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2019 Enchilada Buffet

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Well, here's my checklist:

  1. No rides in more than a week until today.
  2. Coming off 1.5 weeks with a cold
  3. Not much dirt riding all through August
  4. I'm not sure I've completed a lap around Thumper this year...maybe one.
  5. I've not done City Park in this direction since the last time it was in this direction.
  6. Tires aired
  7. Stan's topped up
  8. chain lubricated
  9. lights charged
  10. Infinit mixed
  11. Osprey pack packed up with tools, spares, and snacks

 

Let's go!!

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Well, here's my checklist:
  1. No rides in more than a week until today.
  2. Coming off 1.5 weeks with a cold
  3. Not much dirt riding all through August
  4. I'm not sure I've completed a lap around Thumper this year...maybe one.
  5. I've not done City Park in this direction since the last time it was in this direction.
  6. Tires aired
  7. Stan's topped up
  8. chain lubricated
  9. lights charged
  10. Infinit mixed
  11. Osprey pack packed up with tools, spares, and snacks
 
Let's go!!


Antonio...did you make it man? We saw you at the bottom of Jester reloading your water but must have missed you at Thumper.


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No.  I made the decision to bail after Emma.  Had a beer, was low on water (100oz in almost 6 hours is not enough).  I had hoped that a coke at Jester mart would keep me going but I ended up walking up all of Jester so I knew my day was done.  I didn’t even try to turn left at Old Spicewood, I just kept going on 360.  

To be honest, this is what I expected given my fitness and sickness (coughing up half a lung this morning) but I had a blast and after maybe 30 minutes in the BCGB I started riding well.  Before that my vision was bad, looking only in front of my wheel and picking bad lines...the kind of stuff you do when you don’t ride off-road enough.

I rode everything well for me, but not HOL.  Even on a shorter day I struggle with traction and I can’t make it all the way up.  Well, it turns out briskly walking up HOL I PRed it  LOL!!!

i had a good ride on 360 and up Courtyard only walking up that last steep bit.  I walked all the city park climb.  I enjoyed Emma in this direction quite a bit. At some point my problem was I could make it up a punchy climb or obstacle but that left me depleted and took me 1-2 minutes to recover.  I knew that meant Thumper was going to be impossible for me.  

I made it to WC (after turning the wrong way in Metric and making it to Oskar Blues) and had a couple of beers with the leaders (not something I usually get to do).  I was surprised not more people had finished at that point (8 hours in I think)

Thanks to the EB crew for another great event!

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5 hours ago, AntonioGG said:

No.  I made the decision to bail after Emma.

You know Antonio, and I made this statement to Jeff Cox too (both of ya'll super old school EB'rs),  that this is what the EB was originally founded on.  It's a B-U-F-F-E-T.....you're suppose to eat as much as you can and then bail.  Sure, we've determined that the EB is in reach for nearly all of us...but that doesn't stop the intent from being the intent.  Its a day where you roll out with your buds and come up short wherever you may.  Sounds like it was just right for you two.

Cheers, -CJB

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6 minutes ago, CBaron said:

You know Antonio, and I made this statement to Jeff Cox too (both of ya'll super old school EB'rs),  that this is what the EB was originally founded on.  It's a B-U-F-F-E-T.....you're suppose to eat as much as you can and then bail.  Sure, we've determined that the EB is in reach for nearly all of us...but that doesn't stop the intent from being the intent.  Its a day where you roll out with your buds and come up short wherever you may.  Sounds like it was just right for you two.

