Breckenridge Texan

Annual event brings bike riders to Breckenridge to raise funds for volunteer fire departments, honor legacy of Sloan Everett

Annual event brings bike riders to Breckenridge to raise funds for volunteer fire departments, honor legacy of Sloan Everett
October 21
09:19 2020

By Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Dozens of bicycle riders from Breckenridge and beyond gathered in the city park on Saturday morning for the fourth annual Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride benefiting local volunteer fire departments.

The opening ceremony started with a prayer by Stephen Sepulveda, who was a good friend of Sloan Everett. He explained how he introduced Sloan to bike riding several years ago and reminisced about the first time he and Sloan road together.

“I’m a city kid; I grew up in Dallas,” Sepulveda said. “Sloan’s clearly not a city kid; he grew up out here. I can remember our first bike ride together. He looked about as comfortable on a bike as I would look on a horse, meaning he was holding on for dear life. He actually ended up in the bar ditch because he was following me a little too closely. That was the start of many years of fun bike riding for the two of us. You know, we’re here today because it’s something Sloan enjoyed, but we’re also here today to  remember his legacy.”

Local emergency responders block traffic on Saturday morning as bike riders take off in the fourth annual Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride. This year’s routes took the riders through downtown Breckenridge. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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.

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. 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 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.

“The volunteer firefighters that were there were some of the first responders and the last people to be with Sloan when he left this world,” Sepulveda said. “And, we’re thankful for that. We’ve heard stories about how these men were with him; they prayed with him, they spoke scripture to him as he was leaving to be in the presence of his savior.

“I was just reflecting on this time,” Sepulveda continued. “In some ways it’s hard, we remember hard things that happened. But, it’s life-giving. It’s life-giving, because we’re raising money so that these men and women can continue to go into harm’s way to benefit other people.”

Sepulveda passed the microphone to one of Everett’s sisters, Elizabeth Everett.

“I am so excited to be here today, and I’m honored to get to do this event because of his life and his legacy. Like Steve said, we give back to our local volunteer fire departments. This is the second year that we have been raising money for them. Last year, we raised over $13,000 to give to the Hubbard Creek, Wayland and Caddo fire departments.”

This year’s event featured new routes, as well as a “Start/Finish” banner that was hung across the road by the Breckenridge Fire Department. The bike riders started out in the park and traveled through downtown Breckenridge before separating to take one of four routes, which ranged from 5 miles to just over 60 miles in length. As the riders exited the park, local volunteer firefighters, the Breckenridge Police Department, the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office and the Breckenridge Fire Department blocked traffic and escorted the riders through town.

After the ride, participants enjoyed a barbecue lunch and music by the Urban Pioneers at the park’s pavilion.

The fundraising bike ride and lunch were organized by the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce and the Everett family.

Click here to see more photos from the event in the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery.

The Urban Pioneers performed at a barbecue lunch on Saturday, following the Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Dozens of bike riders take off from the start/finish line in the Breckenridge City Park on Saturday morning in the fourth annual Sloan Everett Pure Country Pedal Memorial Bike Ride. The event raises funds for Stephens County’s volunteer fire departments. Click here to see more photos. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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