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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 06-27-17, 05:31 PM
  #6276  
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No ice cream today. Nor yesterday either.

Just another commute with a significant storm in the middle of the run home. I pulled up under a carport and watched branches washing down the hill. Great fun. Didn't get too wet though.
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Old 06-28-17, 05:00 AM
  #6277  
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Originally Posted by eabeaj View Post
I'm no hero. Having a toddler just means you take your chances for a longer ride where you can get them!
ah gotcha, out of necessity
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Old 06-28-17, 11:04 AM
  #6278  
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30 miles yesterday morning with my R3 and 30 more this morning with my Roubaix. I was anxious to feel how much smoother the new shift cables are. Although not as effortless as Di2 it is an improvement. It seems like it had slowly diminished in a way that I didn't notice it from one ride to the next.

I haven't been gentle with that bike as far as riding in rain, dirty, Sandy roads, etc. I didn't cross paths with as many folks as I did early AM last week. All I need is 38 more before I leave for vacation (without a bike) Saturday to put me at 700 miles for June and 3400 for the year. That means one longer AM ride or 2 short ones.

Enjoy
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Old 06-28-17, 07:57 PM
  #6279  
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Took the Ebisu out for a ride before dinner. I replaced the 19mm Sugino binder bolt I had installed with a 17mm bolt, and that apparently cured a seatpost slip problem. Fiddled with the seat height and seat angle after that, and the bike felt dialed in in a way that it hasn't before. I made good time after that, dodging through the throngs who had turned out on the Minuteman on a beautiful evening.










rod
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Old 06-30-17, 06:46 AM
  #6280  
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Since the Ebisu build reached its, if not conclusion, then rolling pause, I've been doing an informal apprenticeship at Paramount Bicycle Repair, Ball Square, Somerville. Lately, this could be characterized as "Varieties of the V-Brake Experience". not so much variety really, but I'm getting plenty of experience, since there sure do seem to be a lot of bikes with those things mounted on them. Rode the Ebisu over there for another stint Thursday afternoon. Good, short ride on Broadway over Clarendon Hill in each direction, good day, got my hands dirty...




The bike was, indeed, quicker than the car at rush hour.

rod
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Old 06-30-17, 01:14 PM
  #6281  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Just curious what you guys would do; I had an awkward experience at my LBS yesterday and I can't decide if I want to take my business elsewhere or let it roll off my back. Last week when I picked up my R3 I also grabbed a pair of Shimano Carbon rim brake pads. I glanced at the rear calipers and kinda eyeballed the pads and said to myself I should grab a pair. The wheel manufacture sells their preferred pads online but lists acceptable substitutes that they say they have tested, the Shimano pads were one of them. Wanting to support my LBS I decided to buy them there instead. I got home and slid a pad out and quickly realized that I have a lot of serviceable life left. Without opening the new package I set them aside to return upon my following trip th the shop. Yesterday when I went to pick up my Roubaix from a tune up and shifter cable replacement, I went to return the unopened pads. The guy looked at them and said they are used. Having never bought Shimano Carbon rim pads before I couldn't tell if they in fact originally sold me used pads or he was flat out wrong. He accused me of trying to return used pads. I was pretty unhappy about being put in that position and said fine if you won't take them I'll just keep them. He snarkily said somethings about me spending a lot there and said he'd take them anyways (clearly not the same as accepting that they sold me a used product or perhaps he was mistaken). The kicker was when he brought out my Roubaix and told me the cost, it was below what the quote was when I dropped it off, they forgot to add the shift cables to the bill. I told him and asked that he add them to the bill. He didn't say much or convey any sense of concern that he maybe had judged me or my intentions wrong. I didn't open, mount or use the pads and ensured I paid for what I took home. I was and am still left less than thrilled by the encounter. I have gave them a lot of business in the past few years and really want to look elsewhere. When I dropped off the Roubaix I was conversing about my plans for a Di2 upgrade and discussed how the new cables would hold me over until the new Ultegra 8000 series Di2 hits their shelves this winter. They have a lot of staff members and some have been real snobby to me and some have been awesome. For some reason this coupled with the snobs leaves me itching to find another LBS.

