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  1. #1
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    Mt Elden route suggestions

    I'm going to Flag Thurs. I have ridden up and down Shultz Creek many times but never ventured any father. Mostly cause I have had wiffy in tow. This time Im taking my GF Sheila, my two year old assuie. I'd like to incorporate some of Sunset. Which is the best route to get a 20 mile or so loop? I'd like to maximize the DH. Is Shutlz the best way to come down or is there something just as good or better?

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    49 views no response. Is everyone busy deciding if trails need to be renamed?

  3. #3
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    Ride up Rocky Ridge, up the Elden Lookout Rd, down Sunset, down Little Bear, Little Elden and finally down Shutlz Creek.

  4. #4
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    I think the views with no response speaks volumes about most of us who choose to explore into the unknown rather than ask the peanut gallery what trail to ride...simply an observation. I sympathize with the specialized nature of your question though....however I can't really relate since I have an 8 year old German Shepherd Dog who is quite the reactionary...much like the Chief of Police of Malibu...or Walter Sobchak for that matter.........




  5. #5
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    /.,
    Last edited by RidingRiot; 08-02-2009 at 12:29 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Ask a local for the "good stuff" - but not on the interwebs (it creeps them out).

    If you'd like the "official" trail beta then try this:

    Up Schultz, Little Gnarly, Upper Brookbank, Sunset to Little Bear, Little Elden to Sunset back to Schultz won't kill you

    Go check out the AMAZING map on the wall at Absolute Bikes if you want the good stuff.

    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  7. #7
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    How does descending Upper Oldham Trail compare with the other descents on Mt Elden?

    On the [literally] couple of visits I've made to Flagstaff I've only ever done the Upper Oldham as a descent and wondered how it compared to the others available.

    I certainly found it pretty sketchy and enjoyed it for sure - it was pretty good reward for the the climb to the top.

    But was there a better option?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclenorm
    How does descending Upper Oldham Trail compare with the other descents on Mt Elden?

    On the [literally] couple of visits I've made to Flagstaff I've only ever done the Upper Oldham as a descent and wondered how it compared to the others available.

    I certainly found it pretty sketchy and enjoyed it for sure - it was pretty good reward for the the climb to the top.

    But was there a better option?
    It F-ing sucks.

    What are you looking for?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    It F-ing sucks.

    What are you looking for?
    I 2nd Jayem's assessment of U. Oldham. It's a rock-infested mess. The FS gave up maintaining it a long time ago. There are better options for sure,

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    It F-ing sucks.


    I guess I'm looking for the most "fun" to get back down - but I appreciate that means different things to different people.

    I ride a SS 29er with 80mm upfront so I'm not looking for gnarly downhill that might be better suited to 6 inches both ends.

    I found Upper Oldham to be more of a hikers trail - I found it pretty sketchy but I enjoyed the challenge - i.e. just to stay upright.

    Most of my AZ riding has been done in the Phoenix area, specifically White Tanks, and with the terrain down there, there are certainly trails more suited to certain bikes/gear e.g. when I ride Goat Camp it's only the XC out and back I do - I wouldn't give the gnarly downhill bit a go in XC get up.

    I wouldn't want no technical challenge at all - especially after all of the effort climbing - but I'd be even more gutted put the effort in climbing and give another route a go to find it was something I needed to walk.

    I appreciate that rider skill level is a big part of it though - there are certainly rigid riders riding stuff in AZ that I would struggle riding suspension both ends.

  11. #11
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    There's still plenty of challenge to be had coming down Sunset. And then I'd add in L. Bear leaving you a moderate climb back up to Schultz Pass. The other options as you hint at are better suited for big travel bikes.

