I have experienced a strange failure of my brake.
I was descending a steep smooth road, using only my front brake (my rear brake was broken; it was an unplanned bail from a route). I tried keeping the speed low, so i could jump off the bike at any moment.
After going this way for maybe 2 minutes, I stopped briefly to let some car pass (so released the brake for a few seconds). As I continued to descend, I pressed the brake, and surprisingly, its handle went all the way to the handlebar without doing any braking! So I immediately jumped off.
I didn't believe at first the bad luck I had, but then I pressed again and again on the brake (not while riding now), and gradually it returned to normal; after 1 minute it would give full braking force again.
So I wonder, is this an expected way a brake would fail while overheating? I heard that it would start to stink really bad before it became dangerous to ride, so I didn't worry about overheating.
The model of my brake is Hayes Nine.