, let his family know we’re thinking of them,” said Charles Meola, who attended the ride.

Depew, 57, died after being attacked while riding his bike on the Walnut Creek Greenway near the Saunders Street tunnel on August 20.

His son, Chauncey Depew III spoke to the crowd before they took off for the ride Saturday, thanking them for their support.

Chauncey “Chip” Weinkoop Depew Jr. in a photo from his family.

“Growing up in Raleigh for 30-plus years, I never thought something like this could happen, especially on a greenway,” Depew said of what happened to his father. 

Depew described his father as a peaceful person and an avid outdoorsman who could befriend anyone. 

“He was one of those guys you could just lean on, who always tried to be respectful of everybody, and tried to leave the world better than he found it,” Depew said.

Organizers said the route for the six-mile memorial ride was the same one Depew would take four to five times a week.

His son led the pack on his dad’s bike.

“It’s just cool to kind of step in his shoes, so-to-speak,” Depew said of using his father’s bike for the memorial ride. “We have a couple spots identified to kind of pay our respects — Lake Raleigh being one of them, where he loved to kayak, and then where everything happened as well.”

The city installed additional lights under the Saunders Street tunnel following the attack, but Depew and the cycling safety advocacy group Oaks & Spokes want more safety measures put in place.

“It can be as simple as the stations they have at N.C. State where they have the emergency poles, or cameras near the tunnel areas. Something that’s cheap, but will deter any sort of random acts like this,” Depew said.

No arrests have been made in connection to Depew’s death. Anyone with information should contact Raleigh police at (919) 834-4357.

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