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  1. #1
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Who Nite Rides on the Front Range? What lites?

    Hi Guys and Gals,
    Just wondering who out there nite rides and what lights you run.

    Is it better to light the trail up like daytime or let your eyes adjust and use low lighting?

    also

    Do you use fixed lighting on the bars or head lamps?

    thanks for your time and experience...

    STL

  2. #2
    Perpetually single track
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    I night ride every now and then...

    Currently using a 10w lamp on my helmet. If it's a full moon and you're on a known trail, I prefer to go without the lights, many of my friends don't.

    As with most things, more it better on the darker nights...handlebar and headlamp, more light (higher wattage, HID, high brightness LEDs)...more money of course too.

    Being thinking about a new light lately...10w works, but I'd really like more.

  3. #3
    skillz to pay billz
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    mountain lions are scary

  4. #4
    Perpetually single track
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    mountain lions are scary
    I find if you slather yourself in worchester(sp) sauce, it tends to fix up any issues...
    The more out of shape you are, the steeper the hill looks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr
    Hi Guys and Gals,
    Just wondering who out there nite rides and what lights you run.

    Is it better to light the trail up like daytime or let your eyes adjust and use low lighting?

    also

    Do you use fixed lighting on the bars or head lamps?

    thanks for your time and experience...

    STL
    it depends on a few factors.

    if you're riding alone you can get away with lower powered lights, but if you're riding with others your lights will be useless unless they're as strong as the people you're riding with.

    i wouldn't go with the "let your eyes adjust" technique unless you're riding something very easy. Bumps in the trail that you easily avoid in daylight become launch pads at night...

    if you're riding really difficult terrain you might want to do both a handlebar and a helmet mount, but if you're on easier terrain one or the other will suffice. If i had to do just one i'd do the helmet mount bc it lights up wherever you're looking, which, in theory, should be where you're riding.

    night riding is super fun and a great way to beat the heat.

  6. #6
    skillz to pay billz
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    maybe a little elk urine?

  7. #7
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    The more wattage you have the brighter the mountain lion eyes are. And when you're alone at about midnite they are ALL mountain lion eyes. Except the spider's eyes on Michaud. Look like diamond rings in the trail. Freaky.

  8. #8
    slow
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    Lots of night rides. No lights. Just the moon.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    I use just a Niterider Classic (two bulbs in one housing). I think one bulb is 10W or 12W and the other is 18W or 20W. I run the lower wattage on the way up and blaze both for the hairy decents. I don't run a headlamp. A headlamp would light up the corners a little better I suppose, but I just don't feel like I need it. In all honesty, I go the same speed at night down Apex, Bergen, etc. as I do during the day, which ain't slow.

    My friends have experimented with other lights and, if you like to ride/descend fast, a quality light is a must. There are cheap ones, but there are not as durable, as bright, as reliable or as safe. I've had mine for ten years, have used it very frequently every season and it works as well as it did the day I bought it.

    As for running solely a headlamp, I'd be very careful with that. If you're head is pointing down or to the side, you lose all light looking forward. In other words, you lose the opportunity to use periphial vision to keep an eye on the trail if you point your head elsehwhere. It can also by dizzying for some. In my opinion, a handlebar mount is essential because it always keeps your light pointed in the direction your bike is aiming regardless of where you're looking. In fact, your light acts like a lazer sight on a gun: you go wherever the light is pointed.

    By the way, it's illegal to ride on Jeffco trails after dark so be careful on that front. Not sure what the citation is, but I would guess around $100. On that note, has anyone been tagged before? Just curious.

  10. #10
    Bodhisattva
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    I'm in the camp that one can never have too much light at night.

    I have 2 L&M Arc HID's which works very well. I've also used a variety of halogen systems with good results and prefer the Jet's.

    I'm considering purchasing Lupine LED's and may part with my L&M HID's at a good price.PM me if anyone is interested.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    LEDs are now a better option than Halogens, but not as bright as HIDs if you're going for absolute maximum brightness. The advantages over HID are the bulbs are durable and long lasting, HID bulbs are expensive and can break much easier than a LED. Also, LEDs can be turned on and off at whim, HIDs take a bit to warm up so you can;t turn them on and off as easily.

    I have a cateye triple shot, about $200 on ebay, or more for the pro version that is much brighter, has a low and high beam and a Li-Ion battery instead of Ni-Mh.

    The new Nightrider MiNewt looks like a good candidate for a helmet-mount. Or the Cateye double.

    Other brands like Lupine are better but lots of $, actually make that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, but you can have a light thats worth more than an average bike
    .




    Strava: turn off your dork logger when you're not on sanctioned trails.

  12. #12
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Thanks everyone for the tips.
    My nite riding plan is on the Road 18 trails in Fruita.
    There's probably more snakes that Lions out there.

