DEVIL'S DEN STATE PARK (KFSM) -- Local cyclists took to the trails at Devil's Den State Park for a ride, but this time, someone special is on their mind's; their late friend, Eric Williams.
Eric died in March from injuries he sustained in a mountain biking accident. His friends and fellow cyclists planned a memorial ride in honor of him.
"Eric was a good guy," friend, Javan Scoggins said. "He was an avid outdoors man, loved to hunt and fish, but especially loved riding mountain bikes and being outside."
Those closest to Eric said he spent every spare moment outdoors. Fossil Flats Trail was Eric's favorite place to ride, which Scoggins said is why they chose that location for the memorial ride.
"It's a tough one," Scoggins said. "This was his favorite place, so we're gonna be thinking about the places, the things we all said an did while we were out here and just reflect on the past and the memories that we have that are so dear."
Friends established a GoFundMe account while Eric was hospitalized and decided to continue the fundraiser after his passing, as well. They said the memorial ride is also a way to help raise money for Eric's family.
"It's a way for us to give back to Eric and his family for what he's done for the community," friend, Lap Bui said.
"[To] just give them some time maybe," Scoggins said. "They don't have to think about this bill or that bill, but rather just grieve in a natural way without added stress. That's really the biggest goal there."
Eric's friends said they will remember him as a family man who loved the outdoors.
"Quiet, very sincere fella," Bui said. "He doesn't say much, but when he does, he means it. He was always wanting to help somebody, anybody."
Scoggins said the memorial ride was the perfect way to show their love for Eric.
"As a close friend, you think about the loss," Scoggins said. "But, it means so much to be able to have a time to say we care for you, we miss you, and express our love and how much he affected us in a positive way."
Cyclists and friends said they hope to make the memorial ride an annual event.
For more information about how you can give back in honor of Eric, visit the GoFundMe page.