Learn to Bike Class

Tuesday, August 30 by silvia

learn to bike classThe West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is holding its second ?learn to bike? class of 2011 to get more kids off training wheels and enjoying the freedom of two wheels.

We use a safe and effective method that teaches kids to balance on their bikes without pedals or training wheels. Then the pedals go back on and we review how to start and stop. No clutching the back of the seat! Children generally learn pretty quickly, though they may need more practice with mom and dad the next day. ?It works! We?ve already taught more than 50 kids. Watch the video.

This session is being held at the West Windsor Farmers? Market on Sept. 24 and is being offered to WWBPA members only. Not sure if your membership is current? You should have received an acknowledgment letter from us in the past year. Or ask, and we can check our records.

Please help us spread the word about this great class with friends, neighbors and colleagues. (They just need to join before signing up a kid. Membership forms are on the website, and Google checkout is an easy payment option. Or see us at the farmers? market on Sept. 10.)

Preregistration is a must. Email [email protected] to sign up a child.

One last thing: This class requires many volunteers to help with everything from accepting registration forms to taking off pedals and training wheels. Interested in helping? Email us at [email protected]. We?ll happily accept as much or as little time as you can offer.

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Watch our ‘Learn to Bike’ Video

Saturday, July 16 by silvia

We now have a video of our fantastic day in May when we taught about 50 kids to ride without training wheels. Watch it!

The next class will be Sept. 24. Watch for details.

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The WWBPA’s May in Pictures

Friday, June 3 by silvia

The WWBPA had something for everyone in May. Where did you see us?

community walk 2011On May 7, we led our second annual walk to mark the start of the farmers’ market season. About 20 people, from grandparents to grandchildren, joined for a walk from Maurice Hawk School to the Farmers’ Market at the Vaughn Drive Parking Lot.? The first stop was at the Arts Center on Alexander Road where Greening of West Windsor (GroWW) was holding an Herb Sale to benefit the plantings at the Arts Center.? We observed the new sidewalk along Alexander Road from Scott Avenue to Wallace Road under construction, and noted that on next year’s walk we would use it.? Crossing Wallace at Alexander instead of at Scott is much safer because cars have a much greater sight line to the pedestrians.? We proceeded to the station, under the tracks, and along the pathway to the Farmers’ Market, where the WWBPA handed out maps and held a drawing for a T-shirt, a reflective vest, a set of lights, a set of ankle bands and a couple of Share the Road decals.

As part of National Bike to Work Week, we joined Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association for a chilly “bikers breakfast” at the station on May 17, offering food, drink and encouragement to cyclists and others. We hope some are ready to get back on a bike, even if not to get to work.

Learn to BikeOn May 21, we were back at the farmers’ market, teaching about 50 kids to ride bikes without training wheels, using a “balance first” method taught to us by Bike New York.

On May 28, we were at BikeFest, talking to participants about what we do and offering ideas on where to ride.

Our “Ride of Silence,” to honor cyclists killed or injured on the roads, was delayed by rain until June 1. We rode through West Windsor, led by a police car and funeral hearse. If you missed us, check out the photos.

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We Teach Kids to Bike

Friday, May 27 by silvia

learn to bike classAbout? 50 area kids, generally ages 5 to 7, learned to ride bicycles without training wheels at the West Windsor Farmers? Market on Saturday , May 21, as they took part in a free ?learn to bike? class with the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance.

The class used a safe and effective method that teaches kids to first sit and ?scoot? on their bike without pedals or training wheels until they learn how to balance. Pedals are then reattached, kids are taught how to start and stop and then, with a bit more practice, they are cycling without an adult needing to clutch the back of the seat. ?The method isn?t just for kids; the WWBPA also taught one adult on Saturday.

The response from the community ? West Windsor and beyond ? was incredible and exceeded the WWBPA?s expectations. The feedback from parents who brought their children has been overwhelmingly positive, and the WWBPA will be discussing plans for a future event.

Many thanks to Bike Exchange, which supports the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton by selling good used bikes, for the use of loaner bikes. We learned that it’s much easier to learn balance on a small bike (easier to touch the ground solidly with your feet), and we swapped bikes many times.

Now who left pedals behind?

