Sunday, June 21, 2009

H2H #3 Darkhorse Gallop (Stewart) subtitled why my Avid Juicy 5 brakes suck.

Didn't go so well. Race started (as most races do)

Had a decent start position into the "prologue" which is a fast potion of doubletrack that is designed to thin the group out a bit before we get to the real meat of the lap/ singletrack. Usually we FLY through here, Im talking like 20mph flying. Today it was mild as there were ponds (puddles do not have flogs living in them and Im pretty sure I saw a trout in one) across the trail. Ok this is mountain bike racing, theres going to be some dirt, maybe even some liquid dirt... oh just wait. We came out of the prologue, hit the gravel climb, I picked up a few places on the climb as my legs began to remove themselves from the funk they were in. As we entered arguably the most fun trail at Stewart "Major Mike" I realized the trail was gone. In its place was a ribbon of 4 inch deep liquid diarrhea. Now as this is a mountain bike race, I brought my mountain bike equipped with full knobby tires, which work well in mud. I did not bring my riding around in shit bike, equipped with these. There is clearly only one explanation for this phenomena. I gigantic dancing baby was allowed to run rampant in the wee hours of the morning prior to the race... crapping all over the best trail in the place.
Mechanical Number 1: Unfortunately my Avid Juicy 5 piece of shit brakes decided that lap 1 would be an opportune time to cease all semblance of functionality. Not only were they mega squishy, the reverted to one of two modes " OFF" or "Death Lock" Fongule. Further inspection would reveal the rear caliper had a piston stuck completely out meaning the brake was engaged on one side of the rotor... for god knows how long. Mechanical Number 2: My XTR 960 Crank set decided to randomly chainsuck (read stop moving when pedaling with hard/max effort) randomly. This often occurs when A) Trying to clear obstacles. B) Climbing. C) Passing Riders.
At mile 5 I knew I was done. I rode at zone 2 pace out of the woods, Asked a marshall for the quickest way out... rode up the gravel climb and DNF'ed. Lauren was so confused, I dont think any other Pros had come through yet. She saw me and yelled so I would know where she was to take my feed. Then I think she realized I wasn't going very fast, then I think she realized it would be unlikely for me to have like a 5 minute lead on the Pro field... then I think she realized it was going to be a very long ride back to PA... then she opened the Capitan Lawrence Double IPA . Here is a shot she took while running for her life. note the wellies.

I really don't like to DNF, it bothers me. I drove all the way up to NY to do this race, spend hours training each week to go out and ride fast. To get all the way out there and be spoiled by a sticky brake and a crapping dancing baby... well its not my idea of a party. Best part is if I can't procure a brakeset in time for saturday, I can't do the Stage Race, as brakes are a requirement for not hitting shit and dying (like last year). Time to go drop a crap load of cash on these. So the tally this month: Got sick on day 1, missed USA Cup because of it. Finished so so at a road race (but managed to miss my upgrade by 1 point), dropped out of Stewart. Looks like it can only (gasp) get better from here.


Chris said...

that is always a bummer, sorry to hear that. The avid brakes are ok, but imho shimano brakes rock. I had XTs and i now have slx brakes. The xts were decently light, (way lighter than juicy 5s) and with resin pads i have yet to ride a better brake.

Mike said...

I went with some avid elixr cr's. tested them out at the 9 hour I did, they rock. tons of power, weight is lower than the 5's... and the adustments on them are tool free/ can be done while riding. I have genrally heard good things about the shimano/xt stuff though. Do the resin pads cut out in the rain? I am on metalics.