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Old 11-15-09, 10:55 PM   #2276
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http://connect.garmin.com/activity/18875168

Sf through Daly City up Skyline down past Pacifica Pier. Pretty ride, nice day!
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Old 11-15-09, 11:43 PM   #2277
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I did my longinsh loop: Homestead, Foothill, Kings, Skyline, down LaHonda/84, then up WOLH to Skyline, down 84/La Honda to Woodside before heading back. It was around 60 something miles. The weather was MUCH better. As I was going up Kings someone jumped on my wheel, no hi, nothing. When I was putting my wind vest on Skyline he passed me, but slowed down so I just passed him back going my pace. When I was going down La Honda he passed me again. He was going good pace so I just paced him few bike length back. When the pace slowed I passed going my own pace, then made a left on to WOLH. The dude followed and jumped on my wheel again. Still not a word. I had enough of this, plus I was more then a bit unnerved, so I turned around and said "Hi". Anyway turned out he was doing a similar route. Honestly why do people just seat on the wheel and never say a word?

Anyway in the afternoon I came back on my other bike for some twistie tutorials from Misincredible. I realized, or actually re-confirmed, how crazy the cyclists are. First just riding to our meeting point at Alice bar it kind of hit me how far it actually is, and I took the direct route. We pretty much did the epic ride she organized few weeks back, but in reverse. When I saw all those cyclists I was amazed how far they have ridden and where they were riding.
Then of course there is the "safety" gear. For cyclists it's some thin lycra with a thin layer of magical foam that covers only the top of the head and that supposedly to protect the rider from death and brain damage. On motorcycle it's full leather with armor build in at strategic points, and a much thicker full face helmet. The crazy part is that most accidents happen at or below 30mph, which cyclsts can hit, but such different safety standards. lol

UD
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Old 11-16-09, 05:44 PM   #2278
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On Saturday I did my November century which came in at 106 miles and 5500' of climbing including Sierra, Calaveras, and Welch Creek roads. Warning, long post without many pictures!


Counter-clockwise starting at the bottom in Los Gatos. Click for interactive map

It was overcast but completely dry when I started in Los Gatos at 6:55am. Ramon had tweeted something about the ground being wet but I didn't really give that a second thought. Two miles in and sure enough, the pavement became wet. Also the air got damp and misty and before long there was a slight drizzle and my tires were sending up nice rooster tails of water. Half an hour into the ride my shoes and socks were soaked through but at least it wasn't too cold out.

This was originally going to be ride with other BF folks but many chose not to do the ride because of the wetness. At the planned meeting spot it actually wasn't raining anymore but I didn't see anyone else and so after waiting around a bit I continued on solo. It turns out that Donald (dl33) actually did the ride and we missed each other by just a few minutes

I got to the base of Sierra road and tried to take it pretty easy knowing that my nemesis Welch Creek was still to come. At around 1100 feet up I could no longer see the valley below me due to the clouds. As I climbed it got mistier but it wasn't quite fog (visibility was still okay) and it wasn't really rain either. It was the kind of mist where at a standstill you don't notice it but with any movement through it and you will accumulate water droplets all over you and the bike. It was a nice climb though and I truly had the road all to myself. There were no other bikes and only 2-3 cars!

Descending the other side of Sierra was a much wetter experience than climbing it. First I was going much faster but also the mist had turned back into a light drizzle again. I was starting to think I should have joined the rest of the crew riding on the peninsula! Also I began having doubts of climbing Welch Creek in the rain since I especially didn't want to deal with the really slick wet cattle grates (more about those later)

With Welch Creek possibly out of the picture and since I was riding on my own in an area I don't explore much I decided to take the opportunity and check out some deadend roads that weren't part of the original plan. The first of these is a right turn on Felter. This is a short little spur about which there isn't much to write about except for some noisy goats near the end.

After getting back on course, the next detour was a right turn onto Marsh. This is a wide, smooth, freshly paved road that descends gradually before making a sharp turn over a bridge and dead ending in a small valley of farmland. It was a nice little descent for a rainy day in that it's very non-technical. Overall a fun detour with a scenic view at the end and I'd do it again.

