Plan for a newbie

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Curt, Feb 16, 2004.

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  1. Curt

    Curt Guest

    I wanted to run by my plan to get my biking up to speed. I am currently running (3 miles @8 min
    miles), lifting and swimming (1/2 mile, soon to get up to a mile) 4-5 days a week and will add
    biking in two weeks. I want to be able to ride a century and figure it will take me quite a long
    time to get there, but have no idea.

    I plan on attending spinning classes to start with. I was thinking I would do this for a month just
    to get used to using those muscles and work on a smooth motion. Then I will move to my roller
    trainer and do some exercises with one leg back and forth to work on my pedaling. I plan on riding
    on my trainer mostly once I get used to using the muscles. I live in Pittsburgh (the worst place for
    riding a road bike due to attitude of people narrow roads and potholes), but I figure I will move
    outside when the weather breaks.

    I just wanted to mention my plan here. I am under no one's supervision, I just figured I will get
    some saddle time in and keep working on being a good cyclist in form. I am reading books on form,
    but I have not read anything about training to ride a century yet. Not only do I want to ride one,
    I want to do it and have plenty left in my tank. Hope it is possible. Oh yeah, I am 38 6'2" 185, if
    it matters.

    Anyway, any tips or opinions would be great. Curt
     
    Tags:


  2. Curt

    Curt Guest

    Thanks for the lack of help here. I mean, someone could at least send a damn link to a newbie site.
    This group is more obsessed with National Enquirer type stuff than actual riding topics.

    Respectfully, Curt

    "curt" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I wanted to run by my plan to get my biking up to speed. I am currently running (3 miles @8 min
    > miles), lifting and swimming (1/2 mile, soon to
    get
    > up to a mile) 4-5 days a week and will add biking in two weeks. I want to be able to ride a
    > century and figure it will take me quite a long time to get there, but have no idea.
    >
    > I plan on attending spinning classes to start with. I was thinking I
    would
    > do this for a month just to get used to using those muscles and work on a smooth motion. Then I
    > will move to my roller trainer and do some
    exercises
    > with one leg back and forth to work on my pedaling. I plan on riding on
    my
    > trainer mostly once I get used to using the muscles. I live in Pittsburgh (the worst place for
    > riding a road bike due to attitude of people narrow roads and potholes), but I figure I will move
    > outside when the weather breaks.
    >
    > I just wanted to mention my plan here. I am under no one's supervision, I just figured I will get
    > some saddle time in and keep working on being a
    good
    > cyclist in form. I am reading books on form, but I have not read anything about training to ride a
    > century yet. Not only do I want to ride one, I want to do it and have plenty left in my tank. Hope
    > it is possible. Oh yeah, I am 38 6'2" 185, if it matters.
    >
    > Anyway, any tips or opinions would be great. Curt
     
  3. On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 17:21:13 GMT, "curt" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Thanks for the lack of help here. I mean, someone could at least send a damn link to a newbie site.
    >This group is more obsessed with National Enquirer type stuff than actual riding topics.
    >
    Thank *you* for your patience. We value your enquiry and note that your insight and perception will
    be rewarded - when we've finished discussing the divorce settlement involving Messers Armstrong and
    Crow, - the physical similarities between the current Mrs Armstrong

    domestiques on Mr Armstrong's team.

    Regards! Stephen
     
  4. Mark Fennell

    Mark Fennell Guest

    "curt" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I wanted to run by my plan to get my biking up to speed.

    First of all, I suggest you say "riding" rather than "biking".

    > I am currently running (3 miles @8 min miles), lifting and swimming (1/2 mile, soon to get up to a
    > mile) 4-5 days a week and will add biking in two weeks. I want to be able to ride a century and
    > figure it will take me quite a long time to get there, but have no idea.

    Nothing wrong with running, lifting, and swimming for your general health but I don't think that
    will help you too much for doing a 5+ hour ride.

