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Motorbike Clothing

We all know that riding motorcycles is very rewarding, enjoyable and for some that's all you think. When it comes to traveling in cold weather many pleasant sensations took the cold. Almost enjoy a cool evening or a bit chilly at best a hot day air. I like being wrapped in leather, cold fresh air hitting my face.

Motorbike Clothing

cycling vacation

i fantasize about being retired and able to cyle cross country with my spouse, an avid cyclist. by then, my kids will be grown and hopefully money will not be an issue. once or twice my cycling has interferred with something my children wanted: this was always a 'last minute item'. i work my schedule around theirs, finding out when they have events, and telling them when my charity rides, centuries, events will be.

in our previous marriages, cycling kept us sane and was an escape from nagging, fighting, and every other awful thing you can imagine. 

so neither of us feel guilty about cycling, either as a couple [90% of our date time involves cycling] or individually. in fact, i sometimes guilt him into riding more!

Have You Ever Felt Guilty Leaving the Family Home to Ride?

well you blew this question answer list: No listing for-

"I was smart enough to marry a fellow cyslist so she rides with me and I don't have to feel guilty!"

Blew it? Well...

I just added that option.

Yes, it's always difficult to come up with every possible answer to a question like this one. You're right, I totally missed the "spouse is also a cyclist" option. Sadly, my wife is a runner, not a rider. And we were both doing other sports when we got married, so I couldn't have known then how she'd turn out! ;-) She's still a keeper! (And I'm working on making her a cyclist....)

-- John

Add an Accessory Mount to your Handlebar

As for me this mount looks inherently unsafe.

Proven product

Why does it look unsafe, 'dabazicyt'? It's made of nice materials and mounts very securely to your handlebars, if that helps.



My doctor had me on Metoprolol for several years.  I often complained to her that my resting HR was very low.  During my physical this year she witnessed firsthand what I was talking about.  My HR was 38 bpm while I was sitting there.  The nurse went into a panic.  The doctor went into a panic.  And it scared the crap out of me.  I told her Lance Armstrong reported a HR of 38 and Indurain reported to have had a 27 bpm during the racing season.  She said, you are no Lance.  Wow what a smack down.

She changed my medication to Lisinopril.  This has worked out.  I now realize how much trouble I was having getting my HR into the zone.  I also realize how sluggish I was feeling.  I can only wonder how much better rider I would have been these last few seasons if I could have done harder intervals.  We will see next year.

TIP of the day: Early in my racing career (such as it was) after passing out a couple of times getting out of bed too fast, I learned to hold my breath, hard, when I stand up.  I learned this from reading a book about early fighter pilots in the days before pressure suits.  They would hold their breaths hard in dives and turns to keep from passing out.  It works. 

Winter Shoes

i bought a pair of Northwave Fahrenheit winter shoes 8-10 years ago. Mated with a good pair of wool cycling socks, my feet are rarely cold riding throughout the New Jersey winter. I did need to buy them A full size bigger (47 instead of my usual 46) in order for them to fit right with wool socks. But they are so much warmer and more convenient than regular shoes with booties. Since I only use them 15-20 times a year (I only ride outside on weekends in the offseason), they are still in great shape.

saddle height

An "easier" version of this would be to do uphill repeats on a short hill, using the same gear, adjusting the seat 3 mm each time.  Keep an eye on your speed.  If starting with a too-high seat, you'll get to the point where lowering it that 3 mm will result in a noticeable increase in speed -- perhaps 1+ mph.  (Or, you can start with the seat too low . . . then 3 mm too high will result in a large DROP in speed.)

Saddle height

Calculating or setting a saddle height should be done to include the saddle: It should measure from the sit bones indentations on saddle, as different saddles may have different distance from rails to it, or fore-aft position may have been altered.  It must also account for crank-arm length; cleat thickness and position; and, pedal type; if those have changed.


Very good article that helped explain issues I've had and partially figured out regarding dizziness.  I had noticed dizziness in the past after strong exertion and then stopping, and found I could usually avoid it by continuing to ride easily instead of just stopping.  I was diagnosed with atrial fibrallation a few years ago, and eventually went on the lowest possible dose of Toprol, which is listed as a beta blocker, to help eliminate these infrequent episodes.  I found my max heart rate went down about 10% from around 180-182 to 160 or slighty above.  I didn't feel like I was riding slower, but sometimes wondered if I couldn't help but lose a little bit of performance at the max level.  About the same time I had moved to Colorado with much higher elevation, my rides involved more climbing, and I wasn't riding with the same group of friends, so it was difficult to gauge.  I did sign up for the weekly newsletter from Dr. Mirken & received a free download of an e-book from him.  I look forward to more information from the e-book and his weekly articles.