  12. #12
    kAZ
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    Up Shultz, up Little Gnarly, down Jedi, up Weatherford, Ricochet, Secret, Newham, Supermoto, Lower Moto. 18.5 mi. about 5 hours.

    http://singletrack.us/gallery/displa...870&fullsize=1

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAZ
    Up Shultz, up Little Gnarly, down Jedi, up Weatherford, Ricochet, Secret, Newham, Supermoto, Lower Moto. 18.5 mi. about 5 hours.
    Fun, but not for everyone on a hardail. Lookout (what you're calling Ricochet) has quite a few built up logs that have pretty steep dropoffs on the other side that can't really be rolled. Rolling off them can be a recipe for an endo, so blasting over them as a jump or drop works pretty well. Then there are a few rocky sections and rocky-drops where it's possible to again catch your wheel pretty bad. It should be noted that this is an avanced trail. It's an advanced trail that an intermediate could do (as in walk the more advanced sections), but not everyone is going to have fun with depending on their bike and skills. Same thing with Jedi, same thing with Supermoto. It should also be mentioned that Weatherford is a ***** of a climb for some people. I cleaned it last time just fine, but you get done climbing up Shultz, go up Gnarly, down Jedi, and then back up Schultz to Weatherford, and THEN the climbing starts (after you've already climbed about 2000' or more). I'm fine with that much climbing, but not everyone is. Weatherford is a fall-line trail for the most part. It's wide, but loose in places and you don't really realize that fall-line up a vocano simply gets steeper and steeper as you go.

    In any case, we wouldn't have known how to describe these trails without a little more info. For someone on a SS hardtail, I'd suggest going up Schultz, up Little Gnarly, Up Lower Brookbank, up Sunset to the top, then back down and around via Little Bear and so on. Other possible routes include going up Schultz to Sunset and up from there, and then the Mt Elden road thing, but I'm not a fan of riding up the road at all. There are also many other trails that would be fun, on both sides of Schultz Pass Road, but the route descriptions may be more complex. The stuff up Mt Elden is more of the "classic" stuff, but others in the area are just as much fun.
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    Nothing wrong with some rocks, folks. It's called a 'mountain bike.' You don't need six inches of suspension to ride a mountain bike in the mountains, folks. A ridid SS is perfectly capable of handling varied terrain, as long as the rider has developed the necessary skills.

    Last time I rode on Upper Oldham, I though it was one of the longest, greatest, most frustrating, and inspiring trails I had ever ridden (of course, that was while I was actually on the trail)... Lots of neat problems to pick through, the good lines hide so crank up the 'bike ESP', and feel the finest possible line between preserving momentum and going too fast to be in control.

    Totally rideable on a rigid SS though... cleanable? Don't know, I haven't ridden it that much. But if you're the type who loves a series of challenges and doesn't get frustrated and throw your bike off the mountain, this can be a fun trail.

    Many of the other descents are definitely not quite as 'interesting'... the route everyone in on this board, everyone in Flag, and anyone who has ever ridden on Elden keeps pushing is a nice ride... but don't expect anything too technical.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    Nothing wrong with some rocks, folks. It's called a 'mountain bike.' You don't need six inches of suspension to ride a mountain bike in the mountains, folks. A ridid SS is perfectly capable of handling varied terrain, as long as the rider has developed the necessary skills.

    Last time I rode on Upper Oldham, I though it was one of the longest, greatest, most frustrating, and inspiring trails I had ever ridden (of course, that was while I was actually on the trail)... Lots of neat problems to pick through, the good lines hide so crank up the 'bike ESP', and feel the finest possible line between preserving momentum and going too fast to be in control.

    Totally rideable on a rigid SS though... cleanable? Don't know, I haven't ridden it that much. But if you're the type who loves a series of challenges and doesn't get frustrated and throw your bike off the mountain, this can be a fun trail.

