Family and friends ride in honor of owner of Bentz Ski Chalet, Doug Bentz

Bentz, 70, died last Sunday

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Friends and family gathered at Beach Park for a special memorial bike ride to honor legendary ski shop owner, Doug Bentz.

Bentz, 70, was the owner of Bentz Ski Chalet and had had a lasting impact on the community, showing everyone his strength and endurance - he cycled 25 miles a day for six days a week.

Bentz died from a heart attack last Sunday while him and his son Dirk were riding along his favorite bike path. 

In honor of his determined and lively spirit, friends and family rode his route along the Kern River bike path, Sunday morning. 

Dirk described his dad as a good man who lived his life "outloud". Bentz started his business in the 60's, but grew to love his customers even more than the ski equipment he was selling. 

"He loved people when people would come by the store and talked to him. They would probably stay there for an hour or two," Dirk said. 

Bentz was also known for being a man of principles. In 2003, he decided he would stop selling French made ski equipment after the French decided not to support the U.S. in the invasion of Iraq. 

The Bentz family said they have many memories to cherish with Doug, but will deeply miss him. 

"He was always there and I'll miss him," said granddaughter Faith Bentz. 

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