Saddle Height

While most often I agree with Jim's opinions, but with all due respect, I think that he has oversimplified how to set the ideal saddle height."  Determining ideal height is a longer process than the heels on pedals method. That method disregards a natural tendency to change one's position on the saddle as well as to change the weight distribution among derriere, hands and feet when you use it.  One just cannot effect the same weight distribution when one's heels are on the pedals and pedaling backwards as one can when the cleat is engaged onto the pedal and one is pedaling foreward. 

I recommend a slight variation on a process recommended by the late Sheldon Brown.  For purposes of this discussion, I will assume that this is a saddle on a seatpost that has simply been removed from the bike and is now to be reinstalled.  If either the saddle and/or the seatpost is new, then a lot of work also will need to be done on saddle tilt and fore-aft positioning to get it right, neither of which need be addressed presently. 

The object of this process is to have the saddle as high as it can be without its being uncomfortable.  To begin, insert the seatpost at a height that you know will be too high, perhaps by as much as 25 mm too high.  In that position, ride around the block to confirm that it is too high.  Then lower it by 3 mm.  Go around the block again.  If still too high, lower by another 3 mm.  Repeat this exercise until the saddle feels to be not too high.  Then raise it by 2 mm.  If that feels right, leave it.  If that feels still too high, then lower by 1 mm.  If that feels right, leave it.  If still too high, then lower by 1 mm to where it was when it first felt not too high. 

Then go for a longer ride but take your hex wrench with you so you can adjust the saddle height  while on the ride.  Don't consider adjusting the saddle for at least 5 miles.  If you do, then don't readjust for yet another 5 miles.  By the end of a 30 mile ride, you should be fairly certain that you have the right height. 

When you get home measure the saddle height as follows.  Align one crank at its low point parallel to the seatpost.  Then measure from the pedal spindle to the top of the saddle along the center of the seat tube to the nearest millimeter.  Measure twice.  Write it down and put it where you will remember where you put it.

By using a measurement to the pedal spindle rather than to the center of the bottom bracket, we  take into account the possibility of having more than one bike, which may have different crank lengths. e.g., most folks with fixed gear bikes ride with a 165 mm length crankset but use a longer crankset on their geared bikes.

Different types of shoes or cleats also will affect the appropriate saddle height.  By example, in winter, I tend to use mountain bike shoes because they are easier for walking on snow and ice.  However, the ideal saddle height for the SPD pedals on these shoes is 3 mm shorter than when using my road shoes.

Granted this is a time consuming and obsessive process, but once you have it figured out, changing saddles or even just regreasing a seatpost will not cause significant angst and nothing ruins a good bike ride as easily as an uncomfortable saddle.


Having purchased Bike Fit 101, I have to conclude that it doesn't do much to really help me in improving my fit. It does catalog  all/most of the available methods that one can buy if available in their area.  It rather appears to be a promotion for the author's service. He apparently knows what he is doing. Most of the e-book's material is also available on the net or in most books that cover bike fitting so I would not recommend spending your money unless you plan to follow up by hiring Schultz..


If major changes in position cause dissyness, how does that explain someone who has bee riding for some time and then suddenly becomes dizzy?

Seat height

Having coached Studfent cyclists, and coached my wife to do Ironman, I found that changes in the size of their butts as they got into the season was the major cause of the seat :"getting low".  Thos with a propensity to weight change should check their seat height often.  In my wifes case over a 3 day tour she completed we raised her seat daily, and a total of more than an inch!

The second cause of seat height variation is when the servicing mechanic shifts the height to put it on his hanger to do the service.

I learnt not to accuse my riders of interfering with seat heights, as I did for the students.


Slot-Saddle Selle

the review is basically " it works ".

which is good.

but not enough.

why is it **better** than many other designs, or is it not better?

why would someone want to switch to it, if they already had a saddle that ''works'', given the cost, weight, short life span, and high maintenance of the thing?


or, if a person is looking for something different, what problems does this one solve?

who would be a good candidate for it?



seat height

mark it!





