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  1. #3176
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    My thought is that we get a wind chill just from riding anyways, and I have occasionally stated, “Wind chill is for wimps.”
    I might have agreed with you until this past Wednesday.

    BTW, occasionally my wife gives me grief about riding in severe temperatures and says, “You only want to ride today, so you can write about it on Bike Forums.”
    I'll always agree with this ... adding Facebook & Strava :-)
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  2. #3177
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Had a little time for a ride this afternoon, and took the LHT on a 10-mile ramble through Arlington, Medford, Winchester, and Woburn. Crossed into West Medford, and rode North alongside the Mystic River...

    ... continuing along the Lower Mystic Lake...

    ... the Upper Mystic Lake ...

    ... crossing the Aberjona River...

    ... cutting Northwest across Spectacle Pond (Winter Pond), with its hockey players...

    ... and over to Horn Pond, where a lone ice fisherman tended his lines.

    Admired a cold-looking sunset in progress over the grandly-named Horn Pond Mountain...

    ... then rode an icy path...

    ... to a surviving segment of the Old Middlesex Canal.

    Continued past Wedge Pond into Winchester Center, all lit up like Tivoli Gardens.


    From there, home along the Aberjona, the Mystic Lakes, and the Mystic River, and on to the warmer and cheerier part of the evening.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 01-26-14 at 08:45 PM.

  3. #3178
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    I think I finally met my match this Wednesday. First time I truly wished I had not ridden to work.

    It was 5 degrees when I left home. I had done that before, and in snow/ice on my folder with studded tires. I was all layered up as usual.

    But the wind. Oh, the wind... I'd swear it was -10 or -15 with wind chill…Never been that cold before.

    So, count me among the "deterred" winter commuters :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    … I have to salute you, m’, because this week, work and family duties kept me off the bike. So while you were on the road this frigid week, I was posting to Bike Forums about winter cycling.

    Among my reasons [to ride in the cold] is to see how well my equipment performs, preparing me to take on further challenges. When I check the temperature in the morning to decide what to wear, I do not factor the wind chill, but just decide by the ambient temperature….My thought is that we get a wind chill just from riding anyways, and I have occasionally stated, “Wind chill is for wimps.”
    Yesterday (1/28/14) I did my 14 mile commute at 15° with a head/cross wind of 13 mph (wind chill 0°). FYA, I posted pictures, and some details about my winter gear on the Commuting Forum thread “Cold Commute Selfie.”

  4. #3179
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Yesterday (1/28/14) I did my 14 mile commute at 15° with a head/cross wind of 13 mph (wind chill 0°). FYA, I posted pictures, and some details about my winter gear on the Commuting Forum thread “Cold Commute Selfie.”
    Jim, thanks for the insights into your Winter riding gear. You've made some creative and effective engineering decisions, particularly about headgear.

    rod

  5. #3180
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    Jim, thanks for the insights into your Winter riding gear. You've made some creative and effective engineering decisions, particularly about headgear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    …Among my reasons [to Winter ride] is to see how well my equipment performs, preparing me to take on further challenges….
    Thanks for your reply, Rod. I think of my apparel for cycling according to the weather on a scale of 1 to 6. (That’s the scale of rating degrees difficulty of rivers for white-water rafting, and seemed an appropriate scheme for the cycling seasons.) Levels 1 to 6 are not layers per se, but a combination of layers, items and fabrics from summer (level 1) to winter (level 6), separated by 10° increments, and makes the decision of what to wear automatic.

    I posted the scheme a few years ago, but need to revise it. This year I bought a new winter jacket and a new fleece, both warmer than the old ones. Now for example, I don’t wear the winter jacket until about 25° vs 40° previously. I have told a few acquaintances at work about the schedule, and I when they ask “How was the ride?,” I can reply with a number from 1 to 6.

