Ridebiker acquires Sho-Air Cycling, shutters factory MTB team

VeloNews - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 15:35

Max Plaxton is one of the riders who was on the Sho-Air pro mountain bike team in 2015. Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com (File).

Ridebiker Alliance announced that it has acquired the Sho-Air Cycling Group (SCG), and as part of that purchase, it will discontinue the Sho-Air factory mountain bike team, which included top riders like U.S. national champion Stephen Ettinger, mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez, former Canadian national champion Max Plaxton, and others.

“When I got into this, it was to help the greater cycling community. I believe we’re doing that with our series and certainly now with Ridebiker’s club support,” said Sho-Air owner Scott Tedro. “Ridebiker is our opportunity to expand on this with the club support model and to promote riders with pro aspirations. I also felt that Sho-Air running a factory team was in conflict with providing a non-biased high-level race series. This leaves us able to sponsor individual teams without manufacturer conflicts, like the fabulous women’s Twenty16 Pro Cycling Team, who just won two [junior] world championships!”

SCG is the owner of the Kenda Cup East and West, the Catalina Grand Fondo, and the US Cup MTB series, which Tedro was referring to in his comment.

In addition to event promotion, Ridebiker Alliance will focus on its club team and will soon make a formal announcement concerning its nationwide privateer program.

On closing down the factory team, Tedro said, “Sho-Air executed its 120-day option and notified the riders with time to find other sponsorship opportunities. We paid out their contracts, which included a four-month severance package. I’ve run multiple factory teams with various brands and have enjoyed their support tremendously. I feel this is the best way I can benefit all manufacturers and grow cycling in an unbiased way.”

Ridebiker has also hired Colt McElwaine, who previously worked with Behind The Barriers TV. “My work in the cycling world has always focused on building community and trying to enhance the user experience of riding and racing bikes in North America,” McElwaine said. “With Ridebiker Alliance, I now have the ultimate platform to bring about change at the highest level of the sport.” Colt will work with Ridebiker’s Rory Mason to manage and grow all aspects of Ridebiker Alliance.

The post Ridebiker acquires Sho-Air Cycling, shutters factory MTB team appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Categories: News

Moots Cycles changes ownership

VeloNews - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 15:09

Photo: Logan VonBokel | VeloNews.com (File).

Moots Cycles announced Thursday that longtime owner, Chris Miller, has sold the titanium bicycle and component manufacturer to Brent Whittington, a former executive officer for a Fortune 500 telecommunications company.

“It’s incredible for me to have this unique opportunity to own one of the most respected cycling brands in the industry,” said Whittington. “I’m excited to help the Moots team continue to develop their innovative designs as the brand prepares to celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2016.”

Whittington, a passionate mountain biker and road cyclist, purchased a 100-percent ownership stake in the company, along with the Moots factory building. Moots’ headquarters will stay in Steamboat Springs, and all current employees, including president Butch Boucher, will remain in place to ensure continuity.

“I’m very pleased to pass the Moots torch to an individual who possesses both a true love of cycling and a great depth of business experience,” said Miller, who purchased Moots in 1995. “Brent embodies everything we were looking for in the new Moots owner. The energy, skill set and business experiences he’ll bring to Moots will continue to keep Moots a strong industry brand and certainly signifies a bright future for the company.”

Whittington, 44, served as COO at Windstream Holdings, Inc. from 2009 to 2014. He oversaw the company’s business sales and service, network operations, engineering, information technology, and enterprise marketing. Prior to that role, he served as executive VP and CFO of Windstream from 2005 to 2009. He has been an independent director at RigNet, Inc., a global provider of digital technology solutions to the oil and gas industry, since 2010. He serves on the board of trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Arkansas.

The post Moots Cycles changes ownership appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Categories: News

Bike League releases “Where We Ride” report

Cyclelicious - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 14:14

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) released their third annual “Where We Ride” report yesterday in which they crunch the numbers from the 2014 US Census American Community Survey.

//bikeleague.org/content/where-we-ride-2014-analysis-bike-commuting  #cycling #Bicycle #bike

As LAB report notes, “There are at least two limitations to the data: 1) it only measures how someone usually gets to work in the last week before the question was asked, and 2) it only captures the mode used for the most distance. These limitations mean that occasional bike commuters and multimodal commuters who use bikes are unlikely to be captured by ACS data.”

In San Francisco, for example, the ACS data comes nowhere close to counting all of the people who ride bikes to work. Thousands of people either bike in from neighboring counties, or they bring their bikes onboard transit services from those other counties.

The other weakness is the ACS data does not capture all bike trips. If you bike to school, to the cafe, to the store, or for recreation, your trip is not captured in this survey. You have to find this other travel information at either the National Household Travel Survey, which captures travel with multiple modes for all reasons at the national level, or the California Household Travel Survey for California. Both of these are large, occasional surveys; California, for example, collects statewide travel data once a decade. Perhaps a clever data scientist has found a way to predict actual bike usage from the ACS data by finding correlations with the travel survey data and the handful of city traffic counts that now include biking information.

With all of those disclaimers out of the way, I think the data is useful to capture large trends. You can read the report here.

To encourage you to read the report, I’ll have a trivia quiz with a GIVEAWAY tomorrow. I’ll have one simple question that I will post Friday late morning (California time); the first to answer it correctly wins a copy of the brand new Horton Collection book Shoulder to Shoulder: Bicycle Racing in the Age of Anquetil or an Amazon gift card if you live outside of the USA.

Categories: Culture

Community helps recover stolen cargo bike used in homeless youth outreach program

BikePortland - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:51
stolenstashedThese images of a discarded bike sparked some sleuthing and action that led to a successful recovery.
(Photos by Mary C.)

It started with an email from a concerned Portlander and it ended with a bike being reunited with its owner — who in this case happened to be a non-profit organization that works with young people experiencing homelessness. There were no police involved, only people in our community who care about each other and who have an eye for bikes.

On Tuesday we got an email from southwest Portland resident Mary C. She saw what looked to be a cargo bike hidden under a pile of cardboard boxes on the side of her apartment on SW Montgomery. It looked out of place to her because, “This is obviously way too nice of a bike to be sitting, unlocked and hidden this way.” Being a helpful person, she called police and tried to search our stolen bike database but had no luck.