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We’re Teaching Kids to Bike on Saturday

Friday, May 20 by silvia

Remember how you learned to bike without training wheels? One of your parents was probably clutching the back of the seat and eventually let go.
The WWBPA is doing it differently: At our free class at the WW Farmers’ Market this Saturday, we’ll take off the training wheels and the pedals, and then lower the seat so the child can touch the ground while seated. Kids will learn to balance by scooting while seated and lifting their feet off the ground. Only then will we put the pedals back on and make sure they know how to start and stop before letting them try to ride.
We’ll be teaching from 9 a.m. til the market closes at 1 p.m. Stop by!

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Bike to Work Week

Sunday, May 15 by silvia

National Bike to Work Week is this week!

Did you know that a mere?30-minute ride to and from work?at a leisurely pace burns?500 calories?!

You can find the WWBPA at three events:

A bikers’ breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station on Tuesday, co-hosted with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association. Stop by between 6:30 a.m. (we’ll aim to be there closer to 6) and 8:30 a.m. for a cup of coffee and some food. It’s our way of saying thanks for biking! You’ll find us on the southbound side. We’ll be happy to chat even if you’re not on your bike.

A Ride of Silence at 7 p.m. on Wednesday that leaves from the Municipal Center parking lot. This is a one-hour, 10-mile ride to honor those injured or killed on the road. Many thanks to Mather-Hodge Funeral Home and Peter Hodge for providing a funeral hearse for our procession of riders! You can read more about it in this Princeton Packet article. The ride will be cancelled if it’s raining. If the weather looks questionable, check the website and Facebook page for updates.

A “Learn to Bike” class aimed at kids 5 years old and older on Saturday at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market on Vaughn Drive. This uses a safe and effective method that doesn’t involve clutching the back of a bike. The class is free but space is limited, so we suggest pre-registering via [email protected]. Please bring a working bike. A helmet is required (the WWBPA will be selling them for $10). Sessions will run continuously during farmers’ market hours; please arrive between 9 a.m. and noon.

In addition, GMTMA is hosting a bikers breakfast at the Trenton train station from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday and? a “lunch and learn” session at the Princeton library on Friday to spotlight what Hoboken is doing to promote walking and biking. The session runs from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. and includes lunch refreshments. Space is limited, so pre-register by emailing [email protected].

Through a variety of innovative planning, transportation, and parking strategies, Hoboken, New Jersey is rapidly transforming itself into one of the most bikeable and pedestrian-friendly municipalities in New Jersey. The consulting firm Civic Eye Collaborative recently produced a film that documents some of the strategies that have been implemented to reduce the need for automobile ownership, and to enhance and promote access to transit and other non-motorized transportation modes. The film shows how fundamental smart urban planning is to the quality of life of citizens, and how important these issues are to a town’s vitality and sustainability. After the movie, Ranjit Walia from Civic Eye Collaborative and Hoboken?s Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs will speak about the importance of community outreach and sustainable transportation, and help guide the audience through a “visual preference survey” to engage in a discussion about where, how, and if similar transportation strategies could work in our communities. Lunch refreshments will be served, and attendees will be eligible to participate in a free raffle!

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May is National Bike Month

Friday, April 29 by silvia

Did you know that on average, 40% of our trips are two miles or less?

Take part in National Bike Month by resolving to ride your bike more often, whether to work, the store, the library, the train station or to a friend’s house. We don’t need to remind you of the $4 a gallon gas you’ll be saving. Need another reason? The week of May 15 is National Bike to Work Week, and May 20 is Bike to Work Day. Stop at the Princeton Junction train station on May 16 for a bikers breakfast courtesy of the WWBPA and the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association.

West Windsor has added many bike lanes in recent years, and the WWBPA can help you find safe routes using them and quiet roads as much as possible. (Google maps and Mapquest also have bike-route-mapping features.)

Don’t forget some of the rules of the road: Always ride WITH traffic, obey all traffic rules (red lights, stop signs) and be visible and predictable at all times. The WWBPA sells reflective ankle bands, safety vests, helmets and entry-level lights; see us at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market or email [email protected].

The WWBPA also is participating or promoting many bike events in May. See our newsletter for the list!

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Learn to Bike

Saturday, April 23 by silvia

Step One: Training wheels and pedals come off

Step one: Training wheels and pedals come off

Armed with some great training from Bike New York (a wonderful nonprofit group out of NYC), the WWBPA will hold a “learn to ride” class at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market (Vaughn Drive parking lot, off Alexander Road) on May 21 as part of our National Bike Month festivities. This class is aimed at children, but the same techniques work for adults.

