Breckenridge Texan

Saturday’s bike ride organized in memory of Sloan Everett

Saturday’s bike ride organized in memory of Sloan Everett
October 18
19:44 2017

Seven months after Sloan Everett died saving cattle from a wildfire on a ranch in the Texas Panhandle, the Breckenridge community will have an opportunity to commemorate his life with the Sloan Everett Memorial Bike Ride and Tree Dedication, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, in the Breckenridge City Park.

Everett, who graduated from Breckenridge High School in 2000, was working with Cody Crockett and his girlfriend, Sydney Wallace, on the Franklin Ranch northeast of Amarillo on the afternoon of March 6, 2017. As a fast-moving wildfire threatened some of the cattle that Everett was pasturing on the ranch, he called his wife, Liesl Austin Everett, the daughter of one of the ranch’s owners, and told her that she, their two children and her mother needed to get off of the ranch. Sloan Everett, Crockett and Wallace were moving the cattle to another field when the fire overtook them.

In his resolution to the Texas House of Representatives to honor Everett, Rep. Mike Lang, who represents Stephens County, said, “Though his days were far too few, Sloan Everett lived a life that was rich beyond measure, and he leaves behind a wealth of memories that will be forever cherished by all those who held him dear.”

Around Breckenridge, Everett was well-known for being involved in a variety of activities. In addition to working on the Everett family ranch, he served on the Stephens Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, was active in the student ministry of the First Baptist Church of Breckenridge, and he enjoyed bike riding.

It was the bike riding that led Kyle Fambro to organize this weekend’s memorial bike ride.

“I just thought that it would be a good way to get the community together, a good way to remember Sloan,” Fambro said. “That’s the one aspect – a small aspect, I guess – of who he was, but it’s what I remembered. My connection with him was through riding bikes. He grew up with my brothers, and so that’s how I got to know him better…we’d get together and ride bikes.”

Fambro serves on the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and the Chamber is hosting the event. The bike ride is free to participate in, and there’s no registration required. The ride is not a race or a contest, said Rhonda Crawford, executive director of the Chamber.

The tree dedication will be at 9 a.m. at the disc golf pavilion in the city part, behind the American Legion building. After the dedication, there will be a reading of bike rules and then the bike ride participants can walk to the Breck Trade Days area, where the ride will start. Note: bike riders may leave their bikes at the ride start point during tree dedication.

The bicycle riders will leave as one group from 301 Dunnigan (Breck Trade Days location) and head south on Dunnigan, turning right (east) on Elliott Street, cross over Breckenridge Avenue (U.S. Highway 183 South) before turning left (south) on Rose Street. Riders will continue down Rose Street before merging onto Highway 183.

There will be three levels of bike routes: the Fun Run will be 5.5 miles long and will go to Texas Tank Trucks and back; the Short Route will be 12 miles long and will go to the Hart Cemetery (at FM 576) and back; and, the Long Route will be 22 miles long and will go to the Gunsight Baptist Church and back.

Check points with water will be located along the route, and a SAG wagon will be working the road to assist with any riders who need help. Also, the Breckenridge Police Department and Stephens County Sheriff’s Office will provide assistance for the event.

“(Sloan Everett) regularly did bike rides that would range (from) 20 miles to 50 miles and anywhere in between, and he would compete in races and, of course, prep for those races, too,” said Stephens County Sheriff Will Holt. “And so he’d go on bike rides like that by himself, exercising and preparing for the races, and then he’d race in those races around the state. I got in on the bike ride because Sloan was my good friend and my wife’s first cousin, but as far as the bike ride itself, my role has been handling the highway safety and blocking traffic for the riders and stuff like that.”

Holt said the routes will be marked and officers will be available along the route to help ensure safety. However, he said, the bicyclists need to follow basic safety rules, such as riding on the right side of the roadway, just like a vehicle would.

“We recommend everybody wear a helmet,” he said. “You don’t have to, but we recommend it.”

The bicycle ride is open to people of all ages. “Anybody can ride,” Holt said. “If people don’t want to get on the highway to ride, like if they have really small kids, they’re welcomed to bring their kids and their bicycles to the park and just let them ride around in the park area. That’s perfectly acceptable for really small children.”

Additionally, at the event, the Sheriff’s Office will be registering bicycles for local citizens. “That’s where we take down the make, model, serial number and color of the bicycles and store them in a database here at the Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “That way, if that bicycle is ever stolen, then we have that descriptor and the serial number on file already.”

They also will have the equipment on-hand to engrave bicycles with information or a mark that will allow the bicycle to be identified if it is lost or stolen.

For more information about the Sloan Everett Memorial Bike Ride and Tree Dedication, call the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce at 254-559-2301.


Story by Carla McKeown and Tony Pilkington

Images and graphics courtesy of the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce

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