    > I plan on attending spinning classes to start with. I was thinking I would do this for a month
    > just to get used to using those muscles and work on a smooth motion. Then I will move to my roller
    > trainer and do some exercises with one leg back and forth to work on my pedaling. I plan on riding
    > on my trainer mostly once I get used to using the muscles. I live in Pittsburgh (the worst place
    > for riding a road bike due to attitude of people narrow roads and potholes), but I figure I will
    > move outside when the weather breaks.

    Again, those activities are fine but IMHO that is not what you **need** to do (even though my spinning-
    instructor wife might disagree). If you want to ride 100 miles, and not feel wasted at the end, you
    have to work your way up to it by doing progressively longer and harder training efforts. You should
    be ok with one or two rides a week, but three would be better. Start with a comfortable-paced 2-3
    hour ride, which is probably where you would start feeling fatigued. Once you find that duration
    feels fine, add a half hour and/or more effort to your next ride. Be sure to get used to the amount
    of food and fluid you need during the longer rides. Within a few months, you should have no problem
    with **riding** 100 miles. Of course, this is a **racing** newsgroup and the training you need to do
    to race 100 miles is much different, or rather, goes far beyond basic endurance training.

    > I just wanted to mention my plan here. I am under no one's supervision, I just figured I will get
    > some saddle time in and keep working on being a good cyclist in form. I am reading books on form,
    > but I have not read anything about training to ride a century yet.

    Just get used to the time on your bike. Unless your bike-fit is bad, or your knees go way outward,
    don't worry about your form. And you should be able to find bike-race training books easily on the
    web. Get one and read the endurance and fuel stuff.

    > Not only do I want to ride one, I want to do it and have plenty left in my tank. Hope it is
    > possible. Oh yeah, I am 38 6'2" 185, if it matters.

    Of course it is possible. Have fun!

    Mark (Not a trainer, coach, or anything else, but have certainly ridden and raced 100 miles more
    than 100 times)
     
  5. pedalchick

    pedalchick New Member

    Joined:
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    If you hadn't noticed, the group is rec.bicycles.RACING - not rec.bicycles.newbiecenturyriders.

    If you want help with newbie stuff, go to
    http://www.bicycling.com/

    In the future, don't get your panties in a twist when someone doesn't answer your question - consider it much more respectful than a response starting with "Dumbass -"
     
  6. Curt

    Curt Guest

    "pedalchick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Curt wrote:
    > > Thanks for the lack of help here. I mean, someone could at least send
    a
    > > damn link to a newbie site. This group is more obsessed with National Enquirer type stuff than
    > > actual riding topics. Respectfully, Curt
    >
    >
    >
    > If you hadn't noticed, the group is rec.bicycles.RACING - not rec.bicycles.newbiecenturyriders.
    >
    > If you want help with newbie stuff, go to http://www.bicycling.com/
    >
    > In the future, don't get your panties in a twist when someone doesn't answer your question -
    > consider it much more respectful than a response starting with "Dumbass -"

    Ok fair enough. I am training for a race hopefully next year. I want to do an Ironman and came here
    to concentrate on the bike aspects. I need to ride 112 miles and have enough left over in my tank to
    run the 26 miles after. The tri group is not very active.

    I do appreciate the link and I will give it a look. I am not that bad of a guy really. Just couldn't
    help myself.

    Curt
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Guest

    "Mark Fennell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "curt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I wanted to run by my plan to get my biking up to speed.
    >
    > First of all, I suggest you say "riding" rather than "biking".

    Thank you for the correction.

    > > I am currently running (3 miles @8 min miles), lifting and swimming (1/2 mile, soon to
    get
    > > up to a mile) 4-5 days a week and will add biking in two weeks. I want
    to
    > > be able to ride a century and figure it will take me quite a long time
    to
    > > get there, but have no idea.
    >
    > Nothing wrong with running, lifting, and swimming for your general health but I don't think that
    > will help you too much for doing a 5+ hour ride.