Step two: Learn to balance

Step two: Learn to balance

We will teach your child how to balance on a bike without pedals or training wheels. Then the pedals go back on and we demonstrate how to start and stop.

Step three: Start pedaling

Step three: Start pedaling

Not all children will learn right away, but parents will go away with skills to teach their child — without breaking their back holding on to the back of the seat. We had great success using this method on our “test cases” during training. Some learned that day, and just about all were cycling within two days. See the approach in action on this Bike New York video.

This class is free and will run continuously. Space is limited so we recommend pre-registering. Please arrive before noon (the farmers’ market starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.). Minimum age is 5.

Bring a bike in good working order. A helmet is required. Don’t have one? The WWBPA sells them for just $10.

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Yoga for Cyclists

Sunday, April 10 by silvia

Yoga stretch for cyclistsMay is National Bike Month, and start it with a deep stretch: Nancy Sheehan, a cyclist and yoga instructor, will be teaching two free yoga classes aimed at cyclists at the Cranbury library, 23 N. Main St. in Cranbury, on May 5 and June 2.

Yoga can build a cyclist’s strength and endurance and introduce flexibility to chronically tight muscles.

Classes begin at 7 p.m. and will end at 8:30 p.m. The WWBPA will be there both evenings. We’ll talk about skills and etiquette for streets and trails,? including the do’s and don’ts that promote peaceful coexistence with other users, on May 5 and fun places to ride, including some cool events, on June 2. But most of the evening will be devoted to stretching, so dress appropriately. Bring a yoga mat if you have one.

No pre-registration is necessary.

Not sure what to expect? Here’s a video we found that shows some stretching techniques for cyclists.

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Teach Kids to Lose the Training Wheels

Wednesday, March 30 by sandy

No Training WheelsJoin us April 9 ?from 10 a.m. to noon, when Bike New York comes to Train the Trainers for our West Windsor Bikes: “Lose the Training Wheels” session?at the Farmers’ Market on May 21,?when we’ll teach children to ride bikes without training wheels.

We’ll start our training session at the West Windsor Library and then head outside. Please email us at [email protected] so we can know to expect you and contact you if plans change because of bad weather.

Click here to read about the Balancing First Method.

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Summer Camp Bike Programs

Thursday, February 24 by sandy

We’ve spotted a couple of Mercer County Community College?summer programs with biking and hiking themes:

Among the 2011 Summer Sports Camps is
Mountain Biking Camp (co-ed, ages 8-16)
July 25-29 / August 8-12
Mercer County Mountain BikingThis camp focuses on some of the fundamental skills required in cross country mountain bike racing as well as the mechanics and general maintenance of bicycles. Campers will learn skills associated with mountain bike racing such as proper body position for maximum balance and control while navigating through narrow trails and terrain. How to properly go over obstacles such as small log climbs. Along with these skills campers will also learn proper racing etiquette as well as how to take care of their bike with some basic maintenance.
For more information, go to Mercer County Community College Youth Summer Sports Camps or call 609-570-3779.

For those interested in more traditional bicycling and in hiking, there’s?Camp College, which offers Friday Fun Days,?with this one:
Bike & Hike (AGES 9-13)
July 29,?8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Enjoy a day trip to Mercer County Park where we will ride the trails and experience the beauty of the area on two wheels. We?ll explore the red, blue, and yellow trails then find a shady spot for our picnic lunch. Before we hit the dirt we will have a brief overview of bicycle safety, trail riding, and bike maintenance. You must provide your own bike, lock and helmet (No open toe shoes).?Tuition and fees: $60
For more information and registration, go to?Camp College or?call 609-570-3311.

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Learn to Fix Your Bike

Tuesday, February 22 by sandy

bike maintenanceWest Windsor-Plainsboro Community Education presents a Roadside Bicycle Maintenance ?class this spring.

This 90-minute class will give you the confidence to take that longer bicycle ride. You will be introduced to basic tools and equipment and how to use them: how to repair a flat tire, how to re-install a chain,?how to overcome a bent wheel on a ride (to get you home), plus have your questions answered.

Instructor: Van Delfino, Bicycle Rack, Hightstown
1 class on Monday, ?April 4th 7-8:30 pm
HS South Room 900C $20

More information at WW-P Community Education.

Click here to register online.

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What Could Make a Good WWBPA Event?

