Q&A with adventure cyclists Janick Lemieux and Pierre Bouchard Pt. 2

On Friday, Nov. 30, adventure cyclists Janick Lemieux and Pierre Bouchard will give a special multimedia presentation on their 24,000 kilometer “volcano-hopping” mountain bike trek from Jakarta to Vancouver.

Janick and Pierre enjoying a playful roadside dinner on the Alaska Highway.

Part of our 2012 Bicycle Film Series, the presentation, titled “Cycling the Pacific Ring of Fire part 3…Full Circle”, will feature stunning images, several original video excerpts, and animated maps and graphics portraying the third and last leg of their decade-long, 40,000-mile adventure that started when they set off on their immensely loaded mountain bikes in the spring of 1999 and headed south.

As we lead up to their presentation, here’s part 2 of a Q&A with the Canadian cyclists. (Read part 1, here)

-What was the biggest obstacle before and/or during the journey?
Time restrictions is always difficult. Short non-renewable visas turn the journey into somewhat of a race sometimes, which is unerving. During the closing segment of the expedition, there were many riddles to solve and diplomatic acrobatics to perform in order to enter and move around Far-East Russia. Days of frustration. Another obstacle was keeping the enthusiasm up for such a long journey. We spent more than a decade on the same project and there were times when we just wanted to be done with it.

-How important is it to have a good travel partner?
It is of utmost importance. The vibe and the groove created between two people can make the trip a pure nightmare or heaven on earth. It is much more crucial than where you are or how rough the road is.

-Did you ever get so tired of your bike, you couldn't even look at it?
Pierre never does! We'll come back from a two-year trip and he's stoked to find friends and go mountain biking!

-What was the one place/country/city you visited that you recommend everyone should see?

Ouf! So many! Let's make a short list here. I often say that everybody should make it to Easter Island once in their lifetime. Other personal favorites: Varanasi in India, the Atacama desert of Chile, the whole of Vanuatu and Edziza National Park in British Columbia. For the quality and ease of bike traveling, we wonder why everybody is not in Japan right now. One of the best kept secret cycling destination for sure!

Janick and Pierre elebrate the completion of last "cyclovolcanic" mission at Mauna Kea volcano summit. Hawaii.

-What's next for you two?
We want to leave in 2014 and ride our loaded bikes from Noordkap, in Norway, all the way to the Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa. The volcanoes have taken us to so many amazing out-of-the-way places around the Ring of Fire project that we want to have a theme for this trip, too. We're juggling with few and we'll soon reveal which one we'll exploit...can't wait to hit the road again!

 

Janick and Pierre will give a spectacular multi-media show at REI – Seattle on Friday, Nov. 30.
 Tickets are available in advance through Brown Paper Tickets.
Cascade members: $10
General public: $12
 In the meantime, read part 1 of the Q&A and visit Pierre and Janick’s Facebook page for more information.