Queen City Bike http://www.queencitybike.com Promoting safe and healthy cycling in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Sat, 17 Sep 2016 00:10:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 ‘Opening Day On The Trails Challenge” http://www.queencitybike.com/opening-day-on-the-trails-challenge/ Fri, 15 Jan 2016 21:18:06 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=1100 January 15, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Wade Johnston, Regional Trails Coordinator, wade@greenumbrella.org or 513.541.1538, @TriStateTrails – www.tristatetrails.org

 TRI-STATE TRAILS LAUNCHES
“OPENING DAY ON THE TRAILS CHALLENGE”

Cincinnati, OH – The Cincinnati Reds won’t be the only ones celebrating Opening Day this spring.  Green Umbrella’s Tri-State Trails announced today the region’s first Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will take place on April 16, 2016. The event is part of a national kickoff to the spring outdoors season organized by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

The Trails Challenge will take place over a seven-week period overlapping with National Bike Month (May). Tri-State Trails will encourage individuals and families to explore the region’s trails by offering prizes to participants who complete the challenge.  The challenge will conclude with an award ceremony on National Trails Day, June 4, 2016.

Opening Day on the Trails Challenge is fueled by a $25,000 grant from Interact for Health.  “Interact’s vision is to make Cincinnati the healthiest region in the country,” said Megan Folkerth, program officer of physical activity environments at Interact for Health.  “We believe the Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will motivate people to explore our region’s trails and incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.”

“Continued support from Interact for Health for this challenge represents growing momentum for Tri-State Trails and bicycling overall in Greater Cincinnati,” said Frank Henson, chair of Tri-State Trails and President of Queen City Bike.  “In addition to current trail users, we’re using this challenge as an opportunity to engage new users for trails.”

Tri-State Trails will publish more information, including the kickoff event details, requirements of the challenge, featured group hikes and bike rides, and an online interactive trail finder map on Green Umbrella’s MeetMeOutdoors.com in the spring.

The Opening Day on the Trails Challenge will be the first of three events in Green Umbrella’s 2016 signature outdoor recreation series.  Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo will be held on July 22 at Winton Woods, and Great Outdoor Weekend will be held on September 24 and 25 at various locations around the region.

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Opening Day on The Trails Big Check 1

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‘Mobile Cyclist’ Explores Cincinnati’s Growing Bike Culture http://www.queencitybike.com/mobile-cyclist-explores-cincinnatis-growing-bike-culture/ Fri, 08 Jan 2016 22:42:24 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=1094 UrbanCincy:

The growth of Cincinnati’s bike culture has attracted national and even international attention over recent months. While much of the attention has been paid to the growth in ridership and use of Red Bike, less focus has been on the more intangible growth of the various support industries and groups helping fuel the change.

In the third episode of Mobile Cyclist, a web-based TV series focused on bicycling culture across the United States, host Anthony Barr explores the Queen City. In the nearly 13-minute video Barr takes viewers to a collection of bicycle friendly destinations that help shed some light on the region’s bike scene.

He first stops at Velocity Bike & Bean in Florence, where he tries some coffee and talks to the owners. Then he visits the Cincinnati Bike Center at Smale Riverfront Park to discuss how it operates, and how its bike rental services differ from those offered by Red Bike. Following that, Barr stops to speak with the ever-present Frank Henson from Queen City Bike, before making his way to Element Cycles in Hyde Park to check out their art work and bamboo bikes.

The last stop on his tour takes him to Fifty West Brewing where he learns about the Little Miami Scenic Trail and Oasis Trail, along with their bicycle friendly brew called Radler.

