Moab-born American cycling legend, Jock Boyer, left, with Rwandan Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti, in “Rising from Ashes.” [Courtesy pf T.C. Johnstone / First Run Features release]

In 2007, Moab-born cycling legend Jock Boyer – the first American to compete in the Tour de France – moved to the African nation of Rwanda to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a building national cycling team.

On Saturday, May 3, the inspiring documentary of that adventure comes to Star Hall as a fundraiser for the Moab Mountain Biking Association (MMBA).

Produced and narrated by Forest Whitaker, “Rising from Ashes” has received acclaim from critics around the world. The film is being distributed by First Run Features, a New York-based distribution company formed by a group of filmmakers in 1979 to help advance the accessibility of independent film.

“Rising From Ashes” follows the Rwandan National Cycling team and its six-year journey to compete in the Olympic Games in London. Setting out against impossible odds, the team finds new purpose, following the horrific genocide that killed more than 800,000 people.

While the film’s screening is a fundraiser presented by MMBA, organizers say the film has a truly universal appeal that goes well beyond sports.

“The amazing thing about ‘Rising from Ashes’ is that it is not just a cycling movie,” said Tyson Swasey, vice chair of the MMBA. “No matter what your interests, you will be inspired and completely sucked into this movie. It’s a real tear-jerker.”

Chile Pepper Bike Shop owner and MMBA chair Tracy Reed said she hopes the proceeds from the film will allow the organization to begin work on some much-needed local trail-work, particularly on Forest Service land where financial resources have been scarce.

“The trails in the national forest need continual maintenance and upkeep,” Reed said. “The Forest Service has seen severe budget cuts. We will be assisting in trail maintenance, as well as realigning a few of the trails in the current trail system.”

After four years planning and working with interested stakeholders, the forest service finalized a comprehensive trail plan for the area last year.

Brian Murdock, of the Moab/Monticello Ranger District, said the Forest Service is ready to get to work on several planned projects, and he welcomes the assistance of MMBA members.

“The trails are ready to be built,” he said. “The creation of (MMBA) will be a great asset for building the new trails. The USFS will be working them to design and build sustainable new trails on the mountain this summer. “

MMBA is a local chapter of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). IMBA was founded in 1988 with goals that include low-impact riding, volunteer trail-work participation, cooperation among different trail-user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail-management solutions.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the film begins at 7:30 p.m. MMBA will be sharing a portion of the movie’s proceeds directly with the Team Rwanda organization, for its ongoing work in Africa.

Screening of award-winning film will benefit trail work in La Sals  

Tickets for “Rising from Ashes” may be purchased in advance at Poison Spider Bicycles, Chile Pepper Bike Shop or Moab Cyclery. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $13 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the film will begin at 7:30p.m. For more information please contact Moab Mountain Bike Association or to volunteer for trail work call 435-636-3367 MMBA can be reached at or