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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 03-30-09, 09:27 AM   #1
bikingbis
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Riding a century in all 50 states

Someone asked me if there's a group, club, organization or association for people who have ridden a century in all 50 states.

This guy has one more state to go -- Montana -- before he's done all 50. Seems like there should be some recognition of such an achievement.

Anyone here heard of such a group?
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Old 03-30-09, 10:52 AM   #2
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No I haven't, but it sounds fun as hell.
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Old 03-30-09, 12:59 PM   #3
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I haven't heard of a group doing that ... just individuals.

Personally, I'm aiming to ride (though not necessarily a century) in every province in Canada, every state in Australia, every state in the US, and as many other countries as I can. I'm well on my way.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:29 PM   #4
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That's an amazing accomplishment, Machka. I met a guy on Cycle Across Maryland one year that wore a T-shirt with all the states he'd bicycled colored in. I think the shirt was going to fall apart before he hit every state, though.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:54 PM   #5
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You might check here to see if there is anything for century riders in 50 states.
http://www.ultracycling.com/

And so far I've done ...

Canada - BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario
Australia - Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania
US - Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island (23 States).
UK - England & Wales
France
Belgium
Germany

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Old 04-12-09, 11:37 PM   #6
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Only 17 states left. This may be one of those life list things I'll have to cross off some day.
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Old 04-13-09, 05:44 AM   #7
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Canada -- Ontario
France -- Bretagne, Normandie, Ile de France (and perhaps others; need to check a map...)
United States -- Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Michigan, Washington, California (27 states)

Getting all 50 US states is a real accomplishment.

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Old 04-13-09, 06:29 AM   #8
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Canada -- Ontario
France -- Bretagne, Normandie, Ile de France (and perhaps others; need to check a map...)
United States -- Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Michigan , Washington (26 states)

Getting all 50 US states is a real accomplishment.
You can only take so much of that bike path in Rhode Island.
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Old 04-13-09, 07:05 AM   #9
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I rode a century with this guy a couple of years ago when he came to ride in Florida. He rode a century in all 50 states in 50 days.

http://www.healthyaltitudes.com/newsite/#
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Old 01-18-11, 01:15 PM   #10
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Century in 50 States in 50 Days?

I didn't ride a century in every state, but I did ride at least 100 miles in every state. I started biking in May 2008 at age 70 so I was pretty inexperienced when I began my trek (on a Cannondale).

I started my rides through the states in mid-May 2010 and finished in November. My longest ride was 70 miles. I usually did my rides in 2 or 3 days followed by a rest day and then on the 4th day, drive to the next state. It took me about 6 months to complete. I was traveling by motorhome from state to state. I plan to do Alaska and Hawaii in June 2011. You can check my blog at [http://Biking50States.wordpress.com.

The logistics of such an endeavor take more time than the rides do. I find it difficult to believe anyone could do 100 miles in 50 states in 50 days unless you aren't counting travel time from place to place. Doing a century in every state is quite an endeavor. I hadn't heard of anyone else riding in all 50 states, but my accomplishment fades a bit when I read someone rode a century in every state. My hat (or should I say helmet) is off to him.

Steve Varnum
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Old 01-18-11, 04:11 PM   #11
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There are some tour routes that criss-cross the country, and that would help you get routes. If you had a driver for an RV and could do a century in 5 hours, I can see doing a century in all 50 states in 50 days. You could do some of them at two per day, for that matter. Come to think of it, to save time, you could do all the rides downwind and do some of them mostly downhill.

If you wanted to do an organized century or a scenic route in each state, it would get more involved.
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Old 01-24-11, 08:43 AM   #12
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Still Say I Don't Believe It Can Be Done

Uber...Can't be done! Just suppose you knew exactly where you were going to ride. Of course, you would have to spend a lot of time mapping routes BEFORE you started the first state. Even using the cross country routes would be difficult because some of them will not be close to a campground. Let's also assume you know exactly where you are going to stay...very difficult and you would have to commit to reservations in each state...campgrounds do NOT refund money.

Even if you could do all that before you left for your epic journey, there are other aspects that make it difficult...maybe impossible. As I said, I didn't do a century in my rides, but doing 2 or 3 rides in 2 or 3 days becomes exhausting after awhile. (Temper my assertions with the fact that I am 73 years old and have only been riding about 2-3 years.)

Nevertheless, doing a century in five hours for fifty days in a row would take more effort than you realize...no matter their age.

In the eastern part of the country you may only have to drive (or ride with someone else driving) for less than 100 miles to get to another state. But let's say you doing a century in any state around your home state of Texas (where I also live), do you really think you can drive from one end of Texas to the other and ride 300 miles in three states in three days. I doubt it. And, don't forget, you have to fly to Alaska and Hawaii and do 100 miles in each of those states all in 2 days.