I'm curious what some of you local folks have experienced or tolerated.
Was this a certain shop in a town that rhymes with "Ashmont"?
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Old 06-30-17, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Speaking of the Minuteman...

In Arlington Center the Minuteman Bikeway crosses Mass Ave. To continue east on the MM you have to cross Mass Ave and turn left. Arlington recently put up new traffic lights and painted bike lanes, very well-thought out too and effective. So now you wait for a stoplight, then follow a bike lane 2/3rds of the way across Mass Ave to a large green rectangle with a white bike symbol and left-turning arrow painted on the road, then wait for the cars' go-straight traffic light. Kinda' hard for even brain-dead drivers to misinterpret. But it's out in front of the stopped traffic. I figure that as a courtesy to the drivers whom I just pulled in front of I should move off promptly when the stoplight changes to pull over to the bike lane on the shoulder. It's all about watching the light and being ready. A bike can outrun most drivers to 5mph and stay even to 10mph, so with that head start if the cyclists are ready the cars are never inconvenienced.

Well, yesterday I pulled up to the first stoplight and waited alone for a few seconds. Then another cyclist younger and bigger than I (Dare I insult an entire decade and call him a millennial?) pulled up to my right and inched slightly ahead, then a few more fell in behind us. When the light changed the millennial to my right cut me off as we left the sidewalk but then idled through the intersection, veering left as if I wasn't there at all. Okay...

So I took a place in the big green square and waited. But now I'm thinkin', what do I do when the light changes? Let this guy go first as he apparently wants to do? But if he goes slowly like he just did I'll be stuck in front of a bunch of possibly impatient drivers, and being discourteous too. Better him alone than both of us. So I decided to jump on it. I knew the light pattern, I was in a good gear, and I can ride.

Now I may seem like just a 5'9", 160lbs gray-beard riding an old skinny-tube steel bike with DT shifters and toe clips/straps. Okay, I really am a 5'9", 160lbs gray-beard, but the bike was an Italian racer, hand-made with Columbus SL tubing, wearing high-performance wheels and tires. And I can usually slip my feet into the straps faster than most modern riders can clip in. When the light changed I checked that no driver was running the red, then I jumped on it.

The rider to my left fell in behind me quickly and I think that irritating millennial fell into third. I picked up my left pedal easily and seconds later heard the clicks of clipless pedals clipping in. I hammered the 80 yards to the right turn at the Kickstand Cafe then the left back onto the MM. The second place rider was quick too and stayed right on my tail. I couldn't see further back with my mirror. I didn't back down then because it's discourteous to cut in front of another rider then slow down. After maybe another hundred yards when the MM finally cleared enough for safe passing I pulled over, slowed a little, and waved the guy behind me around. As he went by he called back "You jumped all of us back there at the light. Good job!" About fiften second later as I was cruising comfortably that millennial guy shot past me.

He! I may seem like just a 5'9", 160 lbs gray-beard on an old steel bike. But things aren't always what they seem.
Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post

Yeah, this really irritates me personally. I am usually faster than 90% of the cyclists on the path (except for the 10% doing their morning/afternoon training/ride) and 1. I never shoal someone. If you're first at the light, you go first, even if I'm slower. I may pass you on your left in the intersection if there's no one around 2. I'm faster than you. Why are you cutting off someone on a road bike while riding a rusty full suspension Magna?
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Old 06-30-17, 04:34 PM
  #6283  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Was this a certain shop in a town that rhymes with "Ashmont"?
Possibly, it ends in mont.
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Old 06-30-17, 05:36 PM
  #6284  
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Well, I rode to and from work again today. All 34 or so miles of it. Traffic was the lightest I've ever seen on a workday. Humditity was off-the-charts on the ride home. Saw a fair amount of driver stupditity too but that's not so unusual.