    Many of the other descents are definitely not quite as 'interesting'... the route everyone in on this board, everyone in Flag, and anyone who has ever ridden on Elden keeps pushing is a nice ride... but don't expect anything too technical.
    I think you missed the point and what translates to more fun but by all means ride U. Oldham all you want. Back in the day Carl Tobin used to clean U. Oldham going up in his big chainring. Now it's a steep, eroded fall line trail w/ no flow. However, I agree with you. It's all "rideable" on a rigid ss. It just might not be everyone's cup of tea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    I think you missed the point and what translates to more fun but by all means ride U. Oldham all you want. Back in the day Carl Tobin used to clean U. Oldham going up in his big chainring. Now it's a steep, eroded fall line trail w/ no flow. However, I agree with you. It's all "rideable" on a rigid ss. It just might not be everyone's cup of tea.
    That's what makes this sport so great... everyone can translate 'more fun' according to their own proclivities. Some folks want big air, others whooshy smooth singletrack, and some want a rocky chess game played on a bike. Sometimes the same person may want any one of these things from one occaison to the next.

    I started MTBing in Colorado, and the emphasis was on going long, over and through whatever happened to be between here and there. Taking joy in the journey, even if it was damn uncomfortable in spots. It is taking some time to get used to how much smaller everything is here... you can go out and 'hit a trail' and be picky about which kind and how long it will take.

    Now, in the words of Zen Master Joju: "Go drink tea!"

  17. #17
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    I don't know length but my favorite loop is Rocky Ridge up elden look out rd. to Brookbank to sunset and finish on Schultz Creek trail. I highly recommend picking up a map because it is fairly easy to get turned around.

  18. #18
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    I say just take a map and go! I'll be riding around Elden on Friday, my last ride as a single guy so I'm hoping to make it a solo epic. I plan to just basically take a map and go, just hoping to be back in time for the rehearsal dinner....anybody around that might wanna join me, drop me a line.

    (also great excuse to avoid families/wedding stress for the day!)
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo
    49 views no response. Is everyone busy deciding if trails need to be renamed?
    Shady Flagstaff locals don't want to share the goods
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  20. #20
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    Congratulations Dude!

    Are you doing it up at Snowbowl or somewhere in Flag?
    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  21. #21
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    Adventure Route

    Try this one on for size. Take highway 180 out to FS Rd 151. Drive and park at the base of Fern Mountain where 151 and FS rod 794 meet. Ride down 794 to where FS 9001L intersect. There is a moto trail that heads south. Where trails and roads converge, follow the moto tracks, they lead to more single track. The "West Side" Trail goes around Crater Lake and back to 151. Down 151 quarter mile and left onto Mace's Revenge. Up you go to Snowbowl road and onto the AZ trail. Ride AZT all the way to FS 418. (Ride back to FS 151 and back to Fern Mountain if enough is enough). If you are feeling strong by the time you get to AZT and 418, there is another singletrack option, but its got some hills and big climbs and descents. Continue on the AZT North for another .75 mile and you will run into a well used moto trail traveling east/west out of the White Horse Hills. Go West. This trail goes through a burn area arond the crater known as Walker Lake and crosses FS 151. Go up and around the Hochderffer Hills. Find your way onto FS151E and back to FS 151 and Fern Mountain.

    Oh, this has nothing to do about Mt. Elden....
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    Nothing wrong with some rocks, folks. It's called a 'mountain bike.' You don't need six inches of suspension to ride a mountain bike in the mountains, folks. A ridid SS is perfectly capable of handling varied terrain, as long as the rider has developed the necessary skills.

    Last time I rode on Upper Oldham, I though it was one of the longest, greatest, most frustrating, and inspiring trails I had ever ridden (of course, that was while I was actually on the trail)... Lots of neat problems to pick through, the good lines hide so crank up the 'bike ESP', and feel the finest possible line between preserving momentum and going too fast to be in control.

    Totally rideable on a rigid SS though... cleanable? Don't know, I haven't ridden it that much. But if you're the type who loves a series of challenges and doesn't get frustrated and throw your bike off the mountain, this can be a fun trail.

