Free screening of ‘The Rider and The Wolf’ at Little Beach Park, Aug. 27 |

Free screening of ‘The Rider and The Wolf’ at Little Beach Park, Aug. 27

Last seen on March 31, 2009, Mike Rust’s remains were discovered in January 2016 and Charles Gonzalez was arrested in June in connection to his murder.
Special to the Weekly |

Vail Symposium free film series

All films screen at Little Beach Park in Minturn. Doors open at 7 p.m., and films begin at 8:30 p.m., with free entry and $2 Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. beer. Visit to learn more.

• Saturday, Aug. 27 — “The Rider and The Wolf”

• Saturday, Sept. 3 — “The History of Future Folk”

Timeline of the Mike Rust Case

• March 31, 2009 — Last contact with Mike Rust. Rust explains to friends that someone has broken into his house and stolen a gun. Rust was planning to pursue the suspects by following two motorcycle tracks leaving his home in Sagauche. He never returns. Search efforts turn up no leads. The case goes cold.

• May 2015 — “The Rider and The Wolf” premiers.

• Oct. 23, 2015 — Michael Gonzales, 20, son of Charles Gonzales, contacts Saguache County Deputy and alleges his father was involved in the disappearance of Rust. Michael Gonzales said he became suspicious when a hole he and his father had dug on his grandfather’s property was suddenly filled in.

• Jan. 7-8 2016 — Search and excavation of property belonging to Charles Gonzales’ father, a ranch in Saguache. The remains of Mike Rust are located and identified through DNA.

• June 2016 — An arrest warrant is issued and served for Charles Gonzales, who is serving time in Canon City for an unrelated crime.

• August 2016 — Pretrial begins.

MINTURN — The Vail Symposium’s free film series continues Saturday with “The Rider and The Wolf,” a documentary that explores many of the intricate details of the life and disappearance of Mountain Bike Hall of Fame cyclist Mike Rust and the fanatical early world of mountain biking.

Carl Rust, Mike Rust’s brother, and filmmaker Nathan Ward will both be on hand to address the audience. They will share behind-the-scenes details and give an update since the film premiered in May 2015. Among the updates: the discovery of Mike Rust’s remains in January 2016 and the arrest of suspect Charles Gonzalez in June.

“The film is basically half about the history of mountain biking in Colorado, centered around Mike Rust, of course, and half about the murder mystery,” Ward said. “I think the message is that mountain people in Colorado were an instrumental part of establishing this sport, a mountain-town pastime that grew into a worldwide sport.

“Carl and I will do a Q-and-A after the film to update people on the mystery and the discovery of Mike’s remains. It is an ongoing thing. Carl went to part of the pretrial on Wednesday, so there may be new information.”

The film will be shown for free outdoors at Little Beach Park in Minturn on Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m. with $2 beer deals from Crazy Mountain Brewery Co. and burgers and hot dogs for purchase. Introductions for the film will begin at 8:15 p.m. The film begins at 8:30 p.m. There is a $10 suggested donation.

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‘Coincidental Circumstance’

“This is really a coincidental circumstance,” said Dale Mosier, chairman of the board of directors for the Vail Symposium. “When we began vetting this film, the case for Mike Rust was still a cold case. Now the audience will be able to watch and then ask Nathan (Ward) and Carl (Rust) to fill in the answers to some mysterious questions raised in the film.”

“The Rider and The Wolf” has been shown at nine film festivals, including the Denver Film Festival and Telluride Mountain Film Festival. It won Best Feature at the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival.

“Although the sport of mountain biking is still new — about 40 years or so — some of the original bikes are still around in Colorado,” Ward said. “It is pretty amazing that the sport has blown up so much. There are mountain bikes almost everywhere in the world now, and it’s fun to think that part of it started in these little Colorado mountain towns.”

The film will be shown under the stars. Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 50s. The audience is encouraged to dress appropriately and bring pillows and blankets. Food will be permitted. However, outside alcohol will not be allowed. Parking is available in the lots beside and below Little Beach Park, located just outside of Minturn and across the Eagle River.

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