On my way in this morning I was going down the backside of the hill between Lexington and Four Corners (Cambridge St and Lexington St) in Woburn when I noticed a cyclist coming up quickly, heard the "on your left". I waved her around, heard another, waved her around too. I was enjoying the downhill but usually coast down at maybe 30mph. These two riders, all hunkered down on tri-bars, went by me like I was standing still. I caught them at the stoplight 'cuz one of them threw a chain on a missed shift. We spoke briefly about how much fun that downhill was. When the stoplight changed we all took off and in not very much time they were gone. In training, I guess!
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Old 06-30-17, 07:42 PM
  #6285  
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Took the Ebisu up to Lexington Center before dinner, the ride was supposed to be a race with an incoming thunderstorm, but a delightful cooling drizzle on the outbound leg turned into a delightful cooling shower, followed by a delightful cooling downpour on the return. Mud on my legs and mud on the bike reminded me why I really must get on with mounting the fenders on this bike. A pair of Honjos arrived from Jitensha Studio last week, and perhaps I'll take advantage of the 4-day weekend to get them set up.


A make-way-for-ducklings scene in Arlington Heights, before all the rain came down.


A bit of rain felt good on a hot evening.


More rain, and a road-kill Honda at the Mal's yard.


rod

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Old 07-01-17, 05:21 AM
  #6286  
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I simmered down enough after my brake pad run in enough so that I bought 2 jerseys there yesterday. It's both a curse and a blessing for half my cycling wardrobe to be 2 sizes too big. The blessing is that they were once almost too tight. I added another 2 early AM 30 mile rides to the roster for the week bringing me to 5 since Tuesday. I wasn't going to ride today but new attire motivated me to squeeze it in. 3 were with the R3 while 2 were with the Roubaix including today. Yesterday I mounted a fresh set of Conti folding all season tires. 30 miles in and I like them.
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Old 07-01-17, 08:49 PM
  #6287  
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Rode the Ebisu East, instead of West, this afternoon, through Medford to Malden, picking up the Northern Strand Community Trail (a.k.a., Bike to the Sea) and following it through its gravel segments in Revere and Saugus, turning around at the Lynn line. Gawked with pleasure at the Rumney Marsh in Revere, and the Saugus River estuary in Saugus. On the return, I wandered North for a bit, checking out some new-to-me parts of Malden and Melrose, before returning through Malden and Medford. Good ride on a hot day, and let me test the Ebisu and its 32mm Compass Stampede Pass Extralight tires against a variety of new conditions: the fast descent on rough pavement on High Street in Medford, the coarse gravel on the Revere segment of the Northern Strand, and the finer gravel on the Saugus segment. In general, the bike and tires acquitted themselves well, agile, quick, and imperturbable riding over the rough stuff.

Medford Center: an open air concert in a park offered New Orleans second line brass band music on the way out, electric blues on the return, well-played to my ear in both cases.


Made my standard pilgrimage to the stupa at the Kurukulla Center in Medford.


Picked up the Northern Strand at Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden's old burying ground. Proceeded on through Malden to the Revere line.








Went crunching through the coarse gravel in Revere, maintained a brisk pace, and enjoyed the Rumney Marsh and its cool breezes. There's something to be said for riding East on a hot day.


Continued on through Saugus, and turned around after paying my respects to the Saugus River tidal marsh, and the roosting osprey near the Lynn line.






rod

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Old 07-03-17, 06:22 AM
  #6288  
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I know it's summer, but....

Originally Posted by Holy Spokes, Laura Everett
And through this brutal Boston winter [of 2014-2105], the Freds led the way out of the darkness -- I know this from personal experience.

....

One relatively dry evening commute in February 2015, a few days after the most recent snowfall, I decided to follow my usual route and gamble that the Southwest Corridor path was plowed.... But as soon as I transferred from Columbus... I knew I had gambled poorly. The bike path was a sheet of ice.

.... So I paused for a moment at the head of the bike path, considering the best of my sub-optimal options.

Just then, from around the corner, a bike pulled up alongside me at the light. He was the only other cyclist I had seen since I left my office. I decided to speak up -- maybe he had a solution. "The path looks icy," I said. "Just take it slow," he mumbled beneath his balaclava, "and follow me." The light changed, and he turned his bushy eyebrows forward, slowly crossing Ruggles Street, using the full "walk" sign to get across. I'm not sure why, but I followed. He seemed to know what he was doing.

