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Dennis Desmarais
Glastonbury, CT
Happily married parent of 2 beautiful girls; loves cycling; passionate about being Green
Recent Activity
Matt -- my wife read your note and told me to print it out (not knowing that nothing ever gets deleted from the web!). I have to say that the final comment left here on this blog will go down as the most memorable for me (and Mrs D). While my motivation to write this blog has admittedly been mostly selfishly focused on my needs, I am glad to know that I helped a few fellow riders along the way over the last two years. Thanks for the kind words, and I hope to see you out on the roads some day!
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2012 on Goodbye, for now at Trainer Confessions
No more training wheels Trainer Confessions has been up and operational now for over two years now with posts going out at about a rate of one or two per week during that time. I even managed to keep the posts coming even when frankly there wasn't much to talk about, like over the last three months of mostly solo riding. If I can pump out the posts when most of my riding time is done when the darkness of my riding hours combined with the narrowed vision brought on by the layers of clothing extending up to my eyes,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2012 at Trainer Confessions
One of the Masses According to the calendar and Puxatony Phil, winter's not over yet, and there's still ample time for a nasty stretch of cold and snow. (As an aside, if that cold streak does make an appearance you'll most certainly hear someone talk about the myth of Global Warming dreamed up by Al Gore, so it disappoints me when those same people don't say anything about the weather we've seen this winter as being evidence that just might support a sign that things aren't right....) But even if winter does make a brief return, I've lost one of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2012 at Trainer Confessions
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Theories on Fatigue One of the interesting take aways I got out of reading "Hell on 2 Wheels" was the author's summary of the various studies on fatigue and pain thresholds. Most people can't tolerate the pain associated with having their hands in ice water for more than a minute, and I bet the majority of the readers of this blog get fatigued after laboring through just two of my paragraphs. Yet the somehow the hardy souls who race across the US can endure unimaginable pain and can transcend the all consuming fatigue for 8 to 12 never-ending days. So... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2012 at Trainer Confessions
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Tough, but not that tough "Cyclists equate suffering with excellence, and its widely believed that those who can endure the most punishment will rise to the top of the heap." That quote from Hell on Two Wheels (by Amy Snyder) was still fresh in my mind yesterday morning, and I'd be lying to you if I said it didn't factor into my decision to forgo the option to ride on the trainer to instead don two or three layers of cycling clothing and face the brutal temperatures outside. A little part of me was convinced that only the hardiest of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2012 at Trainer Confessions
Sub-Story Just finished up reading "We Might As Well Win", the true story of how Johan Bruynell led two different riders, Lance and Alberto, to Tour de France fame, supposedly without the aid of performance enhancing drugs. I'm not a literary critique, so I won't offer any commentary as to how well the book was written. But for me, a person whose TdF viewing was limited solely to snippets shown on Sports Center, it offered up enough light entertainment to distract me from the seemingly never-ending endurance rides done perched upon the trainer. While I whipped through the book at... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2012 at Trainer Confessions
While you may find yourself crunched on time to get ready in 9 weeks for Bethel, there's still a long training runway leading up to the bigger road races. If you wanted to blog on "a `new' me", then pencil in a road race for 2012!
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Now What? Early last week when I surpassed 10,000 miles for the year, I added the final feather to my cap in what will go down as quite the memorable year. Just a couple of days later, I opened up my wallet and let the Battenkill promoter pull out $84 as part of my first race registration for the 2012 season. The act of closing down 2011 and then setting the first target for 2012 gave me reason during the ample free-time this week to ponder on what I wanted to get out of cycling in the year ahead. Believe... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
[This post is somewhat off-topic & on Global Warming, but given that it ties back to the Climate Ride, it does belong here on Trainer Confessions. What you see below is the text I intend to send to a few local news papers for inclusion in the Letter to the Editor section. If you see any text that could be improved upon before then, please let me know. And of course if you want to make a donation to the Climate Ride, please follow this link.] When I signed up for the Climate Ride (a charitable 5 day 300+ mile... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
Cruick -- if you're looking at stats like Watts and speed for what it takes to win (or at least grab a top 10) for a typical Cat 4 race, take a look at the end of any of my "Race:" posts from this year where I have a summary of my stats (BTW, my race weight this year was between 132 and 138, so that will help you derive the Watt/kg ratio). If you're looking for what I did differently this year that might have allowed me to upgrade to Cat 3, you can read more here: http://trainerconfessions.typepad.com/blog/2011/11/how-to-upgrade.html. That said, what works for me most certainly won't generate the same results with anyone else. If you're a smarter rider than me, or a better bike handler, maybe you can win races with #s less than mine. If you're genetically more gifted than me, perhaps you can get by without logging the miles and intervals that I had to put in just to barely upgrade. I hope that helps (though I'm not so sure it does!). If not, don't hesitate to give me more feedback and context so that I can respond back with more insight.