See Video

 

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QCB Executive Director Job Description http://www.queencitybike.com/qcb-executive-director-job-description/ Fri, 08 Jan 2016 18:02:59 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=952 Executive Director, Queen City Bike

Queen City Bike, the bicycle advocacy organization for Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana, is seeking an Executive Director. The Executive Director represents QCB to the public, local businesses and government agencies in many ways: leading presentations, setting up events, hands-on instruction for children and adults, participating with other groups, gathering success stories from bike advocacy groups around the country, and managing established programs like Bike Month. The ED for Queen City Bike is the champion  for a healthy, active, environmentally responsible lifestyle as a direct benefit tied to Greater Cincinnati’s bicycling movement.

The Executive Director reports to an active Board of Directors, and works in concert with the President of the Board. The position is part time (average 30 hours/week).

About Queen City Bike:

Queen City Bike is a bicycle advocacy 501(c)(3) with a mission to create strong and active communities by promoting the bicycle as a safe, accessible, and low-stress choice for everyday transportation. We build support for bicycling infrastructure, policy, education, and culture using a grassroots approach that works closely with community organizations, local leaders, and citizens to make our streets safer for all users.

Executive Director Responsibilities:

    Fundraising

  • Build and sustain relationships with allied businesses and organizations via shared goals, financial or in-kind support, Research, write, and manage grant applications to sustain and grow QCB’s annual budget.
  • Work with the Board to grow attendance, membership and income generated from events including but not limited to Bike Valet and Bike Month.
  • Manage membership retention and growth.

    Communications

  • Facilitate monthly membership meetings and provide progress reports to the Board and membership.
  • Respond to inquiries from prospective new members and financial sponsors.
  • Serve as point of contact for media requests.
  • Update website and social media.
  • Continue and expand QCB’s consultation services with Groundwork Cincinnati / Mill Creek and the Regional Trails Alliance.
  • Work with President and Board to prepare the annual report.

    Legislative Support

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with local and state DOTE Bike Programs.
  • Participate in meetings with alliance organizations.
  • Build and maintain relationships with legislators; be knowledgeable about relevant legislation
  • Send email Action Alerts to the Board, sponsors, and membership on bicycle transportation projects and advocacy campaigns.
  • Facilitate implementation of  bicycling infrastructure and policy through local city and regional plans
  • Support and champion local, state, and national bicycle campaigns with partner organizations such as The League of American Bicyclists, The Alliance for Biking and Walking, and Safe Routes to School.

    Education and Programming

  • Manage the Bike Friendly Destinations Program.
  • Coordinate with the Cincinnati Bike Center to hold Bike With Confidence Classes.
  • Coordinate with The NKY Health Department and other partner organizations to run the Queen City Blinkies Program.
  • Lead bike safety and bike commuting lectures and classes.

Qualifications:

Our ideal candidate should be a current bicycle commuter and passionate about bicycle transportation.  The applicant must have excellent communications skills, a flexible personality, be a confident and persuasive public speaker, skill in project management, and experience coordinating and motivating volunteers. Experience with blogging, grant writing, and community organizing is preferable.

How To Apply:

To apply, submit your resume and a one-page cover letter to Board President, Frank Henson, at Frank.Henson@queencitybike.org. We welcome and encourage candidates who represent and can work with people of many different backgrounds.

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You know you’re at a Bicycle Friendly Destination when… http://www.queencitybike.com/you-know-youre-at-a-bike-friendly-destination-when/ Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:04:05 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=740 …A receptionist holds open the door for you as you roll your bike into the building.
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Levi with a full rack of bike parking at Epipheo

This is the wonderful treatment I received at a meeting at Longworth Hall today (and the receptionist watched over my bike too!). The beautiful historic rail warehouse is certainly not stuck in the past. We were treated to a tour of the building which houses numerous local businesses. Two of the tenants,  Dot Loop and Epipheo, have done some incredible things to support bicycling and their biking employees.

 

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Dot Loop’s blue and white bike fleet

Dot Loop has a fleet of bicycles for employees to take a spin on that just so happen to match the colors of their logo. We were impressed to see Epipheo’s showers, full and attractive indoor bike racks, and the coolest helmet storage I have ever seen.