He moved at a glacial pace, but still quickly enough to keep his momentum. His wide tires cut a trail in front of me, and I followed.... I could tell he knew these roads by heart. He managed to hit every light of every cross street at just the right time to roll on through. No panicked stops, no sharp turns.

"Thanks for the ride," I shouted from behind as I slowed to turn off the bike path onto Williams Street near my home. He lifted his left hand off the handlebar in just a flash of a wave as he kept going, never turning his head around, not saying another word.

I don't know his name; the only thing I know for sure is that he was a Fred.

.... I suspect he rode on to West Roxbury, Hyde Park, or somewhere in that direction further out. I don't know if I've never seen him again, or if I've seen him a thousand times and just haven't noticed. I keep an eye out for that maroon Raleigh and a man with eyebrows like squirrels, but that doesn't narrow down the pack of Freds by much.
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Old 07-03-17, 06:45 AM
  #6289  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
I know it's summer, but....



-mr. bill
Thanks for that: a little psychic air conditioning for the 4th of July weekend...

rod
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Old 07-03-17, 09:57 PM
  #6290  
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Took the Ebisu on a somewhat muddy variant of the North Bridge loop, out the Minuteman and Reformatory Branch, back on Monument Street, River Road, Skelton Road, 225, and the Minuteman again, 31 miles through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, and Carlisle. Lovely Summer weather, with a breeze brisk enough to fly the flag.






I violated my policy about Reformatory Branch--don't ride it unless it's been 3 days since the last rain shower--because this year has simply been too wet (and that's not a complaint). Conditions weren't bad, with such mud as there was mostly avoidable. It was good to be back on that shady trail.








Turtle crossing at one of the swampy bits.


Up hill and down dale on Monument Street.




rod
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Old 07-04-17, 03:11 PM
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Spent part of the 4th helping my son John install a Copenhagen Wheel on his Cross Check. The installation was quite straight-forward; while I was prepared to swap in a new chain, adjust rear derailleur limit screws, etc., none of that was necessary, at least in this case. Remove the old wheel, pop in the new wheel, do a little voodoo securing the Torque Arm to the chainstay, and done. Except for some remedial fooling with the horizontal dropouts on the Cross Check, but we can't blame the kids at MIT for that.


After the initial wrenching, John took it for several progressively quicker turns around the block, checking out ECO, STANDARD, TURBO, and ZOMG (just kidding) modes.


After that initial smoke test (it does contain Li-Ion batteries, after all), I got on the Ebisu and we rode out to Depot Park and back. This was really intended to test the suitability of this booster on the crowded Minuteman: could he ride it under those circumstances without resembling a body part, fair question for a vehicle he intends to commute on. Bike, rider, and technology passed with flying colors.


I gave it a try on the way to Bedford, and was pleased at how precisely responsive to pedal impulse input the motor was; it reminded me of riding a Swiss Flyer s-pedelec ("s" for "schnell") up an Alp, some years back.


At the end of the 20-mile ride, he had a bit more juice in reserve than he had expected, a good sign.

rod

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Old 07-06-17, 06:22 PM
  #6292  
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Took the Ebisu for a 10-mile spin to Lexington Center and back before dinner, out among the crowds on the Minuteman and the new crossing pattern in Arlington Center.






rod
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Old 07-09-17, 02:33 PM
  #6293  
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After spending an awesome week changing my latitude in Margarittaville by that one particular harbor on the shores of the Cape I was ready to ride. Saturday was a little to soon to stretch a tight jersee over my newly acquired beer, seafood, and ice cream belly so I went casual on my Smoothie and bagged 65 miles while still singing my favorite Jimmy Buffet tunes as I rode along. Today I racked up another 55 on my R3 while thinking how oysters and beer for dinner every day of the year would make me feel fine.
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Old 07-09-17, 03:06 PM
  #6294  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
After spending an awesome week changing my latitude in Margarittaville by that one particular harbor on the shores of the Cape I was ready to ride.
Sounds like a great vacation! Good to have you back in town and riding.

