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  1. #1
    flying fatass
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    Colleges near good riding area's

    I've been living in Florida all my life, but have been wanting to get out of this sizzling pan of seasonless heat for quite a while now. As a senior in high school, now is the time to start applying to college. I've already got a few done, but I'm also looking to relocate to an out of state college as well. I was hoping for somewhere more mountainous, somewhere that actually gets cold in the winter (not blizzardlike, but some snow would be nice).
    Im looking to get into engineering (mechanical most likely), so the college would have to have a decent engineering program. I also would like medium to small campus population sizes, although if its for the best, I would be willing to go to a large college too.

    Wondering about places like Utah, Colorado, etc....Maybe even somewhere close to Whistler (always wanted to go there).......

    so any suggestions? Also, describe what the weather is like there too?
    Quote Originally Posted by BeaverTail
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  2. #2
    gunslinger
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    I'm originally from Merritt Island FL; I know and love humidity and the heat.

    I now live in Utah (have for the last 15+ years) and it's great. No surf, but that's all it doesn't have. Yeah, it gets hot, but 100F+ and ultra low humidity is a cakewalk IMO. It snows too, but most days it's light (meaning low water content) and it's easy do deal with when you are driving smart.

    Apply/attend the UofU - great mech engineering program or BYU or there are other schools here too.

    This place is outdoor paradise year round.

    I've only been to motocross tracks in CO and camped at them so I don't know much more about it. From what I've seen driving on the freeways and back roads it looks pretty nice. I'd try it if I were single.

  3. #3
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    Virginia Tech

    Has a great engineering school and 30 miles of trails within a 10 minute ride. I consider these some of the best in Virginia.

  4. #4
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    oregon state, not as much snow but we do get it and tons of local trails plus sweet freeriding and oak ridge within an hour. also north umpqua trail is close by. ohh, and good engineering but thats not really what your looking for it seems like.

  5. #5
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    Oregon state's good (I go there), but I'd honestly have to say to look at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Maybe it's the grass is greener thing going on since I've lived in Corvallis, OR all my life, but Bellingham is nice, has Mt. Galbraith, and is close to Vancover and Mt. Baker (for the snowboarding).

  6. #6
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    Santa Cruz is in/near some small mountains, and has tons of great single track. Look at University of California Santa Cruz. Sometimes, once or twice a year it might even snow at the highest points in the Santa Cruz mountains, but if you're really jones'n for some snow, Tahoe is only 3 hours away, they got all the snow you could possibly want. And you can hit the slopes in Tahoe in the summer if you're wanting to do some downhill mtn biking too.

  7. #7
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    Michigan Tech University. Good for engineering. I believe they have their own trail system. And the nearby Copper Harbor trails were recently named an "IMBA Epic".

    Northern Michigan University. Located in Marquette. Lift-assisted, freeride, and cross-country trails that you can ride to. Trails featured on cover of recent Bike magazine.

    Both the above have blizzards too though. But I hear the skiing is good :-).

  8. #8
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    Doesn't Michigan Tech have their own ski hill as well? Never been there, but Copper Harbor is just about mecca for outdoor activities. The whole Keweenaw has sparse population and miles upon miles of trails for all uses. I've wanted to ski Bohemia for a while now, but I can fly out west quicker than I can drive up there.

    IU in Bloomington is near some great riding, it gets chilly down there with a little bit of snow. If you want to try skiing, Paoli Peaks is about an hour away from the campus and they have a hill that is not very intimidating. You do have a slight chance for a blizzard, but it's really not that bad. I remember 5 or 6 years ago they got 30-40 inches over a couple of days. That's a good amount of snow for the area, but still nothing compared to the UP. IU might be a larger campus community than you are looking for.

    Purdue has top notch engineering, but I know nothing about trails in Lafayette.

