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  1. #1
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    How long do you wait after rain?

    Probably been asked many times before but I'm just curious....Is there a rule of thumb? How long do you usually wait to ride? I'm talking about a fairly good soaking. We just had one on Sunday in my area and I'm jonzn already.....

  2. #2
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    It really depends on the general soil type of your region or riding area. Best to check in with your local IMBA club or trail organization for guidelines for your particular location.
    Last edited by formica; 09-26-2006 at 10:00 AM.

  3. #3
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    Ditto. Local conditions vary widely. We have some trails that are better ridden during the rain storm.

    It can also depend on how long it has been raining and the weather after it stops.

    No hard and fast rules.
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  4. #4
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    Around here its just a matter of trail selection and go ride. Sorry about the doubles??
    Last edited by jeffscott; 09-26-2006 at 10:21 AM.

  5. #5
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    Hey Jeff

    Is your "Enter" key working?

  6. #6
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    I pretty much realize it's all about using good judgment.... I was just a little irritated the other day when I saw these 2guys unloading their gear and bikes not even 12 Hrs after a heavy rain. Was wondering if they planned on stickin to the parking lot but I doubt it..
    I shoulda asked them I guess...

  7. #7
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    I dont know if this is bad etiqite (sp?) or not, but I like to ride in the mud. I think its fun.

  8. #8
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    Nucmedjim, where do you live? In my neck of the woods our soil is good and muddy and it seems to take a day or two to dry it up sufficiently. If it's nice and hot you might be good 24 hours later. If it's getting into fall and winter then you're waiting... When we visit my in-laws in North Carolina and I head to Pisgah or Dupont, it could've rained two hours ago and you'd be good to go because the sandy soil and well maintained trails shed water so well (I realize I'm exagerating a bit with two hours, but it's quick).

    So how hot is it there? How much sun? What's your soil like? These are the kind of things you should be thinking about. My friends don't mind getting muddy but I cringe thinking about the possible damage we're doing. It's good to hear you have the same concerns.
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  9. #9
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    No waiting up here. Ride before the rain, during it, and after it.

    But I love the fact that most people wait... for something... for some reason. They heard someone say one time that it is not a good idea to ride after the rain, so they all stay off the trails. I get them to myself.

    I love the masses being supplied gross generalization. They just suck it up and obey.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender
    I dont know if this is bad etiqite (sp?) or not, but I like to ride in the mud. I think its fun.
    I don't know if you're trolling or not, but you should check out IMBA's "rules of the trail."

    Riding in mud may be fun, but it does a lot of damage.

  11. #11
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    A pretty general rule of thumb is to wait 24 hrs for every inch of rainfall although a few other factors come into play....soil composition and weather there's been much rainfall in the last week or two are a couple of things that come to mind. If you've had a lot of rain lately, 1" of rain is going to take longer to soak in then if it's been bone dry for the last few weeks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwimp
    Nucmedjim, where do you live? In my neck of the woods our soil is good and muddy and it seems to take a day or two to dry it up sufficiently. If it's nice and hot you might be good 24 hours later. If it's getting into fall and winter then you're waiting... When we visit my in-laws in North Carolina and I head to Pisgah or Dupont, it could've rained two hours ago and you'd be good to go because the sandy soil and well maintained trails shed water so well (I realize I'm exagerating a bit with two hours, but it's quick).

    So how hot is it there? How much sun? What's your soil like? These are the kind of things you should be thinking about. My friends don't mind getting muddy but I cringe thinking about the possible damage we're doing. It's good to hear you have the same concerns.

    I'm in Newark, DE. We ride all over DE, PA, and MD... The DelawareTrail Spinners suggest 24 hrs after significant rain... But like I said I was just more irritated at seeing these dudes gettin ready to ride literally right after a big storm... It may be fun for some but it does screw up the trails that are so well kept otherwise. You've gotta use your nuggit.