With it’s central location on the Ohio River, beautiful rust-belt scenery, and demonstrative bike friendliness, Longworth Hall has great potential to become a great hub for bicyclists in Cincinnati. As the Ohio River Trail continues westward, it will meander past the backdoor of the building, eventually connecting to the Mill Creek Greenway Trail and to neighborhoods on the West Side through the Ohio River Trail West. Queen City Bike can’t wait to see what happens down there next!

The ingenious helmet wall!

The ingenious helmet wall!IMG_3478

 

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Cincinnati Metro and Queen City Bike – A Great Transportation Alliance http://www.queencitybike.com/cincinnati-metro-and-queen-city-bike-a-great-transportation-alliance/ Wed, 29 Jan 2014 17:07:32 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=674 Check out this highlight video created by Cincinnati Metro summing up 2013:

Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeTb_Xj_EI8

Metro’s and Queen City Bike’s collaborations have been highlighted at three different spots (but you should watch the whole video).

See:

QCB was recognized at Metro's 40th birthday this year

QCB was recognized at Metro’s 40th birthday this year.

0:46 “Bicycle Safety with QCB in Government Square”

1:26 Bike to Work Day at Washington Park

3:33 Metro and Bicycle Santa Treat Customers

We are looking forward to another great year improving bicycle and public transportation services in Cincinnati.

 

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What you need to know in case of a bike crash http://www.queencitybike.com/what-you-need-to-know-in-case-of-a-bike-crash/ Wed, 08 Jan 2014 16:30:03 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=638 It is important to know what to remember in a crash before you are in one.

First, Know Your Rights:

Do you know the bike laws? Both state and local laws protect you in a crash.

You can download Cincinnati’s Pocket Guide To Bike Laws here.

For State Laws and safe bicycling practices see:

Ohio Bicycling Street Smarts

Kentucky Bike Laws

Indiana Bike Laws

After a Crash, Be Sure To:

  • Seek Medical Attention. You may not realize how injured you are in the confusion of a crash.
  • Call the police. Insist that the police come to the crash site and file a report. Request a copy of the crash report from the officer.
  • Collect information. Get drivers license numbers, insurance card info, license plate (especially in the case of a hit-and-run), witness name and contact info, document injuries and damage with photos, keep your medical documents and receipts.
  • Consider Legal Action. You may want to take legal action. You also may want to speak with a lawyer before speaking with an insurance company. Legal options may include criminal prosecution or suing an offender. For more assistance with legal matters, please write us at info@queencitybike.com.

Reporting a Crash

Report both bicycle crashes and incidents of harassment with the City of Cincinnati here. Choose the “Bicyclist Incident” option in the right hand column.

Report any incidents with METRO buses AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Be sure to record

  1. Day and time
  2. Location
  3. Direction Traveling
  4. Bus # and/or route number/name
  5. Detailed description of what happened

Please send this information to
Sallie Hilvers at shilvers@go-metro.com or 513-632-7681
or Jill Dunne at jdunne@go-metro.com or 513-632-7568.

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E-Bikes, A Perfect Fit for Many Cincinnatians http://www.queencitybike.com/e-bikes-a-perfect-fit-for-many-cincinnatians/ Fri, 08 Nov 2013 19:54:07 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=479 Electric-assisted Bicycle (e-bike) Commuting
               My e-bike makes it a pleasure for me to commute for work, a ride of about 14 miles from Pleasant Ridge to Milford. I like to bike two or three days per week in warm weather, and one or two days per week most weeks in the winter. When I bike to work I look forward to the morning ride and to the trip home in the evening.
Ray and his e-bike

Ray and his e-bike

My wife, Leah, and I have hybrid trail bikes we use mostly for rides on bike trails. For commuting and shopping trips and such, we have e-bikes.

