‘Hurricane’ hopes to make waves on Island

Man rides Segway electric vehicle 500 km in attempt to set world record, change B.C. law

HURRICANE RIDES INTO TOWN: Danny “The Hurricane” Halmo stops with support driver Bruce Rathwell in Parksville Wednesday during his attempt to set a Guinness World Record riding his Segway on Vancouver Island. See story at www.pqbnews.com or in the Tuesday

HURRICANE RIDES INTO TOWN: Danny “The Hurricane” Halmo stops with support driver Bruce Rathwell in Parksville Wednesday during his attempt to set a Guinness World Record riding his Segway on Vancouver Island. See story at www.pqbnews.com or in the Tuesday

Whatever else can be said of Danny “The Hurricane” Halmo, you have to admit he’s a stand-up guy.

Over the past week, the 57-year-old from Delta has been standing atop a Segway, a two-wheeled, upright electric vehicle, in an effort to set a Guinness World Record — and making them legal to ride on B.C.’s public streets.

On Wednesday, he rolled through Parksville on a 500-kilometre ride that began on Salt Spring Island and took him to Campbell River before a return south to finish up at the legislature in Victoria.

“We’ll go to Campbell River Friday, then meander back until I end up at (Premier) Christy Clark’s office to hand over a petition to make this legal here,” said Halmo, garbed in a star-spangled helmet and blue-and-red “Captain America” styled costume.

“The Segway is not legal to ride in B.C., but it is legal in Ontario,” he added. “The law is out there; it’s written. We just need to take it and apply it here.”

Even without a costumed-crusader aboard, the Segway is an eye-catching mode of transportation. Halmo drew stares and double-takes from pedestrians, drivers and even residents watching through windows Wednesday as he cruised through Parksville.

The machine consists of a small standing platform atop two large wheels, with a single post supporting handlebars. It is propelled by simply leaning forward — and the steeper the lean, the faster the speed. The 112-pound vehicle tops out at 17 kilometres per hour, the same speed as the mobility scooters which are allowed on roads in B.C., he said.

“This is much safer than a mobility scooter,” he said. “I’m seven feet tall on that Segway; everybody sees me coming.”

Perhaps best of all, he said, the Segway costs just 56 cents to fully charge and will travel 40 kilometres on a full battery.

Halmo, who is on full disability with a bi-polar disorder, has devoted his life to electric-powered transportation and is the founder of the Formula Electric Vehicle Entertainment and Racing Association (FEVER). He set two previous Guinness World Records on an electric bicycle and in an electric car, and has a third pending for a 24-hour Segway challenge during which he covered 214 kilometres.

“FEVER exists to set Guinness records in electric vehicles,” he said. “I want to set up Canada as the country to beat. I’ll set the record and let the rest of the world catch up. By the time they do, I’m out setting new records.”

Canada already has the world’s longest free electric highway, courtesy of electric vehicle (EV) chargers installed by Sun Country Highways from St. John, N.L., to Port Hardy.

Halmo is being accompanied this week by an all-electric Chevy Volt support vehicle, driven by Sun Country’s Bruce Rathwell. That support vehicle is what allows him to legally drive the Segway on the road, Halmo said.

In addition to setting records, Halmo draws attention to the EV cause through his outrageous costuming and stunts, combined with intensive media relations. After this week’s 500-km ride and petition drive, he said, he will appear on CBC’s The Early Edition in Vancouver in a commuter challenge pitting the Segway against an automobile, a bicycle, and a bus/Sky Train commuter.

“I can go from my bed to my office desk without getting off the Segway,” said Halmo, who demonstrated the Segway’s indoor-outdoor capabilities by driving it right into the office of The NEWS.

Of course, Halmo doesn’t actually have an office; he works seasonally at a Christmas tree farm. And he doesn’t own a Segway of his own — he was provided two of the vehicles for his current record attempt by Mike and Corrine Bessler of Nanaimo’s Ride the Glide Tours.

Having already earned sponsorship from Segway Canada for his promotional efforts, though, Halmo is working to change both of those situations.

“I get one (Segway) when I break the record, and I get another one when I change the law,” he said. “When I’m finished with this, they’ll make me director of marketing.”

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read