    > > I plan on attending spinning classes to start with. I was thinking I
    would
    > > do this for a month just to get used to using those muscles and work on
    a
    > > smooth motion. Then I will move to my roller trainer and do some
    exercises
    > > with one leg back and forth to work on my pedaling. I plan on riding on
    my
    > > trainer mostly once I get used to using the muscles. I live in
    Pittsburgh
    > > (the worst place for riding a road bike due to attitude of people narrow roads and potholes),
    > > but I figure I will move outside when the weather breaks.
    >
    > Again, those activities are fine but IMHO that is not what you **need** to do (even though my spinning-
    > instructor wife might disagree). If you want to ride 100 miles, and not feel wasted at the end,
    > you have to work your way up to it by doing progressively longer and harder training efforts. You
    > should be ok with one or two rides a week, but three would be better. Start with a comfortable-
    > paced 2-3 hour ride, which is probably where you would start feeling fatigued. Once you find that
    > duration feels fine, add a half hour and/or more effort to your next ride. Be sure to get used to
    > the amount of food and fluid you need during the longer rides. Within a few months, you should
    > have no problem with **riding** 100 miles. Of course, this is a **racing** newsgroup and the
    > training you need to do to race 100 miles is much different, or rather, goes far beyond basic
    > endurance training.

    I don't want to do it as a Sunday stroll. I am looking to do this in a respectable time. It will be
    for a race, I forgot to mention that. I have until next year to get things together and feel I
    should start now. I know I will never be great at this, but just want to do ok.

    > > I just wanted to mention my plan here. I am under no one's supervision,
    I
    > > just figured I will get some saddle time in and keep working on being a
    good
    > > cyclist in form. I am reading books on form, but I have not read
    anything
    > > about training to ride a century yet.
    >
    > Just get used to the time on your bike. Unless your bike-fit is bad, or your knees go way outward,
    > don't worry about your form. And you should be able to find bike-race training books easily on the
    > web. Get one and read the endurance and fuel stuff.
    >
    > > Not only do I want to ride one, I want to do it and have plenty left in my tank. Hope it is
    > > possible. Oh yeah, I am 38 6'2" 185, if it matters.
    >
    > Of course it is possible. Have fun!
    >
    > Mark (Not a trainer, coach, or anything else, but have certainly ridden and raced 100 miles more
    > than 100 times)

    Thanks Mark for taking the time. You do make is sound somewhat easy.

    Enjoy, Curt
     
  8. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    curt wrote:
    > Thanks for the lack of help here. I mean, someone could at least send a damn link to a newbie
    > site. This group is more obsessed with National Enquirer type stuff than actual riding topics.
    >
    > Respectfully, Curt

    I didn't see the first posting. All the other stuff was more interesting anyway.

    What's your current riding experience? None? If so, your plans are pretty ambitious. But don't let
    that stop you. If you've not ridden on roads for many years, be careful out there.

    As Mark suggested, you need to build up the endurance gradually. Spinning classes SHOULD help much,
    but try to avoid the ones where instructors do weird things. If they're doing something you don't do
    on a real bike, don't do it. Some instructors practice actual training programs, some just kick your
    ass every time. Take classes from several instructors and you just might find an actual cyclist
    among them. Talk to 'em, there's a good mentor, probably.

    It sounds like you need miles/hours most. That's essential. As you start any training program, avoid
    high-intensity intervals for at least a month. Sit-n-spin for a dozen or two accumulated hours
    before going extremely hard. (And as an ultra-distance wannabe, you probably don't need as much hard
    interval work as the typical pack racer. But hard interval training does improve your sub-max
    capacity, so work some in for variety if nothing else.)

    My first (and only) century ride last year was done with a base of indoor classes 45 minutes in
    length, and outdoor riding as long as 30 miles. I suffered a lot but made it in 5:30 or so. You
    can do it.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall
    "We should not march into Baghdad. ... Assigning young soldiers to
    a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning
    them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it
    could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater
    instability." George Bush Sr. in his 1998 book "A World Transformed"
     
  9. curt <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I wanted to run by my plan to get my biking up to speed. I am currently running (3 miles @8 min
    > miles), lifting and swimming (1/2 mile, soon to get up to a mile) 4-5 days a week and will add
    > biking in two weeks. I want to be able to ride a century and figure it will take me quite a long
    > time to get there, but have no idea.

