Good Thursday morning, Robophiles. I have not yet spoken to the crew, but here's a quick look at what transpired overnight:
SUMMARY: Rob rode his bike really, really far.
DETAILS: Rob rode into TS 4 in Parker, AZ (283 total miles) at 5:22 AM race time. That is 13.5 hours after the start of the race. His average speed is a fairly astonishing 20.85 mph. If you extrapolate that pace out to 24 hours, he will do in the neighborhood of 500 miles in the first 24 hours. Yikes - that boy can ride!
Now, a few things to keep in mind:
- If you look at the climbing profile, you'll see that through about 300 miles, the climbing was either modest or even downhill. Today, they start going uphill. A lot. So average speeds will be coming down. The climb from Cottonwood to Flagstaff is heart (and knee) breaking.
Good thing for us, Rob has always been a mountain goat. He can climb.
But just bear all this in mind - average speeds WILL come down today. For everyone. And the separation between riders will grow dramatically because everyone can ride downhill and most decent riders can maintain speed on the flats, but the real physical challenge comes on the climbs. I emphasize physical because the mental challenges in RAAM come in places like Kansas, where they might ride for a day-and-a-half into a headwind. But we'll cross that road when we come to it.
I hope to speak to the pace van later this morning for an update from the road.