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

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

While pharmacies across B.C. are using AstraZeneca for public immunizations for people 40 years of age and older, there is no availability currently in the Kootenays. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
No AstraZeneca vaccine availability in Kootenay pharmacies, says Interior Health

Vaccine has been opened up at pharmacies in other areas of the province to people 40 years of age and older

Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society runs a museum that was established to display the heritage of the "no-longer towns" of Michel and Natal, and the Elk Valley Area. Photo Submitted/Monica Beranek, Artifact Curator
Sparwood to support museum financially through to December 2022

The district will provide financial support for the museum to hire a full-time director

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read