When she asked us, “How can this get spread to the bike community!?” I knew the perfect person to contact: Bryan Hance of BikeIndex.org. Bryan is Portland’s stolen bike recovery superhero. In addition to being a software guy who created StolenBicycleRegistry.com (which has since morphed into Bike Index) and created a custom plug-in for us, he’s also on our Bike Theft Task Force and spends most of his free time tracking down stolen bikes.

When Mary shared a photo of the bike, Bryan recalled that it looked very similar to this red bike I photographed at the Disaster Relief Trials event back in July 2014. While Bryan stayed in touch with Mary and urged her to lock up the bike immediately so it didn’t disappear again, I tried to contact Tom Labonty. Tom is the local builder/owner of Toms Cargo Bikes and the stolen bike — which was custom-built as a smoothie-making machine — was one of his creations.

- Advertisement -
2014 Disaster Relief Trials-67Tom Labonty with the bike in July 2014.
(Photo © J Maus/BikePortland)

When I got ahold of Tom he told me he no longer owned the bike. In fact, he had built three of them for a homeless youth outreach program run by Outside In, a non-profit based in downtown Portland. “This is really sad news,” Tom said, after finding out it had been stolen. Then he gave me the name of David Stone, the guy he worked with at Outside In. A quick email to David and he confirmed the bike had been stolen just one week ago.

Meanwhile, Bryan got Mary to lock up the bike and we looped everyone together via email. Mary gave David the combination to the lock and he was able to go over and recover the bike. Now it sits — all locked up and secure — in front of Outside In on SW 13th Avenue.


This recovery was a great team effort. It shows that it doesn’t always take the involvement of the police to recover a stolen bike. Very often bikes are recovered because someone has a watchful eye and cares enough to take a few minutes to send a few emails.

With all the terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad bike theft news we’ve been hearing about lately*, we really needed this!

Like stolen bike recovery stories? Read more of them in our archives.

*Stay tuned for more on that, and what we’ve been doing about it.

The post Community helps recover stolen cargo bike used in homeless youth outreach program appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Categories: Culture

Miller sells Moots Cycles to Brent Whittington

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:21

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (BRAIN) — Moots Cycles announced Thursday that longtime owner Chris Miller has sold the titanium bike and component manufacturer to Brent Whittington, a former executive officer for Windstream Holdings, Inc, a Fortune 500 telecommunications company.

Whittington, a passionate mountain biker and road cyclist, purchased a 100 percent ownership stake in the company along with the Moots factory building in Steamboat Springs. Moots' world headquarters will remain there and all current employees, including company president Butch Boucher, will remain in place, the company said.

"It's incredible for me to have this unique opportunity to own one of the most respected cycling brands in the industry," said Whittington. "I'm excited to help the Moots team continue to develop their innovative designs as the brand prepares to celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2016. Maintaining its high quality standards, focusing on its handcrafted heritage and helping to support its talented team will be my main priorities as we embark on the next level of growth and service with our customers, dealer partners and distributor partners worldwide."

Miller said, "I'm very pleased to pass the Moots torch to an individual who possesses both a true love of cycling and a great depth of business experience ... Brent embodies everything we were looking for in the new Moots owner. The energy, skill set and business experiences he'll bring to Moots will continue to keep Moots a strong industry brand and certainly signifies a bright future for the company."

Boucher said, "Since Chris purchased Moots in 1995, the company has experienced steady growth, elevated innovation standards in titanium bikes and positioned itself well for continued success ... It's definitely an exciting time for everyone at Moots and I'm looking forward to leading this business as we begin a new chapter."

Whittington, 44, served as COO at Windstream Holdings from 2009 to 2014. He oversaw the company's business sales and service, network operations, engineering, information technology and enterprise marketing. Prior to that role, he served as executive vice president and CFO of Windstream from 2005 to 2009. He has been an independent director at RigNet, Inc., a leading global provider of digital technology solutions to the oil and gas industry, since 2010. He serves on the board of trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Arkansas.

The sale is effective immediately. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Categories: News

Out of the Newsstand Onto Your Home Screen

Bike Hugger - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:13

iOS 9 brings many changes to Mac devices, including the Newsstand where our magazine was previously located. After the update, our mag app works the same with ad-free content and in-app recurring subscriptions. Subscribers can now move apps out of the Newsstand folder to their home screens and from there into whatever folder they like. After upgrading to iOS9, the previously undeletable, standalone Newsstand folder becomes a regular folder. In there you’ll find us and whatever other Newsstand apps you have subscribed to, like the NY Times.

As we talked about when the change to Newsstand was announced earlier this year during the WWDC, we welcome this change, along with our publisher 29th Street, who has made more Newsstand apps than anyone. The Newsstand created too much friction for readers and, as much as we believe in a mobile-app, content strategy in these ad-blocking times, we “should’ve never been buried in a weird little corner” on people’s devices.

Now you can get the content you want from us, as a Bike Hugger app, instead of a Newsstand one. Speaking of the content, our latest issue is about food, like this, and dropped last week.


Tasty like our content

Find us on the App store and the Web too.

Categories: Culture

#officialparkragers | Into the Trees.

Lockedcog - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:12

When en route to Yosemite from just about anywhere, it’s safe to say hitting the tree line is a special moment. After miles and miles of open road the smell of fresh pines reminds you that you’re well on your way. It’s also a good hint that there’s plenty of climbing to be had on the road ahead though by this point we were well ready for the hustle. These few were some of my favorites from our ascent into the hill and through the trees on the Official Park Ragers trip!





Categories: Fixed

The Hammer’s Lotoja, Part 2: The Gang of 7

Fat Cyclist - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:28


A Note from Fatty: If you were one of the people disappointed that you couldn’t sign up for the 100 Miles of Nowhere because finances would be an issue ’til October 1…well, I trusted you were serious and over-ordered swag so you’d be able to sign up when October 1 rolled around.

And now it’s October 1. Please click here to register, and thank you for supporting Camp Kesem by riding the 100 Miles of Nowhere!

