So today Meg, Coop and I were up at the pool here in Starr Pass. We ran into a long time friend and former fellow cyclist, Jake Rubelt. Jake has been a staple in the Tucson cycling scene for as long as I can remember. Last year he hung up his wheels and joined the Border Patrol. I haven’t seen Jake since he stopped riding but today he was swimming laps at the pool and we got to catch up with him. He had a daughter 9 months ago and thought he saw Meg running with a baby this week. He looked at this website though and didn’t see anything so he wasn’t sure. I thought everyone was just doing FB and Twitter now so this site has been neglected. Well for those that I don’t see very often and aren’t regulars on FB and Twitter, we had a baby! That’s right, 1/4/14 Cooper Doyle Wells was born.
Needless to say things have been a little different around the Wells household. I am used to being the baby with Meg constantly taking care of me and making my life as easy as possible. All I had to do was train, recover and get up the next day and do it all again. That is still my schedule but now Meg has a different focus and someone that demands even more of her time, Cooper. I have inherited a lot of new chores too. Not only am I of course helping with the baby but I have also inherited taking care of Winston and the diabetic cat. The whole experience has been awesome and as someone that had never wanted to have kids, it has been awesome and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I even got to sit in the delivery, it was just like on TV but with more blood.
Coop was born in Durango and less then a week later I had to leave for CX Nationals in Boulder. I had planned on racing and Cooper wasn’t due for a few weeks but things don’t always work out as you plan them. He was ready to come early and I couldn’t’ race Nats because of a nagging knee problem. It all worked out for the best though as Meg’s family came down early from Vail, I got to do some commenting with BTBTV for Nats and I also got to see BG fit Guru and probably the best cycling doc out there, Andy Pruitt. Andy got my knee back on track(literally) and we got to head to my winter training base, Tucson, AZ a few weeks ahead of schedule.
I had spent the month prior to seeing Andy Pruitt either sitting on the couch or trying to find activities that didn’t hurt my knee. I spent way to much time at the Durango Rec Center Pool swimming with out any kick turns. Finally Dave Farmer set me up with some PT exercises that started to get things fixed and Andy got me straightened out and I went from 5 minutes of riding on the trainer a day to almost 3 hours. I don’t know which is worse only being able to ride the trainer for 5 minutes before it hurt so bad I had to stop or being able to ride it for 3 hours. Both are painful but in different ways because who likes to ride the trainer?
Lucky for us when Meg’s family had to return home when I got back from CX Nats, my family had come in to take their place. We loaded up 2 cars with my parents, Meg, Cooper, Winston, Maddy and myself and made our way down to Tucson. I usually have both cars packed with bike stuff between a few MTBs, road bike, dirt jump and commuter and all the parts and wheels to keep them running for a few months. Well this year we had to add in a car seat, pack and play, swinging chairs, boxes of diapers and a ton of other baby cargo. I didn’t know I could cram so much stuff in the cars, we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies on our pilgrimage.
We made it down with out any problems although it takes a lot longer when you have to stop and breast feed a baby every few hours then when you only stop for gas:) We have lucked out this year with the weather as well. The East Coast and mid West have been getting a proper winter but the SouthWest has had record high temperatures and super dry weather. It may be bad for forest fires and reservoir levels but it has been amazing for cycling. We hit 90 degrees this past weekend, about 17 degrees above average and new record high for mid February. I don’t think we’ve had a drop of rain all year either. I can remember years in Tucson with the washes in town running all winter and this year there isn’t even a trickle of water on Bugs Springs or Milagrosa trail.
Needless to say the training has been awesome. I am still a bit behind schedule due to my knee problem early on but things are progressing nicely. I even did my first ever 24 Hour race this past weekend, 24 Hours of the Old Pueblo. I had an awesome team of NICA students, Ramon, Nash and Story. They rode way faster then I thought they were going to so that meant I had to ride more as well. It’s hard to get up at 3 AM, let alone race your bike around the cactus strewn desert but it was an amazing experience. NICA and Specialized took great care of us, Todd Sadow and Epic Rides put on an amazing event and Mother Nature made sure we were warm, dry and toasty the entire time.
I had a few more big days of training to do after the 24 hour race but am now looking forward to cutting back the volume and upping the intensity. With plenty of fast guys and two hard group rides a week here in Tucson there is no shortage of people to help get the heart rate up. March 1st is just around the corner and it’s hard to believe the 2014 US Cup/PROXCT starts in Austin in 10 days. And how awesome are all these big $$ races and series that are popping up in the US this year? I hope it helps keep some juniors and U23s on the MTB instead of switching to the road.
I wonder what Rude’s doing right now……