Monday, August 29, 2005

Water Water ever where & I wish I could get of it

I know the poem ends “& not a drop to drink” but we did drink it, but more on that later. This weekend was the Sylamore Hardcore Adventure Race in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Competing once again with Team Dynamic Earth (John Bradley, Anna Assenmacher, & me) we scraped & pedaled our way to a super close 2nd place. How close? 21 minutes; which by AR standards is the equivalent of seconds.

Friday night the 3 of us and our support crew of Cynthia Petty & my sweetie Amber rolled into race HQ for gear check & race dinner/meeting. Wes & crew put on a great race with all the perks including great food. WE got our UTM’s & sequestered ourselves in our room to plot the coordinates & start planning out our strategy. The first thing that struck us was the minimum of gear we were required to carry. Usually we have to heft 10-20 lbs worth of crap. So we started to wonder. Then we see why. Only one transition so we have to carry about 15 hour’s worth of food with us.

The race officially started @ 6 am Saturday with a ¾ mile run up a hill (of course) to get a set of UTM’s for a prologue. We got our points & headed out. I was feeling good about my nav for this race & I got off on the right foot hitting the first point right away. I always say the first checkpoint makes or breaks a race. If you struggle with it your going to struggle all race, if you hit it then hopefully the race will go smooth. After finding to checkpoints we were off to the canoe for the beginning of what would be 27 miles of total lake paddling. We hit the boats in second but didn’t really plan on staying there since we are good river paddlers but not so good flat water paddlers.


After paddling to several checkpoints including 2 on islands, we get to get out of the boats & go to a climbing section where I get to ascend a rope while John & Anna paddle to a point where I run to meet back up with them after finishing the Jumar section. Jumarring is using ascenders to climb a rope. It’s like doing pull ups. Cynthia & Amber are here to witness one of the climbing volunteers try & give me a helping hand but slip & let me take a whipper into the rock. It popped my helmets suspension free & gave me some nice scrapes on my back but alls well. After running to the boat we’re in a close race for third.



After some more paddling we get out of the boats again to go on an Orienteering course with a twist. The twist being you randomly draw an envelope which contains the required UTM & a playing card for a game of draw poker for a special prize @ the finish. By now we’ve slipped back to 4th. We headed out to our first point & after some bushwhacking pop out on a familiar trail (sometimes it pays to do the race multiple years). We run by our support crew who are only allowed to spectate since no help is allowed till the TA. We hit our checkpoint, which happens to be next to the whole that does go all the way to China, & get our next point & instructions back to the boats. By the time we get back to the boats we’ve worked our way back into 3rd.




After this we’re back in the boats once again & now we get to enjoy drinking lake water since we’re out of water by now. John & Anna treated theirs. I grew up on a lake & drank thousands of gallons of it as a kid so figure I have an immunity to it & dip & drink (to save time of course). After a few more points we’re out again to another Orienteering course. This one is pretty cool because one of the points is the top of an old water tower. It’s flat so John & I climb to the top to get the punch & sit up there & plot the next point. We flew through this section in an hour and 15 minutes. I say flew because the race directors figured 2:30-3 hours would be the fastest time for this section. We maintained our 3rd place & only lost one minute to 2 extremely good navigating teams Team Cycle Works & Carolsteam.org.

Back in the boats again to a portage point. You can either haul your heavy ass boat up a hill to the next checkpoint or paddle around the 3 miles to get it from the other side. Needless to saw we carried. Only one team chose to paddle & that was Brad Bledsoe’s Team Bushmaster. After carrying the boat I can’t say I blame him much. Over to the other side & a quick paddle to finally the end of the boating. From here we have a 5 ¾ mile run hike to the TA & finally an ice cold Coke.





My mom has joined the girls in the TA to lend a hand & moral support plus give me a rash of shit about the number of pills I’m inhaling between gulps of soda.


From here we hop on the mountain bike for the final 30 miles to the finish. With one Orienteering point between. The girls were great here having everything set out & running around getting us everything we asked for. A good support crew makes a huge difference in an AR race. They got us change, refueled, on our bikes, & off in 25 minutes.