So at this point, at the bottom of Marsh Rd, it was still rainy and the ride was going "okay" but not looking good for a century. It wasn't too cold and I wasn't soaked through to my skin or anything but my head just wasn't in it and I kept thinking about cutting the ride short. I had a sense of impatience, of wanting to get things over and done with, of being discontented being out on the road.

My sunglasses were covered in water droplets but I didn't want to wipe them with my fingers or gloves for fear of streaking them and making things worse. So I just took them off. This simple act was in a way a turning point in the ride because I could suddenly see everything a lot better and connect with the beauty of the green meadows and grey misty skies. Climbing back out on Marsh Rd I passed more cows that stared at me. The mother cows stared warily and their calves stared with curiosity. It was nice.

Then when I got back on course again on Felter Rd, I saw a group of cyclists coming the other direction, slogging uphill through the rain, and that lifted my spirits more knowing I wasn't the only one out there. Soon I made the right turn onto Calaveras road and a group of 7-8 motorcycles sped past me which helped even more in fending off the feeling of isolation. Previously I had entertained the idea of skipping not just Welch Creek but Calaveras as well but seeing other people out there made me want to press on. Also the rain was diminishing which helped too

Calaveras was very nice as always. In one of the right-hand hairpin turns there was a big giant black bull just hanging out about a foot away from the road. I heard that he chased some other cyclists on the Western Wheelers ride but fortunately he only glared at me.

On Calaveras is where the skies finally started to clear up. It was really beautiful seeing the clouds dissolve into mist and then finally give way to blue.


Stopped for a bit before descending the final stretch of Calaveras northbound

The last extra detour I took was a right turn onto Geary road which goes into the Sunol Regional Wilderness. It's about 2 mostly flat miles to the park. This would make a good water stop for anyone doing Welch Creek. However due to the cool temps I still had plenty of water in my bottles and certainly didn't need any more weight for a big climb so I didn't stop.

Yes, the big climb. I was finally in a good enough mood that I decided to climb Welch Creek for my second time. I went as slow as I possibly could and didn't push it whatsoever and it still hurt. A lot. Oh yeah the uphill cattle grate crossings were fun. I knew that powering my way over them would just spin my back tire out due to the wetness and probably result in a tip-over. So before each cattle grate I had to sprint up to about double my 5mph climbing pace and then use that momentum to coast over the slippery metal.

When I got to the top of Welch Creek I noticed my back tire was nice and squishy, I'm guessing about 60psi. I wonder how many watts that robbed me of on the climb? I pumped it up before descending to lunch in Sunol. But when I got to Sunol it was soft again! I just left it alone at this point and did the rest of the ride with a soft back tire.

On the way home I decided to change the scenery up a little bit. Instead of returning the same way I had come I headed west across the Dumbarton Bridge and then back to home via Foothill and various residential streets and made it home around 3:45pm with plenty of sunlight left.

Last edited by silentben; 11-16-09 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 11-16-09, 10:40 PM   #2279
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Goodness, that's quite a ride, with Sierra and Welch Creek -- well done!
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Old 11-17-09, 12:05 AM   #2280
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..., I saw a group of cyclists coming the other direction, slogging uphill through the rain, and that lifted my spirits more knowing I wasn't the only one out there. Soon I made the right turn onto Calaveras road and a group of 7-8 motorcycles sped past me which helped even more in fending off the feeling of isolation. ....

So I did pass you when you went on those excursions, cause I remember seeing those cyclist and the motorbikes. You were maybe just a minute behind. Too bad, I would have went up Welch with you if we met up, as I didn't want to ride solo out there without my pump and spare tube.
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Old 11-17-09, 01:06 AM   #2281
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All I can say is - McEwen Road is a gift that keeps on giving.
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Old 11-17-09, 02:23 PM   #2282
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<snip>

Calaveras was very nice as always. In one of the right-hand hairpin turns there was a big giant black bull just hanging out about a foot away from the road. I heard that he chased some other cyclists on the Western Wheelers ride but fortunately he only glared at me.

