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aprilia junkie
16,379 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
While waiting for the girl to be treated, I'd been talking to Crud and Fuzz on the phone, who were already trying to figure out how to get me mobile again. Crud was looking up aprilia dealers "nearby" for me, and they both let me know they'd do whatever it took to get me moving again. Awesome pair, those two :) Fuzz commented that I was in awfully good spirits for someone who just dumped their bike, but the truth was I'd already dumped it HOURS ago and had time to be pissed off and frustrated, and really had nothing else to do but suck it up and deal with it.

We eventually got back to Ding's shop, where "we" (I say we because really I did like 80 percent of the work taking my bike apart since I was much more familiar on how to do so) took the upper triple off, got the bar off, and I took to getting my rearset peg back on, which had just been popped off and not broken, but the aluminum was stressed a little bit.

Ding admittedly told me he wasn't very skilled with Tig welding, and I told him as long as it all holds, that's the important part. He took a few tries, and finally managed to get the bar to hold together, and that was put on, along with the upper triple. He then took a spare clutch lever off a harley, and using a band saw, drill press, and a dremel, tried to work it out to the same cuts and dimensions as what was left of my brembo lever. It must have taken him a good 45 minutes to an hour to work it basically into the same shape, as best he could.

He fit the worked lever onto my master, said it looked pretty good, and with the first pull, snapped the whole thing in half. He looked as let down as I was.

Ding got out a sportbike catalog to see if he could find a suitable lever, but I knew those Parts Unlimited catalogues wouldn't have anything to fit the billet radial master I had on my bar. Fed up with the whole ordeal, I told Ding we'd deal with it monday, and I'd call Yoyodyne to see how quick they could get a lever out, and went back to the same motel I'd just checked out of that morning.

After getting back into a room, I took my cloth that I'd been using to clean my faceshield and cleaned the mud off my riding pants as best I could, as well as my boots. I'd deal with the jackets and bags which were still covered in dry mud tomorrow.

I finally decided to call home, as I knew my mom would probably overreact, even though the first thing I said was I wasn't hurt, she asked if I was hurt. Moms. :)

I gave her some info as to where, if maybe I hadn't sold it, she might be able to find my OEM clutch master and lever. She called back an hour later saying she'd found it. Bingo. I asked her to please overnight it so I could get the hell out of dodge.

aprilia junkie
16,379 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The next morning, I called Ding, told him a clutch was on the way, and spent the morning watching Living Single on Oxygen in the motel room, already bored out of my mind.

Walked to the bank to get some cash to do laundry, because everything was muddy, and my clothes smelled like gasoline for some reason.

Went to Ding's shop because he said I could come by and wash the mud off the bike. While there, still bored, I helped him pull the heads, piston and crank off a Dodge V8 engine he was working on, and hot dip the lower casing, before heading back to my motel room, grabbing some dinner and watching more TV, bored and frustrated, knowing the earliest my clutch could come was 11AM the next moring from UPS.

5,754 Posts
Darn... you see - thatiswhy I carry a break and a clutchlever with me. ATLATT :p

Glad you didn´t get hurt! So you were too close to that car, so that you could shave some of your speed off, when it left the road???

17,313 Posts
I've been on plenty of gravel and the occasional mud slick. It's not much fun. Glad only minor damage occurred to you and the bike!


aprilia junkie
16,379 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
You know, anyone can do it on a comfortable, capable bike... where's the fun in not being hunched in a race crouch for 13 hours a day? ;) Wouldn't have happened either if I'd had a Tuono, with long solid bars, or just waited 6 hours to try and do that road. :banghead And there's no crash pics. I wasn't in the mood, and I cleaned off the mud the day before. :p

So, the following morning came, and I had left my alarm off to try and "sleep in" to avoid the boredom of the morning. I awoke at 07:15, got up showered, made sure I was packed, and sat around being bored stupid by 07:30.

I must have sat by the window for a good hour and a half looking out every time I head a diesel engine go by, only to see Paw Kettle drive by, since EVERY pickup and working vehicle is a diesel out in Wyoming.

9 AM came.

10 AM. It was getting close to my checkout time of 11AM, and the front office had told me UPS came "between 11 and 1PM " I was trying to psych myself up for 3 hours of sitting in the motel office bored to tears.