    I was an avid cyclist and year-round commuter for many years prior to joining Bike Forums in 2008, but since, I have risen to a new level, with suggestions on the Forums, as well as the encouragement and fellowship of hardy winter cyclists such as yourself, mtalinm, and jimmuller on this thread; Buzzman of Boston and NYC, tsl of Rochester, NY and tjspiel of Minneapolis. I wrote about my improvements in my cycling biography in my Introduction to BF, with this separate gratuitous remark:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    …Also since subscribing, I have adapted to riding my Cannondale Mountain Bike in rain and winter precipitation, including on icy roads, thanks to advice from the Forums…

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    … BTW, occasionally my wife gives me grief about riding in severe temperatures and says, “You only want to ride today, so you can write about it on Bike Forums.”
    PS, Rod I really like your photography. I sent a link of some nice winter scenes on the Minuteman path to two out-of-state participants in this year’s summertime Annual Fifty-Plus ride in the Boston Metrowest sector that included the Minuteman.

    PPS: In any discussion of winter riding equipment, especially eyewear, I always request that the poster describe their riding conditions, namely temperature and distance, and even terrain. For example, many subscribers recommend various anti-fogging agent for the goggles, but I think they become ineffective at very cold temperatures and longer distances. And going up hills slower with heavier breathing and decreased air circulation further add to the fogging burden.

    Also, my definition of a cold ride, as suggested on a post to the thread, What’s the minimum qualifying distance for a cold-weather ride?” is one on which your water bottle freezes (solid), a function of temperature and distance.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-30-14 at 12:31 PM. Reason: added PPS

  6. #3181
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    Curious...anyone here do the Boston Bike Party rides? I was surprised to find that, though I ride a minimum of about 18 miles almost every day, I had a surprisingly difficult time with the <2.5 mile ride on Tuesday night, and it was only 20ishºF...relatively easy, given that I've been riding with my jacket unbuttoned even in 12º weather. ~9 miles from home to the meeting point, then an outdoor waiting period, followed by a relatively slow ride to the afterparty location, and I almost completely lost feeling in my fingers and toes, despite wearing my usual winter-riding gear. Conversely, the afterparty location was so warm, that when I got home after a 9-ish mile ride, my hands and feet were still quite warm (much moreso than I'm used to)!

  7. #3182
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    ...
    PS, Rod I really like your photography. I sent a link of some nice winter scenes on the Minuteman path to two out-of-state participants in this year’s summertime Annual Fifty-Plus ride in the Boston Metrowest sector that included the Minuteman.
    Thanks, Jim. As the quality of phones in cameras has improved, it's become hard the resist the urge to snap a few on a ride; part of the general phenomenon of a devil in every pocket... Hope the icy Minuteman pictures didn't scare 'em...

    rod

  8. #3183
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    Thanks, Jim. As the quality of phones in cameras has improved, it's become hard the resist the urge to snap a few on a ride; part of the general phenomenon of a devil in every pocket... Hope the icy Minuteman pictures didn't scare 'em...
    It's hard to believe youur pictures are taken from a phone. My flip-phone* pictures are nowhere near as good.

    Plans are underway to have a Sixth Annual Fifty-Plus Ride, again under the auspices of Mass Bike, on July 26. All the out-of-staters have expressed interest in attending. If you, or other locals are interested in joining us, I can get you a waiver of age, if necessary.

    BTW, that was the first time I was on the Minuteman beyond Lexington. The Bedford terminus is a very pleasant place. If interested, this post starts the personal narratives and photos from that Ffth Annual Ride (pages 9 and 10).

    *I've been told that no one under fifty has a flip-phone.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-01-14 at 04:15 AM.

  9. #3184
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    ... As the quality of phones in cameras has improved...

    rod
    Just noticed this hilarious, and quite unconscious, sense-inversion... I suppose, that when taking a picture, it IS a camera with a phone attached. The polymorphic nature of these devices is stunning. Pocket devils...

    rod

  10. #3185
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    It's been a while since I've ridden in Boston, 10+ years, but I'm planning a trip from NYC to Acadia National park this spring and was trying to decide whether I should avoid Boston or ride through. The plus for me is a free place to stay (one day under a roof in the middle of a ride would be nice) but I'm on a tight schedule and urban riding always slows down my average speed. Is it worth taking a longer route around Boston or are there some good fast routes through the city?