    Nice troll, Curt.

    > I plan on attending spinning classes to start with. I was thinking I would do this for a month
    > just to get used to using those muscles and work on a smooth motion. Then I will move to my roller
    > trainer and do some exercises with one leg back and forth to work on my pedaling. I plan on riding
    > on my trainer mostly once I get used to using the muscles. I live in Pittsburgh (the worst place
    > for riding a road bike due to attitude of people narrow roads and potholes), but I figure I will
    > move outside when the weather breaks.

    > I just wanted to mention my plan here. I am under no one's supervision, I just figured I will get
    > some saddle time in and keep working on being a good cyclist in form. I am reading books on form,
    > but I have not read anything about training to ride a century yet. Not only do I want to ride one,
    > I want to do it and have plenty left in my tank. Hope it is possible. Oh yeah, I am 38 6'2" 185,
    > if it matters.

    > Anyway, any tips or opinions would be great. Curt

    Okay, first you flame us all for offending against LANCE's graven image, now it's time for century
    training advice?

    Pittsburgh is a great place to ride a road bike, once most of the slush is off the streets. If
    nothing else, you can ride hill loops around and through Schenley Park.

    If you want to ride or race long distances you have to get used to doing that. Don't expect the
    other forms of exercise to cross over much, although running should have built up some aerobic
    capacity. Don't worry about which muscles you're using and the smooth motion stuff. If you've only
    just started riding any significant distance you need to put in time and not think about one-leg
    drills. Form isn't as important as getting used to sitting on a bike for several hours. Work up to
    it over time, mixing in short rides and long ones as schedule allows (weekends).
     
  10. Tom Paterson

    Tom Paterson Guest

    >From: Benjamin Weiner

    >Form isn't as important as getting used to sitting on a bike for several hours. Work up to it over
    >time, mixing in short rides and long ones as schedule allows (weekends).

    What he said-- plus, find a road club that is open to cultivating new riders, and weekly group rides
    you can hang with. Pay attention, ask questions. Learn how to safely follow wheels, and be a smooth,
    safe pack rider. The century is just icing on the cake. --TP
     
  11. Curt

    Curt Guest

    "Benjamin Weiner" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > curt <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > I wanted to run by my plan to get my biking up to speed. I am currently running (3 miles @8 min
    > > miles), lifting and swimming (1/2 mile, soon to
    get
    > > up to a mile) 4-5 days a week and will add biking in two weeks. I want
    to
    > > be able to ride a century and figure it will take me quite a long time
    to
    > > get there, but have no idea.
    >
    > Nice troll, Curt.

    Troll? Not sure how you figure that? I know what a troll is, but I don't see the above statement as
    some kind of troll. I just stated what is going on and hope to get into riding (not biking, see I
    do listen).

    >
    > > I plan on attending spinning classes to start with. I was thinking I
    would
    > > do this for a month just to get used to using those muscles and work on
    a
    > > smooth motion. Then I will move to my roller trainer and do some
    exercises
    > > with one leg back and forth to work on my pedaling. I plan on riding on
    my
    > > trainer mostly once I get used to using the muscles. I live in
    Pittsburgh
    > > (the worst place for riding a road bike due to attitude of people narrow roads and potholes),
    > > but I figure I will move outside when the weather breaks.
    >
    > > I just wanted to mention my plan here. I am under no one's supervision,
    I
    > > just figured I will get some saddle time in and keep working on being a
    good
    > > cyclist in form. I am reading books on form, but I have not read
    anything
    > > about training to ride a century yet. Not only do I want to ride one, I want to do it and have
    > > plenty left in my tank. Hope it is possible. Oh yeah, I am 38 6'2" 185, if it matters.
    >
    > > Anyway, any tips or opinions would be great. Curt
    >
    > Okay, first you flame us all for offending against LANCE's graven image, now it's time for century
    > training advice?
    >
    > Pittsburgh is a great place to ride a road bike, once most of the slush is off the streets. If
    > nothing else, you can ride hill loops around and through Schenley Park.

