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Tyre Choice - - Would It Have Made A Difference?

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Tyre Choice - - Would It Have Made A Difference?

Old 08-02-19, 03:08 AM
  #26  
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I ride all winter on 700x25c slicks.

a different tire may have made a difference for you.

but the biggest difference will be your riding technique according to the tire your are riding!

Well I mean technique should always be, but If it is lacking than yes some tires will be more forgiving than other tires.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:44 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Technique... technique... technique...

There is no argument that someone with good skill and great technique will do better than someone without. But that is not what the OP is asking about, nor does any of us (Unless someone here knows the OP outside of virtual candy land) know the OP's skill or speed into the corner or how far he was leaning. Unless we have video showing any of this we are all pissing into a fan.

So regardless of skill and technique (as these are variables X and Y but should assume they are fairly consistent with the rider) What we do know is the type of tires he was riding.

So the question is... if you take a corner on those vittoria tires from a paved farm track road and turn onto a more "gravely" road say 1000 times or ride another tire like Terreno Drys or Gravel King SKs 1000 times into the same corner, which tire will give out the most? Say a percentage?

Is it the same experience with every tire going over those surfaces everytime?
(Because thats what the "Its only skill not the tire" peeps sound like... regardless of tire its the same outcome and only skill will make a difference)

@Witterings feel free to correct me if I am wrong here but I think that's what the initial curiosity was.

Sorry for the spill. That sucks and I am one step behind you in age and I'll be darned if each year it doesn't cost me twice as much in time and doctor bills each time I get hurt.
Thank you so much ... someone that has enough intelligence to actually understand what was being asked (unlike some)

It also re-iterates that others are jumping to conclusions when they weren't even there ... have absolutely no idea of the terrain, the speed I was going and whether I was leaning into it at all and don't even bother asking the questions to come to any type of informed conclusion but just spout jumping to a totally uninformed conclusion which in my experience has never been a clever thing to do (empty vessels and all that).

I know that area well having ridden it so many times, we come up the lane at about 16mph and slow down considerably to take the turn due to the surface there .... there's one small part where there's a bump and you could easily damage your rim so again re-iterates I approach it slowly / cautiously and as it's quite wide I'd almost say it's more of a bend than a hard turn and so therefore no lean into it due to the slow / cautious speed and I didn't brake hence why the shock that the bike disappeared from under me with such severity and speed.

I think people have been wrongly assuming I've come flying up to a bend at a speed that's totally inappropriate for the surface which really wasn't the case ... I was going the same speed as the guy in front of me and following his line but he didn't come off so for some reason I obviously just got unlucky .... the guy behind that went over as well did hit his brakes which caused his skid / fall and the guy behind him was able to steer round and avoid us.

As you've said though my whole question is if a tyre had more nobbles might it have cut through the loose surface and stopped the fall and if so for the small percentage of speed lost I'd happily swap back to my GK SK's which I use during the winter months and just keep them on year round rather than run the risk of such an unpredictable fall again.

Thank you for your input and having the wisdom and insight that some on here appear to severely lack
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Old 08-02-19, 06:27 AM
  #28  
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Serious question here @Witterings. I'm not trying to challenge and am sorry to hear that you got hurt. Sounds like a really nasty fall.

Reminding you that you wrote...

Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
there was a fine layer of dirt and my front wheel just went and I was down before I could blink.
I'm wondering if you recall using the front brake on the fine layer of dirt?


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 08-02-19 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:53 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Serious question here @Witterings. I'm not trying to challenge and am sorry to hear that you got hurt. Sounds like a really nasty fall.

Reminding you that you wrote...



I'm wondering if you recall using the front brake on the fine layer of dirt?


-Tim-
Not in the turn at all as I'm totally aware that's the worst thing you can do on a loose surface as well as turning the wheel hard which is why I'm so bemused by what happened .... the other guy that came off behind me did slam his brakes on to avoid hitting me which is what caused him to come off though.

