I managed to blow my arm out locking up my rear brake the other day. Kevin Shiramizu mentioned a few brake pad brand suggestions (I can't for the life of me remember who they were). I"ve got the Avid V-brakes.
What are good brake pads to go with? Who sells them (either in colorado or online?)
plazmatic spanish flies and kool stop salmon compound pads are great. you may be able to find the kool stops at a bigger shop like a performance or something. the plaz pads you should contact webcyclery or trialsin usa for.
if they are the thinline pads you will need to file off the little "mud scrapping" fins at the tails of the pads. just take them off so they are level with the rest of the pad. this will make them feel much more solid.
I second Kevin. (slurp, slurp, gulp, gulp) Salmon pads fooking rock. In dry as fuck colorado they hold real nice. Then in contrasting piss wet Oregon they grip so hard it feels like your fork is going to go kersnapp.