  13. #13
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    On my ride yesterday, I started out with it raining, and then it stopped half way through my ride. By the time I got back to the parking lot my bike was covered in mud, as was I. isnít that half the fun of mountain biking? You canít experience things like that when you stick to the road.

  14. #14
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    Here in the North Vancouver evergreen rainforest, we ride no matter what the weather. Our organic soil doesn't seem to mind.
    Get over it!

  15. #15
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    Depends on local soil conditions. What season is it. Can trail stand up to use when wet. If it is a pay for use groomed trail use immediately.
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

  16. #16
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    Bad advice.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko
    A pretty general rule of thumb is to wait 24 hrs for every inch of rainfall although a few other factors come into play....soil composition and weather there's been much rainfall in the last week or two are a couple of things that come to mind. If you've had a lot of rain lately, 1" of rain is going to take longer to soak in then if it's been bone dry for the last few weeks.
    The length of time you wait depends entirely on where you're located and the specific soil of the region.

    For example, riding in the Pacific NW would never happen based on your timeline.

    Riding in Moab on Slickrock could happen during a 10" rainstorm without affecting the trail.

  17. #17
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    if you can ride on your lawn without damaging it then the trails should be ok

  18. #18
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    I can't wait for some rain, its a Cali thing if you live in sandy/shaleville

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nucmedjim
    PHow long do you usually wait to ride? I'm talking about a fairly good soaking. We just had one on Sunday in my area and I'm jonzn already.....
    Who said anything about waiting? I ride when it rains, after whenever. I love riding in the rain... tons of fun, and makes things interesting... but wear your armour because you will fall

  20. #20
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    use your head

    if its been dry for 2 weeks you might still hit a patch where riding will cause too much erosion and walking will be a good idea (happens to me all the time), yet it might be raining and you can ride without tearing up the trails... soil composition, current weather, past weather, trail drainage, ect. all come into play, just use your head... if you causing excess erosion STOP!... don't cause unneeded damage to trails and the respectability of our sport.
    yet it might seem like a bad time to ride and actually be ok.... just use good judgement and keep an eye on the trail and your effect on it... if you do this you should be ok

  21. #21
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    It depends on the local conditions and the types of trails. We've had a good deluge here in the last while. The lower elevation (down in the bottom of a river valley) trails can be muddy for days while the upper ones are ready to go the next.

    I agree fully, though....use common sense to decide when to ride so that your trails will last.
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  22. #22
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    About 3 days I've seen hikers start to complain about MTBers tearing the trails up so I try not to give them a excuse.

  23. #23
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    if hard and just slick due to rain I will ride during the rain.

    If its soft and squishy and I am rutting I will stop(i have done this twice).

    Pine forest help out a good bit.

  24. #24
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    Hoo boy am I torn on this issue...

    Personally, I would like to see people exercise restraint when it comes to riding on soggy multi-use trails. On bike-only trails, I say ride in all conditions!

    PROs of riding in rain:
    First, I think about how fun it is to ride when wet and muddy.
    Second, I think that riding when wet build up skills that can be used during races or when I get stuck in a shower - do they ever cancel races due to a light/moderate rain within the past 24hrs?

    CONs of riding in rain (besides the obvious increased risk of crashing and getting mud in your car):
    "Rip up the trail" - true, I guess. I suppose it has a lot to do with the local soil, as other have stated. But what's more of an eyesore and pain for hikers - a 3'x5' area of mud with tracks OR log piles, drainage ditches, support walls, jumps, see-saws, etc? Also, if a spot is prone to pooling water, perhaps a local bike club could build a small bridge, or route around the low spot? Hikers would probably appreciate that.
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  25. #25
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    depends on saturation.

    Mid summer when it was hot out, and it hadnt rained in a few weeks, if we got a day or two of rain, i found that i could go out the same night or the very next day even in the morning and everything would be perfect, not bone dry but just wet enough to give you grip.