A Note About This Multi-Parter: This is part 2 in The Hammer’s two-part Lotoja race report. You can find part one by clicking here.

Salt River Pass and the Queen of the Mountain

Before I knew it, we had caught Lindsey. As we went by, I hoped she’d catch onto the train and we’d regroup at the top of this climb; there was a neutral aid station there. I knew I would have to stop at the top at the aid station: I had only a swallow of Gatorade and a swallow of water left in my bottles.

The day had heated up; I finished off the last of my water and Gatorade. Ellie kindly and offered me some of hers, but I told her I thought I could make it to the top.

We then passed the flags indicating the start of the queen/king of the mountain segment. Lotoja sets aside this one climb and records each rider’s time. I think a prize is given to the queen and king of the segment. As we started up the climb, Ellie said she would see me at the top. “You’re riding really strong and I don’t think I can keep up,” she said.

I reassured her we would ride the backside together once we restocked our water bottles at the top.

I could see that the lead group had now fragmented. Marci was so far ahead, she was just a speck on the horizon, but the rest of the women were now in reach. Three were together in group…and one of them was Mary, the rider that Elden chased at Rockwell Relay!

“Hey Mary, looking strong! And it’s so good to see you again!” I said as I caught her. Mary said hi back to me. It really was fun to be riding with all of these strong riders I admire.

Next I caught a girl in a blue jersey, a woman I didn’t know.

“Hey, how’s it going?” I asked.

“Blue Jersey” (as I thought of her during the race) looked up at me, said, “Fine,”…and then took off. I would spend the next five hours riding with this girl, but that was the only word she said to me.

I guess she was taking this race very seriously.

Blue Jersey pulled ahead about fifty meters…and then stayed that far ahead. I wasn’t able to close the gap, but she wasn’t able to extend her lead, either.

It wasn’t long before I could see the flags indicating the top of the QOM climb; I had made it. I was going over the top, in third place!

Woohoo for me!

…And then Ellie shot around me, gapping me by about twenty yards and beating me to the top. I need to stop being overconfident — there are a lot of sneaky people in this sport!

Star Valley

Six of us women gathered and refueled at the top; Marci had already started the descent. I wasn’t too worried about her, to be honest, though: A seventy-pound little wisp of a woman doesn’t stand a chance when soloing into a headwind. I was pretty confident we would catch her, and meanwhile she would make a great carrot.

I was anxious to get moving; my adrenaline was flowing. Ellie and I had done it: we had caught the lead racers before Star Valley.

I took the lead on the descent, and something amazing came over me. I honestly felt no fear. My Strava of the day shows a top speed of over 53mph. I have the fastest time of any woman on this descent at Lotoja this year. I have to brag about this because normally I am a horrible descender — at least I am at mountain biking: I spend most of my mountain bike races making up for the time I lose on the descents. 

Not descending on the road, though, not during Lotoja. I’m beginning to think I picked the wrong sport to be racing in!

I was giddy as I pulled into the Afton aid station. I picked out the green and yellow balloons Blake had bought and pulled to a stop by my crew. 

“Elden, I caught them!” I told my husband as he and Blake took care of me. “I caught the lead group of women! I’m not sure where Lindsey is. She was looking pretty hammered on the last climb, but hopefully it won’t be long before you see her!”

Blake and Elden took good care of me. I downed a cold Coke, reloaded my pockets with GU, swallowed four more Roctane Electrolyte Capsules, and I was off.

All seven of us (yes, we had caught Marci) pulled out of the aid station together. For the next 33 miles and 1 ½ hours we formed a magnificent train. We would pull for approximately .5 miles and then drift to the back of the pack.

While we were riding, I thought a little about what an interesting sport road racing is. You can be the strongest person in a group, but if you don’t race smart, you’ll lose. It doesn’t matter how fast you can go, you still only go as fast as the train.

I would pull for a few minutes and then spend almost 10 minutes coasting. In mountain biking this doesn’t happen, in triathlon this doesn’t happen. In running this doesn’t happen!

I’m really reconsidering my choice of sports!

As we rode through Star Valley, I was reminded of when I was a kid. My dad was born and raised in Star Valley and I spent many family reunions right there. Star Valley has not changed much — the towns are small and the farmlands are immense.

And the wind is forever in your face.

Riding in a train, though, the wind was very tolerable. In fact, I hardly noticed it at all. The rumble strips, though, are brutal. They start and stop without warning and shake you enough that you could possibly lose all the fillings in your teeth!

Thumb IMG 0015 1024

The Beginning of the End

The Bright yellow and green balloons were an excellent idea. I had no problem picking out my crew as I arrived at the Alpine aid station at mile 156.

Blake and Elden took excellent care of me again. My cold Coke was waiting (I’m a simple woman with simple needs). Elden said Lindsey’s day was not turning out the way we had anticipated.She’d had a flat tire, but had changed it and was progressing on.

This was bad-but-good news: I had heard through the motorcycle that Lindsey had dropped out. I was glad to hear that she was pushing on!

I left the aid station behind Mary. I was surprised to see that she didn’t stop and wait. She just rode away from the aid station. I eventually caught her. She seemed mad, saying Marci had left the aid station and was now way ahead. Mary thought she could see Marci’s jersey a quarter of a mile up the road.

I thought that this was odd. Would Marci just leave us at the aid station? Well, they had left Chelsea earlier…. What do I know about road racing and its etiquette anyway? Not much, to be honest, so if Mary thought it was so I figured it could be. So together we pedaled on faster and faster, trying to catch Marci.

And then, a few minutes later, we were caught by a train of very angry ladies…led by Marci. She hadn’t left the aid station early! Mary and I had been chasing a phantom. Ooops.

Podiums For All

All back together again, we rode up Snake river canyon, taking stock of our situation. There were three Cat 1/2/3 riders in our group. There were three Cat 4 riders, and Ellie was in the Masters 35+ category.

The motorcycle was now our constant companion. He informed us that there were no other women groups in the vicinity. We were the lead group of women and we would be crossing the line together.

That did it: there was no doubt. We would each be on the podium tomorrow, in our respective categories. There was no reason to not work together now, at least ’til the very end.

