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Anniversary party!!

Please join us all weekend to help celebrate our 1st year in business.

Saturday Sept. 27th 10 am - 6 pm

Sunday Sept. 28th 11 am - 4 pm

  • 10% off everything in the store. *

  • 45% off 2014 Bicycle Ranch team kits (limited supply of sizes) 

  • 30% off saddle bags

  • 25% off cycling apparel

  • 20% off all food and nutrition products

  • 30% all remaining "Pedal On" T-shirts

  • Buy 2 inner tubes and get 1 FREE!!

We will be giving away a lot of great stuff with no purchase necessary. 

There will be some food and drinks all day so please stop in and celebrate with us. 


* Already discounted items not included.

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An Evening with Kathryn Bertine

Sunday Sept 21st

 We are honored and excited to announce that Kathryn Bertine an activist, author, film maker and pro cyclist from Tucson will be speaking at Bicycle Ranch Tucson on Sunday September 21st at 5 pm. 

Kathryn will be talking about her new book "The Road Less Taken" as well as what it was like to be part of a movement to have the world recognize that women's cycling was not on an even road. 

You won't want to miss this opportunity to hear and speak to one of Tucson's cycling icons. 

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All our latest news and information

The 2014 model year is coming to a close and we want to bring in the latest and greatest for 2015 for you. To do that we must clear out some inventory so all 204 bikes are 15% off MSRP! Don't mind a color from last year and want a great deal? Now is the time. 

 

On Sunday July 207h at 11 am we will be holding a tire change/basic maintenance clinic with hands on training so  you will never be stuck again with a flat and not know what to do. Come spend some time with us and improve your skills.

Our shop ride will be as usual at 6 am on Saturday but we are also joining the good folks at Tu Nidito for their El Tour de Tucson training rides, both a long and short option on Sunday July 20th. Ride leaves at 6:30 from Tu Nidito, 3922 N. Mountain Ave.

 

Looking for a shorter, easy group ride where no one gets dropped and no one has to feel like they don't belong? Join us Sunday July 27th at 630 am from the shop to do a nice ride and then come back to join the hands on clinic.

 

 

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Tire change and basic Maintenance clinic.

We are hosting a basic maintenance clinic to show you how to change a flat tire and make sure your bike is ready to ride for all who need reminders or have never changed a flat before. 

If you want to bring your bike or just a wheel we will assist you in hands on learning. 

Learn what to carry with you on a ride, what you need to do before and after riding and what to look for in terms of basic maintenance. 

As a local bike shop we want to give back to the community and make sure you are able to go out and enjoy the ride.

 

 

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Get H.I.P. (what you need when you buy or ride a bike.)

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Get H.I.P. (what you need when you buy or ride a bike.)

Once upon a time if you were Hip, you were cool, in the know, smooth or as Huey Lewis thought, Hip to be Square. Times have change and while it is still good to be considered cool, HIP has taken on a whole new meaning. 

For us at Bicycle Ranch, Tucson, we always try to make sure customers coming in to buy a bike or those joining us on our group rides are covered to be H.I.P. which in this case stands for Hydration, Inflation and Protection. 

It doesn't matter if you are buying a first bike, something to cruise around to the coffee shop, or something to race on the road or dirt, having these bases covered will ensure you have everything you need to enjoy riding your bike.

Hydration:  In Arizona this is a no brainier but many people don't realize how fast dehydration can sneak up on you, even if you are just taking a little ride. The simplest thing to know is if you are thirsty, you might already be dehydrated. Basic rule of thumb is to drink 1 bottle every hour of exercise but in the summer that may double. Because the humidity is so low the sweat evaporates quickly so you don't feel like you are sweating that much but once you see the white of salt on your skin and clothes it becomes clear you need more. 

So what do you need to have or buy. Make sure you have water bottle cages or holders on your bike and bottles that fit so you don't lose them on the first bump. Most bikes are able to carry two bottles but having a third in a jersey pocket is common. Making sure you have some sort of electrolyte or sports drink will help with long efforts more than water.