<snip>
We were going the opposite direction on Calaveras and saw the same cow/bull. We must have passed you and Donald at some point. It was a beautiful day.
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Old 11-17-09, 02:48 PM   #2283
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[snip]

It wasn't too cold and I wasn't soaked through to my skin or anything but my head just wasn't in it and I kept thinking about cutting the ride short. I had a sense of impatience, of wanting to get things over and done with, of being discontented being out on the road.

[snip]

My sunglasses were covered in water droplets but I didn't want to wipe them with my fingers or gloves for fear of streaking them and making things worse. So I just took them off. This simple act was in a way a turning point in the ride because I could suddenly see everything a lot better and connect with the beauty of the green meadows and grey misty skies.

[snip]
Really enjoyed this report, Ben, especially the points above. Good ride!
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Old 11-17-09, 09:49 PM   #2284
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Really enjoyed this report, Ben, especially the points above. Good ride!
+1 I quite agree
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Old 11-18-09, 01:12 AM   #2285
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All I can say is - McEwen Road is a gift that keeps on giving.
So I said: "Hey, John, wanna go do McEwen Road with Carl and me?" And bigbossman foolishly says: "Sure. I've never done it before it. Sounds like fun." Of such things are foolishness made.

This past Sunday, bigbossman, LanceOldstrong, my friend Carl and I lit out from downtown Walnut Creek in stunningly beautiful autumn weather. First to Martinez via the Canal bike path and Alhambra Avenue. From there, out the Cartquinez Straits Scenic Used-to-Be Road. When we got to McEwen, left and up. As many of you know, McEwen is not particularly long, but it is steep. As in 15% steep, more or less. BBM had never done it before. Carl does it fairly regularly, and LanceOldstrong is well acquainted with it. I usually avoid it.

We regathered and headed up and over Cummings Skyway for the screaming descent down Crockett Blvd and lunch at one of the best delis you'll ever find. LanceOldstrong "invented" the pastrami-and-liverwurst sandwich. We did follow suit.

From there, back along the Scenic Drive and back to Martinez and retracing our steps back to Walnut Creek.

40 miles, almost on the dot. 2600 feet of climbing. A fun ride with great company and a lovely lunch. I doesn't get much better.
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Old 11-21-09, 04:47 PM   #2286
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I had to drive my Son to SF this morning and had a 3 hour time to ride. What a beautiful morning.
I started at Ortega and 19th so I headed West towards the ocean then South to the Zoo. The trail was very busy so when going back north I used the busy and noisy Great Highway, then took the quiet (but hilly) back streets and went up to the Palais of Legion d'Honneur, the Presidio, and crossed the Golden Gate. Once in Marin I retraced my route to Ocean Beach and East into the GG Park.
I was a nice 25 miler. I saw Pete (taxi777) going down from the Presidio when I was climbing. Just the time to say hi while we both zipped our own ways. Long time I hadn't seen him, hope all is well in his world.

It was my first time riding in this part of SF, I couldn't choose a better day. It was also my first solo ride in 6 weeks. My position on the tandem is more relaxed and the bike obviously heavier, so the solo machine felt a bit twitchy during the first couple of miles and my shoulders started to scream at the end of the ride. I need more time in the saddle for sure.
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Old 11-21-09, 05:41 PM   #2287
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It's a gorgeous day and I only managed 6.38 miles.

The day overall didn't get off to a great start. My front tire hasn't been holding air very well, but I couldn't find any thorns. Thought perhaps I broke the valve or something. Anyhow, I wanted to take my bike to the shop to have the derailleur adjusted and chain checked for damage after dropping my chain last Sunday. Had them look at the tire as well. Turns out I did have a puncture.

Instead of buying a tube, I had one in my bag and had them change it. Stupid idea. That left me with NO spare tube for my ride.

As someone who rides alone, a spare tube is a lot like a cell phone to me. I feel incomplete without it. I've never had to use one on a ride, but I don't leave home without it. This made me very uneasy on my ride. I was also riding in Dublin, an area I'm not familiar with.

Therefore, after a few miles of anxiety, I turned around and headed back to BART, feeling sucky and discouraged.