I think we all took a collective sigh of relief and then somebody asked for a neutral pee. Ohhh..how I love neutral pee’s. This was going to make the final fifty miles a lot more pleasant!

Snake River Canyon

Snake River Canyon is beautiful. I was really glad to be leaving the monotony of the rumble strips of Star Valley and climbing back into the mountains. I was happy: I was well-caffeinated, well-fueled, had an empty bladder, and I was riding my bike in a beautiful canyon with the lead women in an epic race.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

I couldn’t contain myself and frequently blurted out comments, like, “This is the most beautiful canyon!”

Or, “Look at that huge bird soaring over our heads!”

And, “Look, the leaves are starting to change colors!”

“Isn’t the water in the river the prettiest blue you have ever seen?”

“Wow, one of you guys smells really good…I keep getting a whiff of something and it smells gooood!”

No one ever replied. Maybe they weren’t as happy as me. Maybe they think I’m a little coo-coo!

The “Bonk” 

All good things come to an end, and eventually Snake River Canyon ended. We were now faced with about twenty-five miles to the finish line.

And that’s when things fell apart for me.

Out of nowhere and all at once, a stiff headwind started, the caffeine left my system, I became hungry, and everything on my body hurt. When I started expressing my complaints out loud, this time I was answered…with similar complaints!

Everywhere my body was in contact with my bike, that contact point was screaming in pain: my butt, my feet, my hands! Someone said they couldn’t think of a body part that didn’t hurt!.I would agree: even my eyeballs had salt in them.

At about mile 190, we passed a makeshift aid station with volunteers handing out water and Coke. I gratefully snagged a bottle of Coke only to find it wasn’t opened. I fiddled with it for a minute and popped the lid off. I was greeted with a not-so-small geyser of Coke!

I was drenched.

Coke was all over my face, my hands, my legs, and my bike. Because it was hot outside, the fluid evaporated quickly and I was now a sticky mess. My hands were essentially glued to my handlebars for the remainder of the race.

But it was worth it.

The benefit of the Coke was almost instantaneous; I forgot about my body aches and pains, and I was ready to fly to the finish. It’s amazing what caffeine can do to the body and mind.

The Finish

We were on the home stretch; we could smell the barn. I looked around at the other six riders in the group. I knew it was going to come down to a sprint finish (I’ve seen the Tour de France). I also knew that I would never win a sprint. In fact, I expected I would be the seventh one across the line — and I was okay with that. I felt great and I had made six new friends; I had had a fantastic day.

We passed the “5K to go” marker. Then the 4K marker. Ellie made a move. She shot from the back of the pack and rode by everyone. There was a slight acceleration by the group…and then it faded. Ellie was riding away. There was now a significant gap between our pack and Ellie.

Why were they letting her go? Why was I letting her go?

Racer and I had had a conversation just a few days ago about this exact scenario (though when we discussed it, I was the one who’d have been attacking the field at this point). Racer had suggested I go for it a ways from the finish line — put a gap between myself and the group. For a non-sprinter like me, that would be the only way to win.

Now it looked as if Ellie was heeding Racer’s advice…and it might just give her a win!

Before I knew what I was doing, I was accelerating past the rest of the group, chasing Ellie down. But I wasn’t as fortunate as Ellie; the train started chasing me! They weren’t going to let two of us get away.

My heartbeat must have been well over 200, and I was sure I was going to vomit! I had just about caught Ellie…but doing that had cost me everything. I was dead!

The train swung around me and I was spat out the back end. I had tried, and I had failed.

But I didn’t care. Yes, I was seventh woman across the line, just as I had expected. But I had at least tried, and I was proud of that. I was proud of my performance for the day and I had felt great as one of the riders in the lead women’s group at Lotoja.

Thumb IMG 0039 1024
A Note About the Photo from Fatty: The woman standing on the second-place podium didn’t place second. She took fourth and should actually be standing on the floor (second place isn’t in the photo). The woman standing by the Hammer on the third-place podium took fifth and should also be standing on the floor.


When I crossed the finish line, Blake was there to give me a hug, although he had to help me unstick myself from my bike before I could return that hug.

Thumb IMG 0031 1024

I was a little confused as to where Elden was, but Blake explained Elden was helping Lindsey out! Her ride had seemed to go from bad to worse, with a second flat and a bad stomach, not to mention having to do a lot of the second half of the race by herself. Even with all that, she still ended up finishing faster than I did my first time doing Lotoja.

Categories: Culture

Chrome Industries kicks off 20th Anniversary Tour this month

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:25

SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Chrome Industries is celebrating its 20th year in business with a celebration tour beginning at its New York City Chrome HUB location on October 7th. The New York event will be the first of seven held at each of Chrome's regional retail HUBS.

The events will celebrate each city's unique urban culture as well as Chrome's first 20 years. "The events will showcase local musicians, artists, designers, makers, food purveyors and of course, cyclists, that collectively form the vivid identity and unique character of each urban community that Chrome exists to serve," the company said. The events will also showcase Chrome's history, through a traveling collection of historic products, photography and other elements.

"You don't hit the 20-year mark without the loyalty and support of core customers, and it's for that reason that we want this tour to celebrate them, more than celebrating ourselves," said Chris Silverman, the president of Chrome Industries. "It's the core cycling community, and the unique urban culture it resides within, that inspires us to do what we do. Our brand and products are merely an extension of all that, and this tour will be our chance to say thanks."

Chrome's 20th anniversary tour includes the following events and locations:

  • October 7: New York City HUB (238 Mulberry St. New York, NY 10012)
  • October 10: Chicago HUB (1529 N Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60622)
  • October 13: Minneapolis HUB (115 Washington Ave N Minneapolis, MN 55401)
  • October 17: Denver HUB (1331 15th Street Denver, CO 80202)
  • October 21: San Francisco HUB (962 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA 94110)
  • October 23: Seattle HUB (1117 1st Avenue Seattle, WA 98101)
  • October 24: Portland HUB (425 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 9720)

For more information on Chrome and its 20th Anniversary Tour, visit www.chromeindustries.com.