Your other option is a hydration pack, such as those from Camelbak that not only allow you to carry plenty of water, but also carry other necessities in the pockets of the pack. These packs range from a race friendly size of 40 liters all the way up to 150 liters of water.

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Inflation; Making sure your tires are at the right pressure is important for multiple reasons. First, it will help prevent flats which are never fun on the side of the road no matter how many times you have done it. Second, running a low tire will cause the tire to wear out faster which means higher expense to replace the tires, not to mention that too low a tire will make you work that much harder. 

Before heading out for a ride using a floor pump is always best to get the right amount of air pressure in the tires, so having a good floor pump is important. While on the bike there are options for inflation. For a long time people would carry a Frame pump which would fit along the top tube of the bike to be able to pump up the tires. Over time people wanted a lighter, more convenient pump option and the mini pump was created. Something that can be attached to the frame on a mount that attaches to the water bottle cage bolts, or be carried in a jersey pocket. The down side to a mini pump is no matter how good they are, you get an unplanned workout trying to inflate high pressure tires to the right amount. 

Now most people will carry a Co2 inflation system. These are small Co2 cartridges that attach to a small unit that clamps on the valve stem to quickly fill the tires. These will be enough to fill a tire up to 100 plus p.s.i but you do have to be careful that your tire is mounted correctly or the high pressure will blow the tire off the rim. Even with the potential issues and the need to buy more C02 cartridges this is a great option. These are small enough to be able to place them in a small seat bag along with spare tube and tire levers. 

Protection; Maybe the most important part of being HIP is the protection part. Some people still think it's not cool or hip, to wear a helmet on a bike. To us it is much better than the potential for a head injury. We always remind people, it is not how fast you are riding, it's the force of your head hitting the pavement if you fall off a bike. Even if you are standing still, fall over and hit your head, the force is equal to your head colliding with something around the rate of 35 MPH. Ready to put on a helmet now?

There are lots of helmets out there. Some are specific to road or mountain riding, urban riding, youth, time trial and designer. In the USA all helmets have to meet a safety standard but some manufactures do go far above that standard. What's the difference between a $45 helmet and a $400 helmet? Much like an expensive bike you are paying for light weight, advanced design resulting in better air-flow and yes, looks. The type of retention system, the part that tightens down to make the helmet fit better also can add to the price of a helmet. The bottom line is there is a helmet option no matter your budget and it is one part you should always budget for.

Other important Protection items are gloves. These not only make the ride more comfortable by dampening vibration and absorbing sweat they will protect your hands should you fall. Everyone has the immediate reaction to put out a hand to stop a fall so it is better to shred the gloves on the road than the skin off your hands. 

Sunglasses are important to allow you to have good visibility as well as keep bugs, rocks and other debris from getting into your eyes while on the bike. 

It doesn't matter if you ride during the day or around dusk or dawn, having a light on the front of your bike and a light or blinking reflector is  big piece to keeping you safe. During the day the front light can be set to a blinking mode which helps keep you visible and noticeable. It is always better to have a light with you just in case you get caught out after dusk, or should the weather make visibility an issue.

There are other accessories that make riding more comfortable and efficient, such as padded cycling shorts, cycling specific shoes with a stiff sole and pedals that clip on to the shoes to aid in pedaling efficiency, but the items we have covered are what we would consider absolute must haves to be H.I.P.

Hydration, Inflation and Protection. A simple way to make sure you have everything you need to enjoy riding your bike. 

If you have further questions on this or any other cycling topic be sure to stop in at Bicycle Ranch, Tucson, call us at 520-219-4311 or email at Tucsoninfo@bicycleranch.com. 

Happy riding and as always, Pedal On!

