Calgary

91-year-old cycles around the world on stationary exercise bike

First, he traversed the distance from the East Coast to the West Coast of Canada, then he tackled the distance of the Earth's equatorial circumference.

Harold Lehmann of Red Deer, Alta., has pedalled more than 40,000 kilometres

Harold Lehmann, left, rides his stationary bike at Points West Living in Red Deer. His daughter Sheri Lehmann, right, poses with him as he shows off his certificate of recognition from the president of CEO of Points West Living. (Delray Dempsey/Points West Living Red Deer)

It took two years, but Harold Lehmann has completed a very long journey.

The 91-year-old cycled around the world — more than 40,000 kilometres — and he did it all on a stationary exercise bike at Points West Living in Red Deer, Alta.

According to NASA, the Earth's equatorial circumference is 40,030 kilometres. 

Lehmann began cycling as a way to maintain his physical health, he told the Calgary Eyeopener

"I figured that's the best way to get exercise, by riding a bicycle," said Lehmann.

"With a bicycle, just about every muscle in your body works." 

  • Listen to Harold Lehmann reflect on his cycling journey, below.
We meet a 91-year-old man from Red Deer who has cycled the distance of the globe. 3:11

Lehmann carefully notes his distance and time spent after each ride.

"I mark it on a card and at the end of the day I put it in a book, I keep track of all the miles."

When Lehmann began cycling, he kept it a secret for a while, not even telling members of his family.

"I've had a lot of my relatives tell me to 'take it easy, don't do it so often' and one thing or another but I do it anyway because I like doing it and I think it's good for a body to get that kind of exercise," he said.

When it comes to motivation, Lehmann's strategy is simple. He just didn't bike on days he didn't feel like it.

"Every day that I rode the bike, I actually wanted to ride it. Just to keep limber and as something to do," he said.

He also credits his energy levels to the good food and care he receives. 

Lehmann was even presented with a certificate of recognition for his feat by Linda Revell, the president and CEO of Points West Living and Connecting Care. 

Then I think I've accomplished pretty well all the goals that I have slowly fit into my schedule. ​​​​​​- Harold Lehmann

Now that he has met his goal to circle the globe, Lehmann is sizing up the distance across Saskatchewan, from east to west, as his next goal. 

"I want to ride across Saskatchewan, I've ridden the length [of Saskatchewan], I've ridden across Canada, I've ridden around the world twice and I think I have to ride about another 200 miles to get the distance from the east to the west on Saskatchewan," he said.

"Then I think I've accomplished pretty well all the goals that I have slowly fit into my schedule." 

After that, he says, he's going to pump the brakes a bit when it comes to biking.

"I'm going to slow down because in six months I'm 92 and I don't wanna be doing it when I'm 92 anymore.… I'm going to slow down after this and just do a little bit for fun to keep active," he said.


With files from Angela Knight and the Calgary Eyeopener.

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