Categories: News

Otto Design Works offers derailleur tuning app for consumers, and maybe, shops

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:09

WILSONVILLE, Ore. (BRAIN) — The Otto Tuning System combines an iPhone's camera with sophisticated visual alignment technology in a mobile app to help cyclists easily adjust rear derailleurs. The $39 product, which includes gauges that attach to the derailleur and cassette, is being offered by Otto Design Works, a new company headed by a Portland-area engineer and long-time bike racer.

The Otto Tuning System is currently being marketed primarily to consumers, not shop mechanics. But the company's president said the system could be used by shops to help document their work. The company also said that in some ways, the app allows more precise adjustment than even the best mechanic. 

Otto was founded by Jake VanderZanden, who has been developing the product for about two years. In addition to being president of Otto, VanderZanden is vice president of product development at DW Fritz Automation, a precision manufacturing company.  Otto DesignWorks is currently a unit of, and principally owned by DWF.

The Tuning System is currently sold consumer direct from Otto's website and via a few national specialty retailers, including Art's Cyclery and R&A. Otto exhibited at Interbike last month and is evaluating whether to begin sales through distributors. VanderZanden said he's had discussions with companies that sell complete bikes online; the Tuning System could presumably help consumers set up a new bike's shifting.

"Rear derailleur adjustments are well understood by some, but not understood by others. There are some people that just don't understand it," he said. VanderZanden said the app's visual alignment technology is capable of considerably more accuracy than is practical for derailleur cable adjustment, since cable tension adjustment is limited by the index clicks of the adjuster barrel. "A good mechanic could get within that range (of the app)," he said.

But he said when it comes to setting the derailleur's limit screws, the tool is capable of more precise adjustment than can be done by the human eye. 

VanderZanden said shop mechanics who visited the company's Interbike booth came away impressed.

"We get some negative feedback from comments online, from people who say, 'why did they possibly need to come up with this?' At the show, where people could actually see it and use it, all the comments were positive. Service techs came away saying, 'this is something I can use,'" VanderZanden said. He said some mechanics told him they would like to sell the tool to consumers who frequently pester them for quick, free, derailleur adjustments. 

The Tuning System gauges each have six visual indexing points, or targets. The app uses the phone camera to check the alignment of the derailleur relative to the cogs, then tells the user, with the iPhone Siri voice, which way to turn the cable barrel adjuster to improve shifting. The app also can tell the user if the hanger is bent; if it is, the app will suggest that the user bring the bike to a professional mechanic to have it aligned and/or replaced. Otto claims the app can provide barrel nut adjustments in under a minute and complete limit screw verification and adjustment in less than 10 minutes.

Because each iPhone model camera lens is slightly different, the product includes a QR code that assists users in calibrating their phone camera.

VanderZanden, an avid road racer himself, noted that the product is useful when switching between wheelsets on his bikes. It's designed to work with Shimano or SRAM 9-through-11-speed derailleurs, including road and mountain bike derailleurs.

The company is developing tools that use similar visual alignment technology for other challenges on a bike, such as aligning handlebars and saddles. 

More information at ottodesignworks.com.



Introducing OTTO Tuning System
Categories: News

How much should parking permits cost? Four ways the city could find out

BikePortland - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:07
Space is valuable. But who wants to vote on what it’s worth?
(Photos: M.Andersen and J.Maus/BikePortland)

Last year, Portland hired a top-dollar consulting firm for advice on the best way to manage the auto parking that’s become increasingly scarce in a few neighborhoods.

Twelve months later, the city is taking steps toward some of its recommendations: for example, proposing an opt-in parking permit system that would let residential neighborhoods block their street parking spaces from being used by people living or shopping on commercial corridors.

But at the moment, Portland is on course to ignore a different suggestion made very clearly by the firm, Nelson\Nygaard: that elected officials should “never, ever” be the ones to set the price of parking.

“It’s so important to save the elected officials from themselves — their job is to adopt policy, their job is not to micromanage the city,” said Jeff Tumlin, the top parking expert at San Francisco-based consultancy. Setting the price of on-street parking, he said, is “not a city council’s job. It’s really bad. These conversations quickly get so emotional and irrational that they should never be argued at city council.”

Instead, Tumlin said city councils should agree on the outcome they’d like to see: one available parking space on every block, for example, or one guaranteed parking spot for every home in a residential neighborhood. Then they should direct their staff to come up with meters, permits, quotas or other systems to get to that outcome.

Tumlin spoke in an interview with BikePortland Wednesday that reiterated the advice he gave a roomful of 130 Portlanders back in June.

jeffreyJeffrey Tumlin.

“If I were an elected official, the last thing I would ever want is to have parking prices on the agenda.”
— consultant Jeffrey Tumlin

“If I were an elected official, the last thing I would ever want is to have parking prices on the agenda,” Tumlin said. “Even if you satisfy your constituents on the parking issue, you often have not satisfied them, because the real issue is something else.”

But as Portland considers letting neighborhoods vote to create overnight residential parking-permit districts, the city staffer managing the project said the current plan is for city council to make all the permit pricing decisions.

“City Council adopts the transportation fee schedule annually by ordinance,” city project manager Grant Morehead said Wednesday. “The fee structure of the residential parking permits will be adopted through this annual process.”

One week from today, the city’s year-long parking reform process will get a Portland City Council work session for the first time. In preparation for that, we talked to a few experts around town to find four ways that Portland could follow its consultant’s advice.

Here they are.

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1) City staff could take an informed guess about the right permit price and see what happens

The most obvious way for Portland to follow Tumlin’s advice would be to simply have the city’s appointed staff, instead of their elected bosses, take a stab at the right price.

This wouldn’t be an impossible task. Staffers could base the price on what it is in other cities, or on the going rate for off-street parking in the neighborhood, or simply make sure it covers the cost of administration and enforcement.

Morehead, one of the staffers who’d likely be involved with that effort, said Wednesday that this wouldn’t work well, because parking permits last for a full year. If the city guesses wrong, it might have to keep fiddling with the permit price for several years to get it right.

“The time frame is so long,” Morehead said.

Advantages: Straightforward. Responsive to political pressure.

Disadvantages: Could take years to get right. If the price is too low, there could be years-long waiting lists for a parking permit. If it’s too high, no neighborhood will ever vote to create a permit district and the whole policy will be pointless.

