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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 11-15-15, 07:17 PM
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The shape of my week is such that I almost never have free time to ride at midday Sunday. Today was an exception, and I had a couple of hours. I went East instead of West, riding through East Arlington to West Medford, bombing up and down the hills on the aptly-named High Street down to Medford Center, then continuing on through Medford's Old Ship Street Historic District and into Malden to pick up the Northern Strand Community Trail. Took that into Revere, and enjoyed the tidal vistas of Rumney Marsh. Turned around just before the Saugus line: the rest of the day beckoned. Rolled home laboring against a headwind.

Stopped in Medford to pay my respects to the stupa at the Kurkulla Center.


Enjoyed the Malden segment's run through urban back yards, industrial and residential.


Approaching Revere, I inadvertently rolled through a field of broken glass. The big, soft (30/35 PSI) Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralight tires just tiptoed gently over the shards, no harm done. These tires have no flat protection, but didn't need it this time. After that bit of fun, I reached Revere, and Rumney Marsh. It was looking pretty today, in an autumnal register.












On the ride home, saw a young man with a laptop and a small drone, pursuing his hobby, perhaps, on the fringes of a factory site; no idea what he was up to, really. Saw this little tyke, playing alone in a parking lot in down-town Malden; I have as much idea of what the story was with him as I do about the guy with the drone. Maybe they were both simply playing...


Crossed the Malden River and noted the flag flying in the brisk headwind.


Kept pedaling, got home.

rod

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Old 11-16-15, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah
...

I didn't get out yesterday, but today my husband had to be at Purgatory Chasm, so I threw my bike in the car. One-way rides are nice, since you see more new territory (or new-ish; I've done this particular ride once before) for the same amount of miles. 62 miles home, starting by climbing up to "Sutton, a Hilltop Village" (it's not kidding!) and then rolling hills through Millsbury, Upton, Grafton, Hopkinton, Southboro, Sudbury, and then into more familiar terrain through Lincoln, up and over the hill by the library to 2A, and then the usual Mill/Marrett/Mass Ave/etc. home.
...
Sounds like a lovely ride! Can you share a track for the route?

rod
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Old 11-16-15, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah
Happy belated birthday, Jim!
...
Definitely need new shoes; my clothes were actually a bit too warm and yet my feet were still a bit tingly when I got home
Thank you. It's good to see your post, as your name has been scarce here lately.

Cold feet? I find that SmartWool socks make a biiiiig difference. On the other hand (or should I say foot?) shoes not large enough for them are a problem.

I'm with Rod, post your route from PC!

Originally Posted by rholland1951
...I went East instead of West
And Rod, please post your route too! That run looks like a nice bit of peaceful exploration. I'd love to head that way on the tandem but I'd sure like to know where I'm going first. Start at, say Alewife please.
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Old 11-16-15, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
...
And Rod, please post your route too! That run looks like a nice bit of peaceful exploration. I'd love to head that way on the tandem but I'd sure like to know where I'm going first. Start at, say Alewife please.
Sure: here's the route, 18 miles round trip. If you're coming from Alewife, ride up the Minuteman to Linwood, take Linwood a short block to Belknap Street (right), take that a short block to Marion Road (left), follow that up to Mass. Ave., cross Mass. Ave. to Bates Road, ride that a few blocks until it becomes River Road (as you cross Broadway, as I recall). River Road puts you on the track; take that across the Mystic Valley Parkway (and the Mystic River) into West Medford, where it becomes Harvard Street. Follow Harvard Street to High Street, and take that East, taking care not to come to grief crossing the railroad tracks. High Street is hilly and fun to ride. The rest of the route is pretty much as it appears on the map.