10:50, I went to the front office, dropped my key off, and pointlessly checked out the UPS tracking number: Out for Delivery.

11:03, I hear a rumbling, and a familiar metal on metal mashing. I look up, it's UPS! I grab my stuff, go outside and sign for my package. I couldn't walk the mile to Ding's shop from the motel fast enough, but I did have time to notice how heavy all my shit was, when it had no proper way of being carried.

I get to Ding's shop, take out my awesome, unbroken stock clutch and had it on 5 minutes later. Took the bike out for a short spin to make sure everything was OK, and went back to the shop to load my bike. Ding charged me for the towing, and the welding, I rode to get gas, and couldn't get the fück out of Dubois fast enough.

I cruised along US-287, and encountered the road I'd gone down on, now hard packed, dry soil. My mind played tricks with me for the 10 miles of construction, until I finally touched proper tarmac again. There were a few big ruts and bumps where the GPS marked I had stopped moving on that road, and I wondered if any of those had contributed to me going down, hidden under the mud, but I could only speculate.

US-287 branched off between Yellowstone, and Jackson, but I'd heard there was more construction in Jackson, and didn't want to deal with more shit roads (lol) so I headed north, seeing the Grand Teton range off in the distance.

Continued a little further north, and stopped at Jackson Lake overlook. Awesome. I'm just amazed by how nature works the land with colliding tectonic plates, volcanic rifts in the crust, wind, water, sediment.. the whole deal. Just awesome.

I encountered ANOTHER 8 miles of torn up road on US-287 just before the entrance to Yellowstone, and was getting fed up with Wyoming's fücked up roads, but finally, after a day and a half delay, I'd made it to Yellowstone.

Riding through the south end of the park was somewhat uneventful. There was a river that had cut a shallow canyon alongside the road, but there was a thick patch of pine trees blocking the view, and I saw nothing extraordinarily exciting. Part of the giant loop that you can drive in Yellowstone had been closed for the season for, you guessed it, road construction, so I figured only riding to Red Lodge in Montana for the night, doubling back through the park to start heading home.

Stopped for gas, and a small Yellowstone sticker from the General Store as a memento, and had a disgusting, dry "ham and cheese" sandwich as my first morsel of the day (at 2PM)

Continued heading north on the east side of Yellowstone's Grand Loop, and the land opened up, leaving wide prairies and mountains off in the distance.

It was here I finally saw the Buffalo Crud and Fuzzy had told me about. They were pretty cool. Completely indifferent to cars, they just walked straight down the middle of the road, sashaying as slow as they pleased.

Traffic was stopped in BOTH directions several times because of them, and I guess when you're the same size as anything but an SUV, why would you care about everything else around you? :) The buffalo fully expected YOU to stop for THEM. One even stopped standing IN the lane to graze on a little bit of grass. :grin

Heading north, I eventually hit a limestone canyon, that had been cut away by a river, Tower Falls were nearby, but I couldn't catch a glimpse of them. I could however, see the sun starting it's descent in the sky so I decided to keep moving.


aprilia junkie
16,379 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
The road eventually branched off, to the northeastern exit of Yellowstone on US-212, the Beartooth Highway. This road had been one of my trip goals all along, Yellowstone had just been the route to get to it. I was excited. The highway opened up to the Lamar Valley, this must be quite the gateway to go through when heading INTO Yellowstone this way.

When I finally reached the park exit, there were a trio of Harleys just checking into the park, I swung around to ask them the road conditions. Not surprisingly, they told me it was fücked up, just like all the other roads in Wyoming. I thanked them by using my Park Pass for all 3 of them, saving them each 25.00 and already having gotten my money's worth for that pass.

Crossed the border into Montana, as US-212 zigs and zags between MT and WY several times, and encountered nothing but dirt and gravel road for about 5 miles. Kept on 212 heading east, slowly climbing elevation through coniferous forests, to where the road branched off to Beartooth Pass, and Chief Joseph Highway. I was planning on staying at Red Lodge in Montana, doubling back to Chief Joseph the next morning, and riding through Yellowstone to exit in Idaho towards home.

