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 26-foot recreational vehicle was stolen from a Qualicum Beach property early Wednesday morning, April 21. Police found the stolen vehicle nearly three hours later in Whiskey Creek. (Facebook photo)
RCMP act quickly after RV brazenly stolen from Qualicum Beach property

Vehicle recovered, 28-year-old man taken into custody

A screenshot taken from the Parksville city council meeting on Monday, April 19, where members of the Friends of the Parksville Community Centre presented the results of an ongoing online petition. Parksville city council is shown top left, David Todtman is shown top right, and Valerie Dare is shown at the bottom. (Via Youtube)
Friends of the Parksville Community Centre members present online petition to city council

Nearly 2,600 signatures collected in bid to keep facility as community gathering place

The scene of a single-vehicle crash along Dolphin Drive in Nanoose Bay on Monday morning, April 19. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP: No injuries reported in rollover crash in Nanoose Bay

Police say passengers indicate driver left the scene

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

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

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

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

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

Most Read