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Look Save a Life Presentation

On June 26th at 6 Pm the driving force behind the bicycle safety advocacy program, Look! Save a Life, Arizona will be at Bicycle Ranch, Tucson telling us his story. Brendan Lyons had been struck once by a car and was involved with the Look Save a Life program but was then struck again and almost killed in 2013. Now, with the help of many people in the cycling community as well as politicians and other supporters, he is spreading the word on how to eliminate distracted driving. 

The safety of cyclists and drivers alike is a shared responsibility and everyone needs to be aware of how to make the roads safe for everyone. If you are not familiar with Brendan, the Look message or what is going on you need to come hear the story. 

We are very proud to associate with this program and help support the message.

You can RSVP at anytime or just show up last minute, you will be glad you did.



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50 Year Trail Ride

Join in for a mountain bike ride Thursday June 12th starting from Golder Ranch parking lot for the 50 year trail at 6:00 PM. This is a fun ride with no expectations other than having fun. Meet some new people and get a little dirty! This ride is not being lead by or organized by Bicycle Ranch, but by friends of the shop so play nice. 

 



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Ultegra DI2 long term review. (who needs electronic shifting?)

It has been 6 months since I have been riding on the Shimano electronic group set and it has been a great 6 months! When I first got the bike I was excited by the novelty of having electronic shifting and 11 speeds, what I found was a refined shifting system that makes it hard to think about going back to mechanical.

 While it is not the top of the line Dura Ace, the Ultegra DI2 is quality group set that is more than most of us weekend warriors need. The first thing I had to get used to was the slightly narrower brake hoods, compared to the SRAM RED hoods on my 2013 EVO. The hoods have good ergonomics and the brake levers have just the right length to fit the hand. Having two buttons to shift the gears was easy to fine tune to my riding style, although there are times when I would inadvertently shift up when I intended to shift down because I was hitting the edge of the wrong button. When this happens it is super easy to correct since it is just a flick of the finger and the derailleur will send the chain singing along to the right gear. Shifting the front derailleur is just as fast, and much smoother than a mechanical version. Go is the worry about making sure the trim is right as the front derailleur will auto trim with a very electronic sounding hiss. 

View of the battery location and front electronic derailleur.

View of the battery location and front electronic derailleur.

I tried to confuse the shifting by making hard shifts under load while climbing and simultaneously shifting front and rear, but the system took it all in stride and shifted just as smooth as if it were in a repair stand. Braking is solid as you would expect from the reliable Shimano Ultegra group and I have never experienced an inadvertent shift while braking. Even while climbing to the top of Mount Lemmon shifting was super easy and a short reach with little effort. I can certainly see though why adding in climbing shifters, additional buttons on the top of the bars would be a climbers dream.

Clean looking rear derailleur smoothly shifts the gears without skipping a beat.

Clean looking rear derailleur smoothly shifts the gears without skipping a beat.

Battery life is something people have asked about. What if you get stuck with no power? Well, in the 6 months I have had the bike and put over 2000 miles on it, I have charged the battery twice and that was just out of precaution. I have not run it down so low as to get a warning light on my control box. I don’t know how much was left but I would say it was more than 50% still in the charge each time.

Who is ideal for electronic shifting? Well, anyone who wants the easiest shifting system out there for one, but there are those who would definitely benefit from it. People with small hands or fingers who find shifting under some circumstances a challenge would really enjoy it. Also anyone who might have arthritis, carpel tunnel or any other afflictions that restrict dexterity or strength in the hands would really benefit. So yes, besides being super slick and cool, there are reasons why electronic shifting would be perfect for some people.

Simple two button shifting

The down sides, well if you can call it that are few. First for all the weight conscious folks, it does add about 6/10ths of a pound over the standard Ultegra group. On this bike the battery is located on the down tube below the water bottle cage. Now it is possible to get a battery that goes inside the seat post which eliminates the slightly clunky look. You do have more wires running around the handlebars for the control box, but that is minimal.

Small junction box is the brains of the system and tells you when battery life is low. 

Small junction box is the brains of the system and tells you when battery life is low. 