2) The city could let neighborhood groups add to their district’s permit price and use the money for things they wantCrosswalks in action-2

If a city parking permit goes for, say, $11 a month — that’s what they cost in Toronto and San Francisco — the city could give neighborhood groups the option of tacking on a few more bucks that would raise money for neighborhood infrastructure (a crosswalk beacon, a bus shelter, a public trash can) or programs that reduce driving to the area (subsidized transit passes for employees of local shops). That’s what the Central Eastside Industrial District already does with its daytime parking permits.

Advantages: Would let neighborhoods set rates appropriate to their area (Hollywood’s parking permits are probably more valuable than the ones in St. Johns). Would give neighborhoods a reason to create permit districts: it could become a steady source of cash for some neighborhood associations.

Disadvantages: There’s no reason to think neighborhood association leaders would be any better than elected officials or city staff at figuring the right price. If they get it wrong, see “disadvantages” beneath the previous item.

3) The city could let people resell permits they don’t need310 se 27th ave not enough parking built 2007

This simple measure would have surprisingly far-reaching results.

When someone signs up for a parking permit, one of the things it could include would be the right to give it to someone else.

This simple measure would have surprisingly far-reaching results.

This is a suggestion from Portland Planning and Sustainability Commissioner Chris Smith, who said he sympathizes with longtime residents of neighborhoods that have been getting denser.

“We’ve flooded their streets with cars,” he said. Smith said it makes sense for “folks who’ve had their lives changed” to get something for that trouble, if they vote to create a parking district: a spot at the front of the line for a parking permit, if they want one. Or, if they don’t want one, the ability to get a permit and then resell it to anyone else who might want it: a resident of a nearby apartment, the manager of a nearby restaurant.

If every permit in a district were sold — except maybe for an allowance the city would reserve for poor residents or people with disabilities — someone who wanted a permit would track down someone who didn’t need theirs and buy it. When people left the neighborhood, they could sell their permit to whoever might be moving in, or just let it return to the city’s pool of unused permits.

Advantages: Residents would set the price of their permits for themselves by deciding what they’re willing to pay for one. People would have a reason to vote for permit districts because they would be creating a valuable commodity for themselves.

Disadvantages: Doesn’t earmark money for neighborhood projects or services. Creates a stronger sense that residents own public space when they don’t.

4) The city could sell permits with a Vickrey auction.

Each year, everybody interested in a permit for a given district could record what they’re willing to pay for it. Say the district had X available parking spaces. The city would put all the bids in descending order, count down X slots and give permits to everyone in that group … but they would only have to pay the price bid by person X, the cheapest of all the winning bids.

This is a concept from Tony Jordan, president of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association and one of the city’s most active volunteer parking wonks. It uses the same system that Google used when it started issuing public stock.

“Say you have 5 things for sale, you have bids for $1000, $900, $800, $700, $600, $500, and $400,” Jordan explains. “Everyone who bid $500+ gets the item at $500.”

Advantages: Residents would set the price of their permit for themselves by deciding what they’re willing to pay for one. Would raise a lot of money for either the city or neighborhood improvements.

Disadvantages: Complicated. People might not vote to create a system they don’t understand.

After puzzling through these options, I had one more question: is this question — how to remove parking permit prices from the direct oversight of the city council, as Tumlin recommended — even part of the parking permit committee’s job?

Absolutely it is, said Lidwien Rahman of the Oregon Department of Transportation. She ought to know; she awarded the grant that is paying for the city’s reform effort.

In fact, Rahman seemed to hope that the committee will help the city answer this question: not exactly how much the permits would cost, but how to find the right price.

“The advisory committee can definitely recommend whatever they want,” Rahman said.

— The Real Estate Beat is a regular column. You can sign up to get an email of Real Estate Beat posts (and nothing else) here, or read past installments here.

The post How much should parking permits cost? Four ways the city could find out appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Categories: Culture

The Indignity Of Just Doing Whatever You Feel Like

Bike Snob NYC - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:02
It's hard work being a semi-professional bike blogger, father of seventeen (18) children, and mother of six (six) more:

("Calgon" was 1980s slang for "Valium.")
That's why I feel it's important to treat myself to some mid-week recreational bicycle-cycling from time to time.  In particular, it had been awhile since I'd ridden a rugged all-terrain-style bicycle--so long in fact that the shin scabs from the last time I'd done so had already fallen off.  So this morning I resolved to remedy the situation.
Because I deserve it.
(Oh, also, Hurricane Joaquin may hit us next week, and if that happens there may be no mountain bike trails left.)
Normally I ride from my mansion to the mountain bicycling trails, but these days I'm on borrowed time, and the interest rates are usurious.  Therefore, after some deliberation, I decided "Fuck It" and used THE CAR THAT THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK.

("I'm not even gonna open my mouth, my eyes say it all.")
Hey, it's just shy of an hour to ride there but it's only like a ten minute drive, so when you do the math it's like the car is a time machine I'm actually gaining time by driving to the trail.

Plus, I will always be "bridge and tunnel" at heart, so even though I spend much of my time on a smug-cycle and blogging about how much motorists suck, every so often I'm overcome by an overwhelming urge to drive around in a car while listening to Howard Stern.
So I threw some clothes in a bag, tossed a bike onto the roof rack, and drove responsibly to the trailhead:

As I pulled up I really hoped nobody was there.  The truth is that over the past few years I've become unbearably smug about riding to the trailhead, and when I do I enjoy nothing more than passing all the mountain Freds in the parking lot milling about their SUVs in various states of undress, messing with their shocks and fretting over their tire pressure.  Generally what I do is ride around in circles for awhile until someone notices that I arrived on a singlespeed and without a car.  Then, when they ask where I rode from I just say "city"--which is true only in the most literal sense in that I do technically live in New York City.  However, for the purposes of regional colloquial speech and casual parking lot conversation it's an out-and-out lie.

Then I scamper into the woods with the speed and agility of a cottontail and do my best to wait until I'm out of view before succumbing to the inevitable crash.