We left the TA about 60 minutes down on first & second who were only 7 minutes apart. Here’s where our biking skills came into play. There was a lot of good dirt roads & pavement so we absolutely flew through this section. We motored through one six mile section that the race director told the girls should take us 3+ hours in about an hour. We road were most teams had to push so we made up a ton of time. We didn’t have to go under the lights till about 5 checkpoints to go (about 1.5-2 hours form the finish). We made it to the bikes O-point just as Carolsteam.org was coming out of the woods. They had finally passed Bicycle works in the woods to take the lead. We shot our bearing & took of running in mountain bike shoes to go for the point. Wes the race director said about 20 minutes, we were out in 17 & we lost a few looking on the wrong side of the field before realizing our mistake. When we came out of the woods we passed a beginning to struggle Team Cycle works to move us into 2nd about 30 minutes down on first. Well I wish I could say we caught them but we just ran out of race & as I said earlier finished a close second. We ran a good race just got beat by better flat water paddlers on a course set up for paddlers.



Look close my first feet blisters from an AR race. Right under my big toes on each foot.

Team Dynamic Earth Me, Anna, & John.

Thanks Matt O’Reilly from Dynamic Earth for sponsoring us!

ARRGHHH!

I had this weekends blog about done & Blogger lost it for me so I'll take a nap & redo it.

Here's the skinny: Team Dynamic Earth(John Bradley, Anna Assenmacher & I) got second by a hair. More with Pics later.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Who's Who?

Who is who. I'm starting to get confused so here is a quick run down on the current list of pseudonyms.

DOB (Dirty Old Bastard) me
ICC (I Can't Climb) Greg Pettus
Stoker Ace Marc Stokes
Sandbagger Skip Ryan McCormick
Super G Jim Farasy
CMAC Cale McAninch
The Hammer Roger Hinson
EPO Curt Evenson
OG (NYG) Grep Espenkotter
SDJ (Silver Dollar Joe) Joe Ficarra Joe do you know Dolly?
Spunky Kevin Uballez
Slide Rule Peter VanRhein
Aqua Man Henri the guy from Germany who swims for Drury
El Presidente (this is a revolving annual title) Matt Speers
Huffy USA (super crit man) Brad Huff
Greeker Doug Greek
Hulk Hogan Bud Hogan
Names I'm working on Emory Dawson, Colin Chambers, Scot VanAsten, & anyone else who shows up to ride & does something that catches my eye.

I'm off to Mountain Home, AR for an Adventure race this weekend. Weather says hot so maximum suffering should ensue. I'll post how Team Dynamic Earth does when I get back.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


What the F? Posted by Picasa

The Dirty Dozen

Finally a decent turn out for the Wednesday night ride.  Granted a few of The Missing where not around.  I have the hardest time finding Waldo in those damn pics.  But I guess he has a legitimate excuse since he is now a contributing member of society.  Lets see who was there: ICC, DOB (me), SDJ, OG, Will, EPO, Spunky, Aqua Man, El Presidente, Colin (still working on a name), Slide Rule, & the Lovely Jill (who was kicking the shit out of most of us).  Half went the long route & 6 went the shorter way (my puss ass included).  Perhaps one day I’ll post a who’s who of my Blogger ID’s, it is getting pretty large.  I’m actually having trouble keeping them all straight.

ICC keeps telling me how out of shape he is & that he’s lacking in intensity.  Liar! Liar! Pants on fire! Either I was having a horrid night climbing or ICC was riding the wheels of his Felt.  Trust me I’ve been feeling pretty good.  Every time I upped the tempo on a climb the only person to hook onto my wheel was Mr. I Can’t Climb himself.  I sense a little late season form coming on his behalf.

I’m thinking with a little more prodding we can get 20 people out for the Wednesday night ride.  Pass the word lets remake the Wednesday night ride as big as the schetchy line rides of Tuesday & Thursday.  Then we’ll have 3 straight nights of hard riding to pick from.  Stay tuned with the upcoming cross season several of us are going to forgo one of the weekly rides for a weekly cross ride.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What the F'ing time is it?