Tuesday, January 25 by silvia


Three WWBPA trustees recently attended a small bike summit of primarily Essex County bicycle advocates. We spent two hours telling each other about what our organizations do and picking up ideas from each other. Here are some that intrigued us:

A bike scavenger hunt built around a theme and including some wacky bike-related activities:

45-minute bicycle-safety classes in gym class for middle schoolers and talks in school assemblies about how to ride safely in traffic (South Orange Maplewood Bicycle Coalition);

A class on how to ride safely in traffic, taught through an Adult School (South Orange Maplewood Bicycle Coalition);

Crossing Guard Appreciation Day (Bike Walk Montclair);

Regular short Sunday rides to local destinations (South Orange Maplewood Bicycle Coalition);

Bike registration with the police (South Orange Maplewood Bicycle Coalition);

More frequent walk to school events to turn it into a habit, rather than a special event, perhaps working with PTAs (Bike Walk Montclair).

Do you think the WWBPA should borrow any of these ideas? We’d like your input. (Of course, we always need volunteers for all our activities, so please consider giving a bit of your time toward building a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly community.)

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NJDOT New Bicycling Manual

Sunday, January 16 by sandy

NJ Bicycle Manual CoverThe NJDOT just published (only online) the New Jersey Bicycle Manual. It’s not just for kids, either. Here’s a list of the covered topics, from the table of contents:

  • Selecting, Fitting & Equipping Your Bike
  • Quick Maintenance Checks
  • Off to a Good Start
  • Traffic Basics
  • Sharing the Road
  • Parking Your Bike
  • Difficult Situations
  • Riding at Night & in Rain and Snow
  • Riding with Others
  • Riding on Shared-Use Paths
  • NJ Bicycling Law & Roadway Restrictions
  • Traffic Signals, Signs and Road Markings

The manual includes lots of clear diagrams and photos to help cyclists navigate in a variety of situations (even how to share the road with pedestrians and horseback riders).

This is an excellent resource for both novice and experienced cyclists.

Read the WalkBikeJersey Blog review, but be sure to read the whole manual, too.

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Bike School

Thursday, September 9 by silvia

Bike Fest 2005The New Jersey Bike & Walk coalition has won a grant from REI to fund NJBikeSchool, a free, comprehensive bicycle safety program that educates children about sharing the road safely with motorists and pedestrians. Read more here. Where in Mercer County do you think would benefit from a program like this?

Another post we like from from WalkBikeJersey: an assessment of Hoboken’s bike-friendly measures.

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WWBPA Bike Clinic

Friday, August 13 by sandy

Farmers' Market 8-7-10

The WWBPA provided a free Bike Clinic at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, August 7. ?We offered people an opportunity to learn how to fix a flat, change a tire, check their ABC’s (air pressure, brakes, cassette/chain/crank), and fit their bike. First Vice-President Chris Scherer brought his bike for demonstrations, and he reported that one woman went home and then rode her bike back to the market. Chris and WWBPA Trustee Dave Robinson showed her how to fix a flat and change a tire, and went through the ABC’s with her, plus fit her with a helmet. She got some hands-on experience and seemed to learn a lot. Several others expressed interest in the clinic and may bring their bikes to the Farmers’ Market on August 21 for another clinic. Stop by at any time between 10.m. and noon. We’ll also do demonstrations at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon on September 4.

In addition to the Bike Clinic, we spoke with many people about bicycle and pedestrian matters. Many were interested?in connections, such as between Princeton and West Windsor or? Plainsboro and West Windsor, and finding routes to destinations, such as Whole Foods from Plainsboro or Hightstown or Mercer County Park from Cranbury Road. Washington Road and the intersection at Cranbury/Wallace and Route 571 were mentioned many times.

If you, too, are interested in attending a Bike Clinic at the Farmers’ Market, send us an e-mail or leave a comment here and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Farmers' Market 8-7-10

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Learn to Ride

Friday, July 23 by sandy

Little Boy BicyclingLearn to ride a bicycle July 24, 31, or August 7.

Is your child at that age at which he or she wants to ride a two-wheeler? Is your back sore from bending over to balance your child on a rolling bicycle??Have YOU been wanting to?ride but never had a chance to learn? ?If so, this class is for you.

Bike&Walk Montclair and Diamond Cycle will hold workshops to teach children and adults to ride.

The workshop teaches a safe, easy, effective way to learn to ride.? Using the ?balance first? method, instructors help get you rolling on your own.

