Friends and family of a late bicycle shop owner who died last year are organizing a memorial bike ride Sunday through Ahwatukee Foothills.

The ride will begin at 7:45 a.m. at Western Star Park, and make its way around Ahwatukee.

Domenic Malvestuto had served the East Valley since 1979 with his bicycle businesses and training services. Owner of Domenic’s 2 Wheelers in Tempe, Malvestuto was also part of the Strada Racing Club.

His wife, Judy, has since taken over their bike shop, after Malvestuto died from colon cancer on Oct. 6, 2011.

He was 68.

The inaugural memorial bike ride, which Judy and others hope to continue every year, already has nearly 60 people preparing to take part in the event.

“It just goes to show that they thought a lot of him,” said Judy, about participants that were trained by Malvestuto.

Malvestuto was born in Italy, and eventually made his way to Arizona after falling in love with the “perfect biking weather” here, as Judy described.

The two met in Las Vegas in 1984 while at a bicycle show, not long before marrying and moving to Arizona.

Noting that she wasn’t much of a rider or bike person, as she laughed, Judy said it quickly became her life with Malvestuto.

The couple owned two, high-end mountain bike shops four years ago, but had to close one when the recession hit. They merged the two shops, which eventually became Domenic’s 2 Wheelers, catering to kids and families.

“The bike business isn’t what it used to be,” Judy said.

Still, Judy and the shop’s managers and employees have helped her throughout the past year.

“I have good people, I couldn’t do it on my own,” she added.

On Sunday, each participant of the memorial ride will be given gift cards to Einstein Bros Bagels.

“He breathed cycling,” Judy said of her husband. “And it’s the way he could give back to the community.”

Western Star Park is located near 44th Street and Western Star Boulevard in Ahwatukee Foothills. The ride will begin at 7:45 a.m. on Oct. 7 and will trail through Ahwatukee for about 15 miles.

For more information on the ride or how to participate, call Domenic’s 2 Wheelers at (480) 967-7700.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com

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