    No Jeffco stuff for now but there are a few trails in Pike NF off of 67that would really be fun at nite.

    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    mountain lions are scary
    Without the Mtn Lions and Bears where would your adrenaline rush come from.
    These animals should be respected but if they are keeping you from the woods you don't know what you are missing.

    Thanks again everyone.
    I don't think I can afford the HID's but the High wattage LED or Halogens with battery in the shape of a water bottle looks promissing.
    STL
    Last edited by SingleTrackLovr; 08-09-2007 at 10:40 AM.

  13. #13
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr
    I don't think I can afford the HID's
    Drop me a PM if you're interested in a year-old set of L&M Arc HID's in like-new condition.
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

    ― Albert Einstein

  14. #14
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    Ya, the LED's work fine.
    Me and my friends have been riding every thurs. night around the Front Range. We're all running 1 head mounted light (3 to 6 LED's) - everyone picked one up at either REI, Sierra Trading Post or Home Depot even - and they work fine around $25. And then 1 bar mounted light, the Cateye's do the job. Plus a little ringy bell to scare away any wildlife around the corner.

    We're doin Heil Ranch tonight!
    Ok, so maybe it is an addiction.
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  15. #15
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    Marshall Mesa

    and i use a Blowtorch (h-bar mount) that is about 3-4 yrs old. Still works very well, very bright. The MM is close to my house and I just ride from my house. Lots of big spiders with shiny green eyes, toads and rabbits.

  16. #16
    skillz to pay billz
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr
    Without the Mtn Lions and Bears where would your adrenaline rush come from.
    These animals should be respected but if they are keeping you from the woods you don't know what you are missing.

    I'm not afraid of the woods, I ride alone out there all the time. Just not at night by myself. Def. with a posse though.

  17. #17
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    I'm not afraid of the woods, I ride alone out there all the time. Just not at night by myself. Def. with a posse though.
    Not to get off topic too far but you know what scares me more than Lions at nite.
    Ticks with Lyme Disease or mosquitos with Westnile.
    We are much more likely to run into one of them. Man, what's our world coming to?

    Squeaky Wheel, thank you for the offer. I am still researching my options.
    Two lights, One on helmet and one on bars sounds like a good idea for me. A backup lite would be good thing.
    It would be my luck to crash and bust one of them...

    STL

  18. #18
    what nice teeth you have
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    I picked up the cateye triple shot(for bars) and double shot combo(for helmet). Good prices on ebay. Combined cost about as much as some lights do alone. I have yet to take them on the trials. I did test them out at home and they are REALLY bright. Good battery life too. Shouldn't have to worry about the batteries going out on the trial. 3 and 5 hous respectivly.

  19. #19
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadinno78
    I picked up the cateye triple shot(for bars) and double shot combo(for helmet). Good prices on ebay. Combined cost about as much as some lights do alone. I have yet to take them on the trials. I did test them out at home and they are REALLY bright. Good battery life too. Shouldn't have to worry about the batteries going out on the trial. 3 and 5 hous respectivly.

    Just make sure to cycle the battery a few times before you use it. They get hot if they're not moving thru the air, so don't let them run thru an entire charge just sitting still, maybe use a fan to move some air past them. You also need to unplug asd re-plug the charger bak in a few times at first, the "smart" charger isn't very smart until the batteries are cycled a few time. It's a PITA but should go away after some use.
    .




    Strava: turn off your dork logger when you're not on sanctioned trails.

  20. #20
    what nice teeth you have
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    So do you run them down all the way. I thought that could damage the battery. Also does the charger stop charging when the green light comes on or is it just an indicating light telling me to take the light off the charger.

  21. #21
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadinno78
    So do you run them down all the way. I thought that could damage the battery. Also does the charger stop charging when the green light comes on or is it just an indicating light telling me to take the light off the charger.
    discharge most of the way, then let it cool off before recharge.

    My charger actually came with a warning saying the charger will automatically shut off before the battery charges when its new, so I cycled the charger a few times to make sure it charges fully when the batteries are new. NiMh battery life is directly proportional to how far they are discharged, so its better to keep the battery charged up. They drain fast in storage so its probably best to recharge every couple months when its not in use.

    The charger is automatic, so you don't need to worry about it overcharging.
    .




    Strava: turn off your dork logger when you're not on sanctioned trails.

  22. #22
    trail waggler
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    Yes, Jelites...