Question Of The Week

This is not the first time that y'all have not had an answer that I could choose. I don't own any cycling shoes. I don't like them.

 I've read all the reasons that I should use them all of the arguements for their benefits. Sounds good. Makes sense. . . If you compete. I don't. I just ride. And walk, and shop, and tour and other things that happen in normal life. And I'm way past having to look cool, like I'm a pro roadie or something.

For years, my cycling shoe of choice has been the Rockport World Tour Classic walking shoes with toes straps. Just comfort and none of the worries of cycling shoes.

So, they aren't as stiff as cycling shoes and I lose just a little bit of power because of it. They more than  make up the difference by haveing my feet ready for anything once I get off the bike

So, zero or other would be the only appropriate answer I could choose.


H.K. Hailey

Warner Robins, Ga.

Storage Tips

Roadies like to keep things "neat and tidy." In winter that takes a back seat to "safe and comfortable." When my wife first started cycling, she/we never knew quite what was right for cold rides--some people run hotter or colder than others. I used a fanny pack, functioning as her Sherpa; lobster mits, vest, balaclava, warmers, it didn't matter; I either started with it in the bag just in case or she wore it knowing there was a place to store it. Below freezing is not a fashion show.

Sudden Rash

First, 'open rash' sounds more like a saddle sore, so the seat solutions already mentioned would apply.

But if it is a rash, red bumps that cause superficial soreness, look also at changes in laundry soap, new clothing with the sizing still in the material, or a new type of material used in the clothing (higher mix of spandex, which holds heat more than polyester or nylon).

Masi restoration

I enjoyed the pictures and the story of the Masi restoration!  I believe my 1972 Raleigh Professional was too far gone to do restoration within my budget.  It is now ugly but an awesome commuter bike!

The brakes, 70's era Campagnolo Record, does have excellent calipers.  Replace the pads with 3rd party pads, replace the levers (I have Athena Ergo, but Tektro makes a lever with similar specs and appearance), and you have a set of brakes which have as good a feel, modulation, and stopping as my current era Record brakes.

Raleigh Pro is a nice bike

That's a nice bicycle, your Raleigh Pro, 'ardie' I'm happy to hear you're still riding and enjoying it.



I have a clear nutrition guideline but am flexible in applying it. The guideline is a gram of carbs per minute, which I think is about the maximum rate at which carbs can be processed for a person of my weight, about 80 kg. On a  long ride I carry about 2/3 of that and probably end up consuming about 1/2, ie 30 grams of carbs in the form of, say, 30 ml of gel or a bar.

Wool socks

A pair of thin wool dress socks as a liner under a pair of nice thick ragg wool socks does it for me down to about 10F.  I use a shoe a couple of sizes bigger in the winter, 47 vs 45, and insert an insulated inner sole instead of the one that comes with the shoe and I put a set of fleece lined booties over the shoes, and life is good with warm toes.

Iowa Cyclist KIlled

As I understand this, the driver was fined.  That was his criminal penalty.  It is important to remember that there is a criminal side and a civil side to the law. 

The criminal side deals with the state exercising its police power to prosecute those believed to have committed a crime such as vehicular homicide.

The civil side is very different and is intended to resolve matters between people.  The two most common types of civil cases are breach of contract cases and tort cases such as claims of negligence resulting in personal injury. 

The family of the cyclist killed may bring a civil lawsuit against the driver asserting that he negligently operated his vehicle in such a way as to imjure the cyclist, cause conscious pain and suffering and death and loss of consortium to his loved ones.  While no sum of money obtained in a plaintiff's verdict ever replaces a lost life, it is the only reasonable means of compensation that we have. 

Therefore,it might be better to wait to see whether the cyclist's family does bring a suit and how well that turns out.  In a civil case, I doubt the "I didn't see him defense" will be successful.



excellent comments, now worse

All comments have been excellent.  Note that a significant recent State Governor's report shows that bicycle-vehicle accidents are increasing at a dramatic rate, made worse by the fact that many cyclists don't wear helmets.    We recently moved to Florida.  I would say that less than 1/2 of "casual" Florida cyclists wear helmets.  We are going to need to do everything possible to ride safely.  Wearing a helmet is vital.

