The dean of Western Carolina University’s Honors College had to pull the plug on his 106-mile bicycle ride for pledges just 16 miles short of his goal, but he plans to return to the Blue Ridge Parkway this coming weekend (Oct. 27-28) to complete the effort.
Brian Railsback began his three-day trek from Cullowhee to Mount Mitchell on Saturday (Oct. 20). Railsback said things went well for the first two days of his journey, aside from having to deal with the heavy leaf-looker traffic. He pedaled from Cullowhee to Balsam, and then north on the parkway to Richland Balsam on the first day. On the second day, he reached his planned destination, the parkway-U.S. 25 intersection at Asheville, ahead of schedule.
After enjoying spectacular cycling conditions on the first two days of his ride, Railsback ran into wet weather on Monday (Oct. 22). Railsback said he didn’t mind the rainy conditions, but the fog became thicker and thicker as he made the long uphill climb on the parkway between Asheville and Mount Mitchell.
“I was hoping the fog would thin out, but instead it kept getting worse as I went higher. It was unbelievably thick,” he said.
Fearing for his safety in the heavy traffic, Railsback stopped at mile 90, just south of the Craggy Gardens area. He plans to return to that point this coming weekend and complete the final 16 miles to the summit of Mount Mitchell.
Railsback’s ride to Mount Mitchell, part of the Honors College’s 10th anniversary celebration, is duplicating a successful fundraiser that he undertook a decade ago to give a boost to the college’s student scholarship fund. All the money raised during this year’s pledge ride will go toward providing tuition assistance to deserving Honors College students.
Anyone interested in making a pledge or learning more about the Honors College should
call its office at (828) 227-7383.
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Last modified: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007