Sadly, this time someone would see me get out of a car, because to my surprise I encountered this:

(Note tire tracks, I assume morons come here at night and do donuts.)
It turns out Giant Bicycles were setting up for some sort of dealer demo day, which meant I'd better make this ride a quick one before the Shop Freds showed up.  Nevertheless, as I rolled by I did take some spy shots of the Liv bikes:

And the Giants:

I briefly considered revealing myself as the greatest semi-professional bike blogger this side of the Spuyten Duyvil and asking if I could try some of that sweet, sweet crabon myself.  However, I decided not to, because if experience is any guide it means either they'd have no idea who I am, or else they'd want to punch me in the mouth--or, most likely, both.

Apparently though the unwashed masses can demo the bikes here on Sunday, and you can find more information on that here and here.

So if you're in the New York City area maybe you can find the Fred Sled or Bouncy Mountain Chariot of your dreams.

Another reason I had been hoping nobody would be there was because, in my haste, I had assembled sort of a strange outfit which I tied together with these woolen retro-style Brooks half-shorts:

(No, I'm not peeing in this picture...you should tell yourself if it makes you feel better.)
The shorts were a last-second choice because I hadn't worn them since L'Eroica one year ago, and when I realized the ride was this weekend I immediately became nostalgic because it remains possibly the most fun ride I've ever done.  So I dug them out of the ol' bike clothes drawer, figuring maybe they'd help allay my sadness over missing this year's event.  And while I happen to think the shorts are pretty cool, the problem is they're a bit small on me, which meant I'd have to take great care to hide my posterior:

Heaven knows I didn't want all the Shop Freds to see my "coin slot," and so I stopped from time to time for a "butt selfie" to make sure I remained modest:

(No, I don't have a "tramp stamp" of the Brooks logo...you should tell yourself if it makes you feel better.)
Anyway, fall is now in the air, and there's no better time to ride a mountain-style bicycle:

Mostly because the goddamn bugs that like to hover around your face while you ride in the summer are mostly gone:

As for the bike, I rode my Engin, which I still congratulate myself for having purchased:

A bespoke custom-curated artisanal rigid singlespeed may seem a bit over-indulgent at first glance, and of course it is, but to me it makes sense because no matter how much or little you spend on a bouncy bike with gears and shocks it's going to be obsolete in short order, whereas a rigid bike with one speed is a rigid bike with one speed.

Really, the only thing that's going to become obsolete is me, and I suppose there will come a time when I can no longer handle the thing, but so far the enjoyment I get from riding it is undiminished, even by age and lack of fitness.

Of course I've also added some pretentious artisanal touches, such as the hand-chamfered leather saddle:

And the custom-etched WiseCracker I've probably used once, because I don't lead one of those awesome lifestyles that involves hanging out for hours drinking beer after the ride:

Oh, it even says "BSNYC" on the other side if you look closely:

I do keep it humble however by using 36-spoke wheels I built entirely from cheap mail order parts:

I do have a fancier pair of tubeless wheels, but because I don't lead one of those awesome lifestyles that involves hanging out and drinking beer for hours after rides, I also haven't had time to mount new tires and reseal them.  Instead, I've just been using these--and despite being made from budget stuff they work great, go figure.

I did splurge on the name-brand front hub though:

By the way, speaking of front wheels and dick breaks, have you heard about the recall?

A group of bicycle companies, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), is engaged in a safety recall involving quick-release devices which, when improperly adjusted or left open while riding, may potentially come in contact with the front disc brake rotor. Watch this video to see if your bicycle is affected.

No shit, that's why you do this:

Anyway, things were going wonderfully until my rear wheel broke loose on some rocks and I fell over, creating some new scabs and taking a shot to the knee, which is always worrisome since every blow to the kneecap takes you that much closer to not being able to ride one-speed bicycles anymore:

I'd like to blame the cheap, worn tires, but the truth is that I suck.

So I took this as a sign I should wind the ride down, and finished off with a little loop on the easy terrain:

I did scuff the Brooks too:

But I'm sure it will buff right out.
Categories: Culture

Eight tips for extending your season with ‘cross

VeloNews - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 11:59

Now a dedicated cyclocross racer, Meredith Miller's pro career started out on the road. Photo:Dave McElwaine (File).

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the September 2015 issue of Velo magazine. In it, Grant Holicky of Apex Coaching and pro cyclocross racer Meredith Miller talk to Trevor Connor about how roadies can keep the good times rolling into the fall ‘cross season.

Set limits

If you race the entire ’cross season, you won’t be taking a break until January, which can be an issue for the following road season. “Pick a time to be done and don’t get tied up in the points race,” Holicky says. Calling it quits in November is a good strategy for many. He notes that even Danny Summerhill, a seven-time under-23 and junior national champion in both ‘cross and road, who now races for UnitedHealthcare, is typically focused on the road season by the time ‘cross nationals rolls around in January.

Take a break

Holicky doesn’t think it’s a good idea to jump right into ‘cross. “Athletes are concerned about taking four days off, but they can actually get a bump from [an extended break],” he says. Make sure you’re rested before you slap on the knobby tubulars. If you race a full ’cross calendar, you should also take another short break after the season to refocus.

Factor in the intensity

If you’re just looking to do a few races but not specifically train for the intensity of ‘cross, you don’t really have to worry, Miller says. But if you do a full cyclocross schedule, the old-school approach of ramping up intensity in January won’t work. Instead, after your break, Miller recommends backing down and focusing on longer rides.

Start easy

You don’t need to plan a boot camp worthy of the Navy SEALs just to enjoy a few races. Most road cyclists and mountain bikers have been training all year. “They’re going to bring that power to a ‘cross race,” Miller says. There’s no need to get creative with your training.

Develop your skills

Both Miller and Holicky believe that practicing ‘cross skills is the most important thing you can do to prepare for racing. “That can make a real difference and really turn your experience into a good one,” says Miller, who adds that riding with experienced racers to practice dismounts, remounts, and technical riding is key. Holicky says most riders can get that by going to a weekly group ‘cross ride.

Run for it

Holicky also recommends shifting at least some of your focus away from riding and toward running. “Twenty minutes, once per week is all you need,” he says.