Beartooth pass presented itself with tight switchbacks climbing a mountain, then an idiotic break of 500 yards of road scraped away, 500 yards of tarmac. Little bit of asphalt, little bit of road, and not all on one side. It was like a retard had tried to make a checkerboard pattern with the road, seemingly for no reason. If you're going to tear up the road, why only tear up tiny little sections of it? Just stupid, but then again, I WAS in Wyoming. :rolleyes:

As Beartooth Pass climbed up to 11,000 feet, I found myself in an Alpine environment again, with gnarled trees, bald on one side, branches pointed uphill on the other. I wondered just HOW brutal the weather must get up in this pass.

I finally hit the summit of Beartooth, and the vista was no disappointment. Just, wow.

I continued on, only to find traffic stopped at what else, but road construction. I asked the woman with three teeth who was the Stop/Slow sign person how much further to asphalt, she said it was "at the Montana border." The GPS said 18 miles. Did I mention how much I love Wyoming's roads? :)

Carrying on, the road going from hard packed gravel, to much deeper sections where I could feel the front end sinking in a bit, I nervously carried on, my mind screwing with me again every time the bars twitched just like they had before I'd dumped it. A good 15 minutes later (yeah, I was riding like a giant puss) I saw the Montana welcome sign, and tarmac! Excellent! Fück you Wyoming and your roads!

I smiled, and felt my left clipon snap off right in my hand. Oh, W T F. I looked down, and there it was, broken off just past the weld, everything from the controls and grip, right there in my hand. I guess Ding wasn't kidding when he said he was a shitty Tig welder. Podunk motherfücker. My spirits, which had been slowly building back up during the day, tanked again, and my frustration cranked up to 10. I said "fück the trip, I'm scrapping Chief Joseph from my route and slabbing it home on the interstate." Annoyed to maximum, I was willing to just get home and deal with the busted clipon properly, rather than pissing away more money and time on an improper fix.

I decided to stop anyway and collect the Welcome sign, one handlebar and all.

I pulled out my zip ties and secured the bar to my upper triple, with the controls facing up, so I could still use the horn, brights, and signal.

I began the ascent down Beartooth Pass, and had to chuckle at the fact I had to do it one handed. Thankfully I was used to riding like that (how do you think all the pictures from the road are taken? :rolleyes:)

Then sun was fading now, and I just wanted to get to a motel, relax, and forget the shitty frustration of the day. Rode into Red Lodge, only to find out it's a ski resort town, and all the places to stay were all $95-160.

I looked up in the Zumo the nearest place I could go, found Laurel, Montana listed, called a place; $39 a night with wifi. We're a go.

Rode the last 50 miles towards the town in the dark, though I did stop to get this Muffler Man that was in the parking lot of a Casino :)

If you don't know what Muffler Men are, they're really just roadside kitsch, and I've got a collection of 8 or so different ones that I've gone to in CA, and this was just another for the list.

I made it to Laurel, where I looked for the motel, couldnt find it, so I stopped at a gas station/truck stop and asked them where they were.

"We ARE the gas station." Lovely. I looked around and the only thing I could see was a portable bungalow on one corner of the lot. I checked the GPS for alternative places to stay, but it was either Billings, 10 miles away, or something "closer" to home, 60 miles away. I finally opted for the truck stop bungalow, which thankfully turned out to be no worse than any 1 star dump I'd already stayed at. Gave the RSV one dissapointed, sad look out the window, with it's one bar, and went to bed.

aprilia junkie
16,379 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Yep, what puts the extra zing to it are the great panoramic shots. :wtg Are they post-produced or does your cam handle that???
The panos are several shots taken in sequence of the same landscape so I can put them together in photoshop later :)

1,452 Posts
WOAW, this is awesome, you have document so well this trip, with photos,etc, that is like reading a book( A really good book), I feel like I am in the trip with you, imaging I get angry when you crash.

Thanks enjoy the rest of your trip.

aprilia junkie
16,379 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
The next morning, I awoke at 5 AM local time with the intention of just blasting off, ready to just hit the interstate and get myself close to home. I thought about just trying to go all out and head home in a day, but with 1,650 miles between Laurel, MT, and home, in CA I decided to break it up into two days, as I would technically only get home a day later than planned.

Geared up and dropped off my key, refueled and was underway.