I think you may be yanking my chain, because you can't be serious about riding with the wind at your back and downhill on most of your rides. I never could find any routes like that...but I did try. :-) It seemed like the wind shifted so I could know the joy of riding in a headwind - more than once at more than 30 mph! Oh and when I hit a 42 mile headwind, I did the smart thing...I turned around and headed home (motorhome, that is)...now that was fun...a 40+ mph tailwind!

Seriously, I still don't believe it can be done in 50 days. Ya gotta rest sometime!

Cheers,
Steve
P.S. Don't forget, I am one of the few who can really assess what it takes to ride 100 miles in every state...and it "ain't" easy no matter how many days you take.

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Old 01-24-11, 12:43 PM   #13
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Notice first off, that I didn't say I could do that. I can't do a 5-hour century, don't own a motorhome, etc. But I still think it could be done.

On the downwind aspect, you tend to think of a century like you'd normally ride it, which is to say, you start in one place and ride back to that point along a pre-determined route. But if you've got someone to pick you up at the other end, that frees you up tremendously. I think if you picked the right time and direction, you could probably ride a century each in the Texas panhandle, in eastern Colorado, in Nebraska, and a number of other areas without even pedaling. Even if the wind shifts, all you have to do is take off in a different direction, no law that says you have to keep going south just because you started going south. All you have to do is get that 100 miles on the odometer.

On the distance, consider that you can drive from Victorville California to Little Rock, Arkansas, passing through Las Vegas, Nevada- that is 1,631 miles- a lot of distance- but that also gets you seven states, so that's only 233 miles/ state. Some would work out better, some worse, but still looks doable.

Between Christmas and New Year's, I went and rode a 200k with one of our local randonneurs. He was going after the UMCA mileage record for the year (and got it, too!). So the last 12 days of the year, he was doing the same 200k route every day. And yes, I think he could ride 100 miles a day for 50 days straight and be ready to ride more when he was done. I've got a picture of him, myself, and one of our other rando guys after the ride. In that picture, I look beat, but they both look fresh as daisies, you can't tell if they just finished a 200k or are about to start one. I asked about what different people did for weekday workouts, and he takes his time trial bike with generator light and puts in another 92 miles.
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Old 01-24-11, 02:39 PM   #14
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I don't think it's a big deal. There would be some logistical issues but nothing insurmountable. 100mile days aren't a big deal. When I used to commute to work I was riding 70-100 every day and working a full time job. I know another guy who commute was 100 miles. It's not a big deal if you are conditioned to do it.
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Old 01-24-11, 02:44 PM   #15
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Are there even a 100 miles of road in Rhode Island? Seems to me like you'd be doing 3 laps around the whole state to do that.
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Old 01-24-11, 03:29 PM   #16
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Yet another "meaningless" 2 cents from the peanut gallery:

I did some "Google Mapping" just for fun this weekend and believe that, not only is it possible to do 100 miles in the 48 contiguous states in 48 days with "just a little route planning", but those could almost certainly be 85% or more relatively flat miles. I didn't add in Alaska and Hawaii simply because those require flights from the continental US to get to them - and that would require more specific planning/timing than I was willing to put into this "mental exercise".

The key to "solving the route planning" exercise is simply prioritizing one's desires/resources/requirements - are you wiling to ride on Interstates out west where allowed, for instance? Will you have a support vehicle to drive you from the end of one day's ride to the beginning of the next or are you doing your own driving? Are you camping (stealth/campground/state park/places which need reservations?) or hotel/motelling it? What are you willing to spend to support "the challenge"? If money isn't an issue, you can go to certain locations, ride the day's ride and drive relatively short distances to the next state and get 5-6 states in in very short order - then pick up and move a longer distance to another "hub" type location....or even fly to one state and ride that day and the next while your support van follows/drives to meet you on the second day. Numerous different ways to solve this challenge.

Physically, it's probably more doable than most people think - provided one doesn't "sightsee" too much along the way (that is, one needs to make completing the challenge THE TOP priority, not smelling the roses/seeing the sights). For "rest days", doing a 100 mile day in 7-9 hours (thus a very leisurely pace) every 7 days can probably work for most people actually in good enough shape to attempt this challenge in terms of rest, recuperation, rejuvenation.

Like I said, thought from the peanut gallery.

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Old 01-24-11, 03:46 PM   #17
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RI Century map. I didn't check to see how gnarly these roads are, but it's a hundred miles that connects CT and MA pretty well.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,1.235962&z=10
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Old 01-25-11, 09:04 AM   #18
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Doing all 50 states in my lifetime is a big goal of mine. Time and money have me moving at a slow pace for the moment, but I'm able to do at least two states a year. If I could just spend a week or two in the Northeast I could make that number more impressive, but it's the place where I have the least desire to ride, so I'll probably do those towards the end. So far I have 13 states. Here's my map. I know I'll be doing FL later this year (have a business trip scheduled) and I hope to do ID and/or OR.