Cheers, -CJB

I would have been happy with just the BCGB.  A big part of it for me is the ride from walnut to Zilker en masse, chatting with people you may have not seen in months, meeting new people,etc. This year I didn’t see any hair of the dog type instances like I did a few years ago.  🙂

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I'm going to go ahead and post my ride report here since I don't expect there to be too many this year.  Let me break down my 2019 EB experience by the numbers and then I'll go into a little more detail:

  1. 7 - This was my seventh EB.  Every year since 2011.  My t-shirt drawer is basically EB and Pace Bend shirts mixed with the occasional climbing or race shirt. 
  2. 104 F- This was the max temperature recorded by my Garmin.  WTF October?  That heat was killer.
  3. 49.2 mph - Maximum speed down City Park road. 
  4. 11:48 - Total time to finish this year.  Not my fastest or my slowest time.
  5. 120 minutes - Amount of time we spent in Thumper
  6. 4 - Number of times I had to dodge my riding partner's question of "...are we almost there?" while hiking-a-bike thru Thumper.
  7. 5 - Total number of leg cramps I fought off during the ride.  They started hitting me around Jester and were a constant battle.
  8. 3" - Width of my front and rear tire.  When you hit 30 mph+ with these big volume tires you really start to feel the imbalance made by the sealant.  This was a bit unsettling (see #3)
  9. 3 - Number of times we were totally screwed by the lights on 360.  Getting all that speed as we go down the hill and then stopping is the worst.  Enough of a reason to stop riding the road.  
  10. 1.6 miles - Distance to the finish when my Garmin battery died.  I guess I needed to go faster.

First off, thanks to the entire EB crew and the volunteers for putting this thing together.  I heard there were 50 something riders registered but I think there were probably twice that many that started at Walnut.  Not as many as I'm used to seeing but still a good crowd.  The two aid stations were appreciated and I feel for the Thumper crew trying to keep everyone's spirits up as they headed off into oblivion.  

I rode the EB this year with a good riding buddy who had never done a ride over 50 miles.  He wasn't sure he could finish a long ride like the EB but I talked him into it and he got it done.  Low pressure events like this really have a place for riders that are interested in challenging themselves but don't want the big emotional investment of a formal 'race'.  This was also the first year that I rode the EB on a hardtail instead of my big 140-170 mm full squish.   We started out of WC right on time and the ride leader promptly missed the turn up to the dam.  No biggie but this confirmed that AB wasn't leading us out this year.  I also quickly realized this as the pace of the group accelerated to something I would call "...let's catch that roadie" and really wasn't the leisurely pedal down the lake I had enjoyed in years past.  I know that different people have different paces but I think that the ride downtown should be something that EVERYONE riding the EB can enjoy even if they don't finish in 8 hours.  Bottom line, hit the greenbelt with a small group and started making our way through BCGB.  Ran into a guy named Hugh with a Mojo jersey on and had a good chat.  The GPX route on my Garmin was working this year but since I can pretty much do the route in the dark with no light, I didn't need it much.  Crashing the hardtail down the good stuff at BCGB and explaining the lack of mulch on mulch hill were highlights of this segment.  We hiked up HOL for the most part because I didn't want to burn a match that early in the day and there were no trail angels there with cameras to impress.  360 was no biggie but we got screwed by lights (see item 9) and that really sucked.  Didn't see too many cool cars which is generally the highlight of this part of the EB.  Hit Courtyard and instructed my riding partner to NOT LOOK UP and just pedal.  Also said that when you think it's over, it's not over but DON'T LOOK UP.  Made it up Courtyard with little fanfare and was disappointed to not see anyone at the top to heckle, cheer, refill, etc.  I guess I'm spoiled by years past.  This would be a theme.

The City Park climb and jaunt to Emma was not too bad.  Only got closely buzzed by one car the entire time and there weren't many boaters out there trying to kill us.  We passed the leaders coming out just before we hit the fire station and the realization that they had put an hour on us 3 hours into the ride was sobering.  I actually expected it but I'm not sure my riding partner knew that when I said they were 'fast AF', I meant the AF part.  Saw Barry shortly after this and was stoked to see him hanging with the leaders.  Dude rips on his bigger travel bike.  We stopped at the aid station for some ice and water and ate a bit.  Not a long stop but welcome.  The cooler was pretty full of beer at this point but that wouldn't last long.  Emma was fun and it's much more chill in the CW direction.  I kept trying to place the features and run the route backwards in my mind but I inevitably messed up and we hit a feature that I wasn't expecting.  Stopped at the pavilion one more time as we left to refill and got the last bit of water.  Sorry Antonio!  Scored some sunscreen here from another rider (much appreciated) and took off.  Bombing down City Park road going back was great fun and this lady in an SUV pulled up to us at a light and asked if we had enjoyed that.  My knee was starting a tingle of pain here but it wasn't anything I couldn't pedal through.