On top of all the benefits discussed, with this system and a computer you can adjust how fast your shifts are, how many gears you want to run up and down with each shift, and if you are so inclined, flip flop your shifters so the right does the front and vise verse.  Each year the systems gets better and better, and luckily it is starting to inch down in price as well. I admit it will be hard to go back to mechanical shifting when my time on this bike is done, but who knows what the future holds. There is always something new and exciting to play with!!

Until next time,


Pedal On! 

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Memorial Day Weekend Sale!

Kids are out of school this week. Summer is here and it is a holiday. What better time to have a SALE where you can get FREE stuff!

Purchase a bike up to $500 and receive 5% of the retail price back*.

Purchase a bike up to $1000 and receive 10% of the retail price back*.

Purchase a bike up to $1500 and receive 15% of the retail price back*.

Save 30% on all in stock shoes and sunglasses.

*Gift certificate for in store use on any item in the store.

Sale starts 5/21 and goes through 5/27.

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New T-shirts coming in

Bicycle Ranch T-shirts 2014

All new Bicycle Ranch, Tucson T-shirts are arriving just in time to keep you feeling and looking cool for the summer. Men's and Women's specific cut available. Call and reserve yours today.

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Tune up Special

The weather is now perfect for bike riding in the mornings and evenings. There are lots of recreational rides and races for both mountain and road riders. The Loop path is full of families every weekend. Time to ask yourself, is my bike ready to ride??

Take advantage of this great tune-up special from Bicycle Ranch, Tucson from now until the end of May. Save $40 on a major tune up which includes a full drive train removal and clean along with truing wheels, brake adjustment and frame clean.

 

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Now Hiring.

Bicycle Ranch Tucson is now looking to hire additional staff. We are looking for an individual who is experienced in the cycling industry, understands the passion of cycling and loves to share that passion with others. Main focus will be on sales. Any mechanic or fitting skills are a plus. Full or part time availability. Pay D.O.E. 

Resumes can be emailed to Tucsoninfo@bicycleranch.com, or presented in person at the shop. Please share with anyone you know who might be looking.

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Time for a cycling Helmet??

The most important piece of equipment you wear is your helmet, because you only have one brain! How often should you replace it? There are lots of thoughts on this but, for sure if you have crashed and hit your head, even at a lower rate of impact, the helmet needs to be replaced. Industry experts say helmets should be replaced between 3-8 years depending on how much they are used, have been exposed to the elements and how clean they are kept. Sweat and the salt it releases are corrosive and can be damaging to the foam and plastics of a helmet. Anything older than 8 years really should be replaced. Wiping down the helmet and inside pads with water after every ride will help keep yours clean to extend the life. We have a nice selection of helmets on hand from Giro, Cannondale, Bell, Giant and Lazer but also have the ability to supply you with high end helmets from Kask and Catlike. If you are unsure, stop in to your local bike shop and have us take a look. 

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Easter Sunday

Bicycle Ranch Tucson will be closed on Easter Sunday 2014. Your local Tucson Bike shop will be open on Monday

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All the latest news this week.

All the latest news about our upcoming Core strength class and this weeks shop bike rides. The one bike shop in Tucson committed to providing monthly seminars for cyclists of all levels. 

 

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Cycling for recovery.

One of the goals of opening Bicycle Ranch in Tucson was to be involved in the community and help everyone enjoy cycling. We have found a wonderful program to be involved with called Velo\ Vets. This is a local Tucson, non-profit organization that offers the opportunity for our U.S. Veterans to ride with encouraging experienced cyclists. Riding bikes is fun, energizing and empowering. These elements are universal and for some veterans are key to recovery and moving forward with their lives. 

The main focus is on riding with blind veterans and giving them back the experience of Freedom, speed, fun and competition. Velo\Vets is always looking for volunteers to join in on their rides. More information about the program, who it benefits and how you can participate can be found at azvelovets.org

This is just one way we look forward to being involved in the Tucson bike community and be the local bike shop people think of when they think bicycling and Tucson.