It took about 2 hours to get from Laurel, to Bozeman, MT where the GPS was routing me back down towards West Yellowstone, which would shave off about 80 miles as opposed to staying on I-90 all the way to the I-15.

Bozeman seemed like a nice quiet town, and I rode by a bagel place that smelled of fresh doughy goodness inside, but decided to keep going, deciding I'd just eat "breakfast" (or more likely lunch at that point) once I crossed into Ohio.

US-191 heading south passed between some soft rolling hills with forests all around, though nothing extraordinarily spectacular.

Heading closer into Yellowstone, it came as no surprise that there was yet MORE road construction. I really think someone must have decided 2009 was a good year to tear up EVERY SINGLE ROAD leading into Yellowstone. There was only one exit of the park I didn't use, but I'd bet good money the road leading to Cody, WY was also under construction.

US-191 eventually led me to US-20 south, where I finally crossed the Idaho border.

Stopping for gas, and a brunch that included the saddest, most flavorless chicken sandwich EVER, I continued down on US-20 for another good clip, until I finally joined up with I-15.

Idaho was full of green farmlands, with their irrigation machines doing their thing as I rode by. It could have been central California for its appearance.

Several rabbits came and went, which let me wick it up to 90 sometimes, always mindful of state troopers, making me realize one of the biggest pains of traveling between states is, you never know the make, model, and color that the state's highway patrol uses, which is always handy to know.

Hours and hours later, I had crossed into Utah, and down into Salt Lake City, which has the most retarded street numbering system in the world. I already knew the streets were numbered in N/E/S/W directions from the main Mormon temple, but I would see 700 North as one exit, ride for another 25 minutes, and 700 North would be there again. I'm sure moving to SLC must be a BLAST trying to find an address for your first couple of weeks. The only thing I could figure is every suburb of SLC had it's own "main temple" and the streets were numbered out from every one of those.

I stopped for gas just outside the airport, had a drink and a snack to wake myself up, and headed West on I-80 towards Wendover, at the Utah/Nevada border.

A few miles after I had left the SLC airport, the great Salt Lake was visible to my right. It had that same weird smell that the Salton Sea in CA has, it must have something to do with the plant matter that grows by the shoreline being baked to death by the hot sun.

Further on, I saw some sort of plant/refinery off the highway. I wondered if that was where the Mormons made their Soylent Green, out of their elderly. ;) (Let's see YOU spend a week inside your helmet, see what dumb things you say to entertain yourself :p)

By now, all the traffic that had been around me, that I assumed were all heading towards the Nevada state line to gamble (as all the billboards enticed you to do) had branched off towards Tooele, and as far as I could see in front or behind me, I was the only one on the highway, at least heading West.

I encountered a giant salt factory, quite appropriate for where I was, and thought nothing much of it until I saw the girl in the raincoat with the umbrella that is the Morton's logo. I think I'll be buying rock sea salt from Trader Joe's now.

Between SLC and Wendover, I pretty much just say about 110 miles of this. Thankfully the crosswinds were minimal, more like the occasional crossbreeze.

Wendover creeped eventually closer, and finally I saw the exit sign for what I had come for all along: Bonnevile Speedway.

I exited, and took the 2-lane road heading north from the interstate towards the famed lake bed. 3 miles later, I finally came upon the salt flats, and the sign I had been specifically looking for. :) I couldn't help but think of Anthony Hopkins portraying Burt Munro as he also stood in front of that sign, preparing to run his Streamlier during Speed Week, though the sign in the movie had a lot less bullet holes in it.

As I finished taking the picture, I shut the camera off and turned around to find an old man standing outside his white GMC truck, gesturing out towards the salt flats, going on and on about something. I had no idea how long he'd been standing there and been talking to me since I had my tunes going through my earplugs like always. I turned the ipod off and tried to hear what he was saying, as he talked in his indoor voice, and I had a helmet AND noise reducing headphones on. Something about his daughter telling him to come out here or something.

He thankfully ended his "conversation" soon thereafter, and I motored out onto the salt flats. I was amazed at the texture of the ground, rough, bumpy, rippled ground, but hard as concrete. I followed previous tracks out into the lakebed, figuring if I became disoriented, I could either follow those faint tracks back, or just look at the GPS and follow the little blue line back to where I came from.

