PHOTOS: White Rock senior completes 40,000-km unicycle journey

White Rock’s Dal Fleischer riding his unicycle in Mexico. Fleischer as part of a miniature circus school for children in the country. (Contributed photo)White Rock’s Dal Fleischer riding his unicycle in Mexico. Fleischer as part of a miniature circus school for children in the country. (Contributed photo)
White Rock’s Dal Fleischer has been riding a unicycle for 17 years. (Contributed photo)White Rock’s Dal Fleischer has been riding a unicycle for 17 years. (Contributed photo)
White Rock’s Dal Fleischer said White Rock is one of his favourite places to ride his unicycle. (Contributed photo)White Rock’s Dal Fleischer said White Rock is one of his favourite places to ride his unicycle. (Contributed photo)
White Rock’s Dal Fleischer has been riding a unicycle for 17 years. (Contributed photo)White Rock’s Dal Fleischer has been riding a unicycle for 17 years. (Contributed photo)
White Rock’s Dal Fleischer has been riding a unicycle for 17 years. (Contributed photo)White Rock’s Dal Fleischer has been riding a unicycle for 17 years. (Contributed photo)

When Dal Fleischer was 55 years old, he had his life under control, however, a little instability was still desired.

So, naturally, he taught himself how to unicycle.

Officials with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons contacted Peace Arch News this week to share a recent milestone achieved by Fleischer, who is now 72 years old.

Riding on one wheel for about 30 kilometres a day, the White Rock resident recently reached a milestone – he’s logged 40,075 kilometres, a distance equivalent to the circumference of the world.

Fleischer belongs to an online group of unicyclists that track their distance using the Strava application, which was initially released in 2009. It’s quite possible the senior completed the milestone once before, but this time he has an official record, which has been reviewed by his peers.

SEE ALSO: Unicyclist starts his cross-Canada trip in Vancouver

Fleischer, a lifelong athlete and cyclist, fell in love with the one-wheel bike after teaching himself how to ride. He started small, and eventually graduated to a 36-inch wheel.

“I got a bigger one, a bigger one and a bigger one until I got this 36,” Fleischer said. “They don’t make them any bigger because they don’t make people any bigger. You have to be able to reach, from the seat, the pedals’ bottom position.”

He has taken his unicycle all over the world, but locally, he said, his favourite places to ride are in South Surrey and White Rock.

While you won’t see him climbing up Oxford Street, Fleischer said the one wheel manages quite well on the hilly seaside.

“You have to have quite substantial muscle in order to ride the large unicycle,” he said.

Part of his motivation are the friendly smiles, waves and cheers from Semiahmoo Peninsula residents while he’s out on a daily trek.

“There’s lots of accolades. That’s a motivator, it’s fun,” he said.

Some days, of course, he can’t ride his unicycle due to the weather. High wind seems to be among the biggest challenge.

“Wind is a problem because headwind is tough slogging and the problem is winds aren’t constant,” he said. “It comes and goes and you can’t see it coming. I’ve had times where it’s just blown me right off the unicycle and I couldn’t get back on.”

Now that he’s completed his milestone, Fleischer, who turns 73 this month, has set a new goal that’s out of this world.

“Given that I’ve done the equator of the Earth, the next target is the equator of the moon. Simply because I am 73, and some day I’ll have to give up unicycle riding, but it’s not quite on the horizon. So I chose a target that’s doable, it’s only about 10,000, maybe 11,000 km, opposed to 40,000.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Seniorswhite rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

Kieran Christison, manager of Daybreak Farms in Terrace inspects eggs on Oct. 30, 2020. Christison wants to transition to a zero waste, cage-free facility. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Daybreak Farms aiming to achieve zero-waste, cage-free facility

Kieran Christison, manager, presented the farm’s future plans to Terrace city council

Mercedes Trigo, assistant manager, said that Trigo’s Lifestyle Store in Terrace has experienced four broken windows and an attempted break-in recently, leaving her feeling unsupported by bystanders and the police. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Trigo’s management frustrated by property damage, theft

In a little over a month there have been four broken windows and an attempted break-in at the store

Two RCMP officers have been recognized for their actions in responding to an incident involving a man with a weapon at 4501 Park Ave. on the afternoon of April 27, 2020. RCMP say it was an isolated incident and there is no danger to the general public. (Jake Wray photo)
Terrace RCMP officers recognized for acts of bravery

Two involved in arrest of armed suspect

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read