I'm probably going to go back down there over the weekend and have a look and see what it's like but it literally felt like I'd just hit a sheet of black ice
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Old 08-02-19, 08:03 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by literal trope View Post
Relative “sporting ability” confirmed.
Ability to "Make Friends and Influence People" confirmed
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Old 08-02-19, 01:37 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
Not in the turn at all as I'm totally aware that's the worst thing you can do on a loose surface as well as turning the wheel hard which is why I'm so bemused by what happened .... the other guy that came off behind me did slam his brakes on to avoid hitting me which is what caused him to come off though.

I'm probably going to go back down there over the weekend and have a look and see what it's like but it literally felt like I'd just hit a sheet of black ice
OK. Thank you. This makes sense and it probably wasn't what I thought at all.

As a side note, I rode my gravel bike on singletrack last night, went into a turn too hot, hit the front brake and the front tire started to wash out. I had to straighten the bar and let off the brake to keep from going down. By then it was too late to correct and I went way off into the weeds, which was better than going down.

I laughed at myself, called myself a bad name and thought of this thread as I rode on.

Really hoping that you and your buddy make a full and speedy recovery.


-Tim-
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Old 08-02-19, 02:27 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
Because like most of us if we didn't have the ability to read the road and conditions we'd constantly be having accidents which isn't the case.

I totally get your 150th time on a worn out tyre when it was OK on ride 149 ... which is the whole point of what I was trying to ask.

So for arguments sake a slick that goes through the corner 150 times is probably going to have less grip than a nobbly that does it the same number of times... although that may be totally dependent upon the compound of the tyre ... so are you more likely to have an accident on one rather than the other.

I think people are jumping on the ... You're incompetent at reading the road ... which I genuinely don't feel is the case and if I was I wouldn't be so shocked at what happened for the 1st time in my life at 55 because it would be something that had happened to me on a regular basis.
Donít get hung up on the age of the tire. Concentrate on all the variables. Crashing on a corner could happen on the first, 12th, 87th, 92nd, or 150th try. All of the variables...and there are dozens and dozens of them...are going to ďvaryĒ. Hit the right combination and down you go.

Also there is an element of technique in riding. Not everyoneís technique is flawless every time they ride. Crashing has upsides as well. It teaches you more about where your technique is flawed than those 150 successful trials will ever teach you. If this is the first time you have ever crashed in 55 years (thatís how I reading it), your bicycle education is sorely lacking. Iím older then you and I still crash. I learn something each time I hit the ground...mostly how painful it is and how to avoid it.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:35 PM
  #33  
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As a few others have said though it sounds a bit tacky - it is up to you to maintain control of your vehicle. It didn't lose traction all by itself and dump you on the road. This sound a bit like overconfidence since you've gone through that turn many times before. Learn a lesson.

As for the injuries - Second Skin. I can't say enough about that stuff.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:36 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
OK. Thank you. This makes sense and it probably wasn't what I thought at all.

As a side note, I rode my gravel bike on singletrack last night, went into a turn too hot, hit the front brake and the front tire started to wash out. I had to straighten the bar and let off the brake to keep from going down. By then it was too late to correct and I went way off into the weeds, which was better than going down.

I laughed at myself, called myself a bad name and thought of this thread as I rode on.

Really hoping that you and your buddy make a full and speedy recovery.


-Tim-
I think you are making too much out of front brake usage. Yes, using the front brake can cause the front wheel to wash out but so can a loose surface. Going into a loose surface with too much speed can slow the wheel enough as it digs in to act like the front brake is being applied. The smoother the tire, the more it digs in rather than floats over the surface. As the tire digs in, the wheel turns more than it should and the bikeís equilibrium is upset and down it goes. The rider usually canít shift the center of mass to get on top of the tire to give it more traction.

Iíve crashed many times on ice and slick surfaces without every touching the brakes. Sometimes the simple act of pedaling which causes side-to-side movement can cause crashes on slick surfaces.
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Old 08-02-19, 05:23 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
As for the injuries - Second Skin. I can't say enough about that stuff.
What is that I googled it in the UK and nothing came up ... I'm guessing it's like some sort of a glue plaster????

