Faculty member’s ‘Biking for Biology’ ride nets $810 for club

Darby Harris celebrates after completing the 2017 “Biking for Biology” ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A fundraiser that sent a Western Carolina University Department of Biology faculty member on a bicycling journey Saturday, Oct. 7, raised a total of $810 for the department’s Biology Club.

Darby Harris, an instructor in the department, rode 81 miles – one mile for every $10 donated to the club – during the “Biking for Biology” fundraiser. Proceeds from Harris’ effort will fund educational events throughout the school year.

Harris’ route took him from Cullowhee to Balsam and then north on the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Asheville. He reported that clouds moved in not long after he got on the parkway, and by the time he arrived at Mount Pisgah, the clouds were so thick he was in danger of not being seen by motorists, even with flashing lights on his bike.

“My wife was meeting me there, anyway, to give me fresh water bottles, so she drove me 2 miles down the mountain toward Asheville until we were out of the clouds,” Harris said. The remainder of the ride was uneventful and he reached the 81-mile mark on the parkway north of Asheville just before Craven Gap. “I ended up riding a little over 84 miles just to make sure I covered the required distance,” he said.

For more information, contact Harris at 828-227-3662 or dmharris@wcu.edu.