I guess some how I got on Oklahoma City time (15 minutes behind) but my clock on my computer said 5:45.  Oh well Stoker Ace, ICC, Colin (who I’m going to come up with a very good name for), & EPO (who we picked up later) headed out on our own & had a hell of a good ride.  Colin felt the need to beat his chest a little so I had to Jacky Durand his ass.  Then Stoker & I took turns goading him into chasing.  That kid is strong just needs to learn to choose his battles.  Last night was probably about the best I’ve felt in awhile on the bike.

On the weather front day 4 of rain @ the Ponderosa.  My grass may actually grow yet!

Heard through the grapevine one of the missing had an operation & neglected to tell anyone.  It seems the ever quite Hammer had either a hernia operation or calf implants depending on who tells the story.  From what I hear alls well & he’ll be back out kicking our butts before you know it.  Know if I just could find Skip.  It’s that damned striped shirt it blends in every where.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rain

Perhaps the drought has finally ended.  In the last 2 days I’ve gotten about 3-4” of rain.  Sunday before work it was raining so hard I couldn’t see my deck (or the strip of grass I didn’t get mowed before the sky’s opened up).  Last night I was supposed to go MTBing with JB but when I was getting ready it started raining @ my house again.  So not wanting to have to clean my bike before this weekend’s Adventure Race I bailed & went for a run.  Yes it’s true a run, the 3rd one in a weeks time.  I figured I’d better get a few in before my next 3 AR races.  Last week I even got in a double, run in the am, ride in the pm.  Last week turned into a good week of training probably the best one I’ve had mileage wise in months.  

Off to bed, hopefully I’ll see the missing ones @ the World’s tonight.  Wednesday I’ve already received one RSVP.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sign your name on the dotted line Mr. Huff

That's right Huffy USA won the Cat 1 elite crit title today. Will there be a Pro contract in the near future?

CyclingNews.com

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cyclocross 101

All the talk lately on group rides lately is cross this, cross that.  SDJ asked me to put together the basics for beginner cross riders for him.  I decided to go ahead & turn this into a blog.  So here goes.  Some of the links are a little repetitive but informative.  There is even a link to cross bikes.   So study up grasshopper, its almost time to get the cold weather kit out & hit the dirt.


http://www.cyclingnews.com/cross/?id=faq


http://www.roadcycling.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/4/435


http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=1146


http://bigshark.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=68


http://www.maddogmedia.com/crossnet/howto.html


Links to Cross Bikes:

http://www.madcross.org/bikes.htm

Friday, August 19, 2005

F'ing Spammers & assorted rants

Its now happened to all my fellow bloggers including me. These turds advertising there crap. "get free stock quotes & we'll send you a lifetime supply of Viagra with your own penis pump for $19.99!!!" Yea right leave us alone you idiots. There has to be a way to keep them @ bay. All you programming folks I know put your keyboard skills to good & figure it out.

Thursday night ride was really fun even though it was like riding on the sun. Though we need to put a ban on sign post sprints & work on paceline riding skills. Spunky & wife(U2) were one of 3 tandems out. Even the elusive patron of cycling was out with his kiddies on a tandem. I thinking if your going to ride a tandem though it needs to be a fixie though. That would be entertaining.

I'm excited about all the interest in cross. SDJ ecstatic about the prospect of punishing himself to the point of puking. That's bad ass! It's cool to see cross becoming less of a fringe sport & more of a training tool like it is in the mother continent. I'm thinking come October we need to have a weekly cross training ride.

I guess I'll see most every one @ Saturday's Mercy ride.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Another funny name

That's right before long I'll have to devote an entire blog to peoples pseudonyms. The newest member is Spunky. Spunky had never done the Wednesday night loop. That's sacrilege in my book. The Wednesday night loop is a right of passage. It used to be the ride. Now its packed if 5 people show. What's the dealeo? Is 5:30 too early? The ride terrain too hard? The pace has slowed & we now wait for people. Granted it is faster than the Thursday night ride. The pace is equal to the World's just more hills. I guess this post has become a poll. What does the Wednesday night loop need? I'm thinking an occasional appearance by El Presidente would be a start. Maybe a return of the Greeker? Perhaps the world renowned HuffyUSA? Let me know & I'll see what I can do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tues Night World's

I guess the change in weather change everyone's mood. It was a very relaxed casual ride @ the World's. The cooler temp was followed by a nice tempo to let weary legs heal(namely mine). Yes I decided with an AR race weekend after next I'd better get a couple of runs in. So I was a little sore. But ICC was sore from running as well. Stoker Ace decided to take it easy on everyone so it tuned into a nice easy spin. I'm guessing if Super G had showed he would have brought the Louisville Slugger & beat us all into submission.

