Celebrating on the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea - the Ring of Fire expedition was now completed © J+P
February 17, 2009 (Baie-Saint-Paul) – Canadian adventurers Janick Lemieux and Pierre Bouchard completed their cyclovolcanic quest on January 18, 2009, achieving another mega-MTB trek that led them this time towards the peoples and volcanoes of the Pacifc Ring of Fire.
“By returning from Hawaii and landing in Vancouver, starting and finish line of this rather unusual circumnavigation of the Pacific ocean, we put an end to a true pedalled odyssey. Despite having made it ‘full circle’ some 3 weeks ago, we’re still having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we finally patrolled on our bikes the Pacific Ring of Fire, where 75% of our planet’s active volcanoes hiss, puff and explode, so overwhelming the scale of the whole undertaking really is.
Pedalling our way up to summit of Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii's highest hot spot. ©Janick Lemieux/Pierre Bouchard
Now that it’s over, we know that we dedicated a full decade to this project, spending 6 years in the saddle, riding some 60,000 kilometres, ‘taking the pulse’ of hundreds of volcanoes and fraternizing with as many a warm dweller of the Ring…it’s been quite an adventure and a pretty thick slice of life!” are still ruminating the pair of writers and photographers who just moved in their Charlevoix HQ, in Quebec.
Launched in May 1999, and executed in 3 stages, the expedition of epic proportions will have provided the couple with a pretext to comb the volcanic arcs and ranges of the Americas, from Alaska to Patagonia; explore island-volcanoes of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia; tackle Asia’s great volcanoes, from Indonesia to Far East Russia’s Kamchatka via the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan; and examine the Hawaiian archipelago, hot spot of all and the Pacific Ring of Fire’s very bellybutton. Like travelling by bicycle facilitates encounters, the two nomads on wheels did not miss the opportunity to get familiar with ways and customs of the warm souls inhabiting these distant and exotic lands.
End of Hawaii's volcanic National Park "Chain of Crater Rd", a volcanic cul-de-sac created by lava flows in 1989. The culprit: Kilauea, considered the most active volcano on the planet. ©Janick Lemieux/Pierre Bouchard
In order to better share adventures and discoveries harvested on the roads and tracks of the Ring of Fire, Lemieux and Bouchard are getting ready to write a book on their experiences and encounters around the Pacific, more articles in magazines about the expedition as a whole, and others on various segments of its third and final stage Jakarta/Vancouver. The pair will also take advantage of this stay at home to create a multimedia documentary that will account for the same leg and organize lectures series that’ll bring their presentation to audiences across Canada and many regions of the United States of America. Onset of Quebec lectures series along with publication of illustrated narrative are scheduled to take place in Fall 2009…
A few hours prior to our return flight to Vancouver and crossing the expedition's finish line for the last time - jubilant on the lava speckled Kona Coast - mission accomplished! © Janick Lemieux/Pierre Bouchard
Janick Lemieux and Pierre Bouchard have been patrolling the world onboard their burdened bikes, seeking adventures and searching for the peoples and landscapes of our planet, since 1990. Besides getting reports published in travel, outdoor and cycling magazines from thet world over, they are long-time regular contributors to Canada’s Pedal, Velomag and Geo Plein Air. In May 1999, after having pedalled more than 100 000 kilometres in some 40 countries, they set off for the Pacific Ring of Fire’s volcanoes and dwellersSa cycling odyssey that just ended after some 60,000 kilometres and 6 years in the saddle!
Click HERE to read Lemieux and Bouchard’s updates from their trek.