In a tribute to their longtime biking buddy, Dave Menzel, more than 60 friends and family united for a benefit bike ride/walk for The Fallen and Wounded Soldier Fund, May 11.

The Dave Menzel Memorial Walk and Bicycle Ride was the brain child of Tom and Lynn Zubanek, Mike Olsem and Jeff Trexler who were fellow biking enthusiasts of the Thumbs Up Bicycle Club along with Menzel. Rich Kulczycki, pricing division chief, Army Contracting Command-Warren, Mich., helped organize the event.

The event included a 31-mile bike ride or 2-mile walk on the Macomb Orchard Trail starting at Shelby Township, Mich. The bikers stopped at the half-way point in Armanda, Mich., for breakfast before turning around and finishing the ride.

Menzel worked as the branch chief with the Program Management Acquisition Office, Armored Brigade Combat Team, for the Abrams Tank System Procurement at ACC-Warren.

In May 20, 2012, he suffered an accident, broke his spinal column and partially severed his spinal cord. After undergoing several surgeries and months of rehabilitation, he was released to his home in November still suffering from paraplegia. Three months later, Menzel developed a fever and he succumbed to complications.

"His body couldn't fight any more," said Kim Menzel, his wife and operations director, ACC-Warren. "On Jan. 7, 2013, he passed away at the age of 50. Dave was an avid biker, so this event was a perfect memorial. The trail biked was the last one he rode on the day before his accident."

In all, Dave's friends and co-workers, along with sponsors from the Shelby Local Business Network helped raise more than $700 for the Soldier fund.