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6 Month and going strong!

It’s hard to believe 6 months has already gone by since we opened. In that time we have already had some amazing moments, made lots of new friends and hopefully ingrained ourselves into the Tucson cycling community. The goal when we opened was to provide the best service we could to cyclists of all ages and abilities, and be here for their every need. As we continue to grow we will keep to those goals while also improving what we have to offer.

Reaching cyclists of all ages and abilities has proven to be the easiest part. Our first official bike sale was a kids bike so Fin King will always be number one with us! Being located in such a great neighborhood has introduced us to many people who, because we are so convenient dragged that old bike out of storage and had us get it back up and running so they can enjoy cycling. Nothing has provided more joy than someone coming in and saying “I have not ridden a bike in 30 years,” then seeing the smile break out on their face as they take that first spin around the parking lot.

Our shop rides have grown from a few friends to a consistent group of riders who each week push each other, encourage new riders and like to have a good time. Some weeks are faster than others but we are striving to build groups for all level of riders. This is why we are doing our first “Easy Breezy” group ride and hope first time group riders and moderate pace cyclists will come out and enjoy the company.

By far the greatest connection we have made with our customers is through our shop events which we now hope to continue on a monthly basis. We started with a LIV/Giant Ladies night where we talked about Ladies specific geometry bikes and worked on some Mountain Bike skills. Our next event was our Bikes, Brews and Training tools night. It was a class on Power Meters in training and why it is good for everyone. It was taught by Rob Fleckenstein a Level 1 USA Cycling certified coach.

Most recently we had our Hammer Nutrition and basic Maintenance class discussing the benefits of using nutritional products, pre, during and post ride. Our head mechanic Jared showed everyone what to look for before you head out on a ride, how to change a tire with ease and how to properly clean a chain.

Each month we look to bring in new and exciting products and keep our customers up to speed on what is fun so be sure to stop in and see what we have changed or now carry. As always if talking cycling is what you enjoy you have a place to do it.

Thank you to all who have become part of our family and to those who have patronized our business. We look forward to many more exciting events and updates. As always, Pedal On!

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Love and a bike restoration

When we first opened the shop a friend, Mark,  asked if we would help restore his wife's old bike. What I didn't know was the story behind the bike and how special it was. The bike in question was given to his wife as a child by her father. It was a Schwinn bike and that is pretty  much all  Mark knew. He said his wife has had the bike her whole life and recently it was even piled up on the junk metal pile in the yard. Unbeknownst to her, Mark pulled it out of the pile and put it away where it would not be further damaged by the sun and rain. Mark's plan was to have the bike restored and then give it to his wife as a surprise gift.

When the bike was brought in to the shop it looked like it had been sitting in a junk pile. The front tire was missing and the rear was completely dry rotted. The frame was scraped and rusty but amazingly it was nearly complete. The challenge was getting all the rusted nuts and bolts loose and stripping all parts off so the bike could be painted. Our first job was to learn a little history of the bike, and what it would have looked like new. After a few searches on the internet using the bikes serial number, we learned that this was a 1959 Schwinn Hollywood. This was touted as the "Best Seller" Standard Schwinn Girl's Model. The trick would be now getting it to look like it did as new.

The bike as it looked when it arrived at the shop. 

The bike as it looked when it arrived at the shop. 

We wanted to use as many of the original parts as possible with the restoration so cutting off parts was not an option. Most things came free without much of a fight but the steer tube and fork bolts took a little extra work. With all the parts pulled we sent the frame to AZ Pro Fiberglass where fellow Cyclist Scott Smith sanded the frame, fixed the dents and got everything ready to paint.

Some of the decals we were able to find and what could not be found Scott had hand painted. The seat went from the original painted two- tone color to a hand stitched two pieces of leather work of art with an "S" inset. As the pieces started to come back it was clear this was going to turn into a true work of art. The wheels were rebuilt using the original hubs and spokes, the cranks and seat post are also original. The only new parts are the pedals, hand grips, tires and chain. 