Keep the week easy

Holicky says it would be wise to view your races as your training. “Be careful about what you do the rest of the week,” he says. “You can do too much.” While dedicated ‘cross racers will include a lot of intensity in their workouts, Holicky says a bit of sprint work on Tuesday and some threshold intervals on Wednesday may be all you need.

It’s all about the tires

You’ll hear the same conversation in every tent at a cyclocross race: “What tires are you running? What pressure?” Switching up tread patterns may not be an option if you’re running tubulars, but pressure can make a substantial difference. Miller generally runs 22psi but will go as low as 12psi in certain conditions. The low pressures take some getting used to, but they can make the difference between railing corners and flying into a ditch.

Subscribe to Velo magazine >>

The post Eight tips for extending your season with ‘cross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Categories: News

The Northeast Ohio Cyclocross Series: How To Build A Cyclo-cross Community

USA Cycling News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 11:39
Marshall Leiningerand#39;s introduction to cross racing isnand#39;t different from many others. Fortunately for racers in Northeast Ohio, his love of the sport shines in his growing cyclo-cross race series.
Categories: News

Runners in the Bike Lane?

gwadzilla - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:49

the Washington Post had an article begging the question, "should runners run in the bike lane?"
then... there was this article where a cyclist and a runner each give their take on the shared space issuewww.dmagazine.com
it irks me...the runner in the bike lane thingbeyond the runner in the bike lanethe running against traffic runner in the bike lane really irks me
although I do not run now... for years I ran and ran quite swiftlybut I am not certain if I ran so self righteouslyrunner against traffic? that is logic that seems to be shared by a small percentage of runnerssadly.../ no one else got the memo and no one else gets the logic
then this running in the bike lane thing?well... it is interestingwhy?sure... maybe for a block... but not for the duration of the ridethen also... with some sort of acceptance of the other users of the bike lane
as a cyclist I tend to ride "creatively"
always trying to put myself where I feel most safeI am not sure of the runner's logic
not sure how running in the bike lane would be a safe spot to runwhat is the logic?
Categories: Fixed

Princess Leia is our only ho.... hope

gwadzilla - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:30
5 Year Old Girl Discusses Slave Outfit with her Fatherhttp://sploid.gizmodo.com
Categories: Fixed

Froome targets 2016 Tour, Olympic road race and TT

VeloNews - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:23

Chris Froome is hoping for his third Tour de France victory in 2016 and much more. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

MILAN (VN) — Chris Froome is aiming for a never-before reached target, victory in the Tour de France followed by the 2016 Olympic road race and time trial in Rio de Janeiro.

Sky’s captain, winner of the 2013 and 2015 Tour, ended his season with a broken foot in the Vuelta a España. He will return to training soon, with a triple target.

“That’s a massive goal to set, and I think I’m just going to have to take each event as it comes, but it’s exciting. It’s really exciting,” Froome told Sky Sports News. “The main focus for me is going to be the Tour de France again, but just on the back of the Tour de France, we have got the Olympic road race over in Rio, and a few days following that, potentially the Olympic time trial is also on the cards.”

After the Tour victory this July, he explained he would target the Olympics as well in 2016, but on Thursday, he specified it would include both the road race and time trial.

Froome’s former teammate and fellow Brit, Bradley Wiggins won the 2012 Tour and 10 days later, took gold the time trial at the London Olympics. He raced the road race in the interim, but placed 103rd, as his primary objective was to work for sprinter Mark Cavendish.

The 2016 Tour de France, which the organizer will present October 20 in Paris, runs July 2-24. The climber-friendly Olympic road race, 13 days after the Tour on August 6, will be one of the events that kicks off the Rio Games. The time trial, August 10, will be held four days after the road race.

“Both the road race and the time trial do suit me very well. The time trial has over 1,000 meters of climbing in it, so it’s going to be a tough time trial. It’s long, I think it’s over 50 kilometers [59.6km], so for an individual time trial, that is a long event,” said Froome. “Given the road race is over 250 kilometers [256.4km], I think, with close to 5,000 meters of climbing, that’s a tough race – really tough race – and if the form is still good come the end of the Tour de France, hopefully I’ll be up for a shot in the road race.”

Froome, 30, will have a better opportunity in the time trial. Unlike grand tour rivals Alberto Contador of Spain and Italian Vincenzo Nibali, Froome has never won a one-day race.

The closest he came was a stage ranked as an individual race in the 2009 Giro del Capo. Nibali won the Tre Valle Varesine on Wednesday and Coppa Bernocchi in September. Contador won Milano-Torino in 2012.

Froome’s first hurdle will be the Tour’s trophy. With a third victory, he’d equal American Greg LeMond, Frenchman Louison Bobet, and Belgian Philippe Thys.

“It’s going to be key to see what the Tour de France has in store for us next year,” added Froome. “We are going to have the presentation later in October to see exactly what next year’s route is going to look like, and from there we can start planning accordingly.”

The post Froome targets 2016 Tour, Olympic road race and TT appeared first on VeloNews.com.

Categories: News

Kazakhstan's Cycling Superstar Faces Race-Fixing Probe - EurasiaNet

Google News | Cycling - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 09:50

Kazakhstan's Cycling Superstar Faces Race-Fixing Probe
Kazakhstan's celebrations over FC Astana gaining its first Champions League point were cut short by news that its cycling superstar Alexandre Vinokourov could face charges of race-fixing in Belgium. A Belgian prosecutor has ruled that Vinokourov should ...

and more »
Categories: News

Cycling back in the States: My experience at Richmond's cycling world championship - SportingNews.com

Google News | Cycling - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 09:47


Cycling back in the States: My experience at Richmond's cycling world championship
When he's not covering the NHL and Washington Capitals for his blog, Puck Buddys, he's writing professional cycling for Sporting news. You can follow his journey on Twitter @PuckBuddys. When I last left our heroes, and by heroes I mean the world's ...

Categories: News


gwadzilla - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 09:45

a little early to be sleeping with my PJs inside outHounddog posted this clipping from the Washington Postthat was a trip... on the cover of the WaPo as a senior in high school
great randomness... chase these linksthe archives of Gwadzilla are more interesting than the recent posts
Washington  Post and Snowhttp://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=washingtonhttp://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=posthttp://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=snow

Categories: Fixed
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