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  1. #1
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    track racing - pulled by a motorcycle?

    Last night i was watching a french film and they had a scene where they were at the track to watch a bike race. However, these guys on the bikes were being pulled by a motorcycle and pedaling like mad. Is this a race to see whose legs do not fall off or do they just pull them up to speed and let go?
    Or perhaps it's just a movie.....

  2. #2
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    No, it's real.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derny

    They race that way on the road, too. At least they used to.

    What was the name of the movie?

  3. #3
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Interesting, though i still don't really understand what it judges as far as who is the best.
    I can understand it bringing the racers up to speed and then sprinting for the finish.

    The movie was "L'argent de poche" or "small change".
    If you like movies about french grammar school life then check it out, the racing scene is short, but it piqued my interest enough to ask you guys if it's for real.

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    Doesn't look like its designed to pull them, but to provide pace and act as a draft for the lead cyclist. Drafting close enough, might look like they were being pulled when in fact they were just trying to keep tight with it...?

    I'm curious too. What film?

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    Oh, yeah, it doesn't "pull" the cyclist like with a rope, but rather "pull" them drafting-wise. Each cyclist has a derny, and the derny driver and cyclist act as a team. If the derny driver goes too fast, they'll drop the cyclist (which happens quickly and dramatically, given the speed), but if he goes too slow, they'll lose the race. Winner is still the first bicycle wheel across the line.

    Derny races on the road were extremely long distance races, like 500km. I think there's only one left, somewhere-Paris. It's interesting stuff, pacing fast enough to get a gap on your opponents, but not too fast so you get tired - kind of like a time trial, but with a road race at the end. And the moto and bike rider have to communicate perfectly. But, it's not too spectator friendly (on the road). Racers buzz by at motorcycle speed, then it's over. It must be quite a spectacle on the track, but difficult to tell what's going on.

    I'm not really an expert on this, just read some articles, so I'm waiting for someone to correct me...

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  7. #7
    draw line at carbon forks goodall's Avatar
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    The bikes are ridiculous too. Upright posture, tiny front wheel, etc. Full article: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3798


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodall View Post
    The bikes are ridiculous too. Upright posture, tiny front wheel, etc. Full article: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3798

    Hardly ridiculous; built for the purpose to get up as close as possible to the moto for max drafting effect. I used to watch Derny paced racing at the Zurich ,Switzrland velodrome in the 60s and have seen it as part of the Euro 6-day track races, but years ago. It's exciting and VERY fast, as you can imagine.

  9. #9
    spinlikehell mickster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodall View Post
    The bikes are ridiculous too. Upright posture, tiny front wheel, etc. Full article: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3798

    This bike is actually used in stayers racing, rather than derny races. Derny racing is done on a regular track bike where the rider drafts behind a small 2-stroke powered derny machine. As others have noted above is a popular part of many track meets in the UK and Europe. In the UK there are regular Derny races during open track meetings, and Derny-only track meets throughout the season. Many of us also train behind Dernies as a way of raising our cadence and speed-endurance for racing.

    Stayers racing is a rarer phenomenon, and has declined in popularity since its heyday in Europe in the 1950's-1970's. It's done behind a much larger motorycle which is customised so the driver rides it in a standing position, giving maximum draft to the rider. Speeds are higher than in regular derny racing. The strange looking bike above has a small front wheel and inverted forks to allow the rider to get as close as possible behind the motorcycle. Tubs are often bound to the rim with cloth or tape as an extra insurance against rolling a tyre at high speed, and the extra supports for the bars and saddle help to strengthen these parts whch are subjected to big stresses due to the high speeds reached on often bumpy outdoor tracks.

    A stayers race at Herne Hill, london: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web...riday_open.asp

    stayers info: http://imageevent.com/dernysportuk/1...bpastayersrace

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
    It's exciting and VERY fast, as you can imagine.

    and noisy.


    great racing.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    This was a common training practice during Soviet times here in Latvia. A buddy of mine who was on the national team told me about going to Estonia because the roads were better, and being pulled behind a car at insane speeds.

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