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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Does John Forester still ride a bike?

    Just wondering. Having seen pics of him on Google Video, I can't help but wonder if the man still "hits the streets."

    That is not to say he couldn't. I did a tour in Baja with a guy that was quite large and albeit slow, had great stamina.

    JF lives in Lemon Grove, (public knowledge... from his web page) not far from where I used to live (Miller's Ranch in that area) and I just wonder what routes he takes and what roads he prefers.

    Oddly enough Lemon Grove added bike lanes all over the place a few years after I moved out. I just road VC style everywhere and never got to use the BL. I wonder if he uses the BL.

    John... ya out there?

    One of my favorite rides in the area was out old 94 to 54, up Dehesa road past Cottonwood golf course and up to Alpine... then down Harbison Canyon back to 54 and 94.

  2. #2
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    IF he rides, I bet he curses the bike infrastructure under his breath, while taking advantage of the space demarcated by the white stripe, vehicularily positioned in the bike lane.....

    quixotic, delusional JF- his cause celebre has now left him tilting at windmills and prostituting himself to the Auto lobby & the urban sprawlers of the American Dream Coalition. What a sad performance by a once relevant bicycling advocate.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-26-07 at 12:43 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  3. #3
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I know some recumbent riders that size. They do fine. I do 30 mile rides with them all the time (although I have to wait a long time at some rest breaks.) But it would be interesting to hear some of his actual cycling adventures, if he has any from this century.
    ~Diane
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  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    When questioned about his rotundness and whether he rides a bicycle, he has stated that his shape is do to old age.
    I don't doubt it... as I stated in the OP, I did a Baja tour (the length of Baja) with a rotund gentleman who was quite able to make the trip. I myself have "changed shape" since my days of youth.

    I was just curious as to whether JF still rode, and where in the area.

  5. #5
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    IF he rides, I bet he curses the bike infrastructure under his breath, while taking advantage of the space demarcated by the white stripe, vehicularily positioned in the bike lane.....

    quixotic, delusional JF- his cause celebre has now left him tilting at windmills and prostituting himself to the Auto lobby & the urban sprawlers of the American Dream Coalition. What a sad performance by a once relevant bicycling advocate.
    Maybe someday, you'll gain as much influence as he has over the years.
    No worries

  6. #6
    Rider in the Storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    When questioned about his rotundness and whether he rides a bicycle, he has stated that his shape is do to old age.
    Aging makes an otherwise fit person fat? More likely laziness.

    Else explain one of our locals, 80 year old John Keston:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Keston
    http://www.xro.com/keston/
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/...mg18524911.900
    https://runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?c=105&id=4831

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChezJfrey View Post
    Aging makes an otherwise fit person fat? More likely laziness.

    Else explain one of our locals, 80 year old John Keston:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Keston
    http://www.xro.com/keston/
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/...mg18524911.900
    https://runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?c=105&id=4831

    No, aging does not make an otherwise fit person fat... however, with aging comes other issues such as arthritis, gout, tender muscles and joints, and general aches and pains that make what was easy in our youth, much more difficult... after all, you don't see too many 50 year old linebackers or forwards out there, do you?

    The body just doesn't recover as well as you get older. In my youth for instance, a 60 mile bike ride was de rigor... these days I do 30 miles and need time to get over the aches and pains.

    If you have not reached the ripe old age of 50 yet, I have to tell you, you may be in for some rude awakening. The body just is not as flexible as it was at 25. That some can continue to compete at an older age is their blessing. BTW, the first thing to go is eyesight... small print that was quite readable at age 35 becomes difficult at about age 45.

    Even Jack Lalanne is not exactly pulling the the same load he once pulled. (and man he pulled some loads).

    We all age differently... of course if one has reduced their physical output, obviously one should decrease their intake accordingly... pushing away from the table is probably the best exercise overall. IMHO.

  8. #8
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    All the young sprouts think they'll always be on top.

    One bad crash can end your glory on the bike. Pray your time doesn't come too soon.