Hopefully CMac is on the heal, haven't seen him yet but talking to emdog he's pretty beat up. Gotta admire a guy who hits the deck hard & gets back in with a broken bike. Skippy I'm hoping Super G made you take your jersey off after getting pulled so he could pee on it for you. 3 laps? Dude your wayyyyy better than that. I can't see any 4's beating you.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Trip to Chicago is almost over. Had a little snafu @ the airport. Amber & I aren’t sitting together. She almost didn’t get a seat, they had to ask for volunteers to bump. You would figure in this day & age the airlines would be able to keep from overbooking flights. So after a 30 minute tense wait thinking I was going to have to give up my seat to wait with her. We had some luck & got on the plane. Granted now we’re sitting @ opposite ends of the plane but I figure we need some time apart (Just kidding Amber).


Yesterday was a long day of El rides, bus rides, cab rides, walking, & waiting in lines. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed every minute of it. After a 2 hour commute into the city we went to the The largest science museum in a single building in the Western Hemisphere with over 800 exhibits and over 2,000 interactive units located in over 350,000 square feet of exhibit space. Museum of Science & Industry. It covers 14+ acres, has an actual German U-boat, a full size 727, & a Spitfire dog fighting a German Stuka Bomber. What we were really there for was the Body Worlds exhibit. Some German mad scientist figured out how to embed bodies with polymers & preserve them. It’s a little disturbing but very enlightening to see the muscles, ligaments, bones, & veins. We ended up spending about 5 or 6 hours in the museum.

Amber & I started to get pretty good getting around on the bus & El (both first for both of us). It amazing how great good public transportation can be. I was surprised to see all the busses & trains allow bikes as well. The majority of the bikes I saw were single speeds, with the vast majority of them being fixies(that’s hardcore in a big city!).

We had nice walk around the Loop before hopping back on the Blue Line to head back to our hotel room. Kind of run out of things to say & the plane is going to land.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Shy Town

Amber & I made it to Chicago in tack, so ICC get out of my garage. There have been some pretty nasty storms so we had to circle Ohare for 30+ min before we could land. The pilot actually came on the intercom & said something about plan B & landing elsewhere to refuel. That builds confidence in the airlines. I guess with the price of gas they're pumping the bare min. By the way gas here is $2.78.

So far have been downtown, the Shed Aquarium, the Navy Pier, & an interesting ride on the L . We had a guy sitting behind us muttering to himself about the idiot boxes & telling them to shut up @ every stop.

Headed to some more museums today if we can figure out how to get back downtown with it not costing us $50. Turns out our hotel isn't as close to the CTA stations as it lets on. Our good deal through Travelocity isn't so good once you factor in shuttles & cabs. Oh well its part of the adventure of traveling isn't it?

Good luck to the OCC boys in the Tour of KC this weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's still F'ing Hot!

& now VanAsten is rubbing in the fact that CO is nice & cool & receiving rain. Must be nice.

Went to the Thursday night ride. Pretty big crowd for being 97 f'ing degrees once again. Spent most of my ride in the little ring. Did get into the big when the Hulk when for a sign sprint so I shifted up & did a TT into Rogersville. 30+ for a little over a mile. Not Huffy speed but take 24 more of those onto that & I've got a good 40k going.

Congrats to Local Super Star Huffy USA for a fine National Title. Beating reigning National champ by almost 2 seconds in the 4km Individual Pursuit.

Off to work for a quick 4 hrs then home to pack & head to the airport to go to Chicago for the weekend to do some site seeing. Found out today there is a terrorist alert for Chicago this weekend & Homeland Security has raised the alert level to Orange for flying. Great timing on my behalf since I'll be @ all the likely targets. ICC has already laid claim to my bike if I become a target. That's what friends are for.

