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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
today was my fifth DNF in a row. I have really had a great time racing and riding my bicycle over the years, but this season is wearing on me.
The first was a 4 hour race where I ran out of brakes and my duo partner couldnt feel his feet after hour 2. it was raining, sleeting, and snowing all at the same time with three inches of mud on the trail. 34 degrees f.

the second was a torn tire at a normal xc race.
The third was a torn tire at a normal xc race. its very rocky here in northern jersey and I apparently am a big clumsy oaf.
the forth was a 12 hr race in the rain and mud. i ran out of pads again. so did my duo partner. made it six hours.
the fifth was today. normal xc race in the rain and mud. my chain suffered massive suck durring a climb that I didnt feel until too late. broken derailleur and hanger.

does anyone have any suggestions how I might muster any desire to try this again?

I have trained my ass off to be in the best bike shape of my life this year. I rode all the way through this winter here in jersey. thousands of frozen, miserable base miles. hours spent on this stupid computer compiling parts lists to build a new bike.
my girlfriend thinks I am a total bike dork and Im beginning to think shes right. and shes an ex pro on the road.

Ive even looked forward to being able to write a race report for this forum...
is it that this just happens?
have any of you ever endured this crap to this degree?
any words of wisdom or comfort would be much appreciated.
dont have any riding buddies in the area to ***** to. this forum has really been my support network this year. thanks.
noah
 

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stay with it. we have all been to the lonely miserable land of DNF's. It would be a total loss to not "use" all of those base miles you logged in the winter. (I was doing the same thing in Philly). Not to sound cheesy, but your day will come. Dont sweat some bad luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mf9point8 said:
stay with it. we have all been to the lonely miserable land of DNF's. It would be a total loss to not "use" all of those base miles you logged in the winter. (I was doing the same thing in Philly). Not to sound cheesy, but your day will come. Dont sweat some bad luck.
:) thanks
 

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You got any chocolate?
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Stick with it bro. We all have our ups and downs in EVERYTHING in life, including sports. Just keep at it and one day it will all click into place. Remember:

Winners don't quit. Quitters don't win.

And rant here as much as you like. That's why these boards exist.

Good luck.:thumbsup:
 

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chips & bier
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Three bits of advice, already hinted at by others I guess:

1. Don't give up. All good things come in threes (or something like that), but it seems DNFs do, too. Stick with it and tell yourself next race will be better! If you are relaxed about it, you'll go into a race calmer and are less likely to make a mistake out on the course.

2. Learn to be a bit easier on the bike. It sounds like you have the strength to do quite a bit of damage, so put in some offroad training miles to learn to finesse the bike. Lots of low-speed technical trails usually help with this. If the drivetrain makes funny noises, look down to see what's happening, and ease off as soon as. That stops me from killing a couple of chains each year.

3. If the outlook is bleak, look around you. Last race I did left me flatting when I was leading the course, and ended in a broken hand. I won't be out of a cast until the week I go to Austria for a 140-miler. Won't have been on an MTB for 4 weeks then.

On the other hand, a good friend of mine broke her right wrist and left collarbone last year. Twice. She was totally unable to do anything for two weeks, and missed half of the season. She was also unable to do base miles this winter. Being slightly freaked by the whole thing she seems to crash a bit more than normal now, even though she's podium material. So all in all, she's had a whole year of trouble and broken bones now.

It's not meant as an anti-rant, but sometimes thinking of other people that are worse off helps put things in perspective. At the moment it's certainly keeping me calm. ;-)

Good luck next race!
Eric
 

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I think I know the races you're talking about, I might have competed in the same.

Mechanicals are something that are part of the race. Sometimes you can blame bad luck, some other times you can blame bad choice of components/tires, riding ability or preparation. It's no comfort but it's the way it is; you will learn from it and eventually become a better racer.

Let's take an example: tires. What kind of tires do you use? Do you practice with on the same kinds of places with the same kind of tires and try to push the limit on them?

BTW I believe I did the same 12 hour race you're talking about. I did it solo, singlespeed, me being my own support, ran out of brake pads once, replaced them and still did my last 2 laps (out of 12) with no brakes at all. My mistakes there? 1) Big @ss 2.1 Hutchinson Spider tires that sucked the power out of every pedal stroke in the mud. 2) should have brought a second bike; for some reason I thought you were allowed to complete the race on the same bike. Would have saved me tons of R&R time shivering in the rain during the race.

This is my third season racing in North Jersey, PM me if you want to hook up.

Maurice
 

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i worship Mr T
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sh*t happens. sadly, DNFs are part of racing. the more you race, the greater your chances of having something happen that will cause you to DNF. i've DNFed for every reason imaginable: flats, crashes, rider burnout, more flats, and a bee sting. you've just got to do everything you can to make peace with the bike gods so that they will allow you to finish (and sometimes, i've discovered, that doesn't even work! ;))

keep it up. you'll finish a race eventually. oh, and it sounds like disk brakes might be a good investment if you don't already have them......or learn how to change out your pads during endurance races. either that or brake less. :D

rt
 

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Possibly think about a set up change?

-You say you ran out of brakes (twice). Are you talking about V brakes? In a wet, gritty ride, it is pretty realistic that you can destroy your V pads.

-What about moving to disc brakes, or at least a disc on the front?

-you tore your tire twice? What about taking the weight penalty and getting an extra thick sidewall tire?
 

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On your left.
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travel

travel to a nearby state for a race. If the local races have you in a mental head lock, then choose a different opponent. Fix the things that have caused you problems in the past and be sure to finish. Honestly - running out of break pad once is tough, but twice is your fault - don't let it happen again. Tires get slashed, so the same logic does not apply there, but you should have carry a repair kit able to get you going again. So go kick some ass in someone else's backyard then come back to Jersey.
 

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The most obvious (to me) moral of your story: when you race, carry extra brake pads.

Pads are quick to replace. No, you don't want to have to replace brake pads during a race, but geez, at least you can stop DNFing for that reason.

Also, given your history, make sure you start the race with new pads.

Of course, if you carry pads, you'll never need'em.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thank you everyone for your advice. the upside to losing or dnf ing is that you learn something in the process. this season has really taught me a thing or two.
last season really spoiled me. I had a bunch of teammates to rely on when the going got tough in a couple of spots, and overall, my luck was much better.
I have a great bike. Im in decent shape. I should be able to finish top ten in my class. maybe next time Ill have things sorted enough to finish.
I think the big one for me this season is that Ive decided not to do any more muddy races. No more pre registering. Its bad for my bike and the trails. I just cant afford it. had to plunk down a wadd of cash last night for a hanger, derailleur, chain and rings. not racing for a shop puts a hurtin on my wallet.
Lets see. brightside... I get to tear my bike down again. Makes a mess out of the kitchen, but Im a batchelor, so who cares?
again, thanks for all the kind words. this racin thing is great at putting you in your place just as soon as you think youve got shitt figured out.
 
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