    Now, fall is settling in, rain is more abundant and if it rains half a day i cant go out and ride until the day after, and theres still puddles in sections of trail.

    Its all about ground saturation.

  26. #26
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    I think another reason I try to avoid the local trails when muddy is the fact that we have really slick snot pretending to be mud here....just not worth it unless you like paddling along a trail.
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  27. #27
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    Personally i like riding in the mud, my friend and i go "muddin" very often. I bought a pair of maxxis swampthings cuz i place i ride is sooo hard to bike on. ITs a very narrow trail and the mud starts out about 3-5 inches deep its really sloshy but it moves onto clay like thick gooey stuff.

  28. #28
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    It's a little alarming how many people are posting up about how they like to ride in the mud. Yeah, it can add some challenge, and maybe it takes you back to being a kid and all, but really...don't do it.

    For starters, riding in mud creates ruts, holes and bogs. Ever notice how low spots on the trail take longer to dry out? It is because they don't drain well. Riding through those spots makes it worse. Once the "bog" has been created, people start riding around it. That leads to trail widening. Pretty soon, you have a big mud hole in the trail that takes two weeks longer to dry out than it should. This is exactly the thing that people point to when they want to get bikes banned from the trails.

    My "home" trail is a stream valley. It's a pretty sensitive trail system. People routinely ride it when it's too soft and the damage is immediate and obvious. As a result, there are sections of the trail that are basically an impassible swamp for a better part of the year.

    Do some reading on trail access issues to get a sense of what is at stake here. Ride the roads or a rail/trail if its too wet to ride, or go somewhere rocky and ride there. But please, stay out of the mud.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by notrelatedtoted
    It's a little alarming how many people are posting up about how they like to ride in the mud. Yeah, it can add some challenge, and maybe it takes you back to being a kid and all, but really...don't do it.

    For starters, riding in mud creates ruts, holes and bogs. Ever notice how low spots on the trail take longer to dry out? It is because they don't drain well. Riding through those spots makes it worse. Once the "bog" has been created, people start riding around it. That leads to trail widening. Pretty soon, you have a big mud hole in the trail that takes two weeks longer to dry out than it should. This is exactly the thing that people point to when they want to get bikes banned from the trails.

    My "home" trail is a stream valley. It's a pretty sensitive trail system. People routinely ride it when it's too soft and the damage is immediate and obvious. As a result, there are sections of the trail that are basically an impassible swamp for a better part of the year.

    Do some reading on trail access issues to get a sense of what is at stake here. Ride the roads or a rail/trail if its too wet to ride, or go somewhere rocky and ride there. But please, stay out of the mud.
    Yes please. Stay out of the mud. Don't ride after rain. I will tell you when it is OK to ride because I will be out riding in it while you are at home wondering about it! I love the new "don't ride in the mud" policy. It keeps people off the trails up here all the time and I have it all to myself.



    DISCLAIMER: That is just for me and my location!

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    2 days unless the surface has a lot of sand, gravel, or limestone in it.

  31. #31
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    I try and let the trails dry out some before I ride. Due to my schedule I have to ride when I can, so sometimes I might go a little sooner than normal after it rains. My local trails aren't a lot of fun to ride when they get wet..a lot of roots and rocks so I really don't like it when it's wet. Also, there are several mud holes that have gotten worse, I believe because people ride too often when it's wet. I walk through those sections when it's wet because it's true that the more people ride around the mud holes, the wider those sections seem to get.
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  32. #32
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    I wait about five to ten minutes. Then I can't control myself and RIDE!

  33. #33
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    I like to ride during and immediately following a rain storm on a paticular local trail. I think it helps smooth out the giant divets the horses leave on the trail.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Colossus
    Yes please. Stay out of the mud. Don't ride after rain. I will tell you when it is OK to ride because I will be out riding in it while you are at home wondering about it! I love the new "don't ride in the mud" policy. It keeps people off the trails up here all the time and I have it all to myself.