If so it may depend on the wound .... I think the docs hoping mine stays open rather than stitching it as there's still gravel in the wound as it's deep and they're hoping it'll work it's way out rather than staying in and causing an infection which could possibly lead to Sepsis.

Something that seals a wound in that sort of situation could maybe trap debris in and potentially be fatal????
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Old 08-02-19, 05:45 PM
  #36  
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Tegaderm. Keeps it moist so it won't close up. Looks creepy but works. However, if you've already been to the docs, no reason to not follow their instructions. Keep it in mind for next time.
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Old 08-04-19, 02:40 PM
  #37  
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Yeah. The front tyre sliding in a corner, causing you to hit the deck. There's a simple reason why that happens; taking the corner too fast for the conditions.

Of course, it's not always easy to judge the conditions. Dust, temperature..

I take a corner fast, i've been down on it once. These days i ride a longer bike, far more of my weight is on the front axle, i can get away with higher speeds than i used to. But still it really depends on the conditions. If it's been windy, dust can accumulate differently.
Don't assume a corner is as it looks or as you know it.
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Old 08-04-19, 04:03 PM
  #38  
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C
Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
What is that I googled it in the UK and nothing came up ... I'm guessing it's like some sort of a glue plaster????

If so it may depend on the wound .... I think the docs hoping mine stays open rather than stitching it as there's still gravel in the wound as it's deep and they're hoping it'll work it's way out rather than staying in and causing an infection which could possibly lead to Sepsis.

Something that seals a wound in that sort of situation could maybe trap debris in and potentially be fatal????
Itís a high water content, sterile, gel that comes in sheets and keeps the wound wet, which is essential for healing and pain control. Very good stuff. Made by Spenco, I believe. If not available in the UK, there might be an alternative.
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Old 08-04-19, 05:12 PM
  #39  
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I accelerated from a near stop into a left turn. The road was worn concrete with polished rock tops showing through. It had just rained a little bit. Bontrager Hardcase tires. I spun out on about the 4th pedal stroke, and it wasn't all that aggressive. My back end washed out and I was down in a split second. Tires and road surface make a difference.
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Old 08-04-19, 09:30 PM
  #40  
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Tire compound and tread can help reduce the risk of common road hazards -- thin layers of sand and pebbles on turns, etc.

For awhile last year I switched my hybrid from my favorite 700x42 Continental Speed Rides to 700x32 Conti Sport Contact II. While I didn't care for the ride quality of the Sport Contact II, I was surprised how well the shallow pebbly diamond/file pattern tread gripped on tricky terrain. It felt remarkably surefooted on dry sandy patches, and on wet slick roads.

On my road bikes I usually ride slicks, and there are minor differences in perceived grip between one brand or model of slicks and another. But I'm very cautious on fast curves and slower turns... at least until I know the terrain. I'm not racing and if the group gets gapped because I take curves a little slower, I'll probably catch 'em on the next climb anyway. My 61 year old bones don't bounce anymore, so I'm more cautious now.

For awhile this spring I tried an older set of Specialized Armadillo 700x23 road tires with very shallow hatched pattern tread. I was surprised how much better those gripped on wet or dry slippery stuff. And those tires were age hardened, not as grippy as they would have been new. So I just ordered a set of Continental Grand Prix Classics. I could take or leave the faux-gumwall cosmetics, but I'm curious to see how the modest tread pattern feels. I'll probably put the GP Classics on my steel bike for wet road rides.