    Hmm, never thought about Schenley Park. I live pretty close to that as well. I've ridden in
    Highland Park and it is short, but quiet. Good idea. I still don't think Pittsburgh is a very
    friendly place to ride on the road the roads are in terrible shape especially this year and you
    have to deal with tar and chip. I have had encounters in the past when I used to ride to work
    downtown on Butler street.

    >
    > If you want to ride or race long distances you have to get used to doing that. Don't expect the
    > other forms of exercise to cross over much, although running should have built up some aerobic
    > capacity. Don't worry about which muscles you're using and the smooth motion stuff. If you've only
    > just started riding any significant distance you need to put in time and not think about one-leg
    > drills. Form isn't as important as getting used to sitting on a bike for several hours. Work up to
    > it over time, mixing in short rides and long ones as schedule allows (weekends).

    Interesting that people are telling me not to worry about form. I would think that would be
    important. For example keeping your back straight and making sure you have a smooth pedal stroke
    with no slow spots.

    Thanks for all the advise. Sounds like you know the area. Who knows maybe I will pass you up someday
    out there. ;) now that is a troll

    Enjoy and thanks again, Curt
     
  12. Curt

    Curt Guest

    "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > curt wrote:
    > > Thanks for the lack of help here. I mean, someone could at least send a damn link to a newbie
    > > site. This group is more obsessed with National Enquirer type stuff than actual riding topics.
    > >
    > > Respectfully, Curt
    >
    > I didn't see the first posting. All the other stuff was more interesting anyway.
    >
    > What's your current riding experience? None? If so, your plans are pretty ambitious. But don't let
    > that stop you. If you've not ridden on roads for many years, be careful out there.
    >
    > As Mark suggested, you need to build up the endurance gradually. Spinning classes SHOULD help
    > much, but try to avoid the ones where instructors do weird things. If they're doing something you
    > don't do on a real bike, don't do it. Some instructors practice actual training programs, some
    > just kick your ass every time. Take classes from several instructors and you just might find an
    > actual cyclist among them. Talk to 'em, there's a good mentor, probably.
    >
    > It sounds like you need miles/hours most. That's essential. As you start any training program,
    > avoid high-intensity intervals for at least a month. Sit-n-spin for a dozen or two accumulated
    > hours before going extremely hard. (And as an ultra-distance wannabe, you probably don't need as
    > much hard interval work as the typical pack racer. But hard interval training does improve your
    > sub-max capacity, so work some in for variety if nothing else.)
    >
    > My first (and only) century ride last year was done with a base of indoor classes 45 minutes in
    > length, and outdoor riding as long as 30 miles. I suffered a lot but made it in 5:30 or so. You
    > can do it.
    >
    > --
    > --
    > Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "We should not march into Baghdad. ... Assigning
    > young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight
    > in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it could only plunge that part of the world
    > into ever greater instability." George Bush Sr. in his 1998 book "A World Transformed"
    >

    Thanks Lynn for all the advise. I am looking forward to getting on with it. I just have two more
    weeks of a swimming commitment and I am able to start.

    Thanks again for the help, Curt
     
  13. Curt

    Curt Guest

    "Tom Paterson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >From: Benjamin Weiner
    >
    > >Form isn't as important as getting used to sitting on a bike for several hours. Work up to it
    > >over time, mixing in short rides and long ones as schedule allows (weekends).
    >
    > What he said-- plus, find a road club that is open to cultivating new
    riders,
    > and weekly group rides you can hang with. Pay attention, ask questions.
    Learn
    > how to safely follow wheels, and be a smooth, safe pack rider. The century
    is
    > just icing on the cake. --TP

    Thanks Tom. I would like to ride correctly in a pack. I am sure there are some groups here in
    Pittsburgh. I hope they welcome a newbie.