  11. #3186
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Took the LHT out the Minuteman to Depot Park, Bedford, enjoying the mid-40s temperatures, the bright skies, and the general cheerfulness of the many riders, walkers, runners, and skaters who were out making the most of the day's gift. The trail surface was almost completely clear, with the exception of a few icy puddles in Lexington that everyone avoided, and the last few feet at Depot Park, that the Town of Bedford doesn't clear (use the ramp to the parking lot).




















    Saw three little girls leave the trail to walk on a frozen stream. Heard two young women say "Ooooh!" in unison when they stepped in an icy puddle. Encountered an alert eighteen-month-old in a jogging stroller, hooded head poking up from a nest of blankets, who evoked memories of The Water Babies.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 02-01-14 at 03:31 PM.

  12. #3187
    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    Headline: Warm Weather Rider Motivated by Brave Bundled Bikers!
    Jim from B's wife's observation ought to be embroidered on one of those layers. You all are terrific, inventive and "cool".

    My warm ride today:
    34 miles looping around Sherborn, Dover, Westwood and Medfield included:
    -shouting thanks to a person picking up roadside trash who responded in a much more quiet voice, "of course",
    -hellos to a couple I've not seen this winter who were out for a walk,
    -plenty of time by two different, patient motorists at intersections,
    -and passing, thinking and cycling back for a long chat with a good friend.

    It is nice to roll. I do enjoy the hikes, snowshoeing and XC skiing but rolling is like an old friend. Thank you Brave Bundled Bikers.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

  13. #3188
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    went for my usual outdoor route on the Northern Strand path, consisting of a couple of back and forths, plus whatever it takes to get to my nearby apt, so 16 miles total in an hour. first outdoor ride with my recently acquired raleigh road bike, and cracked 22 mph (fast for me) so that was exciting. definitely will go out tomorrow again before the cold returns

  14. #3189
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by endlesshorizon View Post
    It's been a while since I've ridden in Boston, 10+ years, but I'm planning a trip from NYC to Acadia National park this spring and was trying to decide whether I should avoid Boston or ride through. The plus for me is a free place to stay (one day under a roof in the middle of a ride would be nice) but I'm on a tight schedule and urban riding always slows down my average speed. Is it worth taking a longer route around Boston or are there some good fast routes through the city?
    How would you be approaching the city? What neighborhood would you be sleeping in? Lots of routes, but the details matter.

    rod

  15. #3190
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    How would you be approaching the city? What neighborhood would you be sleeping in? Lots of routes, but the details matter.

    rod
    One more question: would your goal be simply to cover ground as quickly and safely as possible, or are you actually interested in including Boston's urban terrain in you tour; to put it another way, do you care what you see?

    Anyway, enough questions: here's the beginning of an answer, given the current generality of the queston, in the form of on-line resources:

    o Mass Bike's page collecting bike trail information: http://massbike.org/resourcesnew/pathstrails/

    o City of Boston's "Boston Bikes" web page on bikes: http://www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/

    o From a link on that page, a Boston Bike Map; there's also a facility for getting bike directions.

    o Boston Biker blog: good information source, possibly a means of getting some specific questions answered.

    o Google group "Boston Area Cycling"; join that, post questions; you may get some worthwhile answers.



    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 02-02-14 at 07:28 AM.

  16. #3191
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    One more question: When?
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  17. #3192
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Hey Metrobostocyclists,

    As previously mentioned, a Sixth Annual Fifty-Plus Forum group ride is being planned around here for July 26 in conjunction with the Mass Bike Summer Century and Family Fun Fest. On the thread, 6th Annual 50 plus ride. An official Poll, I hope!, a series of subscribers pay tribute in song to life in the Commonwealth, beginning with this post, I hear Massachusetts is a great place.

    IMO, my tune is swingin’ and hip, freedomrider1’s is lyrical, Miss Kenton’s is downright hilarious, and Dudelsack’s is…well…edgy?

    BTW, I have previously posted,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    … I think of my apparel for cycling according to the weather on a scale of 1 to 6. …Levels 1 to 6 are not layers per se, but a combination of layers, items and fabrics from summer (level 1) to winter (level 6), separated by 10° increments…
    Today’s 14 mile commute at 37° with a 9 mph tailwind was level 4.