Iowa Cyclist Killed

Thoughtful and relevant comment from fixieguy. However, it seems to me unfortunate that the bereaved's family should have to bootstrap their own legal process. Many if not all will agree that the driver who kills a cyclist should pay a suitable price, ie more than $1,500, and that this should be reflected in legislation which will be enforced by the State.

An Ode to Wool Socks

In Iowa, a Cyclist’s Life is Worth About $1,500

In Florida we are worth less.

There are too many examples to list but here are two:

1.  A Deputy Sheriff hit and killed a 15 year old boy on a bicycle while he was adjusting the brightness on his patrol car computer.  He was fined $163.00 and is still on the job.

2.  A county worker unfamiliar with pulling a trailer hit, dragged and killed a cyclist.  He is still on the job.  Also, the trailer (county property) was not street legal.

Unfortunately, I do not see things improving.

Iowa cyclist killed

  I think this is the wrong way to look at things. The punishment to the driver does not define the value of the person that was killed.

  The law is used as a deterrent for bad behavior. That is the only purpose it can serve.

  It only adds insult to injury when someone is punished in an extreme way for an unintentional accident.

  There is a case in Georgia going on recently over a father that left his baby in a hot car all day and the baby died. The law looks at it as a case where if the father did this on purpose he should be punished as a murderer, and rightly so. However, if it is true that he forgot, then what purpose would it serve to put him away for life, or put him to death? It wouldn't bring the baby back, and certainly all of us have mistakenly done something that could have killed someone.

  If a driver, such as the one caught in Georgia recently, is maliciously going after a cyclist, then sure, go after them with everything in the law.

  However, it appears in this Iowa case, it was a complete accident. So what purpose would it serve to put this poor driver away for a long time?

  In the 60's, when I was a kid, my father hit a kid on a bike that had swerved in front of him from the sidewalk. The kid had a couple of broken bones and recovered completely. The parents of the kid hired a lawyer and went after my dad. I was very young, and it is a sore spot with my parents, so they don't talk about it. But he had insurance, etc. I did not grow up fatherless, so am happy with the outcome. I might have been another victim if it had not been this way.



there is no such thing as a "accident" when operating an automobile. The driver CHOSE to drive in whatever condition, texting or lack of attention or ...! Please don't misinterpret this that the blame in an incident belongs to the driver in all cases - as in the unfortunate event you describe.

Unfortunately, our legal system, combined with the likelihood that the cyclist will not be around to provide an alternate narrative means that the auto driver frequently does not recieve the attention deserved.

This just lit me up so much I had to comment before even making it to the next line of the newsletter!

Iowa cyclist killed

If I fine is to act as a "deterrent" there must be fear of punishment or a high enough cost for an action that behavior is altered. While it may be true that a non-malicious act should not result in a punishment that is crippling, it should be of sufficient cost that the acting party, or someone else contemplating relatively "cost free" behavior, alters their behavior. If the cost to robbing a jewelry store at gun point, is to merely pay for the merchandise if caught, the law doesn't have much deterrent value. The cost has to hurt for one to exercise restraint.

The real point is this...


The point of this article was not to say that drivers should be harshly punished for an unintentional accident. It was to highlight that drivers are almost always given the "benefit of the doubt" in cases like this (very often because they are the only ones still alive after a car-on-cyclist accident). All they have to do is claim "I didn't see him/her" -- and they're off the hook. They can say that whether they were fiddling with the radio, putting on lipstick, whatever -- distracted or simply not paying attention (so long as the distraction can't be traceable, like sending a text or making a phone call at the time of the accident).

THAT's the issue. Driver's getting away with running down cyclists by claiming "I didn't see him/her" when there is absolutely no reason the driver should NOT have seen the cyclist. In the Iowa case, it was a perfectly clear day on an open highway. Perfect conditions for riding -- AND for driving.

This is the opposite of the "strict liability" laws in Europe that hold drivers accountable for nearly any accident they have with a cyclist -- as it is the driver's responsibility to avoid hitting the cycist. Period.

-- John

Which foot do you click out?

I would imagine that most people would clip out the foot nearest the side of the road - that's left for me in the UK. Maybe another poll?
Great read every week. Keep up the good work!