    DISCLAIMER: That is just for me and my location!
    I'm not necessarily saying "don't ride after rain." I'm saying don't ride in the mud. We have trails in my area that are 90% rocks and roots that you could ride in the middle of a monsoon.

    If you're out riding in the mud - I think you need to educate yourself, and more importantly, think beyond yourself and what YOU want to do. From your responses, it sounds like you think this all just mindless herd mentality. Ask the people who are fighting the access battles, maintaining the trails and keeping them open for YOU to ride on. Ask them how much of a herd there is...and they'll tell you there are far less people than there should be.

  35. #35
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    There are two trails within 15 miles of my location, and I would ride one of them 6 hours after a heavy rain, while I'd give the other one three or four days...
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by notrelatedtoted
    I'm not necessarily saying "don't ride after rain." I'm saying don't ride in the mud. We have trails in my area that are 90% rocks and roots that you could ride in the middle of a monsoon.

    If you're out riding in the mud - I think you need to educate yourself, and more importantly, think beyond yourself and what YOU want to do. From your responses, it sounds like you think this all just mindless herd mentality. Ask the people who are fighting the access battles, maintaining the trails and keeping them open for YOU to ride on. Ask them how much of a herd there is...and they'll tell you there are far less people than there should be.
    Boy... you aren't going to like me much. My philosophies toward riding and trails and access are a lot different than yours are.

    The only trail that I am not riding in the rain or after a rain, is the one that is so muddy that my wheels won't turn anymore after 10 feet on the trail. Other than that, mud is fun.

  37. #37
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    Things are different in different places. I love riding in the mud. We have an abundance of mud here in Oregon. I don't ride trails that are closed. There are plenty of places here that you can ride in the mud for days and not see another person.

  38. #38
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    Self-centeredness

    Quote Originally Posted by 29Colossus
    Boy... you aren't going to like me much. My philosophies toward riding and trails and access are a lot different than yours are.

    The only trail that I am not riding in the rain or after a rain, is the one that is so muddy that my wheels won't turn anymore after 10 feet on the trail. Other than that, mud is fun.
    Well, you're certainly entitled to ride whenever you please, but the self-centeredness of your position on this is the very thing that makes people biatch about how MTBers ruin the trails. Mud is certainly fun. Even better is having to navigate the ruts that either freeze over or harden up after people ride through the mud.

    It's not always about you.

    Bob
    Last edited by Call_me_Clyde; 10-03-2006 at 11:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    Well, you're certainly entitled to ride whenever you please, but the self-centeredness of your position on this is the very thing that makes people biatch about how MTBers ruin the trails. Mud is certainly fun. Even better is having to navigate the ruts that either freeze over or harden up after people ride through the mud.

    It's not always about you.

    Bob
    I know... it's just horrible isn't it? I am so evil.

    The system is a joke, and it doesn't work. It is based on false assumptions and false science. It is not saving trails or opening trails because ALL trails are open, and none need to be saved.

    I don't care about trail "maintenance", and I don't care about the organizations that fight for trails or access or whatever it is they feel they have to fight for. I don't buy into idea of "trail damage". I don't buy into the idea of "trail access". I don't buy into the herd mentality of the mountain biker. I don't buy into the herd mentality that is the mountain biking activist, or the anti-mountain biking activist. I believe it to all be one big sad joke from a bunch of losers with too much time and money on their hands.

    Self-centered? You bet. In the face of absolute madness for decades, there is no better place to be but centered in one's self. So in the end, concerning mountainbiking, it IS always about me.

    That's rough, isn't it?

  40. #40
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    Around Las Vegas (Cottonwood in particular) you can ride most trails before, during and after rain. Bootleg is probably better and has less clay than Cottonwood. We also get so little rain around here that a decent storm will soak everything and get absorbed very quickly, even in the heavier clay areas -- unless we have storms like in the winter of '05 when we had the once in a lifetime amount of rain. Our trails in Mud Springs and Red Valley were muddy for weeks.