  18. #3193
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    How would you be approaching the city? What neighborhood would you be sleeping in? Lots of routes, but the details matter.

    rod
    I will be coming in from the south, that's as far as I've gotten in the planning so far. I'll be staying the neighborhood known as SOWASH.

  19. #3194
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by endlesshorizon View Post
    It's been a while since I've ridden in Boston, 10+ years, but I'm planning a trip from NYC to Acadia National park this spring and was trying to decide whether I should avoid Boston or ride through. The plus for me is a free place to stay (one day under a roof in the middle of a ride would be nice) but I'm on a tight schedule and urban riding always slows down my average speed. Is it worth taking a longer route around Boston or are there some good fast routes through the city?

    Quote Originally Posted by endlesshorizon View Post
    I will be coming in from the south, that's as far as I've gotten in the planning so far. I'll be staying the neighborhood known as SOWASH.
    Is SOWASH also known as SOWA (South of Washington), a neighborhood in the South End near the downtown? So are you coming from directly south, or more like the southwest? It seems that on a straight line from NYC to Acadia you would bypass Boston altogether and go closer to Worcester.

    One strategy for cruising through Boston might be to stay somewhat close to Boston and go in from the south early in the AM to avoid rush hour traffic, since the morning rush hour is inbound. But then you would get to “SOWASH” early in the day, and lose a day riding. But perhaps SOWASH is to be a day’s respite.

    Once you cross onto the North Shore, the morning traffic is inbound, but opposite your direction of travel. Almost any road I take early in the AM (before 6 AM), especially on the weekends is easily cruised. FWIW.

    PS: On our last day of our cross-country cyle tour from Los Angeles to Washington DC, we entered DC from Middleburg, VA on a Monday morning, not knowing any good routes, and it was nasty and slow-going. We had lost a day that Friday due to torrential rain, so close to DC, or otherwise we could have breezed in on a Sunday morning.

    We had virtually no rain the entire eight-week trip otherwise.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-03-14 at 11:35 AM. Reason: added PS

  20. #3195
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    I drew a blank on SOWASH, but some Googling got me to SoWa, an area in the South End.

    Routes up from the South depend, of course, on which highways/roads you've taken to approach Boston from New York. There's a wealth of prior art about that on-line. Some folks who read this thread may care to comment.

    Assuming you do come from the S, and not the W or SW, there are bike routes on various on-line maps that you'll want to get current local information about. Blue Hill Ave., for example, looks good on the map, and MAY be a good choice now, but for a period presented some unique existential hazards; things change, and I'm curious about the viability of that one, myself. Again, some of the folks on this thread (as well as on the Boston Area Cycling or RozzieBikes Google Groups, and elsewhere) can give you current advice. Broadly speaking, you have a choice between a SW approach through Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, and Roxbury, a S approach along Blue Hill Ave. through Mattapan and Roxbury, or a SE approach up Dorchester Ave.; your questions will shortly boil down to conditions on those specific routes. A knowledge of local conditions trumps physical geography in making this choice... If you come in more from the West, you have other options, but that will have implications for total route distance...

    Bicycle_routes_through_Boston_from_the_South.jpg


    Probably the best course is to sketch out a couple of hypothetical routes based on the on-line resources, then lay them out for comments from people with local knowledge. Of course, you may get lucky and get a response from someone who recently rode a comparable route; a search of CGOB might find you one of those...

    Good luck! It sounds like a great ride.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 02-03-14 at 02:56 PM.

  21. #3196
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Took the icebike out on the Minuteman tonight, Lexington Center and back, looking for the residue of Monday's little storm, and finding it.


    While Arlington had enough snow-and-ice patches to make me glad I was running studs, conditions on Lexington's section of the trail were often down-right challenging. There was a surprising amount of deeply-rutted ice, not something I've seen much of on the Minuteman before. While the Nokian W240s handle that sort of surface about as well as anything does, there were several times when I just let myself coast to a stop in bad patches, and once when I got off and walked the bike for a few yards. The worst of the rutted ice was between Bow Street and Fottler Avenue, with another bad patch near the Maple Street bridge, but there were others. This will get buried under tomorrow's fresh snow, a lurking hazard.