Tire pressure matters too. Whenever a road bike ride turns onto gravel I'll stop and bleed out some tire pressure. I weigh 150 lbs so I can ride pretty low pressure without pinch flatting. Reducing 700x23 or 700x25 tires from 100-120 psi to 80-90 (lower on the front tire) helps on gravel and slick roads.
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Old 08-05-19, 12:45 PM
  #41  
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Tires make a little difference. If you're PSI is lower you grab more. Side tread can help.
Experience with approach (ie, turning larger to hit the actual slippery part straighter)
Not holding the rear brake while turning (biggie)
A trick MTB use is to stand in your saddle and push the bike down to the inner part of the turn, but stay upright over your rear tire to help it stick better.
If you instead lean with the bike & turn you will be creating an outward force for the wheel to slide rather than a downward force the stick the tire to the surface.

From this point on, its all about going back there, studying the surface, studying your approach and figuring what you could do better after a field observation.
THEN its the long slow road toward rebuilding up your confidence by approaching at slower speeds, working on technique. What you gain in grabby tires, you lose in rolling resistance in keeping up.
And even the stickiest tires will slide in poor conditions or poor riding skills.

My advice is go with 28-38, keep PSI lower than average (ie 90 psi for 28") and work on putting weight over the wheel if you see a dangerous situation. Mind you, this isn't a roadies technique, just a Mountain Biker's technique applied to a dangerous situation coming upon you!

Wish your injury a speedy recovery. And a nice scar to talk about over beers!
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Old 08-05-19, 01:11 PM
  #42  
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Getting slammed to the ground in a millisecond sounds exactly like too much front brake on a road with poor surface condition.
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Old 08-05-19, 01:34 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
Not in the turn at all as I'm totally aware that's the worst thing you can do on a loose surface as well as turning the wheel hard which is why I'm so bemused by what happened .... the other guy that came off behind me did slam his brakes on to avoid hitting me which is what caused him to come off though.

I'm probably going to go back down there over the weekend and have a look and see what it's like but it literally felt like I'd just hit a sheet of black ice
Even pros crash. No one takes every corner perfect 100% of the time, sometimes things just happen. You come in a little too hot, maybe there was a bump in the road that wasn't there before and it catches your wheel at exactly the wrong angle, and you're down.

Wider tires might help but maybe not. I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

Anyway I'm just chiming in to say that you might want to have your skull and brain checked out just to be safe. Just because you were wearing a helmet doesn't mean there was no impact. It just means your skull and brains stayed mostly where they are supposed to stay.
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Old 08-05-19, 01:43 PM
  #44  
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Replace the helmet

Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
really smacked my head and all I can say is ... thank the big man above I was wearing a helmet as my head took a seriously major impact and it's the bit of me that's not injured. ...


Painkillers and bed me thinks

After 44 years of road cycling I had my first nasty fall last July. Not discussed here so far:

1) you can look all you want at your helmet, but they get hairline fractures which are hard to see. Replace it, it sacrificed itself, job done.

2) although my head didn't hurt (ribs did!) my son, a resident in radiology, force me to the hospital for a CAT scan (no head problem but broke one of those 'wings' things on T1 lateral (vertebra spine bone), that never hurt at all). I learned all sort of things from the cat scan (how many broken ribs I really had, I had broken ribs from a previous accident (not bicycle related), I have gall stones, AND I have a finger in my thigh (which now I take advantage of by lifting my thigh at people, they don't know what going on, but gives me great satisfaction. (this later 'feature' really is not that rare, there is even a medical term for it.) But I have to note the doctors did't tell me about any of those later items, my son did after looking at the CAT scan and x-rays.)


3) watch the pain killers, all have side effects.


Glad you saw your doctor.


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Old 08-05-19, 03:45 PM
  #45  
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I got some pics of where I went down .... you'll see how loose a surface it is but knowing this is exactly what I don't brake or turn hard into and only approach at a slow speed. The only thing I did notice was some slight drops and I wonder if the tyre was half way up one of those which started the movement to drop to the bottom and it just kept going ... that's just me trying to 2nd guess it though.









Looking back the other way towards the direction I'd come from.
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Old 08-05-19, 04:12 PM
  #46  
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I'm going to say sorry for your injuries. It really sucks, I've been there, done that, have the medals. And you don't want to see my x-rays.

