SIDNEY - After a summer of more than 1,200 people taking a chance in the entry box, following an all-day mower ride by The Big Boy crew, the decision of who rides away with the John Deere Z33M riding lawn mower was decided among a list of 23 finalists within guessing range.

The qualifiers were invited to compete for the quickest time on the mower through an obstacle course to take zero-turn mower home on Wednesday night. Patrons enjoyed Jimmy L's barbecue Boss City Brews and Sweet Ice in a tailgate atmosphere at 21st Century Equipment, watching Sam Behrends, of Sidney, win the title as the "fastest mower in the west."

"It feels great!" Behrends said after being announced the winner along side his wife Rachael and one-month old Everly. He said the obstacle course was a good challenge and he plans to keep the new 54-inch mower.

This year marked the third year of the "Off the Rails" mower challenge with Sidney radio station, 987 The Big Boy. This summer's event was sponsored by 21st Century Equipment, Sutton Home Gallery and The Rusty Bucket Pub & Grub.

The first ride in 2021 was north from Sidney on U.S. Highway 385 to just passed the Morrill/Cheyenne County Line. Last summer's ride was on eastbound on U.S. Highway 30 from Kimball to Point of Rocks and this year was from Chappell to Sidney.

Hunter Arterburn rides the mower between two pickups on his way from Chappell to Sidney.
Hunter Arterburn and the John Deere mower arrive at the Sidney City limits in a distance contest; how far can the mower go on a single tank of fuel.


Special thanks to 2023 Off the Rails participating businesses and organizations:

21st Century Equipment in Sidney
Sutton Home Gallery in Sidney
The Rusty Bucket Pub & Grub in Chappell
Beans & Steams Coffee House in Sidney
E&S Auto Supply in Sidney
Highby Outdoors in Sidney
Outlaw Motorsports in Sidney
Safe at Home in Sidney
Boss City Brewing Company (inside Sam & Louie’s) in Sidney
Koke’s NAPA Auto Parts in Bridgeport
Sidney Regional Medical Center
KCTS in Kimball
Sapp Bro's Travel Center in Sidney
Bag's Bar in Potter
Wireless World