Frid’Eh Update #26 | Ryan Derry Interview

By Billy Rainford

Week #26 belongs to Ryan Derry from Toronto, Ontario. | Bigwave photo

Wow, I pulled a complete Jimmy Kimmel to Matt Damon to #26 Ryan Derry this week. “My apologies to Ryan Derry, we ran out of time.”

#26 belongs to Ryan and we were so busy and consumed by the start of the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown Series at Walton Raceway that things fell through the cracks.

We did speak to him during the week and got an interview with him, so here it is a day late.

Direct Motocross: Hello, Ryan. Let’s start this off by backing up to the 2020 season. You finished 15th overall in the 450 MX series. Can you sum up that portion of the series for us?

Ryan Derry: Hey, Billy! Outdoors went well last year. Ended the series inside the top 15 overall which was my goal. I had a couple solid moto finishes with an 11th in the mud at Walton and a 13th at SDL 2 which seemed like the only dry race besides Gopher.

And then you were super steady and finished 8th in the SX potion. How was that for you?

SX was fun. I felt confident, even after some sketchy moments. There’s something about riding out the worst case scenario and then trying the same rhythm again the next lap. 

We voted Ryan as Most Improved last SX Season. | Bigwave photo

We voted you as our Most Improved Rider last season. Is there something you did that helped show so much improvement?

With the work-from-home COVID situation, for the first time in my pro career, I had the flexibility to ride my bike during the week. This was pretty cool for me. I think that made the biggest difference. 

Can you tell us what it is you do for your 9-5 job?

I’m a Mechanical Engineer, currently specializing in the design and analysis of buildings and energy usage in buildings. 

What did you do over the off season to get ready for this coming season?

I went to Costa Rica and levelled my health up! Hot weather, vitamin D, mainly vegan diet, lots of running and calisthenics. Didn’t get across the border but I rode as much as possible this spring.

Can you tell us about your program for this year? Who’s helping you out and who will you be traveling and pitting with?

I’m back with Barrie Honda Powerhouse for 2021 riding the sweet new CRF450R. It’s just my dad and I travelling to each round, you’ll likely see us pitting with Dario Zecca

That’s a photo of Ryan’s dad, Peter Derry, on John C. Riley’s tee shirt.

What’s it like to have had John C. Riley wear a tee shirt with a racing photo of your dad on it in the movie Step Brothers? Did it help up his street cred with you?

That movie is so embedded in this generation. I don’t think my dad fully understands the weight of it! His stories of racing super bikes in the 80s are legendary too, major street cred in my eyes. 

Where have you been riding this spring to get ready and what have you been working on?

I’ve been riding with Sam Gaynor a lot this spring, hitting private tracks and some other spots. Special thanks to Sam’s uncle Scott for having us out at his place a bunch, too.

Do you think having a full-time job helps keep things free or is it harder to stay motivated?

Moto is expensive on all levels. And there is a cost associated to maintain any sort of progression curve year after year. It’s the dichotomy of needing money to race so you work a 9-5. Now you have the money but you don’t have the time. When I look at my progression curve as a racer over the years and overlay it with the time actually spent on the bike, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far. Balancing work and moto can be a lot. It’s the Monday morning at the water cooler where your co-workers talk about going to the mall with their wives on the weekend, you smile and think about how different your weekend was.

Ryan is a full-time Mechanical Engineer and will keep racing into the future, as he feels he in his prime right now at 28. | Bigwave photo

How many more years of chasing the Nationals do you think you have left?

I’m not sure, I feel like I’m just entering my prime. It all depends on this season and what level of support I can land for 2022! 

How old are you now and how did you start racing motocross in the first place?

I’ll be 28 in a few days. I started riding at 4 and we steadily got more involved in moto ever since.

OK, thanks for talking with us. We’ll see you this weekend at Walton Raceway. Who would you like to thank?

Thanks, Billy! And thank you Stuart Todd at Barrie Honda Powerhouse, Steve Simms, Seven Mx Canada, SIDI moto, Spy optic, Mika Metals, Works Connection, Seco Seatcover, Toronto Spring Motorcycle Show, Yoshimura RD, and of course my dad. 

Thanks for your time, Ryan. He finished 13-13 for 13th at Round 1 on Friday.