MOUNT GREENWOOD — Winter is the true test of a bicycle enthusiast in Chicago.
Brian McDevitt, of Mount Greenwood, passed this test annually by relying on a system of rollers. When snow made outdoor rides impossible, he'd still be pedaling away using the contraption in the basement of his Southwest Side home.
Last year, McDevitt, 30, died doing what he loved. The off-duty Chicago Police officer was riding his bike in a forest preserve near southwest suburban Palos Heights when he was struck by an SUV, authorities said.
McDevitt suffered a massive brain injury and was unconscious for 10 days at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He died on June 11, said Bob White, his former Police Department partner.
Remember His Ride will raise money for McDevitt's widow, Margaret, and his children: 3-year-old Brian Jr. and 2-year-old Molly.
Based on early ticket sales, more than 500 people are expected to attend, White said.
McDevitt worked with White near Midway Airport. Together, they investigated robberies. McDevitt received the Police Department's Award of Valor last year for his actions during a police shooting on New Year's Eve, White said.
"You always knew he had your back," White said.
Now, his friends and family are returning the favor. More than 200 gift baskets and an assortment of raffle prizes have been donated for the event. The Larkin and Moran Brothers, a Celtic rock band, will headline the event, along with a DJ from Get Up & Move Entertainment.
White said his memories of McDevitt, a native of south suburban Worth, are all fond. While biking was his primary pastime, McDevitt seemed to have a passion for speed in general.
White said his former partner also was "a car guy" who particularly enjoyed driving his Dodge Charger SRT.
"That thing could fly," White said.