94 miles to go to reach my 100 mi goal for this week. Tomorrow will be better!!!
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Old 11-21-09, 10:39 PM   #2288
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I was a nice 25 miler. I saw Pete (taxi777) going down from the Presidio when I was climbing. Just the time to say hi while we both zipped our own ways. Long time I hadn't seen him, hope all is well in his world.
Hey! So that was you! I remember seeing someone in a red/white helmet wave, but the sun was directly in my eyes, so I couldn't see very well. I pass by so many bikes and people I know that I'm just in the habit of waving and riding on. I don't like to spoil anyones groove. If I had known it was you I would have turned around for sure and ridden with you. As it was I was kind of suffering today for some reason. I went out to Daley City and back through the Park. I'm pretty boring as far as riding nowadays. Sorry I passed you by.
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Old 11-21-09, 10:44 PM   #2289
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Hey! So that was you! I remember seeing someone in a red/white helmet wave, but the sun was directly in my eyes, so I couldn't see very well. I pass by so many bikes and people I know that I'm just in the habit of waving and riding on. I don't like to spoil anyones groove. If I had known it was you I would have turned around for sure and ridden with you. As it was I was kind of suffering today for some reason. I went out to Daley City and back through the Park. I'm pretty boring as far as riding nowadays. Sorry I passed you by.
No problem. I was myself in a kind of hurry. I had to go back to Ortega and 19th by Noon but still wanted to cross the bridge, too nice of a day to miss it.
Nice to see you riding though, hope we can get a BF ride soon.
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Old 11-22-09, 12:16 AM   #2290
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41miles and 4250ft with brentley and RoboCheme in the East Bay Hills. Starting from Orinda BART at 8am it was pretty darn cold - allegedly 37F when I left my house, but good gloves, a long sleeve wool base layer + wind vest kept my temperature just right. We hauled up El Toyonal/Lomas Cantadas which warmed us all up, and then rode along Grizzly Peak. The views today were simply stunning, the cold air was crisp but very clear. We detoured via Golf Links to Wildcat and then followed the 3 bears before detouring up Happy Valley Rd, followed by the brief climbs up Acalanes and Rheem before looping back home. I had planned to throw in the Pinehurst-Redwood-Pinehurst loop but had to get back for kiddo duty.

The chill never really left the air today and the pavement was often still damp from yesterday's rain, but it was a gorgeous day to be on a bike nonetheless.
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Old 11-22-09, 12:28 AM   #2291
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The day overall didn't get off to a great start. My front tire hasn't been holding air very well, but I couldn't find any thorns. Thought perhaps I broke the valve or something. Anyhow, I wanted to take my bike to the shop to have the derailleur adjusted and chain checked for damage after dropping my chain last Sunday. Had them look at the tire as well. Turns out I did have a puncture.

Instead of buying a tube, I had one in my bag and had them change it. Stupid idea. That left me with NO spare tube for my ride.
A couple of thoughts which might help - the first is to practice changing tubes at home in your garage, just deflate your tube, take the tire off and tube out then put it back together a couple of times, and inflate it with your CO2 or frame pump. It really helps to get to know the routine in the comfort of your own home so when you're on the road it's second nature. You'll also get to know how easy/difficult it is to get your tires on and off your rims.

Something else to consider is to get a patch kit to take with you as well as a spare tube - they're cheap and will fix several tubes. Whenever I've got a flat, I tend to patch the tubes at home. So far, I've never resorted to the patch kit for roadside repairs, but you never know.
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Old 11-22-09, 10:00 AM   #2292
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Did a beautiful sierra foothills ride on Saturday. Started in the very cool town of Plymouth, made our way up and around Slug Gulch.
The fall colors were bursting out in their fullest. It was just incredible.

The ride was very spirited with lots of attacks. Total of 47 miles.

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Old 11-22-09, 11:34 AM   #2293
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Yesterday was Chris's birthday, so we rode his age and a couple extra miles for grins. We rode to Davis and had delicious omelets at the Delta of Venus. Then we rode back through the orchards. Wind was brisk and it was a tad chilly, but otherwise enjoyable.

Woke up to clouds, wind and probable rain. If we ride at all it'll be later.
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Old 11-22-09, 01:01 PM   #2294
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A couple of thoughts which might help - the first is to practice changing tubes at home in your garage, just deflate your tube, take the tire off and tube out then put it back together a couple of times, and inflate it with your CO2 or frame pump. It really helps to get to know the routine in the comfort of your own home so when you're on the road it's second nature. You'll also get to know how easy/difficult it is to get your tires on and off your rims.