    On another note:

    101st birthday ride:

    http://www.woj.com.au/2007/04/30/pos...aling-bicycle/

    2003 birthday ride:

    http://www.daytoncyclingclub.org/Pho...ay%20Ride1.jpg
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 07-26-07 at 07:55 PM.
    No worries

  9. #9
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    All the young sprouts think they'll always be on top.

    One bad crash can end your glory on the bike. Pray your time doesn't come too soon.
    Cheery!
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  10. #10
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    How are you defining young?



    If that's how you live your life (ride your life) then I truly feel sorry for you. If I had that kind of attitude I wouldn't get to ride my favorite terrain.

    The fact of the matter is that JF's enormous paunch is not due to aging, but rather due to too many calories in and not enough calories out.

    It's quite simple.
    I'm in the presence of genius.

    Yawn.
    No worries

  11. #11
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I have been riding a bicycle for many years now and don't I consider myself lazy, but my gaining of weight was from every time I changed professions, the following one a little less physical than the previous one, along with the addition of a slower, older metabolism. It's a good thing that I did get slower pace work, since my body would probably be so torn up by now, that bicycling would not be an option for me today.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    And I'm in the presence of a woefully frightened chicken little.

    How are you defining young?
    There are bold people, and there are old people, but very, very few old bold people. I was bold for many years, but now it's time to work on enjoying the remaining few years I have left at a lifestyle a couple of notches lower. Add me to your "chicken little" list. Young, to me it's state of mind, and you are as young as you feel, and right now, I feel like I'm still 30.

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    And I'm in the presence of a woefully frightened chicken little.

    How are you defining young?
    It's honestly a good question. The problem with a flat out definition is that that a number does not mean the same thing to each of us... we age differently.

    On man's 45 may be another's 55. Perhaps the first real unmistable sign is the change in vision that many of us experience in our mid 40s. It doesn't happen at 42 or 46, but somewhere in the "mid" 40s. You start holding books a bit further away... using a magnifying glass to read fine print, or work on fine objects. My peers all have succumbed in some fashion. It just happens. No change in lifestyle will retain that vision... it is simply a consequence of less flexible lenses in the eyes. (if I understand the issues correctly)

  14. #14
    Rider in the Storm
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    The OP implied that perhaps JF is a bit too large to probably still be riding regularly. I agree.

    But lo, a defensive backlash! Overall, I just see a volley of excuses.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    No, aging does not make an otherwise fit person fat... however, with aging comes other issues such as arthritis, gout, tender muscles and joints, and general aches and pains that make what was easy in our youth, much more difficult... after all, you don't see too many 50 year old linebackers or forwards out there, do you?
    The body just doesn't recover as well as you get older. In my youth for instance, a 60 mile bike ride was de rigor... these days I do 30 miles and need time to get over the aches and pains.
    If you have not reached the ripe old age of 50 yet, I have to tell you, you may be in for some rude awakening. The body just is not as flexible as it was at 25. That some can continue to compete at an older age is their blessing.
    Not as flexible at age 25? Maybe not, but I'm nowhere near age 25 and I'm just as fit now as I was at that age. Aches, pains? I thought that was normal training when I was younger and it doesn't seem much different now. Honestly, I heard the same warnings about the 30s, then the same about the 40s and the fact remains that, for me, these aging hardships are coming from people that are not that fit, so yes, aging probably sucks for them. I would (and still do) hear, "Oh, it hurts do this this, or that. Oh, my knees/back/joints ache so much now...you'll see when you reach my age!" Well no, I didn't. I doubt I ever will because I work hard now and I'll continue to. A fit, strong body deteriorates much less. I realize you can't prevent everything, but you sure can mitigate much of the trouble if you properly prepare. Yes, the metabolism slows, or jobs become less physically demanding, or injury prevents certain exercise, but that just means a person needs to adapt.

    I attribute most of these problems to general laziness - mental and physical. Just as in dental care - I've never experienced a tooth cavity or filling in 40 years because I spend the extra time needed on my teeth. I do the same for the rest of my body - work it or whither.