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A whopping 400 miles! I remember in 2005 being a bit proud of myself at the end of summer of my first season of riding (note that I don't have riding seasons now -- there's no beginning nor end to when I ride). I had logged a whopping 400+ miles and I was exuberant over my accomplishment when I informed one of my managers (Julie) in the EMC2 office. She was an avid cyclist so I thought she'd appreciate the significance of such a big number. She did smile, but in retrospect I think it have been just a case... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
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Climate Ride NYC-DC 2012 May 19 - 23, 2012 | 5 Days | 300 Miles I wasn't sure if I was going to sign-up for the Climate Ride again this year. Don't get me wrong -- I wanted to sign up; my experience in 2011's edition was nothing but positive. It was an extremely well run event where I was surrounded by 149 like-minded cyclists intent to make a difference out on 350 miles (I of course had to add in extra 50 miles to the ride's standard 300) of mostly quiet back roads. It also was an event that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
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Rude Awaking Tuesday morning was my first interval session of the 2012 training year. If you needed further evidence that I'm a sadist, I'll let it be known that I actually was quite chipper as I descended the stairs at 5 AM, into the dark basement and then up upon the trainer. It had been nearly 3 months without any structured intervals -- my first month of training had me at the gym lifting weights 3 days a week, but on the bike it was strictly endurance paced riding. And for the two months prior to that, it was all... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
I certainly hope to be faster in 2012 now that I'm a Cat 3. Otherwise I'm going to have a frustrating season struggling to keep up with the likes of SoC! Faster or not though, I am in a sick, sadistic kind of way glad to be in my zombie-like state. Training for me isn't just a means to an end -- I actually enjoy beating myself up (at least while perched upon a bike). I zombie-like state actually puts me back into my comfort zone.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2011 on Back to (the new) normal at Trainer Confessions
Zombie I'm now nearly complete with my first month of training for the 2012 racing season. The two week hiatus I took from all forms of exercise back at the end of October is fast becoming just a speck in my rear view mirror. And were it not for the evidence documented here on this blog, the Awesome Autumn Adventures I Announced (and for the most part completed) could easily be dismissed now as a figment of my imagination. I'm back to the normal training regimen, well, perhaps back to a new normal. Unlike last year's start to the training... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
I Was Competing? When I thumbed through the mail yesterday and spotted a letter from NEBRA, I had no reason to rip open the envelop then and there to excitedly read its contents. My only vague knowledge of NEBRA was that it stood for New England Bicycle Racing Association, and that they had something to do with publishing the racing calendar towards the end of the year. I assumed they were sending me some mass mailing about the upcoming racing year, and I therefore dumped the NEBRA letter along with the rest of the bills and junk mail on the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
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The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree Poor Allison (the 7 year old with the big smile in the picture above). She's got my brown eyes. She's developing a passion for cycling. And now she's on a writing kick. Before you know it, the poor girl will be boring random people on the internet with blog posts about her latest PowerTap readings. Tonight she suggested that we sit down and do a writing contest. The rule was that we all had to write about the same topic, and then the person with the most detail was the "winner". I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
I'm definitely going to sign up for another Climate Ride (aka Cycling Training Camp), but I just haven't decided if I can do it next year (2012) or instead aim for the year after and try the California version instead.
Toggle Commented Nov 8, 2011 on Climate Ride Training Camp at Trainer Confessions
Blueprint for success? The 2011 training season officially came to a close 11 days ago, so I am now just over 2/3rds of the way through my 15 days away from the bike. I view the time off as a necessary evil -- my body needed a break and I'll be super-charged once the 2012 training season starts on Nov 7th. However, I'm feeling like a alcoholic who was sentenced to jail for some minor infraction. Each day that goes by, my withdrawals grow stronger and more and more I become consumed with that first beer I'll down upon my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
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One too many... On July 18th the alarm went off just before 4 AM so that I could catch a flight a Dallas, too early even for me to get a ride in. The flight arrived a bit late, so I scrambled to get to the office in time for meetings that lasted through the early evening. I had to do a little socializing after work at dinner, but I departed just in time to stop into a local bike shop to pick up a rental. But the bike just sat in my hotel room that night as the long... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
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You know it’s my off-season when my post delve more into calorie consumption than calorie burning, and counting down the intervals, in fact counting in general is replaced with chit-chatting and joking with friends, and mid-race premes have now been supplanted with mid-ride hulu hoop breaks… What follows below are three short recaps of rides that each deserved a stand-alone post of the own, but when you’re feasting at the smorgasbord of fall riding opportunities here in CT, there’s not a lot of blogging time left-over once I finally get off of the saddle. Pie Ride My plans for a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
Had I went from west to east, I would have had to leave the cape today, on Allison's b-day. While I know that she's planning on having another birthday again next year, I changed my plans and decided to meet them at the cape a day late rather than departing a day early (and missing her b-day). It also worked to my advantage, as I had a tail wind pushing me the entire way eastward. Also, I did pass right through Providence rather than opt for a different route. To be honest, it wasn't that hard navigating through the city, but that's probably to be expected when passing through on a Saturday AM.
Autumn riding at its best Yesterday was one of those spectacular New England autumn weather days that surely inspired many to get out and hit the roads. The clear dry air and unseasonably warm temps probably caused a few riders to say "Man, with weather like this, I could ride all day!" Well, yesterday I did exactly that. I departed home under the cover of darkness just after 5 AM yesterday, layered up with late fall/early winter clothing to ease the bite of the 43 degree chill. But within hours, then sun was up, and so were the temps, and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2011 at Trainer Confessions
Sounds like I had similar feelings as you, though my dusk evening rides this week have been experienced throughout the slightly hillier but no less scenic roads through the farms and orchards of Glastonbury and Portland. As for the safety of riding at dusk (or even in the darkness of night), I've actually found that with guady enough clothing combined with bright lights makes for a spectacle that most car drivers can't comprehend. As a result, I often feel safer amongst the cars as they tend to give this oddity on the road (me) much more space and clearance than I have during the day.
As for the possibility of you joining me, well I'm not sure if you're aware, but the Donut Derby has a two-person team option as well. One person does the ride, and the other person eats donuts. You and I would make a good tandem!