              Typical e-bikes have front or rear hub motors, a battery pack, and wiring that includes a throttle system. Inexpensive e-bike systems, available for a few hundred dollars,  use cheaper batteries and are best for trips under ten miles. More expensive systems, ranging from $1000 to $3000, have greater range and power.  I have also looked at reasonably priced gas-motor assist systems, but they were too noisy, finicky, and smelly for my liking. Battery-powered systems are relatively quiet and easy to maintain. I’ve seen a few other e-bikes and e-trikes around Cincinnati, so they are becoming more common.
               Leah and I are each on our second e-bike. My first, which I built from a kit in 2008, had lead-acid motorcycle batteries for power. Leah’s first e-bike came fully assembled with a nickel-cadmium battery. Our current e-bikes are inexpensive box-store bikes enhanced with lithium-ion batteries and motor kits from E-BikeKit (www.ebikekit.com). The kit vendors have the assembly and wiring videos online, so even people with little expertise can put an e-bike together.
               A thirty-minute car or scooter commute becomes an hour commute by e-bike, but the pleasureof the ride makes it well worth starting the day a bit earlier. Leaving home at seven gets me to my desk by eight. When I leave work just after five I’m home around six. I can live with that. I enjoy the pace of the ride, occasionally greeting people as I pass and sailing up and down the hills. By sailing up hill I mean by pedaling to assist the motor, but being able to do that without straining or working up a sweat. I get a good cardio workout with reasonable effort.
               I have route alternatives, but the quickest and shortest is to ride up Montgomery from Pleasant Ridge to Kenwood, then Euclid to Madeira, onto Shawnee Run through Indian Hill, and out route 50 to the Technicenter off of 275. The last bit is a steep half-mile hill. I’ve biked up that hill without electric-assist, but it was grindingly slow and I had to rest afterward. The e-bike, with me pedaling steadily, goes 8 miles per hour up the hill and I arrive warmed up, not wiped out. The ride home is great, too. I start out doing over 30 miles per hour going down that first hill, roll smoothly through Milford and back up Shawnee Run hill, then mostly downhill from Kenwood to home.
                Leah also finds the e-bike to be great for bike commuting.  A bike commuter in another urban hilly environment several decades ago, she had lost her confidence and enthusiasm for biking in rush hour traffic.  The e-bike provided just that little bit extra to help her re-establish her bike commuter cred.  Other than typical safety gear, she also feels that the e-bike is compatible with riding in work attire, arriving at work with a glow and the ubiquitous helmet hair, rather than sweat drenched. The modest impact on her commute time is more than offset by the fun of the ride which includes some thrilling downhills to help activate her day.

Climbing hills…inevitable in Cincinnati

As I write this, I’m two days away from my 61st birthday. I work in a bustling office park with hundreds of other people, but in  I’ve only seen a few others come in by bike. I think it is just too challenging for most over 40’s to do a fourteen-mile commute throughout our hilly metro area without some kind of assist. E-bikes are already popular in Asia, and becoming more so in Europe. I look forward to the day when more people in the U.S. discover and embrace commuting by e-bike.

-Ray Owens,
Queen City Bike Member
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Queen City Bike Valet http://www.queencitybike.com/queen-city-bike-valet/ Fri, 08 Nov 2013 19:22:50 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=352 IMG_2551

Want to encourage bicyclists to attend your community event? Queen City Bike Valet is a great answer to finding enough secure bike parking for festivals, fairs, concerts, sporting and other outdoor events. Bike Valet is convenient and easy to use: we set up a secure area and watch attendees’ bikes for them while they enjoy themselves.

Bike Valet not only makes your bicycling attendees feel specially taken care of, but you are encouraging alternative transportation to your event, as well as freeing up valuable parking spaces for even more guests.

Pricing for your event varies based on the size and scale (Discounts for non-profits, churches, and schools). For more information about rates and to reserve Bike Valet for your event please contact Nern at 513-205-3059 or Nern@QueenCityBike.com.