    The joke, of course, is that the streets were quite clear: the only other cyclists out on the Minuteman tonight were also running studded tires, and all looked to be having the fun we had come to have.

    The Brown Homestead in Lexington continues to be a little enclave of wildness. On the outbound leg, a great horned owl called there repeatedly. On the return, one very well-modulated and hardworking coyote, or two or three coyotes in chorus, sang an eerie and extended song, quite beautiful. The predators were calling tonight.

    Made my way home, and put a second set of bike tracks in the snow on the driveway, to match the ones made at the ride's start. More snow tomorrow.


    rod

  22. #3197
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Layers...


    rod

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    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Got out on the old GT Karakoram today, riding out the Minuteman as far as Bedford Street, Lexington, a 14-mile round trip with temperatures in the 20s. After Wednesday's storm and subsequent plowing, the Minuteman wasn't the fastest route to anywhere (not that it ever is, really), unless your destination was Winter, in which case the you were in luck. Riding conditions featured packed snow, loose snow, smooth ice, bumpy ice, and bare pavement, in random combinations, an interactive surface. Two of the Arlington bridges--over Grove Street and Forest Street--were sporting loose snow over bumpy ice, an attention-getter when hit at speed coming off an adjacent strip of bare pavement. Idem the pile of loose snow someone left across the full trail width just east of the Maple Street bridge, in Lexington. That said, it was a good place to be out in the cold air, immersed in scenes of Winter.




















    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 02-08-14 at 10:18 PM.

  24. #3199
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Nice pix rholland!


    My only rides these days are my commutes to Boston and errand running but I feel like the snowy commuting is giving me a work out. The DCR has done the best job yet this year (best in decades) plowing the path between Watertown Square and the Hatch Shell (Boston side of River). Granted from Watertown Square to the BU bridge it's not perfect, in fact, I wouldn't recommend it to those without studded tires and a MTB'ers mentality about riding- not fit for the carbon fiber road bike crowd right now.

    But from the BU bridge to the Hatch Shell, and well beyond, the path was bare pavement and plowed wide and clean- even salted in spots (something I thought was not legal due to proximity to the Charles River).

    Despite the cold the rough surface for the first half of the ride makes for a high octane ride and I arrive downtown almost over heated even though I'm going with very few layers these days.

    The most amazing thing is that I have never seen so many winter cyclists as I have this year. Usually I am the only one but I see more and more in similar outfits and on their own versions of their "ice bike" trudging in and out of the city of Boston.

  25. #3200
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    ...I feel like the snowy commuting is giving me a work out. The DCR has done the best job yet this year (best in decades) plowing the path between Watertown Square and the Hatch Shell (Boston side of River)...

    The most amazing thing is that I have never seen so many winter cyclists as I have this year. Usually I am the only one but I see more and more in similar outfits and on their own versions of their "ice bike" trudging in and out of the city of Boston.
    Same here for the Southwest sector, namely the Muddy River and Jamaica Pond Paths (I don't ride the Lallement Bikepath). Hardpack snow is the worst surfaces I encounter, easy for Marathon Winter studded tires. In mid-January I posted:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    ...I saw an unusually impressive number of presumed cycle commuters this morning from about 6 to 7 AM especially on the Jamaica Pond Bikepath, so there's a large and ever-growing number of us in Metropolitan Boston...
    and we were recognized by the media:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Check out the front page of today's (1/24/14) Boston Globe for a feature story on Boston's Winter Cyclists, "rugged riders undeterred by season's harsh turns."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I was listening to Howie Carr this evening, and on bad weather days he does a desperate, on-site weatherman, Biff Biffington, depicting apocalyptic conditions with howling wind sound effects (à la Shelby Scott, if you remember her). Today he was broadcasting “from Cambridge” describing cyclists running red lights, going down, and being caught by polar bears.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-11-14 at 03:18 AM.

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