We stopped at Jester Market because the Jester climb was looming and something really cold sounded good.  Downed a drink and took off to Jester.  We rode the first third but realized that in the big gear we weren't moving any faster than walking and the sun was baking us.  Walked the rest.  This was the first time I'd walked a hill in all my EBs but I didn't mind.  I wasn't walking alone and I still made it to the top in about the same time.  Bombed Beauford without getting pulled into the curb by the road grooves and almost ended up passing some dude in a Porsche making his way down slowly. 

360 and Spicewood to St. Eds were uneventful and we saw a few more riders passing us heading to Yaupon.  I generally see more riders here but this year it didn't work out that way.  We walked a lot of the ledges on St. Eds on the way up and rode the rest down.  The exposure parts we more of a risk/reward decision so we did walk a couple of those.  The ride back to Yaupon seemed to take for freaking ever but we made it and started the ride/hike up.  About halfway there a dude on a road bike going down told us there was an aid station at the top.  We knew this but I thought it was great to see someone obviously not engaged in the EB taking part in cheering us on.  The Thumper aid station stop was short because I just wanted to make sure we had enough water and get in before my riding partner heard too many horror stories of people who had just finished.  This strategy worked and we started the long hike/ride/hike/cuss/hike/ride/cuss/cuss/ride event known as Thumper.  That trail is fun on fresh legs and if it were in Houston, it would be the best trail in a 100 mile radius.   However, it's just brutal in the EB.  My message to my buddy was that "Thumper is what makes the EB hard.  This is where the men are separated from the boys.  If it was easy, everyone could do it!"   We survived Thumper and my buddy said that if he had pre-ridden Thumper, he wouldn't have done the EB.  When we exited my wife was there to greet us.  This was a great surprise and really helped lift my spirits.  I also had a bit of a beer to celebrate.  

The ride to WC was fine and my buddy got his third wind and took off.  Having that trail to ride from Amherst park was great and I didn't miss riding down Parmer.  We did a generous loop of Walnut but I was blasted and my knee was starting to get pissed.  Finished to a small crowd who took our names, took our pictures with the fake enchilada, and then bolted shortly thereafter.  Apparently we were at the back of the pack.  Our wives were there too so we had someone to sit down with in the parking lot and drink a beer.  

The EB had a much different vibe to it this year and I'm interested to see if I'm the only one who noticed.  It was more about speed and racers and less about community and seeing old riding buddies.  Don't get me wrong here, I know it's not easy to put on this event and the team doing the work does a fantastic job.  I suppose I miss the feeling that it's more than just something for the fast guys to show off.  I miss the Christmas lights hanging in the WC island and the music going while people sat around and talked bikes.  I need to adjust my expectations but I would gladly drop my $20 into a can for a t-shirt and I didn't even see that option present itself.  I remember people coming in from out of town just for a chance to ride the EB.  I remember explaining the EB to a MTB guide on the Whole Enchilda trail in Moab after he asked about my Enchilada Buffet jersey.  Maybe that's the problem...I remember too much and therefore my expectations are not realistic.  No matter.  I might ride it again next year or I might not.  I'm not making the call yet.  If I do, I'm going to try it on a single speed to give me a reason to walk the hills.  

Edited by Tree Magnet
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1 hour ago, Tree Magnet said:

I rode the EB this year with a good riding buddy who had never done a ride over 50 miles.  He wasn't sure he could finish a long ride like the EB but I talked him into it and he got it done.  Low pressure events like this really have a place for riders that are interested in challenging themselves but don't want the big emotional investment of a formal 'race'. 