Pictures show IMO, a fairly predictable surface. Looks like tons of traction - so ya, you made a bone headed move. Don't do that. The fact that your buddy behind ya crashed bad too tells me you guys *might* have been going a bit fast and close (where was his "out"?) for a gravely, surface shifting corner. Ya, I call that a corner, not a bend.

But don't sweat it, don't let us get "under your skin" (har).
Just get better, and ride when you can. Good luck man,.
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Old 08-05-19, 04:34 PM
  #47  
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That surface has plenty of undulation to it, where there can be a small patch of gravel with depth to it which nevertheless appears to present a smooth surface.
The tire sinking into such a road feature may have precipitated a slide which was unrecoverable.

I suspect that while most of our precious riding skill is based on statistical averages of outcomes, the road and it's surroundings actually often has dangerous features, everything from hidden sink-holes to animals about to cross the road.
The averages tend to play out predictably, until they don't.

As has been mentioned, softer and/or treaded tires are better at keeping some tread on the road surface as loose stuff is passing between the tire and the road. And wider tires are better at not sinking/knifing into soft surfaces.

Last edited by dddd; 08-05-19 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 04:55 PM
  #48  
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Didn't read the whole thing but I noticed the hip replacement comment.

You need to call the doc that replaced your hips and tell him what happened. If it's not the same doc, call one of them.

I'm a nurse in the OR and one of the worst things I see is when a total joint gets injured. It goes from injury, to revision, to infection, to replacement, and every step along the way is bone and muscle trauma. It takes a long time to recover and some folks never quite do.

Everything else looks superficial. Pavement plus sand isn't solvable with tires. You needed to ride it out and take the turn once the sand ended. Doesn't matter, just call your doc.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:41 PM
  #49  
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I recently started riding gravel, and have been pondering the exact question the OP asked. On my chosen work-out trail, I've had two close calls - one happened slow enough that I was able to pick the front-end up and put it back down on-line & square to the ground. The second happened super fast - too fast for me to react - but for whatever reason the front tire grabbed at the last moment and all I got was a shot of adrenaline.

Both times, it was poor technique, no question. More specifically, it was me falling back on my road instincts of leaning in, and also the habit of quickly scanning the road directly ahead and then going back to looking further ahead. In gravel you need to do the opposite - make sure you know is exactly what is going on right in front of you while keeping in mind the overall trail with the occasional glance up. And then of course do not lean in like you do on a road bike. I know the OP know this but...

I was riding Specialized Trigger Pro tires (on a Specialized Diverge), 38c, 45 psi (with tubes) both times. These tires have mild-to-moderate tread. What would have happened with slicks? Impossible to tell, just like it's impossible to know for sure if more aggressive tires would have helped the OP. But I'm a big believer that tires matter - and I'm betting that slicks would have put me on the ground. So maybe the tires did save me from poor technique. I'm never going to solely rely on tires, and am constantly working on technique and habit, but I'm also going to get a set of Vittoria Terreno Drys. I really do think those side knobs are a good thing and that they just might save my skin. Huge respect for those who ride gravel on slicks - obviously, the right riding skills make that doable. And maybe I'll be there too some day. But for now I'm getting some tires that I think will give me a larger margin of safety, and hopefully keep my 50-something body off the ground.

TL;DR - Tires may have saved this gravel newb from a similar crash (twice), and said newb is going to get what he thinks are even better tires. Props to those who can ride gravel effectively on slicks.

Last edited by GeogreHudetz; 08-05-19 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:03 PM
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GeogreHudetz
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Originally Posted by literal trope View Post
This would invite target fixation and/or not being prepared for approaching trail/road features.

I don't do what you suggest when I'm riding road, gravel or mountain bikes. It's a recipe for disaster.
No target fixation here - just constant scanning. It's more a question of the time-slice - what percentage you are looking ahead at the road as whole and what percentage you are assessing surface conditions. Seems to me that gravel requires more time looking at the surface. Do you disagree?
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