  9. #9
    slow
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    You could major in mountain biking at any one of these:

    Colorado State University
    Colorado School of Mines
    University of Colorado
    Fort Lewis College

    All but U of C have pretty good riding directly from campus.
    FLC is probably the snowiest.

  10. #10
    slow
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    You might also have a look at this big thread on the subject:

    Best college for MTB?

  11. #11
    flying fatass
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    oregon state, not as much snow but we do get it and tons of local trails plus sweet freeriding and oak ridge within an hour. also north umpqua trail is close by. ohh, and good engineering but thats not really what your looking for it seems like.
    Well getting a good education is my priority, but why not be able to ride in the off time too?

    I just checked out Michigan Tech, and it seems that it would be a good school for me to apply to....their engineering program seems to be one of the best in the country (atleast thats what Princeton says)....not to mention 90% of my family lives up there too.....and the average GPA and SAT scores of students admitted are right where mine are.....so i should have a decent chance of getting in too.....
    Quote Originally Posted by BeaverTail
    Should your balls sit in front of the saddle or on the saddle? Im a bit confused.

  12. #12
    Down South Yooper
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Doesn't Michigan Tech have their own ski hill as well? Never been there, but Copper Harbor is just about mecca for outdoor activities. The whole Keweenaw has sparse population and miles upon miles of trails for all uses. I've wanted to ski Bohemia for a while now, but I can fly out west quicker than I can drive up there.
    Tech does have a ski hill, Mt. Ripley, right across the canal from campus. The riding in Houghton and the entire Keeweenaw is second to none. The OP is only looking for a little snow though, Houghton gets more than a little, probably 300" on average.

    Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette doesn't have an engineering program, although the riding there is also excellent, with a great local hill 5 minutes from town. Lots of road riding, mountain biking, etc, right from town, no need to drive.

    Bonus parts about Tech (Houghton) is that relatively speaking, it's one of the cheaper schools still. Not sure on out of state tuition rates, but it has one of the most inexpensive tuition rates going right now, and the engineering programs are excellent.

    Plum
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  13. #13
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    University of Alabama

    12 mile trail system withing 10 minutes of Campus - Sokal Park
    15 mile trail system within 30 minutes of Campus - Lake Lurleen
    20 mile trails at Oak Mountain State Park - Birmingham Alabama
    15+ Trails at Swayback, Montgomery Area 1.5 hours
    15 = Trails at Mt Sano - Huntsville - 2 hours
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrot_top
    Well getting a good education is my priority, but why not be able to ride in the off time too?

    I just checked out Michigan Tech, and it seems that it would be a good school for me to apply to....their engineering program seems to be one of the best in the country (atleast thats what Princeton says)....not to mention 90% of my family lives up there too.....and the average GPA and SAT scores of students admitted are right where mine are.....so i should have a decent chance of getting in too.....

    I cannot imagine the shock moving from Florida to the UP. My cousins from Tampa though 40 degrees at night here in Indiana was too cold

  15. #15
    human dehumidifier
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    I was going to suggest Marshall, but no engineering school, so my fall backs in this area are Ohio U and WVU

    But honestly you should base your choice primarily on getting into the best school you can, with prime riding being a secondary concern.
    But if you close your eyes it becomes so easy to see

  16. #16
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    Check out the engineering department at UA. They are up there with some of the best.

    http://coeweb.eng.ua.edu/
    Last edited by sxr-racer; 11-11-2009 at 02:04 PM. Reason: adding link
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  17. #17
    Its got what plants crave
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    Brevard Community College in Brevard, NC
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  18. #18
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    The main problem with Michigan Tech is it's ISOLATED. If you want to have a life outside of going to school and doing outdoors stuff you have to go a long way. There's a lot of nothing in the UP, but maybe that appeals to you.

  19. #19
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    University of Colorado at Boulder is a very good engineering school and riding is great right out the door. Boulder is not huge but plenty large enough to have anything you might be interested in, plus Denver and Fort Collins are less than an hour away. The university is not a small school, 25,000 or so students, but it's not huge either.