 

Good write up.  This really stuck out to me and it was one of the primary reasons we wanted to originate this event over 10 yrs ago.  @sherpaxc and I wanted to give local riders who may not have the chance to travel to far away locales and do big back-country events, the chance to test themselves closer to home in a 'known' and 'controlled' environment.

Once of the coolest things I've witnessed over the years, are people who got their 'long distance' start at the EB go on to do pretty spectacular things.  I'm thinking of riders like Ian Hackett who went on to ride in 24hr (nationals [or worlds?]), Antonio didn't you do something equally as big? (I know you made an attempt at Leadville), Corey Mosier road the 1st EB with only 4 months ofc lipless pedal experience and later (less than 2 yrs) went on to attempt the Arizona Trail Race (AZT 250) bike packing event, Sean Duckett and Shannon Wyatt (1st and 2nd yr EB'rs) went on to do Dirty Kanza and more, David Campbell went from EB'r to Paris Brest Paris (look that one up!!) after a handful of years.

These were just the early ones of the top of my head.  I'd love for people to add-in more, but I'm very pleased to hear that your buddy did it.  Who knows what may happen to him in the next few years! 😉

Later,

CJB

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I've done 2 partials before and this was my third.  This year's group definitely had more of a business like atmosphere compared to the previous two I participated  in.  There weren't any social groups on this ride.  I expected to run into some folks resting along BCGB or at the end of the HOL, but I was all alone for the most part.   After the HOL, I turned on my headphones (Trekz so I can still hear) and did my own relaxed paced ride. 

Think I was the last one to leave City Park and there was no water left when I got out.  I stopped at the fire station and filled up my camelback with ice water and washed my face.  

First extended break was at the bottom of Jester.  Took a 20 minute power nap under a tree to get a break before the next big climb.   Traded spots with 2 riders between Jester and Thumper.  I finished Thumper ahead of them and never saw them again.  I'm guessing they were the last of the finishers.

Thumper was much better this time around.  The preride with Cody and the work he put into marking the trail helped a bunch.   

I was in pretty decent shape once I got to Walnut,  but my truck was right there.   My overall time was 11:45 which was about 2 hours slower than I was hoping for at that point.  I wasn't planning to be out that long and it was time to go home. 

I don't ride any these trails much, so I didn't have a good feeling for setting pace and effort.  Also, I was riding solo without anyone to push me and settled for a relaxed pace.

I decided to bring my Procaliber hardtail instead of my Fuel which might have been a mistake.   The biggest issues with Procaliber were lack of a dropper post and 100mm fork were causing me to walk more ledges than usual (City park).  I'm less down on the procaliber today, but I need a different fork so I can run some bigger tires up front (maybe 29×2.6).

Another setback was I smeared my front tire in a massive pile of dogshit on the BCGB and had to slow roll for a mile or so to prevent shit from flying on me.  I could smell the shit everytime it rolled up towards me.

Moral Victories:

I wasn't dropped on the slow roll to BCGB which was a first for me.  Maybe this year's roll was slower.

No walking on any of the hills.  I was determined to ride all of the big climbs. 

I was able to successfully navigate through Thumper, a first for me.

No cramps or serious wrecks.   Just one minor fall when I got overzealous on Thumper and tried to power down for a climb.

I'll definitely go again next year if scheduling allows.  Probably need to preride these trails beforehand.  

Thanks to everyone who put this together!!

 

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Iain Hackett and the Canadians did several 24 hours of Adrenaline Wold Championships.  There were several events claiming World Championship status since the UCI did not recognize this discipline, but these Adrenaline events were attended by the best of the best (Rebecca Rusch, Tinker Juarez, Jason English, Cory Wallace), so I consider them true World Championships.   I stuck to Rocky Hill for my 24 hour fix.       Yep, the EB in 2009 where I "finished" taking a nap on the big rock at Lakewood Club Park (after Emma Long) was the first time I'd ridden 50 miles.  I don't even think I'd attempted to ride that long on the road at that point.  In fact, I think my first 100 mile ride was in a MTB event.  I routinely don't ride the race distance before a race and I don't worry about it (b/c you can't really ride a 24 hour event to train for one).  

