Ok, we finally had a real bike failure worth talking about. Yesterday, while riding, Jason got a flat which we promptly fixed (that makes 4 flats total). But while fixing it, Jason noticed that one of his spokes was broken. This was no problem, as it allowed me to make use of my kevlar emergency spoke (see picture). So we rigged up the emergency spoke and loaded the wheel again, only to notice that the wheel was way out of true (out of plane) and was rubbing on his brakes each rotation. So I did a quick field-truing of the wheel and Jason rode on it for 2 days into Minot, ND, where we were able to get a replacement spoke. I noticed that after fixing up his wheel, Jason was riding much faster. Since there seems no reason that his flat would cause a broken spoke, and I suspect that it had been broken for days and the rubbing of the brakes had been the cause of his recent trouble keeping speed. Ever since the repair he has been going a fair bit faster.
In Minot, we went to a bike shop where the guy confidently measured the spokes and gave us the wrong replacement spoke (the ones he said were right were too short). Luckily, we also bought some other spokes (for a different part of his wheel) that worked, but were still shorter than they should have been. Finally I trued up the wheel, and actually did a pretty good job of it. On the road repairs: no problem.
Also, this is what my legs look like after doing battle with Jason's wheel (Click for zoom).