Something else to consider is to get a patch kit to take with you as well as a spare tube - they're cheap and will fix several tubes. Whenever I've got a flat, I tend to patch the tubes at home. So far, I've never resorted to the patch kit for roadside repairs, but you never know.
I do know how to change a flat. However, the tire never went completely flat so I didn't think to change the tube. And since I couldn't find a thorn despite looking several times, I figured it might be something else. I was already at the LBS so I figured it would just be quicker to have them do it. It was just stupid of me to have them use my only spare tube because I feel uncomfortable without one on me.

That being said...

Another sucky day. I'm supposed to go help a friend paint her house this afternoon so I decided to try to squeeze in a morning ride. I wasn't feeling so great last night with a headache and low grade fever. I slept terribly, but my fever was gone this morning. I did have a bit of a headache so I took more Motrin with breakfast and headed out.

Cloudy, cold, looks like rain. The plan was for about a 10 mile ride so I'd have time to clean up before meeting my friend. I didn't feel like I was going to make it. Started off okay, but the last half I was really struggling. When I got home, my bike felt like it weighed a ton and I actually got winded carrying it back upstairs.

My body knows I'm on vacation for a week and has decided to shut down. Blah.
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Old 11-22-09, 02:39 PM   #2295
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did about 34 for miles in weather that couldn't decide if it wanted to be cold or hot. oh and i fell blowing my nose!
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Old 11-22-09, 03:21 PM   #2296
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I do know how to change a flat. However, the tire never went completely flat so I didn't think to change the tube. And since I couldn't find a thorn despite looking several times, I figured it might be something else. I was already at the LBS so I figured it would just be quicker to have them do it. It was just stupid of me to have them use my only spare tube because I feel uncomfortable without one on me.
Oops, sorry about that, it wasn't clear from the first post. My bad.
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Old 11-22-09, 03:30 PM   #2297
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Just put in a great ride, all of 1 mile. Took my daughter down to her school with her new MTB and dusted off my old aluminum hybrid. Twas a blast! She enjoyed going through some of the puddles and mud on the perimeter track.

One thing though, my hybrid has crazy low MTB gearing with a triple crank and 7 sp 11-28 gearing. Despite sitting in my garage for >2yrs it shifts like a dream; I don't suppose that the 10sp drivetrain on my Roubaix would be quite as forgiving.
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Old 11-22-09, 03:34 PM   #2298
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Got the "looks good" from the treadmill ekg friday so hit the road for a little ride today. I've got a lot of catching up to do, so just went about 15 miles, with 1500 ft. of climbing (pacifica up sharp park to skyline and down to millbrae and back). Felt good to be back on the bike. Though I'm icing my knee now!

The only lame thing was that my garmin was telling me my heart rate was in the 200s and then maxed out above the 240 capacity of the unit (it seems). If it's going to trip out like that, it kind of makes it hard to keep an eye on things. I assume technical difficulties because that's physically impossible... but it was back to reading correctly when I was sitting here uploading the data to the computer. Oh well...
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Old 11-22-09, 05:15 PM   #2299
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did about 34 for miles in weather that couldn't decide if it wanted to be cold or hot. oh and i fell blowing my nose!
you fell blowing your nose? 8-) That's something I would do!
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Old 11-23-09, 01:07 AM   #2300
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did about 34 for miles in weather that couldn't decide if it wanted to be cold or hot. oh and i fell blowing my nose!
Do I dare ask what you were using to blow on? Seriously, I've been wondering because I always get a runny nose in cold weather and it's totally gross. However, tissue would just get sweaty in my jersey pocket if I rode long enough. I end up wiping my nose on my gloves or arm warmers because they're tossed in the wash anyhow.

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Oops, sorry about that, it wasn't clear from the first post. My bad.
No problem, that would be my fault then. I'm pretty rubbish at changing flats. The one time I did it I think it took me 40 minutes. It's not complicated, I just had a really difficult time getting the tire back on the wheel.
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