    Many of the other descents are definitely not quite as 'interesting'... the route everyone in on this board, everyone in Flag, and anyone who has ever ridden on Elden keeps pushing is a nice ride... but don't expect anything too technical.
    Do you ride your rigid SS down steel reserve?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdudecycling
    Shady Flagstaff locals don't want to share the goods
    Really Hard to tell but I hope you're joking.

    Congrats on your wedding!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Do you ride your rigid SS down steel reserve?
    Actually, I'm not even really sure where that is... but I'd be willing to give it a try. Is it related/another name for private reserve? I've played around near the bottom of that one, and sessioned around the 'happy ending'.

    edit: just searched for 'steel reserve' and found a description "a series of nearly vertical chutes..." I think I'm gonna have to pass on that one. Equal parts lack of skill and lack of interest.

    It's kinda funny how many people ask me 'have you ridden down x trail on your rigid SS' and it always turns out to be your standard fare rocky DH, lots of drops, too steep to climb up, etc. 2+ hours of climbing for the sake of 15 minutes of technical riding where gravity does most of the work anyway... and it's usually too fast for me to really explore the more interesting lines... just not my thing.

    The point I'm making is not that I am some sort of super hardcore stud doing DH on my rigid... but rather that a person can enjoy technical challenges on whatever bike they already have. I've heard people recommend a 4-6" travel bike for Rocky Ridge, which I think is just silly... but hey, take whatever makes it fun for you.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    Really Hard to tell but I hope you're joking.

    Congrats on your wedding!

    I was totally joking. I forget sometimes that sarcasm doesn't transmit well over the internet. I consider myself a parttime resident, so I'd be including myself in any 'locals' comments.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelg
    Congratulations Dude!

    Are you doing it up at Snowbowl or somewhere in Flag?
    Thanks! Actually having the ceremony on the rim of the Grand Canyon, the reception back in Flag....so any drunks hanging off the balcony of the Weatherford saturday night will likely be members of my family
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdudecycling
    Thanks! Actually having the ceremony on the rim of the Grand Canyon, the reception back in Flag....so any drunks hanging off the balcony of the Weatherford saturday night will likely be members of my family
    Shoshone Point? That's an awesome spot.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123

    It's kinda funny how many people ask me 'have you ridden down x trail on your rigid SS' and it always turns out to be your standard fare rocky DH.
    Nothing wrong with some rocks, folks. It's called a 'mountain bike.'
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Nothing wrong with some rocks, folks. It's called a 'mountain bike.'
    because I'm bored at work and in the spirit of entertainment and complete thread-drift....

    This is for Sunset since he earned his chops in the high mountains of Coloradeee. Here's a pic courtesy of Elrancho66 from Crested Butte circa 1992. Fully rigid on Doubletop I think. Would I ride it again on this bike or pretty much any other trail except around the block? How about No. I believe we all "enjoy technical challenges on whatever bike we already have".....but I'll take a 4-6" travel bike for Rocky Ridge any day. Maybe I'm just silly or too damn old but it sure is more fun
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Jayem: no need to toss my words back at me... you missed my point. The issue isn't with the rocks, but the experience. I'm just not into the DH thing. I have more fun with an epic trail interspersed with short techy descents, climbs, traverses, etc. Yeah... I'm one of those lame XC guys who feels no need to be extreme or catch big air, likes to pedal, likes to go far, and is up for a fair amount of challenging terrain. To each their own.

    Rockman: Right on... I miss CO. Been trying to move back for years now. Thx for the pic.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    I think you missed the point and what translates to more fun but by all means ride U. Oldham all you want. Back in the day Carl Tobin used to clean U. Oldham going up in his big chainring. Now it's a steep, eroded fall line trail w/ no flow. However, I agree with you. It's all "rideable" on a rigid ss. It just might not be everyone's cup of tea.
    I really enjoyed coming down Upper Oldham. Even with the cramp that had built up in my legs from the climb up the trail road [most of which I put down to the my recent 9 months or so road rides the "mountains" of South East Texas at 6ft "elevation" ]

    On the day I rode up the Mt Elden trail road there were a number of riders using the same road to come back down - which is fair enough, whatever floats their boat etc - but I remember thinking "there had better be a better option than this F-in road back down!"