It's F'ing Hot!!!!!!!!

97 freaking degrees when I headed over to McBride for the Wednesday night big ring loop. Which ended up mostly being the little ring short loop to avoid the oppressive heat. EPO, OG, SDJ, Will, & ICC sporting a new/borrowed ride. Seems he's testing potential rides for next race season with all his new found free time after his leaving his OCC post. I now expect massive results from him since he can't use that excuse anymore. That's about it heat sucks in case you hadn't figured that out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Not So Super Tuesday

I figured after sleeping 11 hours on Monday I would have recovered better from the weekend. Nope. I guess it was too much sleep, since I was only able to sleep 3.5 hrs today. Went over to the Tuesday Night World's but everyone no showed(except the Sketchy Line Crew). So decided I'd get an easy ride in & spun off in the opposite direction. Here's where I figured out I hadn't recovered. My legs started screaming @ me instantly. So after an hour I pulled the cord & gave up & came home.

Man I hate the heat! I'm so loooking forward to cooler weather & the beginning of Cross Season. I've been looking @ a lot of Cross Bikes but can't decide what to get. What is everyone else riding? My current cross ride is one that I made. I brazed canti bosses on an old frame & cobbelled together enough parts to get it rolling. Thanks to the Beast becoming a TT bike its bar end shifters are being replaced with old school 8 spd STI shifters.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sometimes the best laid plans

If you could script bike races what would be the fun of racing them. You can only plan so much then you have to hang on & see what happens. Today was one of those days. As a team ICC, Stoker Ace, Super G, & I probably raced are best race yet. We just came up about 400 meters short. Today we were active @ the front but not dumb about it.

Stoker Ace had a great day sitting near the front chasing & watching. He managed to get in a break with Super G that I thought would stick but wasn't in the cards. He snuck into another break after a hard chase with about 10 minutes to go. I was sitting in the pack wishing it to stay off but you can't wish the race to the finish unfortunately.

ICC had some issues today with the oppressive heat but kept me company with my new game plan for the day resting @ the back. He guided me through a couple of potential crashes. Plus positioned me mid pack a few times when I was determined to stay @ the back.

Of course Super G had another fine display today all over the place molding the race duking it out all over the front. More on him later.

As I said I stuck around the back mostly trying to conserve energy. I did see 2 Cow Town guys get into a break that I chased down. Going from about dead last to bridge a 10 sec gap. The Cow Town guys are currently Super G's main competition right now in MOBRA thus the crazy chase.

With 5 minutes or so to go I moved toward the front, which took about 2 laps to get done. With 2 laps to go Super G tells me to move up. So time to go to work. I look around & everyone but Super G out weighs me by 20-30 pounds! Man I'm glad he's going for the final sprint & not me. I hit the climb on the front & I here who I think is Stoker Ace to slow up. Then out of the final turn I hear "GO,GO!" So I put my head down & go for all I'm worth down the finish straight. Through the finish to take the bell. Its starting to hurt, but I get a little recovery through the next to turns. Then its to the downhill & I shift into my 11 & completely bury myself. I plan on pulling off about the start of the backside rise but I figure I better go till I pop to be safe. That just happened to be 50 or 60 meters more. I swing off & hear"NO,NO!" I look over & know I've screwed the pooch or Super G in this case & yell"SORRRRRRRRY!" Damn it, it was Super yelling @ me & not Stoker. I've just hung him out to dry. But he recovers nicely & slips behind another wheel. Unfortunately in the last turn some idiot crashes about taking Super down. He manages to recover & take a 6th place. I feel bad for him that his lead out guys were climbers & not sprinters.

We really missed CMac today. Our lead out was almost perfect. Four guys is one guy too little. We needed CMAC's sprint power to finish it off. But like I said today was about as perfect a race as we raced as a team yet so the future looks bright when we get our big diesels recovered & or returned. You know who you are ICC, CMac, VanFasten.

Oh Skip You Magnificent Bastard!

Little late posting this. Typing this up before heading up to Jeff City for State Crit. After Thursday duel with the dirt the black machine(please pronounce with a Mexican ascent) needed some loving from the magic hands of Skip. That's right Friday he got up before noon to help me out & straighten my deraileur hanger & tighten up my headset. Took it for a quick spin Friday evening before the deluge hit. I can honestly say it now shifts better than it ever did. Nope Skip didn't do the initial build up on my bike(I now wish he would have).

