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Unicyclist rides 120 miles in 1 day for leukemia research

A unicyclist from Lomita is riding 120 miles in one day on just one wheel to raise money for leukemia research.
October 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
When Terry Peterson of Lomita goes for a ride, it's not as relaxing as you may think.

"I can't coast. There are no gears to help me go faster, and I don't have a brake," said Peterson.

That's because Peterson's pedaling on just one wheel -- one wheel that's getting a lot of mileage along the South Bay bike path.

"I'm doing a 120-mile ride on my non-geared unicycle. Five out and backs, 24 miles each, trying to average about 11 miles an hour," said Peterson.

For Peterson and his unicycle, that meant an early morning start at Torrance Beach in the dark and at least 12 hours worth of pedaling and balancing to and from Marina del Rey, back and forth, back and forth. The only coasting here is the Southern California coast.

"The unicycle can't coast. It's what we call a fixed wheel. That translates into more than 67,000 complete pedal revolutions that I'll have to complete," said Peterson.

Peterson says he's the oldest person ever to have ridden this far in one day on a non-geared unicycle.

That much pedaling is a challenge on any kind of bike, but this 57-year-old unicyclist isn't doing it for the record books. He's doing it for cash. But it's the kind that won't go anywhere near his pockets.

"I'm doing it for the City of Hope leukemia research and dedicating the ride to my brother, Gary, who has the disease," said Peterson.

Peterson hoped to raise about $1,000, but once his efforts and his unigeezer.com helmet hit the television, donations to the website took off.

And his brother, who's has been battling leukemia for three years, is now winning the fight, according to Peterson.

"The man is amazing and he's my personal hero," said Peterson.

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