It took several months to pull this together but was well worth the time and the look on Mark's face confirmed it. We even had a customer comment that it had to be a replica because it looked too good. The plan was to take the bike to Mark's father-in-law's house and surprise his wife there. While we would have loved to see the look on her face it's a good feeling to know we contributed to such a loving gesture. This is truly a labor of love and such a wonderful gift and we are very proud to have been part of it. 

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Hand stitched leather seat

Hand stitched leather seat

Chain protector painted with both decal overlay and hand painted trim.

Chain protector painted with both decal overlay and hand painted trim.

Base layer paint was applied then the decal put on and the gloss painted over so when the decal was removed the base color shows through.

Base layer paint was applied then the decal put on and the gloss painted over so when the decal was removed the base color shows through.

The finished product. 

The finished product. 

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Head badge repainted

Head badge repainted

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Why Upgrade your wheels?

When looking for a new, or even a first bike it is easy today to get a high grade carbon frame with good or even great components for a reasonable price. The one component that is usually just okay, unless you are buying in the $5,000 plus range, is the wheel set. The OEM wheels that come on most bikes are solid, reliable and even roll well, but are usually heavier and might not be that smooth. An upgrade in wheels can accomplish a lot of things and really upgrade the overall ride of your bike. Whether you are racing or just a recreational rider, it is an upgrade worth looking into.

I recently was able to test out a pair of Shimano Dura Ace 9000 C-35 clincher wheels and put them to the test on Mt. Lemmon. The first thing you notice about the wheels is they are good looking. At 35 mm they are not designed to be the most aero dynamic set, but the carbon depth does give some added advantage against the wind. These are a carbon rim with an aluminum braking surface so there are no issues with potential over heating of the braking surface and the stopping power is never in question. At a claimed weight of 1488 gr for the pair it is not the lightest wheel out there but certainly respectable and when you compare to the Zipp 202 Firecrest, the MSRP of $1,999.99 is not out of line.  

What I noticed right away on these wheels is the way they absorb the road vibration and smooth out bumps that might otherwise make the ride uncomfortable. In Tucson that is a huge advantage with some of our rougher roads. The smoothness almost hides the fact that they do roll quickly and are easy to spin up to speed. My first thought was they are not as fast as some other wheels but when I looked at my speed I was surprised to see I was going much faster than I thought.

Where these wheels really started to shine was on the climb on Mt. Lemmon. The low rolling resistance and stiffness helped eat up the climbs and really reduce some of the effort needed with a heavier rim. I didn’t exactly float up the mountain, but no wheel set is going to help me beyond conditioning.

The other place this wheel really shined was on the way down the mountain. Even in some stronger cross winds there was no wobble or feeling like the taller rim depth was catching the wind. In fact these rims handled the cross winds better than some slightly lower depth rims I have ridden in the past. While descending the rims were confidence inspiring and handled the turns without feeling like steering and stability was an issues.

The C-35 wheels might not be the lightest or the most aerodynamic set available but if you are looking to upgrade to a lighter wheel with good aerodynamics that can be used as an everyday wheel set, then this is a winner. As a bonus, and because Shimano is looking out for its customers, this wheel is both 10 and 11 speed compatible.

FROM THE SPEC SHEET:

• D2 Rim design optimises aerodynamics and stability
• New hubs for 2013, optimised for 11-speed system, utilising OptBal Spoke System to provide balanced tension = more rigid & durable rear wheel overall
• Extra wide hub flange maximises lateral rigidity.
• High strength, lightweight titanium freehub body
• Shimano angular contact bearings and oversize A7075 Alloy Axles
• 16 spokes front, 21 spokes rear
• 10/11-speed compatible
• Weight (without QR & rim tape) F: 662g / R: 826g

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