You'll pick up the Northern Strand Community Trail off Medford Street, Malden, at the Bell Rock Cemetery (Malden's old burying ground, and worth a visit). Go North. The Malden and Everett segments are paved; the Revere and Saugus segments are gravel (well, not real gravel, since there's some recycled asphalt mixed in with the rocks, but it rides like gravel), so 28mm or wider tires are helpful. The Saugus section of the trail continues on beyond the track on the map I linked, but is worth a try, both for the nice views of the tidal marshes of the Saugus River, and for easy access to the historic Saugus Iron Works. Watch out for some trail erosion at the far end of the bridge across the Saugus River; it was starting to get a little hazardous the last time I was there (~2 months ago). The trail ends at the Lynn line, but that's the jumping off points for rides to Nahant, Marblehead, Salem, and points North and East, not to mention the Lynn Woods; the Lynn Common is worth a visit, too.

Enjoy!

rod

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Old 11-17-15, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Sounds like a lovely ride! Can you share a track for the route?

rod
Sure! Home from Purgatory - A bike ride in Sutton, MA Pretty sure I cribbed most of it from one of Pamela Blalock's routes -- it's got a lot of fussy turns, some of which aren't well signed, so a GPS is a good thing.

Originally Posted by jimmuller
Thank you. It's good to see your post, as your name has been scarce here lately.

Cold feet? I find that SmartWool socks make a biiiiig difference. On the other hand (or should I say foot?) shoes not large enough for them are a problem.
Yeah, I had nice wool socks, the problem is that the shoes are too small across the top of my foot even with thin socks -- so far I haven't found a replacement set that fits right. Need to try some more options.

I haven't been riding as many post-worthy rides, except for going bike touring in Italy, but that's not exactly Metro Boston. Starting to train for next year's randonneuring season, although soon that will be mostly on the trainer, alas.

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Old 11-17-15, 08:30 AM
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Speaking of wool socks, I rode my usual commute yesterday and this morning. This morning it was cold, about 29degF when I left the house. It probably won't be much over 40 when I return.
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Old 11-17-15, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah
Sure! Home from Purgatory - A bike ride in Sutton, MA Pretty sure I cribbed most of it from one of Pamela Blalock's routes -- it's got a lot of fussy turns, some of which aren't well signed, so a GPS is a good thing.



Yeah, I had nice wool socks, the problem is that the shoes are too small across the top of my foot even with thin socks -- so far I haven't found a replacement set that fits right. Need to try some more options.

I haven't been riding as many post-worthy rides, except for going bike touring in Italy, but that's not exactly Metro Boston. Starting to train for next year's randonneuring season, although soon that will be mostly on the trainer, alas.
Thanks! I've come across the Blalock route once or twice while Googling instead of riding, and was intrigued, but haven't had the nerve (read: haven't gotten an early enough start some Summer Saturday morning with the necessary Friday planning and preparations) to do the round-trip ride. The idea of a one-way is intriguing, especially now that the days are shorter. Beyond that, I'm always curious about good routes across Route 9 and I-90...

Re: shoes. I have a similar problem. When I switched away from SPD pedals and started using big platforms (MKS-Lambda, VP-001), a few years back, I experimented with shoes and found that the ones with the highest coefficient of sliding friction provided the best foot retention on the nubbly pedals; in addition, running shoes tended to have built up heels that limited my foot positions on the platforms, rubbing the crank arms. I settled on five.ten Impact IIs, damn near perfect shoes for Fall, Winter, and Spring rides of any distance, except for one thing: they were too narrow, and my feet hurt after a long ride. Nevertheless, I kept using them, trying a shoe stretcher (helped some), sizing up (helped some too), and so forth. Meanwhile, I found shoes for Summer riding (New Balance MX-20 Minimus) that had both the grippy soles I needed and a last and width that suited my feet. Problem is, I know they won't cut it in 20degF. So the experimentation continues. Five.ten sells sheets of their "stealth rubber" sole material, and I may try having a cobbler retrofit an old set of New Balance hiking boots with that for a sole. We'll see... Meantime, best of luck with your shoe search.

rod

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Old 11-17-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Thanks! I've come across the Blalock route once or twice while Googling instead of riding, and was intrigued, but haven't had the nerve (read: haven't gotten an early enough start some Summer Saturday morning with the necessary Friday planning and preparations) to do the round-trip ride. The idea of a one-way is intriguing, especially now that the days are shorter. Beyond that, I'm always curious about good routes across Route 9 and I-90...