Which foot

I have noticed that cyclists that unclick with the right foot also (1) skateboard with the right foot back, (2) surf with the right foot back. For those that unclick with the left foot, its left foot back, or, in surfing terms, called goofy foot. Look up goofy foot in

So next time you see a cycloist unclick with left foot, ask him if he/she is goofy footed!

Which Foot 2

Here's another thing I noticed, I unclick with my right foot and the right cleat wears out twice as fast as the left cleat. So, for every other time, I only change the right cleat. This will save you some money since you dont need to change the cleat that doesnt get unclipped each time.

Pedal cleat drift

While I prefer non-floating (0-degrees) cleats; I find it far easier to clip in with a little range for aligning shoes with cleats.  Shimano SPD-SL cleats are now available in a 2-degree float-range, which I find acceptable and easier to use.  Shimano SPD-SL come in three colors, each designating their degree of float: Red has zero; Blue has two; and, Yellow has four.

Floating pedals are not created equal

There are four major differences between pedals that allow float:

Rotational vs. Lateral Float - When people think of "float", in most cases they're thinking of rotation of the foot on the pedal and most floating pedals work this way.  However, some pedals (Time, Crank Brothers and others) allow the foot to move laterally (left-to-right), in addition to rotation. There is even a new pedal that is specifically designed to allow around 1/2" of lateral float.

Personally, I'm not fond of lateral float and won't use these types of pedals on the road, but I do use Crank Brothers pedals off-road.

Location of the Pivot Point - Most floating pedals have the pivot point centered over the pedal. This makes the most sense, since that's the point of contact. Look, one of the original floating pedals, has the pivot point at the front of the cleat. Why does it matter? The farther forward the pivot point is, the less stable your feet are when pushing forward on the pedal. It's essentially like pushing the point of a triangle against a flat surface; it's inherently unstable. This can be particularly pronounced when out of the saddle. I found that with forward-pivot cleats, my heels would tend to move left or right when out of the saddle and pushing hard, especially if I was tired.

This same feeling can occur with centered-pivot point pedals (or non-floating pedals) if the cleats are set too far back. Setting the cleats slightly forward of the pivot point can increase foot stability pretty dramatically.

Free-Floating or Self-centering - Free-floating pedals tend to produce that "on ice" feeling, at least when you first start using them. The benefit is that they allow your feet to assume their natural positions on the pedals. The downside is that they don't inhibit lateral heel movement at all. Self-centering pedals reduce heel movement and the on ice feeling, but they may force your feet into unnatural positions, if they don't allow for rotational adjustment of the cleats. This is commonly the case with MTB pedals and quite common on road models, too.

Degree of Float Allowed - This varies from 5 degrees to as much as 30, with some pedals like the Speedplay Zero series permitting adjustment of the amount of float. What works best of you may also change over time. I used Speedplay X-series pedals (free-floating, 20+ degrees) for decades and swore by them, but a couple of years ago I switched to the Zero series to reduce the float. Ultimately, I ended up with zero float. Go figure...

More options for the "click out" question

I'm right handed, but I intentionally try to alternate which foot I click out. That way I don't wear out the contact surface of one cleat faster than the other.


This Canadian was dive-bombed by a magpie while cycling out west of Brisbane in July 2006 (Australian winter).

While we have lots of magpies (at least a bird we call the magpie) here on the Prairies, the birds in Queensland were a lot smaller and a whole lot more aggresive.  This one little fellow must have followed me almost a km. and made half a dozen close "swoops".  Hmm, talk about riding distracted ... me riding on what to me was the "wrong" side of the road, turning around and flapping my arms to ward him off.  Fortunately no contact made and no damage done.

At the time I had heard of wearing a neck protector like the kids do in minor hockey.  Ouch!  Talk about H-O-T.


I was dive-bombed by a bluejay in Jackson, MS one time while walking along the street (I have no idea why). That's the ONLY time I've ever been attacked by a bird, and I certainly hope to keep it that way.  I'm certainly glad the buzzards that are in abundance in the South are not prone to the same behavior!


In North America we have red-winged blackbirds: maybe not as aggressive as magpies, but many a cyclist has been dive-bombed when riding alongside a field, a marsh, a woods. A bit like dogs, I find I can usually outrun them (or outrun their territory, more likelly!)