    In normal years there are only a couple of places with lots of clay that get real slimey and will rut very quickly when ridden in the wet - mainly flat trail so the riders increasing the rate of erosion is minimal. The cool thing is its only a couple of hundred feet in the Mud Springs area and a hundred feet or so in Red Valley (more of threat of erosion than Mud Springs). Mostly the sandy soil drains very quickly and the main thing riders have to watch out for is lightning and flash floods.

    The main rule is to know what your riding on and ride appropriately. It is pretty easy to tell if you're sinking in and damaging to the trail.

    mbb

  41. #41
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    Wow, it seems I've opened a can of worms. Like I said earlier; common sense is best way to go. But Riding muddy trails in my area can reek havoc on them and I was pissed to see these guys goin at it after a monsoon like rain. THe last thing I need is for them to start making our trails: NO BIKE TRAILS. So you've gotta use some judgement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Ditto. Local conditions vary widely. We have some trails that are better ridden during the rain storm.

    It can also depend on how long it has been raining and the weather after it stops.

    No hard and fast rules.
    +1...My home trails are sandy, hardpacked forest...the rain just filters through...even after 2 days of rain, they're perfect for riding, no problem with causing erosion, tires grip as good as dry, and they're actually firmer and faster when wet

    Different story on the other side of the bay...mud, slimy roots and rocks, bridges covered with slime...probably the most dangerous trails in our area when wet and bike tires cause erosion in the clay, especially on the climbs

  43. #43
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    What

    Hell this is England we dont get after the rain...just rain.

  44. #44
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    This guy is a TROLL. Don't bother with him.

    (Your idiocy knows no bounds colossus.)
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  45. #45
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    That SUX

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    Quote Originally Posted by mzungo
    Hell this is England we dont get after the rain...just rain.
    Did my commute in a thunderstorm this morning in Toronto...heck, it's only water

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Colossus
    Boy... you aren't going to like me much. My philosophies toward riding and trails and access are a lot different than yours are.

    The only trail that I am not riding in the rain or after a rain, is the one that is so muddy that my wheels won't turn anymore after 10 feet on the trail. Other than that, mud is fun.
    Who knows? I might like you just fine. But what are your philosophies? Is it that, as a taxpayer, it's your god-given right to do whatever you want on public lands and however you want to do it? Do those same philosophies apply to four-wheelers and dirtbikes?

    And philosophies aside, what happens when everyone starts riding your trails in the mud? Would you rather ride in an eroded, muddy ditch or some bufff singletrack? You fail to see that some of this "herd mentality" is designed to protect what you enjoy doing, and that what you're advocating is contrary to your own enjoyment.

    Quote Originally Posted by 29Colossus
    I don't care about trail "maintenance", and I don't care about the organizations that fight for trails or access or whatever it is they feel they have to fight for. I don't buy into idea of "trail damage". I don't buy into the idea of "trail access". I don't buy into the herd mentality of the mountain biker. I don't buy into the herd mentality that is the mountain biking activist, or the anti-mountain biking activist. I believe it to all be one big sad joke from a bunch of losers with too much time and money on their hands.
    Pretending that the rest of the world isn't there won't make it go away. But if you do whatever you want regardless of what a sign or a law says, then I guess it doesn't really matter, does it? Well, except for the rest of us get left with the mess you made.

  48. #48
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    The state or whoever has the authority will just end up closing your trails to bikers
    and eventually you'll get your bike taken or ticketed. Then you'll be buying into getting it back.

  49. #49
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    During the summer months I like to wait a couple days but during the winter and fall I ride in the rain and slap the fenders on. I live in Washington.
    "Studies have shown that riding your bicycle everyday makes you more awesome then the general population"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Locoman
    This guy is a TROLL. Don't bother with him.

    (Your idiocy knows no bounds colossus.)
    Did you just come here to cry and point fingers, or do you have something to offer to the topic?

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