In the last few hours I have spoken to crew members John Browne, Mike Perron and Kate Morlock (just hung up the phone.)
Rob is riding solidly right now on his way to time station 19 in Cimarron, NM. This section includes the last bit of serious climbing before heading into the lower elevations of eastern New Mexico and on into Kansas.
This is a good thing, since Rob has been having some lung problems and his breathing has been labored. It is affecting his power and reducing his speeds on the bike. This is a common problem on RAAM, as past great riders have dealt with bronchitis and pneumonia.
He is hoping that the lower elevations will help his breathing and get his average speed back up.
At this point, he is just shy of 1,100 miles into the race. For those of us who ride 1,100 miles in, say, a couple months - we are in awe. The last time I traveled 1,100 miles in one shot, it was in an airplane (though I think it took longer and I suffered more than Rob. Certainly the air was more foul and the food worse.)
Anyway, the key to RAAM is staying on the bike and moving east. That is what he is doing now and his performance over the next 24 hours will be an important measure of whether or not that lung problem will remain an issue.