Well gotta run(ride in this case). Skip there is a gallon on Arizona Green Tea in my fridge for you! Thanks again.

Scoot

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Crashes come in 3?

There is an old adage that bad things happen in 3's. I guess(hope) that goes for crashes as well. Three of the OCC boys have now hit the deck in a week. Super G hit the deck pretty hard the Friday night before the city crits. He got some nice road rash out of it & some lovely stiffness. Sunday during the crit Stroker Ace bailed out into the grass when a guy who weighed almost 250 crashed in front of him. So no place to go he went down. As far as race crashes go he came out good. Some minor bike damage & he was back in after his free lap. Tonight I made it 3 going down in spectacular style @ a city limit sprint. I came so close to saving it it was sick. The ditch I rode the nose wheelie into had a divot in the bottom & stopped me cold. Granted by this time my speed was down to almost nothing so I come out unscathed. The Felt got its deraileur hanger a little tweaked, nothing the Skip can't fix up though.

I guess I should back up a little & explain how it went down(no pun intended). The big boys went for the Rogersville city limit sign. I jumped & my chain jumped off, no big deal shift it back on & start sprinting. Now I was way to far back but figured I'd at least close it down. So I'll take the blame for this one. Should have known better than sprinting in a group ride. It was bound to happen , the group rides are starting to get really fast & couple that with a lot of new riders with less than perfect handling skills rides get a little sketchy. In this case though it was me & Norton who got tangled up. He started to drift left as I passed him probably too close. Some how he got his shifter caught in my shorts. Then it gets really fun. He leans into me & I don't want to lean back because I don't lean back because I don't want to crash him on asphalt. So we start to go hard left to the shoulder & I break free which puts me in the dirt & my rear wheel pops up & I'm riding a nose wheelie. I thought I could ride it out through the ditch but as I said earlier I ended up on my ass & Norton rides of a little shaken but still upright. No harm no foul. Lets just hope that's the end of the OCC boys crashes for the season. All of them in less than a week too.

On the way over ICC, Stoker Ace & I took some digital assault from local super star HuffyUSA. Some people I swear. Wear the green jersey @ the Tour De Toona for 4 days & you can flip off everyone on a bike. Oh well it was impressive so I can put up with some one finger harassment.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Luck?

Headed over to McBride today for the Wednesday Night Big Ring. Decided to drive over so I could have a cooler of ice cold water when I got done since the temp is in the high 90's. On the way over I got pulled over in front of the new Battlefied Middle School. The Battlefield Police had a nice speed trap set. Once the cop came up I asked when had the speed limit been dropped to 25mph? He replied it has always been that way. Now I swear I thought it used to be 30mph the whole road to McBride. To make a short story shorter he lets me off with a verbal warning & tails me all the way to McBride. So be warned they're ticketing for 1 mph over since its a school zone with zero tolerance according to the officer.

Small group tonight: ICC,OG(Icc informed me I need to change it to Ozark Greg since he lives here now), Joe, & Sliderule. Little factoid; Fri night Sliderule started shaving his massive calves. I'm guessing he crunch the numbers & figured the aero benefits were worth it since the following day he solo's to victory in the city crits. Just wanted to get out tonight & blow some junk out of my legs with a few hard efforts. Had ok sensations out of my old legs, but not as good as I would have liked. I'm hoping it was the heat. I did manage to clock 40mph out of Boaz without getting out of the saddle. I know that's nothing to the greeker & HuffyUSA, but to a skinny dude like myself that's something to brag about. OG is riding strong with several hard efforts & Sliderule road off & left us in his new soloing style, while ICC & I paced Joe home.

Tonight @ Hell I encountered one of the hazards of my occupation. Got my arm jammed in a machine when a guard phantom closed on me. Had to pry it out. Of course the emergency stop only jammed it in harder. All's well though, just a couple of scratches & a lot of F Bombs thrown @ the crappy machine. So I guess I've used up my luck for this 24hr period.
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