I am originally from the State of Wyoming.  So, when I saw the article about the Dive boming Australian Magpie, it piqued my interest.  When I was growing up in Wyoming, there were a lot of magpies in the area of the State where I grew up.  However, they certainly didn't 'dive-bomb' us when we were out on our bikes.  That being said, however, we would be surveyed by them, usually in pairs, but they wouldn't attack us.  The magpies in Wyoming are the Black billed Magpie:  There are several videos on You Tube about the Wyoming magpie.  They do feed upon carrion as well as just about anything that they can get to eat. One interesting thing is that the magpie can be somewhat domesticated and actually can be taught to talk, or mimic much like parakeets.  They will challenge other animals for food, too.The Aussie magpie is much different than the Black Billed magpie that is in Wyoming.  The one in Wyoming if more like the Eurasian Magpie with more white plumage on the chest instead of black like the Australian magpie.The European magpie is a member of the family Corvidae, while the Australian magpie is a member of the family  Artamidae (loosely still a "corvid"). It is most interesting to look at the images of the birds and also the differences in the 9 sub-species of aussie magpies.  I'm glad the Black-billed magpies aren't so aggressive.  John Marsh and I went on the Tour de Wyoming this past July, and I know I observed many black billed magpies during the ride, but was never attacked by any of them, in fact they seemed to want to keep their distance. 

magpies around the world

There are 3 genera of magpie.  There are 2 species of magpie in the US, one throughout most of the west and the other restricted to California.  If you are interested, see  It is not a very specific name.

High-Speed Cornering

While I have used and liked the described cornering technique for some years now after having seen it in a cycling handbook, the noun "countersteering" seems inaccurate.  Countersteering refers to a technique for initiating a turn by steering in a direction opposite ("counter") to the intended turn.  So, to turn left, jerk the handlebars to the right, and the bike reacts by leaning left, thus initiating the turn.  Many of us already do this instinctively.  A good article on countersteering can be found at:, where it underscores how important this skill is for quickly changing course when confronted by an emergency situation.

Great info! :-)

Great info! :-)

More Ways To Outsmart Bike Thieves

I've recommend for years on cycling forums that if a person rides a bike in a potentially high crime area and need to park it out of sight, or go to college campuses etc, they need to buy a junker bike for under $200 instead of buying upwards of $200 in locks, then simply use a cheap lock (not a cable lock) to keep is secured.  Any lock, no matter of the cost, can be defeated and defeated quickly; with the advent of battery powered angle grinders a person can make fast work of any lock.  And even if a person locks up his bike well enough to deter a thief from taking the bike they'll simply remove components instead.  I ride my good bikes and park at stores sometimes without a lock at all, but I keep the bike in sight and I simply move my rear gear lever to misalign the gears to slow down a snatch and grab person before I can get there.


From a business partner and fellow cyclist in Melbourne:

I always dread this time of the year. Just imagine having a relaxing ride on a beautiful spring day and someone unexpectedly punches you in the back of the head or shoulder, not once but several times. 

This happens for about 6 weeks during the nesting period. There are various methods used by cyclists to avoid being hit by magpies such as covering your helmet with cable ties so it resembles a porcupine or sticking cut out eyes to the back of your helmet to deter an attack. There is even a website dedicated to this problem:

I saw one cyclist that had constructed a scaffolding barrier made of thin fibreglass rods attached to his bike just behind the saddle, such is the fear created by the swooping magpie! I have eyes on the back of my helmet made from a table tennis ball cut in two. They still attack but tend not to make actual contact.


Magpies, a.k.a. "Bloody Maggies" and/or "You B.....d" are aggresively territorial in Spring, when their natural instinct is to protect their young.  And they will frequently return to the same area in successive breeding seasons.

Preventing attacks is not an exact science.  They attack from behind, so sunglasses on the back of the helmet when riding through a known attack area can work, but is not guaranteed. Riding in the middle of the pack is often effective, but also not guaranteed. (Nor well received when you should have been taking your turn to pull).

Newspapers create webpages to show attach zones and reader comment, e.g.

The upside - it's only a short breeding season, and you can always choose a different route tomorrow.





Here in Ontario, I've been attacked by the dreaded red winged black birds several times, usually Spring time.
They have actually made contact with my helmet, scares the crap out of you! As soon as you sprint out of their territory they'll leave you alone.

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