Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado
No other college town in existence offers the same level of mountain bike history and culture that Durango, Colorado boasts, or so our Colorado-based correspondent John Fisch claims. As the home to some of the oldest races in mountain biking, world champions like Ned Overend, olympians like Todd Wells, mountain bike shops that predate the sport of mountain biking, and somewhere north of 500 miles of superb singletrack, it’s pretty tough to argue with his reasoning.
Durango is surrounded on all sides by singletrack, and has long stretches of singletrack extending deep into the mountains north of town. You might not be able to ride all of these trails in a lifetime, much less during a four-year college stint! But if you aren’t planning to take a car with you to college, you still have ridiculously easy access to trails, with the Chapman Hill / Fort Lewis College Loop beginning right from–you guessed it–the college, as well as trails like Raider’s Ridge in the Telegraph Trail System that has hosted enduro races in years past.
When it comes to collegiate mountain bike racing, Fort Lewis consistently reigns supreme year after year. Despite only having about 4,000 students (3,856 as of 2011), Fort Lewis consistently dominates USAC mountain bike racing, topping the charts for Division I in 2016. Considering their multi-discipline cycling team as a whole, Fort Lewis took second place in 2016. If you’re hoping to attend college on a cycling scholarship, Fort Lewis is a great place to do it, with $30,000 a year being funneled into their Cycling Scholarship Fund.
Fort Lewis’s Liberal Arts programs are highly-acclaimed, as is its engineering track. While you can pursue standard degrees here like business and psychology, they also offer some less common tracks like adventure education, communication design, sport administration, writing, and more. (Source)
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