    I need a new battery setup though, lights are six years old. I don't like bar lights, most of the time, they aren't aiming where I want to go! I have a dual Jet helmet lite, use one 20w for climbing, both 20's for descending.
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  23. #23
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    lights

    I just demoed Sigma EVO x and EVO pro lights at 24-9. Could not complain about the FREE demo. Not as bright as HID or some LEDs but more cost effective. During the race, Hendershot, Ross and Eatough were like freight trains they gave off so much light. Nothing like a $700 Wilma. These guys would lap someone and totally eclipse them with massive lumens. It's tough to ride in your own shadow so what was said about riding with others with brighter lights is true- let those folks lead.

    I used to ride with just a bar mounted light but found a helmet mount to be key. You definitely ride your beam of light. On tough lines and snarly single track having light where you look really helps.
    mountainswin
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  24. #24
    starladear
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    What's legal to ride around Boulder co. at night? 18 rd is superb at night, especially Zippy

  25. #25
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    I've hit West Mag and the Blue Dot trails at night a few times this year. Definitely would not recommend the "let your eyes adjust" method with as dark as it gets up here. Considering the bears make a nightly stroll through my yard most nights I'm pretty used to them. It's the mountain lions that scare me more. Aside from running dual lights I like to keep bear spray and a quick flip Gerber knife in easy reach.

    I run a Blackburn System X3 on the helmet (bright as the sun) and a Cateye Opticube HL-EL300 on the bars. Having a dual setup really helps with depth perception and gives you the chance to look at the mnt lion in the trees that's about to eat you while still using your peripheral to keep an eye on the trail. If you're riding in the trees at night just expect you're going to eat some cobwebs.

    The Cateye is also nice for keeping in your camelback on late evening rides where it might get a little dark before you make it back.

  26. #26
    Light freak
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    I bought a JetLite Phantom helmet mounted light to run the 24hrs of Moab with 7 years ago. Recently had to buy a new battery for it.

    Now I make my own lights and lights for my friends at a much lower price.

    PondScum Homebrew bike lights
    Pond Scum - Homebrew bike light instructions

  27. #27
    Light freak
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    Wow, I don't know how that happened. Quadruple post???

  28. #28
    Light freak
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    Sorry

  29. #29
    Light freak
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    My bad

  30. #30
    Now with 20% more fat!!
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    Blackburn X3... great value for an incredibly bright light you can mount on helmet or bars (comes with both mounts)... The battery lasts 4-5 hours (depending on brightness setting). I use the X3 on the helmet and a cheaper CatEye bar mount when nec.- shows rock height better when a light is coming from bars.

  31. #31
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    Spiders

    Quote Originally Posted by timroz
    The more wattage you have the brighter the mountain lion eyes are. And when you're alone at about midnite they are ALL mountain lion eyes. Except the spider's eyes on Michaud. Look like diamond rings in the trail. Freaky.

    Those wolfy's on Green Mountian in the fall give me the willies. With my HID I can see eyeballs every 50 feet on a grid over that whole mountian. Some of them are 3 1/2" around with the legs...yikes....

    Anyways, I have an HID on my head, and a Halogen on the bars. I love it.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  32. #32
    I heart the drops
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    another vote for the jetlites phantom 20w you cant outrun the light and if you ever bust a bulb it wont cost you a small fortune to replace and halogens unlike hid do not attract bugs just ask flyer

  33. #33
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    Agreed- those Jets are sweet indeed. My ARC attracts bug like you would not believe. I kept my light on at the parking lot and giantsaam may have had 2-3 bugs go to him while I attracted enough to almost carry me away if they wanted to. It was crazy!

    I still love the lights but evidently not as much as every bug that cruises highway 74.

  34. #34
    feel the Force
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    Quote Originally Posted by starladear
    What's legal to ride around Boulder co. at night? 18 rd is superb at night, especially Zippy
    I think most of the Nat'l Forest stuff (West Mag, Dots, SD/SSV) is legit at night. Rode the Hobbits & School Bus last night - Sweet!

    I love 18 RD at night. Joe's, Kessel, Zippity, all awesome.

    One of the best night rides of all time - Slickrock - Full Moon, no lights!

  35. #35
    trail waggler
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    Dude, that is so...

    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak
    Lots of night rides. No lights. Just the moon.
    Front Range Migz-ish!!
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  36. #36
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmy
    (marshall Mesa) and i use a Blowtorch (h-bar mount) that is about 3-4 yrs old. Still works very well, very bright. The MM is close to my house and I just ride from my house. Lots of big spiders with shiny green eyes, toads and rabbits.

    You should not admit that since it's illegal to ride after sunset.



    On the night riding note, it's easiest to dark adapt and climb but even on full moon, the tech DH can be tricky.

    I know that DaveM knows about night riding....he is a professional.

  37. #37
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by starladear
    What's legal to ride around Boulder co. at night? 18 rd is superb at night, especially Zippy

    Nothing outside of forest land is legal in Boulder County.


    ....and indeed zippy would be grand at night.

