D is for Deary’s Derny

I did say that I might come up with an Olympic themed post for London 2012 and ABC Wednesday and here it is.
Peter Deary's Derny

Peter Deary on his Derny

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.

DernyThe Derny takes its name from its original creator, Roger Derny et Fils and the first ‘Entraineur’ or ‘Bordeaux–Paris’ models were built in Paris in 1938.

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.

Peter Deary

Peter Deary

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.

Deary’s deadpan demeanour always raised a cheer, especially as his Derny brought both Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy home to golden glory for Team GB.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

14 comments… Add yours
  • Cav Pudding 8th August 2012

    It always looks as if Mrs Doubtfire has somehow found her way into the velodrome by mistake…and she’s off to do her shopping with a gang of cyclists in her wake.

  • Carver 8th August 2012

    Great idea for D day. “Deary’s deadpan demeanor” showed vocabulary dexterity. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

  • Roger Green 8th August 2012

    Haven’t seen this, but I have been cheering for Team GB

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Wanda 8th August 2012

    This is new to me too. But loving watching the Olympics.

  • laura@eljaygee 8th August 2012

    dexterous with the alliterartion in this delightful resumee. Learnt my something new for today

  • rhymeswithplague 8th August 2012


  • Carver 8th August 2012

    I thought I’d pop back to answer your question about the blue berry on my post, it’s on a porcelain vine (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata).

  • Meryl 8th August 2012

    Oh how delightfully entertaining – I didn’t know this! I love leaving posts more enlightened…thank you. And, I find in mind-boggling that these cyclists are racing 45 kph. Thanks for a super post and have a great week.

  • Mr Parrot 8th August 2012

    Thanks all. Meryl: 45 kph is the speed of the Derny when it leaves the track – the cyclists then reach speeds of around 70 kph. ( That’s 43 mph in old money!)

  • Chris H 8th August 2012

    These combined petal-and-motor bikes – not necessarily a Derny with a front petrol tank, but still – are huge in Denmark.

    They’re legal on bike paths, unlike many types of motorcycles, and they’re not taxed like a motorized vehicle. They’re also a tool of miscreants: when I was living there, there was a rash of robberies where motorized petal bikes would sneak up behind a conventional bike, snatch what was in the basket, and abscond. Daring daylight heist! 🙂

    Chris H
    ABC Wednesday
    D is for Detritus (Oceanography)

  • photowannabe 9th August 2012

    Well thank you for all that information.
    I watched the races and didn’t understand the whole concept.
    Quite interesting to say the least.
    To answer your question on my blog…that is a really huge dandelion. The puffy head measured 5 inches across. It certainly isn’t the grow in the house grass variety.
    Thanks for visiting.

  • Arctic Fox 9th August 2012

    I’d remarked upon this “pizza delivery boy” before and we always cheered him on in this household at least….. I always thought he looked like Magneto from the X-Men movies – Look it’s the Derny rider

  • ChrisJ 10th August 2012

    I watched one of these races. Very strange! We need to be educated on it a little more to appreciate it.

  • Katherine 10th August 2012

    Delightful! A decorous Derny I deem definitely desirable. Doubtless decorative, distinctive and distinguished!


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