Jock Boyer has been riding since the 1970s, and he will tell you that two wheels and a bike have carried him a long way.
“Cycling is a remedy for a multitude of things,” Boyer said.
He was the first American to race in the Tour de France and then in 2006 went to Rwanda to help start a cycling program in a country decimated by genocide and war.
“Rwanda went through a horrific past,” Boyer said.
Today, for the most part, bikes are about the only way people get around. Among the young men who lost everything, Jock started looking athletes like Gasore Hategka, who became an orphan at 12 and then worked for years to save enough money to ride a bike and one day ride with Team Rwanda.
“… he would see Team Rwanda go by and he would time himself how long every day he could stay with the team,” Boyer said.
Now, he’s the Rwandan national champion, and he’s leading the team through the Centennial State during the first-ever Colorado Classic.
For these Rwandan riders, it’s the highest level of international competition.
“It is probably one of the biggest positive stories coming out of Rwanda,” Boyer said.
The team will do well and while they’re not expected to win any stages, Jock will tell you, that’s not the point.
“It’s a message of inspiration and hope,” Boyer said.
He says the team has ridden from the rubble of a war-torn country and now with just two wheels and bike, are inspiring others to do the same.
“It’s made a huge impact,” Boyer said. “These guys are heroes.”