  38. #38
    trail waggler
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    Yup...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbjedi1
    SD/SSV) is legit at night. One of the best night rides of all time - Slickrock - Full Moon, no lights!
    SSV is a GREAT night ride!! And Slickrock is pretty cool at night, did that about 5 years ago with NewMexJoe, it was great!!
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  39. #39
    Give dirt to me... Repent
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    You should not admit that since it's illegal to ride after sunset.

    Unless it's changed in the past month Marshall Mesa (including Cowdrey/High Plains) is fully legal for night riding. Boulder County trails close at sunset, but MM, which is City of Boulder, is open quite late (I think 11pm or midnight is what's posted at the trailhead). Boulder Valley Ranch, too.

    Since MM is near my house I hit it pretty often for fall/winter/spring night rides. On that kind of terrain a bright-ish LED is great. On moonless nights I find that anything with 3 watts of LED is plenty adequate for lighting up the spider eyes. If you want to do it on the cheap, right now you can pick up a ripping 3watt LED headlight at Costco for about $15--it works really well for that kind of ride.

    I used a homebrewed dual 3W LED helmet light at 18 Road and it was more than enough.

  40. #40
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    Spider eyes

    [QUOTE=used2Bhard]Those wolfy's on Green Mountian in the fall give me the willies. With my HID I can see eyeballs every 50 feet on a grid over that whole mountian. Some of them are 3 1/2" around with the legs...yikes....

    Whoa... wait a minute now... I've seen those during fall rides. I always thought it was minerals or something in the dirt/rocks. You're telling me all those glittery things are eyeballs? My god man... I'll never be able to change a flat in the dark again on that mountain.

    Seriously... you're freakin' me out.

    JL

  41. #41
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    green eyes

    At first I thought it was a piece of broken green glass, but when I looked closer, yikes, its a big spider. Don't see them during the day, but there are lots out at night. Creepy. I've checked from time to time & I do believe MM is legal at night. I see some runners out with headlamps and a few bikes. Maybe that was you bells.

  42. #42
    trail waggler
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    F-in' drivin' in Boulder...

    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    mountain lions are scary
    Now THAT is scary. Lions choppin' 'ya on a night ride? Not nearly so intimidating.
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveM
    Now THAT is scary. Lions choppin' 'ya on a night ride? Not nearly so intimidating.
    I always seem to ride a bit harder at night, especially when I'm by myself. After all, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not after me. Right?

    As for lights, Dave's Jets have kicked arse when I borrowed them a couple of times, once on SSV if I remember correctly. I've been looking at lights for a while now and I think if I was going to buy a some pre-built, i'd get jets. That being said, I also like putting something together myself, so I went and picked up a pair of those Pond lights from Garbage Freight... errr Harbor Freight. Now I'm shopping for batts/charger/bulbs.

  44. #44
    Light freak
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitchenware
    I always seem to ride a bit harder at night, especially when I'm by myself. After all, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not after me. Right?

    As for lights, Dave's Jets have kicked arse when I borrowed them a couple of times, once on SSV if I remember correctly. I've been looking at lights for a while now and I think if I was going to buy a some pre-built, i'd get jets. That being said, I also like putting something together myself, so I went and picked up a pair of those Pond lights from Garbage Freight... errr Harbor Freight. Now I'm shopping for batts/charger/bulbs.

    Did you check out the last page of the PondScum thread? I have got some beam shots comparing the Jet Light and the PondScum. Also have some pics of a helmet mounted version I built for a buddy. Let me know if you have any questions.

  45. #45
    Card Carrying Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar
    Did you check out the last page of the PondScum thread? I have got some beam shots comparing the Jet Light and the PondScum. Also have some pics of a helmet mounted version I built for a buddy. Let me know if you have any questions.
    It's bookmarked.

    Yeah, I've skimmed through it a couple of times. I'm doing a bar and helmet mount and maybe two batt packs. I'll post up when I get started.

    jim

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bells
    Unless it's changed in the past month Marshall Mesa (including Cowdrey/High Plains) is fully legal for night riding. Boulder County trails close at sunset, but MM, which is City of Boulder, is open quite late (I think 11pm or midnight is what's posted at the trailhead). Boulder Valley Ranch, too.

    Since MM is near my house I hit it pretty often for fall/winter/spring night rides. On that kind of terrain a bright-ish LED is great. On moonless nights I find that anything with 3 watts of LED is plenty adequate for lighting up the spider eyes. If you want to do it on the cheap, right now you can pick up a ripping 3watt LED headlight at Costco for about $15--it works really well for that kind of ride.

    I used a homebrewed dual 3W LED helmet light at 18 Road and it was more than enough.
    That's how I understand it, City of Boulder trails are legal to ride at night, Boulder county trails are not.

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