How do you convince intelligent, fun-loving high school seniors to apply to your conservative Christian university near Lynchburg, VA? You build some gnarly mountain bike trails on campus, of course! At least that’s the plan for Liberty University, founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell, in developing university-owned Liberty Mountain.
According to a New York Times article the university plans to build a downhill mountain bike trail plus other biking and hiking trails in order to help the school meet its goal of increasing enrollment by more than 100% to nearly 25,000 students. School leaders consider mountain biking to be “good clean fun” and might help students forget about all the things they can’t do at Liberty (like dance, wear “short pants,” drink alcohol, or watch R-rated movies).
The development will be partially funded by fees charged to non-Liberty trail users seeking a place to ride. When we lived in Durham, NC I actually looked for mountain bike trails around the Lynchburg area myself and was puzzled by the fact there weren’t many trails nearby, despite Lynchburg’s location in the foothills of the Appalachians. Sounds pretty tempting, perhaps I’ll go back and get my bachelor’s of biking 😉