Re: shoes. I have a similar problem. When I switched away from SPD pedals and started using big platforms (MKS-Lambda, VP-001), a few years back, I experimented with shoes and found that the ones with the highest coefficient of sliding friction provided the best foot retention on the nubbly pedals; in addition, running shoes tended to have built up heels that limited my foot positions on the platforms, rubbing the crank arms. I settled on five.ten Impact IIs, damn near perfect shoes for Fall, Winter, and Spring rides of any distance, except for one thing: they were too narrow, and my feet hurt after a long ride. Nevertheless, I kept using them, trying a shoe stretcher (helped some), sizing up (helped some too), and so forth. Meanwhile, I found shoes for Summer riding (New Balance MX-20 Minimus) that had both the grippy soles I needed and a last and width that suited my feet. Problem is, I know they won't cut it in 20degF. So the experimentation continues. Five.ten sells sheets of their "stealth rubber" sole material, and I may try having a cobbler retrofit an old set of New Balance hiking boots with that for a sole. We'll see... Meantime, best of luck with your shoe search.

rod
You could always hop the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line out to Grafton, which is most of the way out there.

I do prefer SPD shoes for my road bike, so that limits my choices. If I can't find something, I might go to platforms+Power Grips for the winter, but I'd really rather not.
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Old 11-17-15, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah
You could always hop the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line out to Grafton, which is most of the way out there.

I do prefer SPD shoes for my road bike, so that limits my choices. If I can't find something, I might go to platforms+Power Grips for the winter, but I'd really rather not.
I had good luck with the fit of Sidi Megas, before I drank the Shoes Ruse kool aid...

rod
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Old 11-17-15, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
I had good luck with the fit of Sidi Megas, before I drank the Shoes Ruse kool aid...

rod
Early last winter I bought a pair of Specialized Defroster SPD shoes. I'd surely recommend them, with thiner summer socks my toes are nice and comfy in the lower to mid 40's and with thicker Smartwool winter cycling socks from EMS they are comftorable in the mid to upper 30's. I've taken the SPD-SL pedals off my rain bike until spring and am using my Deore XT pedals from my 520.

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Old 11-18-15, 12:05 AM
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10 miles tonight on the Minuteman, in temperatures that started in the high 30s and dropped to the freezing point by the time I finished, not as cold as Jim's morning commute, but it'll do. Mostly got the layering right, but the thin wool socks and summer shoes (mesh uppers) missed the mark. Took the Rawland Nordavinden, takes a light touch for the steering, still get the giggles every time I ride it. First use of the balaclava this season. Lots of riders, all but me apparently commuting, with only one other trail user, who might have been a runner, judging by his togs, but who was standing motionless and staring raptly over the dimly glowing Great Meadow.




Rode home and ate a bowl of hot chicken soup.

rod

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Old 11-18-15, 09:30 PM
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Layered my Winter cycling shell and gloves over street clothes, and took the LHT up to Arlington Center for an ABAC meeting this evening, temperatures in the 30s, and the ride was chilly, but short, 3 miles round trip.


Got a demo of the Bike Bus... What's that? Turns out it's a bus full of stationary bicycles, intended to provide exercise (spin training) for commuters, a sort of Plato's Cave projection of bicycle commuting. A story goes with it, as Damon Runyon said.


rod

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Old 11-19-15, 08:20 PM
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After a couple rides with temperatures in the 30s, tonight's 50s felt positively balmy. Took the Rawland Nordavinden up to Lexington Center for a quiet ride before dinner and before the rains came.


rod

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Old 11-20-15, 08:22 PM
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15 miles on the Minuteman tonight, temperatures in the 40s, bit of headwind outbound. A few cyclists, a few walkers, a skater or two, and a few small groups of migratory teenagers, seeming somewhat subdued, perhaps by the cold. Plus winter moths, bunnies, and a running rat.








