They ride to remember.
Friends of Doug Bentz, the well-known owner of Bentz Ski Chalet who died Sunday while riding the Kern River bike path, are organizing a memorial ride Saturday morning in honor of Bentz.
"It's going to be a great goodbye, a happy one," said Alex Dulay, a member of the Brown Monkeys cycling group who rode with Bentz on many weekends past.
Cyclists will gather at Beach Park between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. They roll out at 9 sharp. The riders will head east though Hart Park, then climb what cyclists call Rattlesnake Grade, pedal down Panorama Drive and back to Beach Park.
Riders will start as a group and some may split off to take longer rides. But Dulay promised that the core group will hold to the route -- and no one will be left in the dust.
Bentz, who was 70, was a regular on the weekend ride, along with his son, Dirk Bentz.
"We called him Daddy Doug," Dulay said. "This was his favorite route."
Bentz brought humor and wisdom to the weekend rides, Dulay said. He shared stories and laughter and the experiences of someone who had lived three decades longer than many of the cyclists.
"We just love the guy," Dulay said. "We're going to miss him."