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    All the young sprouts think they'll always be on top.
    One bad crash can end your glory on the bike. Pray your time doesn't come too soon.
    Nice. I'll be praying. But, how bad does it have to be? How about a broken hip, is that bad enough? I was mowed down 2 years ago, which resulted in just that - a fractured acetabulum. Through a bit of pain and hard work I was able to resume cycling to work every day. I was also able to resume marathoning and my best placing so far is 9th this year - I guess not much glory, but it was a PR for me.

    And no, I don't imagine I'll always stay on top...heck, I'm not even at the top now. But I'm likely to be at the top of my peers if they fall into this sort of victim mentality.

    I brought up the 80+ year old John Keston because he epitomizes what I aspire to. He's not beating 23 year olds. But, he set the mile record world-wide for his age a year ago by about a minute. But, that time was around 6:48 - that's my training pace for a 13 mile run. He also set the world record for a marathon at 71 years of age at 3:00:xx. I can smoke that time. But, this guy is tops for his age - he is lean, fit and brutally fast on his feet for a person his age. I appreciate that performance levels decline, but I don't have to abandon hours of running and cycling because it's too hard on the body and it takes too long to recover. I don't have to accept a fat gut and reduced fitness because people like John Keston and Jack Lalane prove a person doesn't have to succumb to these common misperceptions and notions that advancing age make fitness too difficult. I may get slower as I get older, but I'm going down that road like John...swinging with everything I've got.

    Gene, you mention a 30 mile ride requires much more recovery time, while a 71 year old John could pound out a 3 hour, 26 mile marathon on foot. While people may age differently, I would venture that it's more a matter of dialing in the appropriate nutrition and strength/muscle training that would enable you to ride that distance with more ease and post-ride comfort. Training and exercise methods must change as a person ages. I run with a group of guys every week and several are in the 45-50 range. They all train just as hard on that weekend run as I do. However, their recovery and mid-week schedules are much different than mine. I think it's merely a matter of adapting to your particular aging situation and aligning that with your performance goals.

    Of course, I could be wrong and when I reach 50 I may spontaneously erode into a sack of blubber. If so, I'll dig up this post and retract. But, I wouldn't hold my breath.
    Last edited by ChezJfrey; 07-27-07 at 03:02 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Along these lines, I think there is a mental aspect to it as well. When I was a teenager, I very much doubt that swim practice hurt any less than if I were still participating now. But when I was a teen, I didn't think of the pain, I thought about the results and the pain was incidental. Now, even though I am not out of my 20's yet (though close) I find myself fearing the pain more now. It has a cyclical effect because, the more I fear the pain, the less I ride (I ride more than I swim now) and the less I ride, the more it hurts to train.

    There is truth to the expression "to let oneself go". You give up, and when you give up, it becomes harder to get back to your previous level. So what's the solution to less fitness as you age? You don't "let yourself go". If you do it becomes that much harder to get yourself back.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  16. #16
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    The thing is, the older many of us less gifted get, the less calories it takes to carry out our day, even if we do exercise. In fact, I don't believe riding a bicycle constitutes even as much exercise as walking to the mailbox. It's pretty piss-poor exercise if you want to maintain a good figure. The only decent exercise is walking up mountains, but tell me how you can do that every day and maintain a good salary. So far I haven't figured how to bend time and space enough.
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  17. #17
    Rider in the Storm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    Along these lines, I think there is a mental aspect to it as well. When I was a teenager, I very much doubt that swim practice hurt any less than if I were still participating now. But when I was a teen, I didn't think of the pain, I thought about the results and the pain was incidental. Now, even though I am not out of my 20's yet (though close) I find myself fearing the pain more now. It has a cyclical effect because, the more I fear the pain, the less I ride (I ride more than I swim now) and the less I ride, the more it hurts to train.