It was so quiet and desolate out there. The fading sun starting to make the RSV cast a longer shadow, I rode around for a bit, trying to take it all in, when I finally spotted in the distance the long Black Line from Speed Week, though faint now as it was, it was still pretty awesome to be there.

And in case anyone asks, no, I didn't take a speed run. ;) I've already run the RSV up to 171 (indicated on the GPS) and that was thrills enough for me. This was more about visiting sacred ground.

One of the places I stopped, I stooped down and used my key to chip a little chunk out of the ground. Amazing how it's all just compacted salt crystals! You could see all the little grains and crystals in just that little chunk. I wondered how vast the sea up at this elevation must have been eons ago, when the ground I was crouching down on was all underwater.

Heading back into town, I took note of all the lovely dumps that offered lodging, for mid $30. I stopped at a gas station to inquire about a Bonneville decal, but the attendant looked at me blankly, and I re-inquired in Spanish about it (first time I'd used Spanish since leaving CA!)
He mentioned Speed Week had come and gone, and normally everyone gobbles up anything with Bonneville printed on it, but this year there'd been much, much lower attendance, and the only thing he had were sweatshirts.

It was like 95, and I had no desire to buy a sweatshirt. I decided to call Ely, NV (which had been my target stop for the night on my pre-planned route originally, and found a place to stay for $33 a night, free wifi. Go suck it, Motel6. Plotting it on the GPS said it was 113 miles to Ely, and the sun was getting low on the horizon. ETA on the GPS said 19:06 in Ely, and I decided to go for it. A quick refuel and I was on my way.

Only afterwards, did I realize I didn't know if I was still in Mountain or back in Pacific time, and I couldn't remember what Nevada fell under. It was too late anyway, since I was already a half mile out of town, and jumping on US-93 south.

Though desolate, US-93 still had beautiful desert surroundings, and the air temp had cooled considerably, since I was up around 6800 feet. I decided to cut some time off my ride to Ely, and wicked it up past 100, since the road gave enough time to spot a car on the road ahead.

I kept on like this for about 20 minutes, watching the ETA drop down on the GPS, but finally let my paranoia get the better of me, since everytime I'd see a car coming my way, I'd roll off down to about 80, until I could see the color and make of the car and decide if it was a cop or not, though I did wait to see the entire SIDE of any white SUV's that came by. ;)

I kept the pace at around 80-85, watching the sun start to make its way behind the mountains to my left.

Not long after I'd decided to roll off, I saw a car on the shoulder in the distance, and it indeed turned out to be a Nevada State Trooper. He didn't budge when I went by, though the car that came the other way going 90+ sure made him get off the shoulder. Viva paranoia. :)

30 miles, and 10,000 dead bugs on my jacket later, I rolled into Ely, and into my stellar accommodations, where I unpacked, walked a block to a diner to get dinner, and came back to settle in. I was glad I'd bothered to get to Ely, since every mile I did that day was one mile less I had to do the next to get home.

Checking the odometer, I'd pulled off 794 miles in 11 hours.

aprilia junkie
16,379 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I awoke at 6 the next morning, ready and refreshed, and checked google maps for my route out of Nevada: should I head down towards Vegas, or towards US-395 on the opposite side of Nevada?

I realized I'd taken a picture of every welcome sign from the states I'd been in except for Nevada, and California. West Wendover (the Nevada side of the town) had only presented a stupid line painted in the middle of the street marking the state line.

I checked street view on one of the roads leading out of Nevada, and found it had BOTH welcome signs I was looking for.

Plotted it into the GPS, and it said 534 miles to home. Good enough for me.

Geared up, packed the bike, and shoved the room key through the mail slot of the still-closed motel office and headed off into the 47 degree, crisp morning weather.

The planned route was US-6 all the way to the California border, and after refueling and leaving town, the signs proclaimed 167 miles to next gas. Keeping the RPMS under 5K, I figured that should prove no problem.

US-6 rolled out of town into some small patches of coniferous forest, brush plains, then back up into forest again. I had to imagine that highway was just spectacular during the late autumn months, as I continued on in the low morning sun.

One of the windy sections of US-6 went through this rocky canyon, and sadly this was the best shot of it I got, clearly my on-board shooting skills weren't up to par yet that early in the morning. (No, I'm not pumping my fist in the air in a proclamation of power.)