Another happy ride on the Rawland Nordavinden; trying to get the miles in before the snow, ice, and road salt arrive, and it goes into hibernation until April.


rod
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Old 11-22-15, 11:55 AM
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Yesterday I rode my sameoldsameold loopdeloop 37 mile through Sherborn, Dover, Dedham, Westwood, Dover, Medfield, Dover, Sherborn. I guess Medfield found the new pavement too entrancing and had to ask cyclists to ride single file.


When it hits 45F my toe covers work well with regular socks. 35F and I'll switch to winter socks and full shoe covers.
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Old 11-22-15, 12:41 PM
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A few other Fall rides to report:
An old favorite and my longest ride of the year: 40 miles to Burnt Swamp Road then through the Diamond Hill and Arnold Mill Resevoirs in Cumberland, RI. Rolling hills Sherborn, Millis, Norfolk Franklin, Wrentham and back through Medway.

A great Fall ride from Castle Island to see the new Ted Kennedy building. We rode across the finally finished Harborwalk connection. The exhibit and architecture are great. We went on to Mattapan for lunch and a chance to admire the Baker Chocolate Factory and catch a glimpse of the circa 1946 PCC trolley, only of it's kind still in continual operation. Next trip will be to view the site of the first paper mill in Mattapan and the first commercial railway in Milton.


And a couple of good Fall weather rides are the East Bay ride East Providence to Bristol (stopping for hot coffee and cookie) and on any warm day noodling about on the back roads of Sherborn, Holliston, Millis and Medfield.
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Old 11-22-15, 04:14 PM
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sbp, it's good to see your posts. They don't come often enough.

Speaking of often, I've been late reporting on this weekend. No riding today but we took the tandem out for 47.7 miles on Saturday. Just a quick run for lunch and a stop for veggies and frozen berries at TJ's on the return.

A brief stop at Arlington's Great Meadows:



Of course Sharon insisted on taking a pic of me:



Unloading the bike when we returned home:

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Old 11-23-15, 04:30 AM
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A rather unceremonious weekend of riding for me. 35 miles on Saturday and 25 in Sunday's light rain, bringing me to 4002 miles so far this year. Soon it'll be time to mount up the new WTB MTB tires on my 29er for the snow. A handlebar mounted action camera is in my near future, soon I'll be able to contribute.
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Old 11-25-15, 08:46 AM
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Metro Boston: Good ride tomorrow?

Hi all,

For the past few years, @mtalinm, my fellow commuter from Westwood, and I have ridden on Thanksgiving morning from Norwood Hospital to Boston. m’ rides as far as Jamaica Pond, and returns to Westwood. I just posted him, but if anyone is interested in a group ride, here’s a proposal. The basic element is a ride leaving around 10:00 AM for a 14 mile ride on a pleasant route through Dedham and West Roxbury to Brookline and Boston.

If you were to drive to Norwood, we could leave at a time to get to the Back Bay Commuter Rail Station to catch an 11:25 AM train back to Norwood, with your bike, to the Norwood Central station located immediately behind the Hospital. According to the schedule it arrives before noon. Maybe we could even extend the route, say to 20 miles on mutual agreement.

This is a sector of Metro Boston that seems not to be ridden much as described in posts to this thread. The current hourly forecast for Norwood at 10:00 AM tomorrow is 50° F, and partly sunny. I’d like to finalize plans by this evening, say around 10:00 PM.

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Old 11-25-15, 10:12 PM
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Took the Trucker DeLuxe out for a ride in the moonlight up to Lexington Center on the Minuteman, temperatures in the 30s but no wind to speak of. If all cold weather rides were this pleasant, no one would move to California. In the coldest part of the ride (Arlington's Great Meadow, confusingly enough located in Lexington), rode through a shallow puddle (left over from the rain the other night) and heard the crackling of a skin of ice. The big (52 mm), soft (30/35 PSI) Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralights continue to please, and tonight inspired associations including "hovercraft", "seven-league boots", and "rolling doughnut", the last harking back to the improbable object of an athletic feat in schoolyard ribaldry.