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Old 01-25-11, 09:12 AM   #19
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I don't think the 50/50 thing is all that impossible. The toughest part would be AK and HI. I've flown to both and those aren't fun flights even with fresh legs. I wouldn't want to do them on sore legs knowing I had a long ride coming the next day. It would be best to get those two out of the way early.

48/48 would be fun if you had support. An RV would be nice so you could take a nap in the back while someone else drove to the next destination. Other than that all the hard stuff (planning) would be done beforehand and all you'd really have to do would be to pace yourself. I'm guessing all those little states in the Northeast would get boring after a while. Maybe some kind of figure 8 would keep things interesting. I would definitely want the wind at my back for the plains states.
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Old 01-25-11, 12:35 PM   #20
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On a related note, a while back, a fellow that lives up in the Texas panhandle was commenting on how many Texas counties he had ridden in, and got me to counting it up- think it was 25 or so at the time. But one thing I discovered was you could do a 200k loop out in East Texas and get 9 counties in one ride. I'm tempted to make a permanent route out there just for that reason.
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Old 01-26-11, 03:36 AM   #21
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UK - England & Wales
France
Belgium
Germany
So, not trying for every state of Germany then? :-)
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Old 01-31-11, 12:16 PM   #22
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All these comment are very interesting and I got a lot of enjoyment from them. The way ya'll describe it, it sounds very doable...I'm still skeptical. Of course, my skepticism is rooted in my own experience and the grueling day in day out rides of a 73-year-old newbie to cycling. As someone pointed out, I didn't think about going in one direction which could easily be done with someone else doing the driving. And I have concluded that there are a lot of guys who could ride 100 miles every day for 50 days without a break...I do agree with that premise, but going from state to state out west makes it infinitely more difficult. I drove over 600 miles once and over 500 miles multiple times to get to the next stop. I depended on MapMyRide.com for rides that were posted and used those rides to develop my own rides which necessitated that there be rides posted from which to choose...and I did almost all of my rides from the campground where I was staying. Of course, if you are just riding from point A to point B on a highway somewhere and someone is going to pick you up later it becomes a lot simpler. However, you WILL run into some unpaved roads and some deadends.

I did it alone, but one of the first hurdles that this "ficticious" rider would have is finding someone to drive the motorhome from place to place...doubtful it would be a spouse...If the rider was female, she would have to have a very mellow husband to agree to drive. If the rider was male, he might have difficulty getting his wife to agree to drive. In fact, most women won't drive a motorhome...period. In other words, the "stars would have to be perfectly aligned." The most obvious choice would be to get a fellow cyclist to do the chore out of the interest in accomplishing the goal. Think there are many serious riders who would give up riding so he/she could let someone else have all the fun!

As for the wind at your back, you are right, I limited my thinking to riding roundtrip from the motorhome; however, I found it an unfortunate fact though that the wind doesn't always blow in the same direction from day to day or even from hour to hour so you couldn't count on always having the wind at your back. In other words, you may experience easterly winds in one state only to find the next day the winds are blowing westerly, etc. You can't reverse direction because you are on a mission to go to the next state with some consideration toward finding the shortest route.

I bought my new 2010 MH in Florida and drove north to Maine, west to Washington (with a three week stop in Ohio with my family while waiting for an appointment to get the NEW MH repaired), south to Oregon and zigzagged back and forth...I put 12,500 miles on my new MH and had to stop 3 times for repairs that took a total of 5 weeks in which I was just waiting. (Very frustrating!)

I was fortunate in one way, the weather was extremely cooperative as far as rain was concerned. I only rode in the rain ONE TIME...and that was after I was 2/3's through a 35 mile ride. I may have NOT ridden a couple of times because of rain, but no more than that.

Speaking of "my own experience," I have not ridden my first century let alone one in every state. And there is absolutely no way that I could do a century in 5 hours...it would take much much longer.

Rhode Island was a challenge to get my 100 miles in...I rarely did out-and-back rides, but in RI, I had to ride over some of the same roads.

I took 100's of pictures on my rides...what would be the point of doing it without documenting the ride with other than facts and figures...the pictures are an absolute necessity. Once I let my camera battery get low and couldn't take any pictures...so I later drove over the route to take them...it just wasn't the same...you miss the moment. I guess what I am saying is having someone else take the pictures (the driver of the MH) would take away from the experience...for the rider and the viewer. For the rider to take them, would require a lot more time...plus it takes a toll on the legs to stop and start...even for a few minutes.

Now...if, as someone pointed out, money is no problem, then one could fly and it might be possible to do the 48 states, but Alaska and Hawaii is still out of the question as far as I am concerned.