Unfortunately, the windy sections were also offset by 30 mile sections like this:

All in all, as I neared Tonopah, NV, my next fuel stop, I was able to traverse the 167 miles in under 2 hours, low revving it in 6th going about 70-75, and I calculated I was actually getting about 50mph, when the light came on just 12 miles out of town.

I stopped for gas and a drink, shed the Gerbings liner and my long sleeve as the air was starting to warm up and headed out towards CA.

As I finally reached the CA/NV border at 9:45 AM, I was able to grab the last 2 state welcome signs.

The road descended into California, and US-395, which is usually my route to go snowboarding in Mammoth/June Lake, or my route back from Yosemite.

This time it was a giant Welcome Back in the form of 95 degrees in the town of Bishop. The heat was just miserable and oppressive. I stopped for gas, and went inside to soak the cooling vest I had brought, and was dry in about 15 minutes. It was uncomfortable to inhale, as the air had absolutely NO humidity, and I ended up using the camelbak occasionaly to pour water on my face to at least inhale some moisture.

I saw thermometers along the road show the temps as I rolled back down towards home.



115F in Victorville, CA, said a thermometer, just before I rolled by the Federal prison there. The only ones I felt sorry for were the schmucks parked at the perimeter in their trucks, with only an EZ-Up over the truck to provide shade.

I soon hit the I-15 south, and knew I was getting close to home when going 80 was no longer acceptable, as I was the one slowing people down, and generally everyone drove like a total a-hole again.

I kept watching the trip meter tick down on the GPS.

187, 160, 112, 80. Home was getting closer, and it the heat just SUCKED. One final muster and I cruised the now-familiar surroundings of San Bernardino County, Pomona, Brea, and finally, back home.

Stretching my legs, and dropping out of all my gear as quick as I could, I chugged some cold water out of the garage fridge, and finally started to relax, as I was home.

I looked back at the bike, and had to have a chuckle. 1600 miles of riding like this, reaching for the phantom bar about 100 times like a dumbass.

I took the tank and tail bags off for the last time, knowing I wouldn't have to load them up again in 7 or 8 hours again, and finally concluded,
Moto Sport Touring: 4,000m

Grand Tally:

6.5 days of actual riding, 4,180 miles, 9 states visited, countless turns and stellar roads.

Things I learned on the trip:

60 miles more or less total of off-pavement travel on this trip. Some of it easy to ride and compacted, some deep, washy crap gravel, but plenty of bouncing around nonetheless. Any linkage-plate doomsayers can just calm down now; 68,000 miles on the bike, and the original link plates look FINE.

I'm pretty certain I don't have the minerals to hack the Iron Butt Rally. At least not on this bike. I'd be crying uncle by the 3rd day. 500 mile days I can do all day long, 7-800 miles every now and again, but not 11 days of 1,000 mile days.

I LOVE traveling by myself. I can operate on my own schedule, start and stop whenever I please, but at the end of the day, there's no one to share any of the quirky "you had to be there" experiences that happen while on the road.

The Road 2's have PHENOMENAL wear. There's like 6K on the tires now and it looks like there's plenty of meat on the tires yet.

Maybe next time I'll carry spare levers and stuff "just in case" :rolling though not dumping the bike is of course first priority.

I love, love love touring, and the RSV just gobbles up the miles. "Is it comfortable" you ask? Yes It IS.

Carrying a pipe or something specifically to lift the swingarm off the ground would have made lubing the chain along the way 10x easier.

I overpacked. Next time; take less crap.

The gallon gas can was a good safety net, but never actually got used. Seems like there's no place in the populated US where you can't find gas stations 150 miles or so from each other.

Premium Member
38,149 Posts
Bozeman seemed like a nice quiet town, and I rode by a bagel place that smelled of fresh doughy goodness inside, but decided to keep going, deciding I'd just eat "breakfast" (or more likely lunch at that point) once I crossed into Ohio.
You should have motored out a wee bit more and stopped by. I could have helped lube the chain. ;)

This is an amazing trip! Thanks for taking the shots and the time to upload them. :bow :bow

Pim, I saw that too. Mud leftover from the tip?
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