I think after the EB, I signed up for the 6-pack (6 hour during the Dirty Dozen at Warda) in February 2010, met Iain for the first time at WC entering Windy Loop (he was wearing a Hammerhead Jersey) and he told me about a clinic that Sara Krause was hosting about endurance racing and he also talked about 24 hour races (I thought, "that's crazy!").  I attended that clinic, did the 6 hour event in horrendous mud (Hammerhead Bikes made ~$250 in parts because of that race) and I was hooked.  Somewhere around this time I threw my name in for the Leadville lottery (when that was the only way to get in) and I got in...so I had no choice but to train.  I didn't finish that one either...got through 76 miles but missed the cutoff then rode another 10 miles back into town and started digesting all the ways I'd screwed up.  I trained with Sean Taylor for 5 years until we adopted our kids, then I retired for a while.  Now I'm trying to make it back, but trying to enjoy the ride a bit more than back then.

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1 hour ago, AntonioGG said:

did the 6 hour event in horrendous mud

I remember that race.  We were doing the 12 hour that was shortened to 8.  Mud was hub high in some places and it ate many a bottom bracket.  When I think about all that this sport has given me, I don't mind the occasional parts sacrifice.  Good times.

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20 hours ago, Tree Magnet said:

We started out of WC right on time and the ride leader promptly missed the turn up to the dam.  No biggie but this confirmed that AB wasn't leading us out this year.  I also quickly realized this as the pace of the group accelerated to something I would call "...let's catch that roadie" and really wasn't the leisurely pedal down the lake I had enjoyed in years past.

 

 

16 hours ago, JRIDER said:

I wasn't dropped on the slow roll to BCGB which was a first for me.  Maybe this year's roll was slower.

 

These are interesting and kind of counter perspectives. I only have 2017 & 2019 to go by, but based on my data those roll-downs were a little different. I have @AustinBike's 2017 led roll down at 15 miles total, with a 15.2mph average, and a total time of 1:02:57. And I remember @CBaron commenting on the pace being high in 2017.  And I have @knifezilla's 2019 led roll down at 15 miles total, with a 14.2mph average, and a total time of 1:11:38. So it was just a little over 8 minutes slower this year. Which is cool for me, since my total time was 27 minutes faster in 2019! 

 

I'm not one to make a big report, but I thought I'd share this year's Thumper nightmare. Lately I've come to enjoy Thumper quite a lot. The g-outs are a blast, and the tech is all pretty doable. The only real hard parts are the tight climbing turns...if you're fresh--if you're hydrated. I went into St. Ed's with 1 full bottle and a little left in the other. Knowing the trail angel station would be at Thumper, I proceeded to empty almost one entire bottle on my face and head! It was pushing 90+ degrees at this point, after all. My plan was to mix up another Perpetuem, grab a pickle shot, and refill my water. So imagine my horror when I rolled up to Thumper only to find....nothing. The first 5 or 6 folks to get to Thumper didn't have a water stop available! Sure, they were there...somewhere...just in the wrong spot. So with only a splash of water in each bottle I tried my damnedest to keep my spirits up, but all I could think about was how thirsty and hungry I was. I was able to get some gels down, but without more than a splash of water, they were tough to swallow.  And while my spirits were low, my heart rate was pegging, and my legs were cramping. I ended up pushing about 30% of Thumper and somehow managed to exit about 1:06 after entering. I went from being 12 minutes back from the ride leaders, to being 27 minutes back! 

Thankfully once I exited Thumper, the water stop was there. With cold beer. Cold water. Pickle slushies. And @Hakalugi there to fill my bottles for me and cheer me on. I despise IPA, but that cold beer went down like a can of sweet grapefruit juice. I also don't care for pickle juice, but that slushie was amazing as well. 

 

Guess I should have stopped at Bill's!  