A lovely moon lit the way.


The Arlington Coal and Lumber yard glowed silently.


The moon floated over Great Meadow, a dim, gray expanse, invisible to the phone camera's sensor, but fringed with solitary house lights.


Skeletal vegetation picked out of the night by the headlights.


Met wandering pedestrians in Arlington, other cyclists in Lexington, lights coming and going.


House lights glowed through the bare branches along the Minuteman.


Back in Arlington and the friendly red glow of the Central Fire Station.


Winter lights are starting to appear, lit against the dark season, a sort of Northern comfort.


rod

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Old 11-25-15, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Metro Boston: Good ride tomorrow?
Jim, we will be riding in the morning but can't make your ride. Have commitments that require we not be out too long. Bummer.
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Old 11-27-15, 11:18 AM
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I found myself with a little midday riding time on Thanksgiving Day, and took the Rawland for a 26-mile loop around Hanscom Field, through bits of Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, and Lincoln. Took the Minuteman out to Depot Park, noting (not for the first time) that it was busier than Mass. Ave. had been, so I took Mass. Ave. home on the return. That gave me a chance to check out the just-finished Complete Streets makeover in East Arlington, something that I'd driven and walked, but hadn't ridden.

Arlington Center, late morning: not much doing.


The big game between AHS and Arlington Catholic drew a crowd on the Minuteman.


Contrasting aesthetics on Virginia Road, Concord: a front yard sculpture park with pieces assembled from recycled objets trouvés...


... gave way, after a few dozen pedal strokes, to Xmas kitsch on an ambitious scale, complete with a small P.A. playing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"...

... for some reason, the culturally-heterogeneous clusters of figures in that second front yard--here the Holy Family, there Mickey Mouse, etc.--reminded me of a StarCraft scenario, and I left before hostilities broke out.

Hanscom had been busy that day, bizjets coming and going at a good clip, and the cloud-crowned sweeping rise opposite the SW edge of the runway purged any lingering toxic effects of exposure to the Plastic Wonderland from my system.


I noted the low water at the N end of the Cambridge Reservoir; I suppose this is the dark side of so many good riding days over the last few weeks.


Robbins Cemetery, 462 Mass. Ave. in East Lexington, is a pocket-sized 18th Century gem.


Mass. Ave. was empty. I was thankful.


The East Arlington project included a needed complete repaving, a reduction of lanes from 4 to 3 (should have been 2, but local oral tradition has it that somebody panicked about back ups at the merge and slipped that change in too late in the process for adequate review, tsk...), bump outs and islands at key pedestrian crossings, more lights, and new bike lanes that appear to have adequate offsets (but time will tell). As with all traffic calming measures, it makes some folks frantic, but I like it fine.


Rolled home on the eerily depopulated Mass. Ave., ran a short errand to feed my travelling son's cat, and accompanied Ellen to her brother's house for a tasty and cheerful Thanksgiving dinner.

rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 11-27-15 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 11-27-15, 04:46 PM
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It was such a wonderful day, I went with a friend to do the annual cape cod rail trail ride. Rode too fast for pics but here is one at the beach where we turn around...

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Old 11-27-15, 07:51 PM
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10 miles on the Minuteman on the LHT in the balmy, breezy air tonight. The moon was seen as bright smudge in the low clouds.


Peepers Pond held reflections of the lighted windows beyond it.


Riding back towards Mill Street, I contemplated taking a photo of the car slowly rolling off the Minuteman... then I realized it was a police car, and the APD probably already knew about it. Something was doing in Brigham Square, perhaps.

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Old 11-28-15, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by guidoStow
It was such a wonderful day, I went with a friend to do the annual cape cod rail trail ride.
"The" annual CCRT ride? Some of us who frequent the C&V forum have two annual CCRT rides every year. I didn't know there was another one deserving of the definite article. Tell us about it! Is that beach pic Lecount beach off the northern end of the CCRT in Wellfleet?
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