I took the Gazelle out today for 54.1 miles. Mostly roads I've ridden recently, but Baker Bridge Road from Lincoln Center to rt 126 is always worth another run. Past all the semi-famous old architects' houses (look up Gropius House). Walden Pond must be a popular place. The state is apparently limiting the number of people by closing it temporarily. This is twice in a row I've ridden by and seen the "Re-opens at 1:30" signs.

Some nice pastoral scenes from Baker Bridge Rd.





The obligatory stop for lunch at Ferns in Carlisle. Lots of bikes out today. This was only 11PM, early for the usual rush.



So many wheels so little steel
So many folks yet so few spokes
For hands the brift, not brake and shift
Whence the glory? No sew-ups tell the story.

(But you can almost spot the Gazelle hiding in there somewhere.)
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Old 07-09-17, 05:46 PM
  #6295  
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Jim I missed you by an hour. I rolled by Ferns at 10:00 AM and slowed down to see if I spotted any familiar faces. Baker Bridge road is one of my favorites! Especially in October!
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Old 07-10-17, 10:41 AM
  #6296  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Sounds like a great vacation! Good to have you back in town and riding.

I took the Gazelle out today for 54.1 miles. Mostly roads I've ridden recently, but Baker Bridge Road from Lincoln Center to rt 126 is always worth another run. Past all the semi-famous old architects' houses (look up Gropius House). Walden Pond must be a popular place. The state is apparently limiting the number of people by closing it temporarily. This is twice in a row I've ridden by and seen the "Re-opens at 1:30" signs.

Some nice pastoral scenes from Baker Bridge Rd.





The obligatory stop for lunch at Ferns in Carlisle. Lots of bikes out today. This was only 11PM, early for the usual rush.



So many wheels so little steel
So many folks yet so few spokes
For hands the brift, not brake and shift
Whence the glory? No sew-ups tell the story.

(But you can almost spot the Gazelle hiding in there somewhere.)
Walden is notorious for being overcrowded. I think they limit it to 1000 people. Wife & I used to stop for a little bit on our bike route through the area but last time they were turning EVERYONE away, even walk ins. Shame, we were only going to spend all of 10 minutes there.

Rode to Carlisle with the wife this Sunday, fantastic riding weather. No one was at Ferns, probably too early. Saw many, many cyclists on our way back, several packs of over 10-15 people. Probably a total of 50-75 cyclists, very busy day. Wife thinks it's PanMass training season. Personally, I'm thinking of signing up for D2R2, the 40 miler.
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Old 07-11-17, 06:40 PM
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Took the Ebisu on a spin up to Lexington Center before dinner, a pleasant ride on a warm Summer evening. I should give the other bikes a turn, but am enjoying this new one so much that it just doesn't seem to happen.

Encountered a guy cutting along on a recumbent tricycle.


Lots of company on the Minuteman, I'll have to wait for November for a little solitude at this hour.


Grooved on the lovely evening.












rod
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Old 07-12-17, 07:31 AM
  #6298  
Panza
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Best cafe's to cycle to for coffee? My frequent places are:

Country Kitchen of Concord
Zumi's Expresso of Ipswich

What are some other good places that are bike friendly with a good cup of expresso?
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Old 07-12-17, 08:30 AM
  #6299  
mr_bill
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Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington Center (with bike corral and parklet seating outdoors)
Kickstand Cafe in Arlington Center (at Swan St entrance to Minuteman)
Barismo in East Arlington
Diesel Cafe in Davis Square (with bike corral)
1369 Coffee House in Inman Square
Rosies in Inman Square
flour bakery + cafe (several locations)
Gracenote Boston in Leather District (108 Lincoln St)
Dudley Cafe in Dudley Square

And of course

Caffe Vittoria in the North End (where espresso was before espresso was hip)

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 07-12-17 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 07-12-17, 09:08 AM
  #6300  
rumrunn6
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Rosies in Inman Square
I believe we bought a birthday cake there a long time ago
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