  20. #20
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    Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA... highly rated engineering and business schools.

    Excellent trail system right off campus on South Mountain. World class east coast rock and root single track located nearby in Jim Thorpe. Diablo Mountain Bike Park is about 2 hours to the NE in Vernon, NJ.

    Other distractions... skiing in the Poconos; summers along the Jersey beaches. NYC is 80 miles to the east and Philly 70 miles to the south to satisfy any big city needs you may have.

    Winter weather is typical mid Atlantic unpredictable... rain, snow, sleet, ice storms with wide temperature swings as weather systems move through the area. Loved the area, the people, the sense of community on campus but hated the weather.

  21. #21
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    Check out the University of Washington. While it is a little further from riding than Western Washington U, it has the engineering programs you would want and you may just have to drive 20 minutes to get to your riding spots. Because of the universities close ties to Boeing, Lamborghini has decided to build a lab at UW for testing novel materials for their cars. Definitely a great place to go if you are thinking aeronautical engineering. http://evergreenmtb.org/home/index.php
    Check out that site to get an idea of the trails in the area. And I'm sure you have heard about how all it does is rain here but really the pacific northwest is an amazing climate, stays pretty mild and never gets crazy cold or hot, but you do have seasons. Vancouver/Whistler is really not that far away either, definitely manageable for some road trips to some of the most epic riding in the area.

  22. #22
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    Alternatives...

    University of Missouri, Rolla (Now called Missouri Science and Technology) will give you nationally known engineering programs, graduate school and hundreds of miles of trails in the Mark Twain National Forest. In fact, the 23 mile Berryman Trail (IMBA Epic) is the least desirable trail in the area. The down side of Rolla is that it's an engineering specific school, so the male/female ratio is unfavorably skewed.

    If you're in to traditional sports, school pride type stuff, Kansas University will give you a great engineering program, fantastic trails (60 miles or so) that are riding distance from campus and a basketball team that you'll expect to be cheering for deep in to March.

  23. #23
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    A little closer to you, Clemson, SC. Has a good ME program, and it was real inexpensive when I went there. If you're interested in automotive engineering, it'd be real hard to beat. Not as extreme change in climate as if you come to the Rockies or PNW, which may or may not be what you want.

  24. #24
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    University of Wisconsin in Madison also fits your bill.

    Good engineering program. A couple of riding buds of mine (both MEs) graduated from there and they're smart so that's worth something.

    Great mountain biking within 30 minutes of the city. We're working to improve the riding closer to the "metro" area too. Expand your circle to 3 hours drive and there are lots of great riding areas. Road riding is awesome too if that's your cup of tea.

    Winter is sometimes hit or miss. If it's a mild winter, you keep riding. If it's a heavy snow winter, you XC ski or snowshoe.

    Check out more info here...

    www.madcitydirt.org
    www.madcitydirt.org/forum

  25. #25
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    Luckily for you there are a ton of great schools that fit your criteria. I second the suggestion for Virginia Tech. Nothing beats the 10 minute ride from your dorm to the trail head for some of the best riding in the state as mentioned earlier (Pandapas Pond trail system). If for some reason you get tired of that you can head to Mountain Lake the most rocky/technical trails you will ever ride or go up to Carvin's Cove in Roanoke for top notch riding. Also, the mountain biking team goes all over VA/NC/WV to race in the fall, and you are also very close to the Shenandoah National Forest (Shenandoah 100) and the Burn 24 in Wilkesboro, NC.

    Also, engineering is great. We have everything from wind tunnels, to FSAE (really cool), rapid prototyping, etc... I'm an ME major and am very happy with the program.

    The town, people, and atmosphere is also great.

    I remember when i was choosing a school and the best advice I can say is pick a place you feel comfortable, and don't rely on Princeton review to tell you what school is ranked where. College is what you make it out to be and if you have the motivation and effort, you will be happy no matter where.

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