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Karen Beaudoin

Karen Beaudoin is a life-long Mainer, which means she’s a fan of the Red Sox (World Champs again! Take that Yankee fans), whoopee pies, Ogunquit Beach, the L.L. Bean boot mobile and vacations in tropical locations in February and March. Ninety-eight percent of her work week is spent as web editor for; during the remaining “fun” percent she contributes to

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Pedal On with Karen Beaudoin
Posted: March 11, 2014

You can't ride with Team Rwanda, but you can watch its story of success in Brunswick

Anyone who has ever embarked on a day – or maybe even a few hours – on a bike understands that cycling can be a struggle. Mountains loom, seemingly out of nowhere. Legs tire. Miles are ticked off, but there are more miles to come.

But one would guess that when you’ve already survived genocide, as the members of Team Rwanda have, pedaling through mile after sweaty mile becomes more of a release than a chore.

Olympian and Team Rwanda member Adrien Niyonshuti in “Rising From Ashes,” a film by T.C. Johnstone.

“Rising From Ashes,” a feature-length documentary making its Maine premiere in Brunswick April 4 and 5, tells the story of Team Rwanda, a cycling organization born in 2005, which sent its first rider to the Olympics for the 2012 London Games. Frontier Cinema & Cafe will host six screenings of the award-winning film over the two days in April, at 2, 6 and 8 pm

Former U.S. cycling standout Jacques “Jock” Boyer found his “second chance” with Team Rwanda, signing on to coach the struggling team in 2006. The first American to compete in the Tour de France, Boyer went on to have a prolific cycling career in Europe, but was later jailed for an improper relationship with a minor.

Not only is the film a story of hope and success for the cyclists of Rwanda, it’s also a story of redemption for Boyer.

American cycling legend Jock Boyer with Niyonshuti in “Rising From Ashes.”

“It’s not just about a cycling team; it’s a testament to what happens when human beings care for one another,” said Daphne Howland of The Village Voice. The film is narrated by Forest Whitaker.

Next stop for Team Rwanda is the hope of sending Africa’s first all-black, all-African team to the Tour de France. Next up for you should be a visit to Brunswick to cheer them on.

Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at Tickets are $12 at the door. Frontier Cinema & Café is located in old Fort Andross at 14 Main St. in Brunswick.

For more information about the film go to

Team Rwanda in “Rising From Ashes,” a film by T.C. Johnstone.

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