    There is truth to the expression "to let oneself go". You give up, and when you give up, it becomes harder to get back to your previous level. So what's the solution to less fitness as you age? You don't "let yourself go". If you do it becomes that much harder to get yourself back.
    Agreed about the mental aspect. I think that's why I've started running more road races. If run correctly (to your potential), the ending miles of a race suck bad. Things start to hurt, your heart is pounding furiously and it takes a good amount of mental will to keep trying to run fast/faster. I think reaching these points periodically during training and really testing the mentality during a race helps build a person's ability to endure and persevere.

  18. #18
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I think when you age, too, old injuries come back to haunt you. And new ones take way longer -- if ever -- to go away. I am finding now that I get new injuries that don't go away and old ones from long ago that come back to bother me.
    ~Diane
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  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChezJfrey View Post
    The OP implied that perhaps JF is a bit too large to probably still be riding regularly. I agree.

    But lo, a defensive backlash! Overall, I just see a volley of excuses.




    I brought up the 80+ year old John Keston because he epitomizes what I aspire to. He's not beating 23 year olds. But, he set the mile record world-wide for his age a year ago by about a minute. But, that time was around 6:48 - that's my training pace for a 13 mile run. He also set the world record for a marathon at 71 years of age at 3:00:xx. I can smoke that time. But, this guy is tops for his age - he is lean, fit and brutally fast on his feet for a person his age. I appreciate that performance levels decline, but I don't have to abandon hours of running and cycling because it's too hard on the body and it takes too long to recovery. I don't have to accept a fat gut and reduced fitness because people like John Keston and Jack Lalane prove a person doesn't have to succumb to these common misperceptions and notions that advancing age make fitness too difficult. I may get slower as I get older, but I'm going down that road like John...swinging with everything I've got.

    Gene, you mention a 30 mile ride requires much more recovery time, while a 71 year old John could pound out a 3 hour, 26 mile marathon on foot. While people may age differenlty, I would venture that it's more a matter of dialing in the appropriate nutrition and strength/muscle training that would enable you to ride that distance with more ease and post-ride comfort. Training and exercise methods must change as a person ages. I run with a group of guys every week and several are in the 45-50 range. They all train just as hard on that weekend run that I do. However, their recovery and mid-week schedules are much different than mine. I think it's merely a matter of adapting to your particular aging situation and aligning that with your performance goals.

    Of course, I could be wrong and when I reach 50 I may spontaneously erode into a sack of blubber. If so, I'll dig up this post and retract. But, I wouldn't hold my breath.
    You probably will not erode into a sack of blubber... but even the examples you gave, were tendered in an "at his age" caviat.

    We all age differently... and while the pounds do not have to pile on, the reality is that you are not likely to perform at age 50 as you did at age 25. (of course there is the flip side too... where someone was in terrible shape at age 25 and worked their butt off to improve at an older age). But the bottom line is that we AGE... We can and should do all we can to keep fit, but the arteries continue to harden, muscle flexabibility does decrease and bones do become brittle.

    The other really damaging factor is that lifestyles may not allow us the time to keep fit. Now granted we chose those lifestyles... but part of one's career choice may be such that you spend long hours sitting in an office, vice hours pounding out miles. Back in my car free college days for instance, I did just that... I rode 40 miles to a college that was only 5 miles away.

    Later, after graduation, and entering the professional world, I found that it was difficult to find the 2-4+ hours a day to keep up that level of exercise... I am sure this is the situation for many, as they take on mortgage, family and other "obligations" typical of "the American Dream."

    I am sure this has as much to do with "aging" us as "father time..." like you say "it's merely a matter of adapting to your particular aging situation and aligning that with your performance goals." These days I am quite satisfied to only swim a mile a day or do 20-30 miles on the bike, vice the old performace levels.

    But the harsh reality is that even Jack Lalanne is not pulling boats across SF bay at his ripe old age... and he has done nothing but promote exercise and heathy living all his life.

    Father time takes his toll. No matter how hard one one may or may not try.

