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

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

The Regional District of North Okanagan has purchased a watercraft to be used by the BC Conservation Officer Service, who will conduct enhanced boat patrols on the Shuswap River during the 2021 floating season. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Boat purchased to provide enhanced Shuswap River oversight this floating season

The regional district purchased an extra watercraft to be used by Conservation Officers this year

The West Kelowna Warriors beat the Vernon Vipers 3-2 in BCHL action Friday, April 16, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
West Kelowna goaltender stymies Vernon Vipers for 3-2 win

The Warriors were outshot 44-23 Friday night, but it didn’t bother Johnny Derrick

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Nick Clements captured a photo of the Northern Lights over Oyama Friday night, April 16, 2021. (Nick Clements photo)
PHOTOS: Northern Lights colour Okanagan night

Residents saw the dazzling green aurora borealis throughout the valley Friday night

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

Demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

Most Read