    Take care, Curt
     
  14. B. Lafferty

    B. Lafferty Guest

    "curt" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Tom Paterson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > m27.aol.com...
    > > >From: Benjamin Weiner
    > >
    > > >Form isn't as important as getting used to sitting on a bike for several hours. Work up to it
    > > >over time, mixing in short rides and long ones as schedule allows (weekends).
    > >
    > > What he said-- plus, find a road club that is open to cultivating new
    > riders,
    > > and weekly group rides you can hang with. Pay attention, ask questions.
    > Learn
    > > how to safely follow wheels, and be a smooth, safe pack rider. The
    century
    > is
    > > just icing on the cake. --TP
    >
    > Thanks Tom. I would like to ride correctly in a pack. I am sure there
    are
    > some groups here in Pittsburgh. I hope they welcome a newbie.
    >
    > Take care, Curt

    Curt, I suggest that you go to either a library or a book store and read some general cycling books.
    Once you've read (and learned) a wee bit, you won't be asking generalized questions such as you've
    done; questions that tend to drive more experienced cyclists up walls.

    Do find a local cycling club after doing your basic homework so as not to pester people with
    needless questions. You might consider starting with a club that has a more general (perhaps
    touring) focus to start, as opposed to a more racing oriented club which can be hard to break into
    unless its a club that actively welcomes and treats people such as yourself better than they often
    deserve (due to lack of easily obtainable knowledge base).

    BEWARE!! WARNING!! Once you've read some, you may no longer worship Mr. Lance. ;-)
     
  15. Join a local bike club and start doing the rides. That should give you a great start into the sport.
    It will take you a bit of time to figure out what your real goals are.

    Bruce

    "curt" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Tom Paterson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    > m27.aol.com...
    > > >From: Benjamin Weiner
    > >
    > > >Form isn't as important as getting used to sitting on a bike for several hours. Work up to it
    > > >over time, mixing in short rides and long ones as schedule allows (weekends).
    > >
    > > What he said-- plus, find a road club that is open to cultivating new
    > riders,
    > > and weekly group rides you can hang with. Pay attention, ask questions.
    > Learn
    > > how to safely follow wheels, and be a smooth, safe pack rider. The
    century
    > is
    > > just icing on the cake. --TP
    >
    > Thanks Tom. I would like to ride correctly in a pack. I am sure there
    are
    > some groups here in Pittsburgh. I hope they welcome a newbie.
    >
    > Take care, Curt
     
  16. curt <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Troll? Not sure how you figure that? I know what a troll is, but I don't see the above statement
    > as some kind of troll. I just stated what is going on and hope to get into riding (not biking, see
    > I do listen).

    Well, you were labeling lots of LANCE and Atkins flamers trolls, and then you come up with a request
    for newbie advice that (at first blush) has nothing to do with racing, which is one of the most
    common failure-to-lurk-before-posting errors around here. So nice troll.

    > Interesting that people are telling me not to worry about form. I would think that would be
    > important. For example keeping your back straight and making sure you have a smooth pedal stroke
    > with no slow spots.

    That is the kind of stuff Bicycling magazine writes about. For the intended audience of people who
    haven't ever ridden a bike for five hours and aren't likely to put in the time necessary. Road
    cycling does not require that much technique, compared to something like cyclocross or cross-country
    skiing. Elegant form is not a prerequisite, just watch Fernando Escartin climb.

    Keeping your back straight is useful if it improves comfort. I have no business offering advice on
    racing or riding super high mileage, but I can say that 85 miles into your first 100 mile ride, you
    are not going to be thinking about perfect form or straight back. If you haven't got a lot of miles
    in, you might be thinking, at best, about whether your saddle is at the wrong angle, how you wish
    your bars were 2cm higher, and whether it's an admission of defeat to walk up the next hill.

    > Thanks for all the advise. Sounds like you know the area. Who knows maybe I will pass you up
    > someday out there. ;) now that is a troll

    I used to live there, not anymore. Last time I rode there on a Christmas visit it was about 20
    degrees F and I got in an hour or two before my water bottle froze. Enjoyable, actually, since the
    roads were dry.
     
  17. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

  18. B. Lafferty

    B. Lafferty Guest

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