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Upcoming Events featuring a Bike Valet:

 

]]> The BEST Way To Get A Used Bike for Urban Exploration http://www.queencitybike.com/the-best-way-to-get-a-used-bike-for-urban-exploration/ Mon, 23 Sep 2013 21:24:54 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=385 IMG_0755

A simple, practical city bike with carrying capacity and an upright riding postion

Want to bring a bike into your life?

I often get asked about where to get a good used bike for a good price by folks eager to get going on two wheels, and the answer, unfortunately, is not that simple these days. The first bike I owned as an adult was an old raleigh road bike bought from the thrift store for $15. You’d be lucky to find that deal now. Even thrift stores are discovering the value of a good bicycle and raising their prices. This article is my hope to help you find the best bike for your money in Greater Cincinnati.

So let’s start with the basics. What is a good bike worth?


A new bike from a chain store usually falls within the price range of $150 to $350. There are downsides to the low price: it will probably be insanely heavy, your drive train will fall apart in a season or two and you’ll never be able to repair it, your gears will never work, your butt will hurt, and you’ll feel awkward and out of shape pedaling around our fair city. And then it will sit…  in the garage or locked to the back fence, rusting away looking very miserable until you sell it to the neighbor kid for $10. Not good for you OR the bike.

A new bike from an independent local bike shop, such as a brand new Linus single speed Roadster Classic is starts at around $500. For a starting price, this is too expensive for most folks looking to get started on a bike. Choosing a new bike with more speeds, specialized parts, accessories like fenders, a comfy seat, lights, a rear rack or a basket is only going to bring the cost up from there. But a bike like this will last. The quality of the parts and materials can make a huge difference on how comfortable you feel on your bike, how often you will have to repair it, etc.  But the minute one starts dropping numbers like $500 for a new bike you’ve already lost the majority of interested riders who know they can’t really justify that high price. But I believe you can have a high quality and affordable bike, by buying used!

The Cheapest Option: Adopt and Fix Up a Bike

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One of Mobo’s Open Shops

Mobo Bicycle Coop is Cincinnati’s resource for access to tools, donated bikes, and parts. Mobo offers used bikes in various states of repair ready to be adopted and fixed up by you. You’ll have to take a little time getting your bike road ready, but you’ll learn bike mechanics with help from great folks who know what they are doing. For the small membership fee of $20 a year, you have great access to tools, used bikes and parts. Check out their website for the details on adoption and coming to their Open Shops.

  • Average cost for a bike: $50-$150
  • Labor cost: intensive
  • Time (from adoption to road-ready): 2 weeks to 3 months

The Middle Option: Craigslist/Yard Sale/Thrift Store

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A used Raleigh that needs a little work, but the price is right!

 

This method takes a little work too. Navigating Craigslist can be a daunting proposition. And too often, people highly overestimate the value of the bikes that have been sitting around with rotting tires for ten years. The best place to start is to look for old steel frames from the 60s 70s and 80s. Many of these frames were made before the age of outsourcing. The parts are simple and easy to upgrade or fix. Amazing finds can be found at yard sales. I once bought a fancy racing bike being sold for only $30!

 I recommend building into you budget the cost of some important upgrades. If you can find a nice used bike for around $100, consider putting another $50-$100 into upgrades. Used bikes often need new brake and shifter cables, a new chain, and/or new tires. Will you want a basket, fenders, or a rack? Maybe a new saddle? Mobo’s Open Shops are a great place to get your yard sale bike in peak condition for minimal cash.

  • Average cost: $80-$200
  • Labor cost: A little
  • Time: Average (searching Craigslist for a good find can take a while)

The Quickest/More Expensive Option: Buy Used From Bike Shops

If you want to get on the road ASAP, or if you aren’t that much of a fan of doing your own mechanics, buying a used bike from a bike shop can be a great choice. You will probably be paying more than if you got the bike from one of the sources above, but you will have a solid bike for a very good price. Some shops specialize in used bikes only, Cyclops Bikes in Lawrenceburg is renowned for having a good supply of quality used bikes. If you want to take this route, check the shop’s website of give them a call before you show up. Used bikes in bike shops tend to go fast, so don’t be surprised if the pickings are slim.

