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Harris to undertake ‘Biking for Biology’ ride on Cullowhee Mountain

Darby Harris, an instructor in Western Carolina University’s Department of Biology, once again will be relying on his pedal power to raise money for WCU’s Student Biology Club.

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

Harris, who formerly spent five years as a “Category 1” racer, the highest ability level for amateur road cyclists, will board his bike at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, to ride multiple laps up and down Cullowhee Mountain Road, which climbs to the top of Cullowhee Mountain just south of the WCU campus.

For every $100 donated to the cause, Harris will complete the 8.6-mile out-and-back ride, which includes just over 1,700 feet in elevation gain. Proceeds from the “Biking for Biology” effort will fund educational events throughout the school year.

“If the fundraising goal of $1,000 is reached, then I will have to ride up the mountain 10 times for a total distance of almost 90 miles and over 17,000 feet of climbing,” Harris said. “As usual, I plan on riding it all at one time, in one day, so it should be a great workout on the bike.”

The upcoming effort will be Harris’ fourth annual endurance ride held in the fall to benefit students in the Biology Club. A “GoFundMe site has been set up to collect donations, which also can be made in person at the Biology Department office in Room 132 of the Natural Sciences Building. Donations are being accepted until the ride begins on Sept. 29.

For more information, contact Harris at 828-227-3662 or

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