Breckenridge Texan

Annual bike ride honors Sloan Everett, raises funds for volunteer fire departments

Annual bike ride honors Sloan Everett, raises funds for volunteer fire departments
October 23
09:19 2019

The fall morning air was still chilly Saturday when dozens of bicycle riders gathered at the Sloan Everett memorial in the Breckenridge City Park for the third annual event in his honor.

The third annual bike ride in memory of Sloan Everett included 95 riders of all ages. There were four routes for participants to choose from this year. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

This year, the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce and the Everett family decided to expand the event and raise money for area volunteer fire departments. The newly renamed Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride brought in 95 riders — 75 adults and 20 children — more than double the number of last year’s participants.

The bike riders paid a registration fee this year, and proceeds from the fees will be donated to the Hubbard Creek VFD, Caddo VFD and Wayland VFD.

On Saturday morning, those gathered in the park were welcomed by three of Everett’s sisters. “We are so overwhelmed by your presence,” Katharine Everett said. “And, so glad that you’re here. Many of you we know and love, and some of you we just met today. We are honored that you would choose to spend your morning with us.”

Everett lost his life saving cattle from a wildfire on a ranch in the Texas Panhandle in March 2017. 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 when a fast-moving wildfire threatened some of the cattle that Everett was pasturing on the ranch. They were moving the cattle to another field when the fire overtook them.

Another of his sisters, Caroline Everett Jurgensen, talked to the crowd about Everett and the reason for the fundraising aspect of this year’s bike ride. “The volunteer firefighters were some of the first responders and the last people to be with Sloan when he passed. We are so grateful for the ones who were there that day, and we want to show our gratitude for these community servants by giving back,” Jurgensen said. “Our local firefighters play an invaluable role in protecting lives and property and oftentimes do so while putting themselves in harm’s way and without sufficient resources. All proceeds from today’s event will be directly given to the Caddo, Wayland and Hubbard Creek Volunteer Fire Departments of Stephens County.”

Wrapping up the welcome comments was Everett’s sister Sarah Fowler. “For those of you who knew Sloan, you know that he had a plethora of hobbies,” she said. “He was passionate about all of them, but cycling was near the top. And, so it is so fun to be honoring him in this way today. We’re so excited that you’re here to do that with us. Our goal is to continue to work with our wonderful Chamber to grow and improve this event year after year.”

This year’s bike ride featured four routes, ranging from the seven-and-a-half-mile Family Ride to the 43-mile Long Ride. According to the event organizers, the participants rode for a combined total of 1,853.5 miles on Saturday.

The riders were of all ages and included competitive cyclists, as well as families with young children bundled up inside child carrier trailers behind their parents’ bicycles.

Three of Sloan Everett’s sisters, from right, Katharine Everett, Caroline Jurgensen and Sarah Fowler, spoke at the third annual bike ride in memory of their brother. This year’s event raised funds for the local volunteer fire departments. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: The first round of cyclists take off in the 2019 Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride just east of the Breckenridge City Park on Saturday, Oct. 19. This year’s event included 95 participants. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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