  • Average cost: $150-$400
  • Labor cost: none
  • Time: Immediate gratification

So best of luck on your search! Ask a friend who knows a thing or two about bikes to come along with you on your quest. They will know if anything needs to be replaced and how much it might cost.

*A Note on Styles. Road, Mountain, Hybrid, Comfort, Cyclocross, BMX, Cruiser, Fixie, Racing… This is getting confusing. How do I know what is the best type for me?

Most people curious to get into bike riding are nervous about riding a road bike. And I wouldn’t necessarily recommend one for someone just getting back on the saddle with their intense (and uncomfortable) seats, skinny little tires, and aggressive handlebars. Mountain bikes are another popular option, but they too can have some limitations. They are heavy, the knobby tires can slow you down, and the wide handlebars aren’t the best for riding around in traffic. Then there’s the comfort/hybrid bikes. The bike that the bike shops want to sell you because you don’t know what you want. They are somewhere in between a road and a mountain bike. I want to avoid diving headlong into my personal distaste of shops selling people hybrid bikes, but just remember that a hybrid bike is NOT necessarily a city bike. They often look similar but have important differences:

Sweepstakes_bike

City bikes, also called upright bikes, are specifically designed for riding around cities, doing errands, getting to/from work, commuting, and carrying cargo. When looking at a bike, ask a bike-savvy person if you’ll be able to install a rack, fenders, or a basket. Schwinn, the American standard for the city bike was making these before the term “hybrid” even existed.

So think about what you’ll want to use your bike for. For a specific sport, for utilitarian use, or for casual weekend riding. But this is just a starting point, there are as many types of bikes as there are people who ride them, and often it’s the little personal touches that bring a bike from being pretty alright to becoming your best friend.

 

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Bikes, Making Life a Little More Awesome http://www.queencitybike.com/bikes-making-life-a-little-more-awesome/ Fri, 13 Sep 2013 22:11:36 +0000 http://www.queencitybike.com/?p=427 Brand new bikes ready for new homes Queen City Bike was honored to attend a special awards ceremony at Ethel Taylor Academy in Millvale yesterday. Students grades 3-5 who passed their Ohio Achievement Assessment were awarded with a new bike. Seventy three excited students were recipients. They also got a helmet thanks to Childrens Hospital, and fruit provided by Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek. The bikes were made available through the Soaring Hawks Foundation and a matching grant from Union Savings Bank.

Queen City Bike was there to help teach cycling skills! We were not sure if the kids would be comfortable on their new bikes, so we were ready for hands on work with our skills course in the parking lot. Not a problem. The minute the students made it outside and had strapped helmets on, they were riding everywhere the adults would allow them. The joy and energy of the event was astounding.

IMG_2699The timing for the Taylor Academy bike awards could not have been better. Currently residents and community organizers in Millvale and South Cumminsville are working to calm the Beekman Street corridor with priorities like fixing broken sidewalks, slowing speeding traffic, encouraging local business, encouraging bicycling and walking, and redirecting truck traffic off residential streets. Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek is working on building Phase 4 of the Mill Creek Greenway Trail which will come to the doorstep of the school. Walk and bikeability is a priority in this neighborhood; 90% of students at Ethel Taylor Academy currently walk to school. Many of these same students rode their new bikes home yesterday. Safe Routes To School is working to get the school a new bike rack. Queen City Bike hopes to return for an after school bike club this fall.

These bikes are already expanding the mobility, freedom, and self-confidence of the youth who worked so hard for them. After school yesterday, we saw one of the students riding her bike on the Mill Creek Trail with her mother. So far they had ridden their bikes together about 5 miles and were on their way home. I think we can all agree that bikes make life a little more awesome! IMG_2728

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