 

 

 

 

Edited by Barry
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Nice write-up. 55 riders took off from Walnut (3 more arrived late but did not check in, so not even sure they finished), and 42 riders made it home in under 12 hours, including a 12 yr old and a 14 yr old! We knew they were fast when the CP Trail Angel reported that all riders had cleared CP at an unprecedented early hour. My take is that this year's crowd were pretty hardcore riders, who for the most part knew what the EB is and were prepared for it. They moved fast to beat as much of the heat as possible.

Responding to the comments about lack of tee shirts and party vibe -- well, this is your chance to get involved with the EB! A tee shirt order is more than just $20 in the tip jar -- it's putting down $500 - $1,000 of your own money to pre-order a supply of shirts which you won't sell if the event is rained out. Even the online companies are super pricey for small quantities. What happens if you order 100 shirts and 55 people show up? You lose your money, that's what.

There were tunes playing, but I think if you want the party of years past, you need to supply people to manage that. The public call for volunteers received zero responses, and the entire event was managed with just six people, including both aid stations. Those people who want more at the end probably need to poney up some time and money to make that happen!

All in all, a successful event, and happy that people enjoyed it.

Some pics: http://www.enchiladabuffet.com/content/?page_id=828

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5 hours ago, Barry said:

 

Guess I should have stopped at Bill's!  

 

 

Dude, the whole time I was reading that, I was thinking you should've stopped at Bill's!!!  Its available to everyone, so its 'in play'.

 

1 hour ago, TAF said:

Responding to the comments about lack of tee shirts and party vibe -- well, this is your chance to get involved with the EB! A tee shirt order is more than just $20 in the tip jar -- it's putting down $500 - $1,000 of your own money to pre-order a supply of shirts which you won't sell if the event is rained out. Even the online companies are super pricey for small quantities. What happens if you order 100 shirts and 55 people show up? You lose your money, that's what.

 

In the first years of the EB, we would not have the T-shirts printed until after the event was over.  Thus we'd tell everyone in advance to bring your money and whoever pre-paid got a T-shirt.  The only logistical complication was distributing them once they arrived.

 

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In the first years of the EB, we would not have the T-shirts printed until after the event was over.  Thus we'd tell everyone in advance to bring your money and whoever pre-paid got a T-shirt.  The only logistical complication was distributing them once they arrived.
 


I don’t remember the whole t-shirt thing working any other way. I don’t expect anyone to put out any money of their own and if you wanted to ask for donations at the start to cover aid station supplies, I’d gladly throw in a $20. I’m sure most people would.


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34 minutes ago, Tree Magnet said:

I don’t remember the whole t-shirt thing working any other way. I don’t expect anyone to put out any money of their own and if you wanted to ask for donations at the start to cover aid station supplies, I’d gladly throw in a $20. I’m sure most people would.

 

Putting the event on is enough work for me, but if you want to take on the tee shirt side of things, that's fine.

This year's artwork will be available as a jersey before too long, and Jakroo makes individual ordering easy.

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Nobody throws a party like Beth did with hundreds of dollars of catered bbq and a full keg of Stash IPA. I remember the good ol days of getting forks and spoons drilled painted and hung along the route, the make your own race plates for your handlebars, and getting to Walnut after dark. Truth be told, is was a lot of work and time keeps getting shorter. Congrats on the riders and volunteers for keeping the torch alive even if it doesn't shine as brightly.

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3 hours ago, Bamwa said:

Nobody throws a party like Beth did with hundreds of dollars of catered bbq and a full keg of Stash IPA. I remember the good ol days of getting forks and spoons drilled painted and hung along the route, the make your own race plates for your handlebars, and getting to Walnut after dark. Truth be told, is was a lot of work and time keeps getting shorter. Congrats on the riders and volunteers for keeping the torch alive even if it doesn't shine as brightly.

I was actually really worried about riding around with the plates.

Let's just get together, bring our grills and food, drinks, do our ride, kind of like an R&I and stay late (hopefully it's a bit cooler!)  That way no organizer has to miss riding the event.  Assume no trail angels either...stop at the store and buy your own Icee (that was awesome by the way).

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