|I did say that I might come up with an Olympic themed post for London 2012 and ABC Wednesday and here it is.|
If you’ve been watching the success of Team GB in the velodrome (and I concede that you might not, especially if you’re Australian) then you will have spotted Peter Deary on his Derny.
The motorised bike with its distinctive petrol tank mounted below the handlebars makes its appearance during the Keirin when it is used to gradually bring the cyclists up to speed before they sprint for the line.
The combination of pedal and motor power allows for smooth acceleration and slowing which is vital when the cyclist is only inches behind.
They were used extensively for road and track cycling events and endurance training and began to be used in keirin, or gambling races, in Japan in 1948.
The Keirin became part of the Olympic cycling programme at the Sydney Games in 2000 and we got used to seeing professional athletes looking as if they are chasing a pizza delivery boy.
The Derny at London 2012 was driven by 65-year-old granddad Peter Deary.
Deary is also one of the cycling judges and actually has three Dernys at his disposal called Faith, Hope and Charity.
His job was to pick up the cyclists at 25kph and increase the pace to 45kph before pulling off the track for their final two and a half lap sprint.