    Now that all said... the real question still remains. Does JF ride a bike... does he still practice what he has preached? Does he still take to the roads, at perhaps a slower pace (speed doesn't matter to a VC practitioner) but in the traffic and on the roads of today?
    If not, why not?

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    Along these lines, I think there is a mental aspect to it as well. When I was a teenager, I very much doubt that swim practice hurt any less than if I were still participating now. But when I was a teen, I didn't think of the pain, I thought about the results and the pain was incidental. Now, even though I am not out of my 20's yet (though close) I find myself fearing the pain more now. It has a cyclical effect because, the more I fear the pain, the less I ride (I ride more than I swim now) and the less I ride, the more it hurts to train.

    There is truth to the expression "to let oneself go". You give up, and when you give up, it becomes harder to get back to your previous level. So what's the solution to less fitness as you age? You don't "let yourself go". If you do it becomes that much harder to get yourself back.
    On the plus side, as one gets older, I found that it is quite easy to set a reasonable pace for a long term endevour, where those younger tend to simply go out in a blaze of glory.

    I attended college at a later age than many (I served many years in the military) but I continued to swim as I had done when I competed in High School... While I could not beat the 20 somethings in sprints in the college pool, I could do long distance swims that left them well behind.

    Age does tend to lend perspective and moderation.

  21. #21
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    There is truth to the expression "to let oneself go". You give up, and when you give up, it becomes harder to get back to your previous level. So what's the solution to less fitness as you age? You don't "let yourself go". If you do it becomes that much harder to get yourself back.
    +1, and of course many people get additional responsibilities such as work and family as they get older. Bike commuting is my way to not "let myself go". But, for example, a one or two week long business trip can easily set me back.

  22. #22
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Now that all said... the real question still remains. Does JF ride a bike... does he still practice what he has preached? Does he still take to the roads, at perhaps a slower pace (speed doesn't matter to a VC practitioner) but in the traffic and on the roads of today?
    If not, why not?
    Given that there has been some implication that he is too large to ride regularly, yet also some mention that size doesn't matter, do you think he's really going to answer? If I were him, I wouldn't.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCI_Brian View Post
    +1, and of course many people get additional responsibilities such as work and family as they get older. Bike commuting is my way to not "let myself go". But, for example, a one or two week long business trip can easily set me back.
    Now that I am a professional and not a student living on my own anymore, I am fighting this myself. Not to mention that there isn't a coach at my back forcing me to inflict pain on myself anymore like there was in highschool on the swimteam.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCI_Brian View Post
    Given that there has been some implication that he is too large to ride regularly, yet also some mention that size doesn't matter, do you think he's really going to answer? If I were him, I wouldn't.
    I believe that the point is not to ridicule him as to his size, but to gain some insight about how much John Forester knows of the current road environment from the saddle of a bicycle. His lack of response forces one to consider "other factors" to determine if he is a current transportational cyclist who rides on a regular and frequent basis on modern roads with modern traffic levels and modern driver behavior.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCI_Brian View Post
    Given that there has been some implication that he is too large to ride regularly, yet also some mention that size doesn't matter, do you think he's really going to answer? If I were him, I wouldn't.
    Hmmm, I think the implication was not that he was too large to ride, but that not riding has allowed him to become too large.

    But the real question is "does he practice what he preaches?" Is he out there riding in the right lane holding back 50MPH traffic while riding at 10MPH? Or does he only expect the "young and strong" to do that?

    There are many cyclists in the 50+ forum that go out and "ride their age." So age has little to do with cycling... at least age is not an impediment. I certainly hope to do a lot more cycling (albeit slower) when I retire.

    But everytime I read something he espouses regarding VC practices... I want to know... is it "kitchen tested," or is it theory?

    In his beloved UK, where VC is "regularly practiced" vice "unwashed" America who's cyclists apparently "cower" in an "inferiority syndrome," seem to be taking up bike lanes... and I want to know why... if VC is so regularly practiced and esteemed "over there."

    By the same token, is he handing us a load of "old memories" with his responses here, or does he practice what he preaches?

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