If you haven't checked my blog, check it out, you will find I poked a lot of fun at myself so I'm not a cantankerous old crank, but I have the experience and all of you (so far) only have the theory. With that I will give 2 smiles:

Here's the blog: http://Biking50States.wordpress.com
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Old 01-31-11, 01:06 PM   #23
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Note that if you have to ride your century in the wrong direction, you only lose a couple of hours driving time.

If you remember back several years ago, one of the challenges presented was to build a pedal-powered airplane that could do a figure 8 and then later to fly one across the English channel. Both were goals that turned out to be possible. But doing so involved a major effort in terms of time and money to accomplish. When someone put up some big prizes for doing it, it got down. Otherwise, it wouldn't have. I think the 50-centuries-in-50-states is similar in that respect. Most people of my age or younger are working and don't have 2 months vacation in a year to take off and do this. So it may be unlikely that it would get done, but not impossible, either.

I mentioned the guy counting the Texas counties he had ridden in. How about riding 5 miles in each county (there's 254 of them) in 254 days? Doing that would involve driving 30 or 50 miles a day and riding a few minutes. So on the one hand, it's very obvious that it could be done. On the other hand, it's sort of unlikely that anyone has actually cared enough to do it. And I think the 50-century idea really falls into the same category when you look at the details.

One of the ladies I ride with some has been on RAAM support crews and done RAAM officiating. Figure out a way so she doesn't have to work for 2 months, and I'll bet you've got your RV driver right there (if you're the right guy, that is.)
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Old 01-31-11, 01:37 PM   #24
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You could nab the Hawaii and Alaska flights by doubling up on a few days. Ride 100 miles to the border of one state, take a few hours nap and ride another 100 miles in one day.

If you think any of this is impossible, check out some of the Race Across America stats. They pay to compete and most of the solo riders have a team backing them up, not just a single driver. The top solo riders will do 3000 miles in 8 days with very little sleep. That is over a week of 300+ mile days. 5000 miles in 50 days would be like a vacation.
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Old 01-31-11, 10:39 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by stevevarnum View Post
...I'm still skeptical. Of course, my skepticism is rooted in my own experience and the grueling day in day out rides of a 73-year-old newbie to cycling... but I have the experience and all of you (so far) only have the theory. With that I will give 2 smiles:
I'm not sure what experience your talking about? I'm sure you have lots of life experience but I think your long distance cycling experience is lacking a bit. I've done RAAM a few times as well as a number of other long distance races. I think it's fair to say I have a little experience in this and you are way underestimating how far someone can ride. You were flinching at back to back 100 mile days when I think consecutive 200mile days are doable (I've done them lots of times). I've done 400+ miles in one day. Even if you did fifteen 200 mile days out of your 50 days you've banked 15 days of travel to Hawaii and Alaska. That's easily doable. 6hrs for a century with 5000ft of climbing is easy, that leaves 18hrs of travel time. For a flat century were talking sub 5hrs. There is no state that you can't get across in 18hrs. I'd have time to stop for a sauna! As an example, start near Brawley ride 100 miles to Blythe, cross into AZ and ride to Salome Az. 10hrs and you've got CA and Blythe done. A two hour drive and your in Bullhead City NV ride another 100 and you've got 300 miles on day one. Do a relaxed 100 miles in Utah. Boom, you've got 400 miles and four states in two days. That took me 5 minutes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevarnum View Post
...one of the first hurdles that this "ficticious" rider would have is finding someone to drive the motorhome from place to place...doubtful it would be a spouse...If the rider was female, she would have to have a very mellow husband to agree to drive. If the rider was male, he might have difficulty getting his wife to agree to drive. In fact, most women won't drive a motorhome...period. In other words, the "stars would have to be perfectly aligned." ...
My wife has no problem driving our motorhome. If fact she has crewed for me on many occasion. You really don't need a motorhome though, that would be a luxury. I've done RAAM in a minivan. Having said that, the way to really do it right would be to have a small crew. One to follow you in a minivan so you have support if you get a flat or need some food. Like the one in the picture below. Have the motor home meet you at the finishing destination each day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevarnum View Post
As for the wind...
Weather is what it is. You just ride in it. It'll slow you down a little at times but it all evens out in the long run. I ride in just about any weather.



Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevarnum View Post
...I took 100's of pictures on my rides...what would be the point of doing it without documenting the ride with other than facts and figures...plus it takes a toll on the legs to stop and start...
You got to learn how to take pics while you are on the bike. If I couldn't do that I'd have no proof my friends and I beat Lance up this hill!! No, no it was a mountain, yep a big mountain.

Other pics I took on the bike without stopping...


Last edited by Homeyba; 02-01-11 at 08:03 PM.
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