    I'll certainly give some of the posted recommendations a go next time I'm there. Ideally I could do with a month or so there to try out all the options.

    Unfortunately, this coming Saturday I won't be able to get to Flagstaff with enough time for a good 4 hour explore [the climbs at elevation are really something else], so I'm opting for a shorter planned route in Prescott.

    I'm pretty sure I'll come away wanting a month or so riding there too

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunset1123
    Jayem: no need to toss my words back at me... you missed my point. The issue isn't with the rocks, but the experience. I'm just not into the DH thing. I have more fun with an epic trail interspersed with short techy descents, climbs, traverses, etc. Yeah... I'm one of those lame XC guys who feels no need to be extreme or catch big air, likes to pedal, likes to go far, and is up for a fair amount of challenging terrain. To each their own.

    Rockman: Right on... I miss CO. Been trying to move back for years now. Thx for the pic.
    Nothing wrong with some rocks, folks. It's called a 'mountain bike.' You don't need six inches of suspension to ride a mountain bike in the mountains, folks. A ridid SS is perfectly capable of handling varied terrain, as long as the rider has developed the necessary skills.
    Well, you seem to be pushing your type of riding style on others, which is why I decided to push my riding style on you. You keep trying to say that people don't need 4-6" of travel for Rocky Ridge and that a rigid SS is perfectly capable. Let us define our own riding. I think one of the big points about this thread is that everyone has their own idea of what may be technical or even fun. We're sharing our own ideas about that, but when you start slagging on people because they ride a 4-6" bike on rocky ridge it just makes you look like you've got some superiority complex. This is similer to why I felt it necessary to point out that Lookout and others may not be for everyone, because everyone has a different idea. I took an intermediate rider on it a few weeks back, but she was about the "weakest" tech rider I'd try to take on the trail (with any confidence that they'd have a good time), and I know that some people may not expect what's out there as well as I do.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  33. #33
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    Its like saying I can ski 2 feet of pow on my 1988 Atomic ARC GS skis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JrockFeltaz
    Its like saying I can ski 2 feet of pow on my 1988 Atomic ARC GS skis.
    Well you could but it sure would suck! lol

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    Last week I rode the new Orion Springs to Newham then down the Motos, this was my first time since it was re-routed and I thought it was really good. Maybe from Shultz, up RR to Elden Road, up Upper Red Onion to Sunset, down Sunset and over to the other three mentioned. Good XC and not too tech, I think this would be a sweet xc ride.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    Shoshone Point? That's an awesome spot.
    Grandeur Point...wanna try to knock out the ceremony before the flood of tourists.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Well, you seem to be pushing your type of riding style on others, which is why I decided to push my riding style on you. You keep trying to say that people don't need 4-6" of travel for Rocky Ridge and that a rigid SS is perfectly capable.
    I think maybe I came off the wrong way. I wasn't pushing my style of riding on anyone at all. Just making a statement that many of the trails I personally hear people recommending a big bike for are perfectly ridable on a much smaller bike. I am presenting it as an alternative point of view in what seems to be a 'bigger is better' environment... so I'm not surprised when I get some backlash. Still, this is why we have forums, right?

    As far as Rocky Ridge being ridable on some particular kind of bike... I don't know. I've ridden it many times. I've cleaned it exactly three times. Felt good. Still fun on the off days when I have to dab through sections. Would a bigger bike make it easier?... sure it would, but that's not why I ride. I want the challenge. If that point of view resonates with someone, cool. I'm glad I shared it. If not, then they can casually disregard it and do whatever they want.

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