Click here for location and more information.

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West Windsor Believes in ‘Complete Streets’

Wednesday, July 21 by silvia

West Windsor adopted a “Complete Streets” resolution on Monday that calls for designing new and reconstructed streets so that they can “safely accommodate travel by pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, and motorized vehicles and their passengers, with special priority given to bicyclist and pedestrian safety.”

Complete Streets policies have been adopted by the U.S. and New Jersey governments, but West Windsor is one of the first New Jersey municipalities to do so. The WWBPA believes that designing streets with ALL users in mind from the start will save money because we won’t have to do costly retrofits and will make our community more liveable — which benefits all of us (and our property values).

What do Complete Streets look like? Watch this animation to see the transformation of a fairly barren multiple-lane road becomes a bustling shopping area.

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Rewards for Kids Wearing Helmets

Wednesday, July 14 by sandy

This summer the police in Manville, a borough in Somerset County, are issuing tickets–not just for traffic violations. They’re stopping children wearing helmets while riding bikes and giving them ice cream tickets. The recipients may redeem the tickets for a free ice cream cone at a local ice cream shop. Read more in an article from the Manville News.

That’s a nice way to encourage kids to follow New Jersey’s law (children under 17 must wear helmets while riding bicycles). We’d like to encourage everyone, regardless of age, to wear helmets when riding bicycles.

“In 2008, 716 [20 in New Jersey] pedalcyclists were killed and an additional 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes. Pedalcyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities, and pedalcyclists made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year.

“All bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

For proper fitting of a helmet, safety tips, and more information,
go to the WWBPA page?Ride Smart Ride Safe.

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What a Terrific Day for BikeFest!

Wednesday, June 2 by sandy

Bicyclists of all ages and abilities attended the seventh annual?West Windsor BikeFest on Sunday, May 30 (postponed a day because of the weather) over Memorial Day weekend. The weather on Sunday couldn’t have been better! A bike rodeo helped to educate young riders about the rules of the road and safe riding practices.

Watch a Slide Show from BIkeFest 2010.

BikeFest focuses on bringing awareness of safe cycling and enables families to experience bicycling at various skill levels. Participants discover that West Windsor has many roads that will accommodate all levels of cyclists.

BikeFest is run by a small committee led by Dan Gerstenhaber and supported by Ken Jacobs of the?West Windsor Division of Recreation and Parks. Local businesses support the event and many volunteers support registration, rest stops, sweeping, and feeding the event participants. Volunteers are always welcome. For more information go to?West Windsor BikeFest.

BIke Rodeo at BikeFest 2010Funding from BikeFest

The BikeFest committee focuses on safe cycling in West Windsor; funds raised by the event are used to support designated community bicycling improvements. Along with the installation of bike racks in various parts of the township, the BikeFest committee has donated money to help with some of the WWBPA initiatives, most notably the printing of the WWBPA map, Share the Road signs, bicycle racks for theWest Windsor Community Farmers’ Market?and the soon-to-be-completed bicycle parking facilities at the Princeton Junction Train Station.

Bike Rodeo at BikeFest2010The WWBPA isn’t a sponsor of BikeFest but?thanks the BikeFest committee for its continued support for safer cycling in West Windsor.

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Upcoming Events

Monthly meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month via Zoom. We hope to eventually resume meeting in the West Windsor Municipal Building. Email us at [email protected] if you would like the Zoom code.

Find us at the West Windsor Farmers Market (Vaughn Drive parking lot) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday from May through Halloween.

Feb. 27 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

March 5 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

March 12 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

March 14 — annual meeting; guest speaker is Charles Tennyson, head of transporation for Princeton University

March 19 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

March 26 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

April 2 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

April 9 — Weekly walking group at Community Park

April 11 — monthly meeting

April 15 — deadline for scholarship applications

April 27 — Learn to fix a flat bike tire; WW library

May 9 — monthly meeting

June 13 — monthly meeting

July 11 — monthly meeting

Aug. 8 — monthly meeting

Sept. 12 — monthly meeting

Oct. 10 — monthly meeting

Nov. 14 — monthly meeting

Dec. 12 — monthly meeting

Become a Member/Donate

Pace Car Program

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Department for free

Volunteer Opportunities – Sign up to give back to the community

Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

March 14 — annual meeting; guest speaker is Charles Tennyson, head of transporation for Princeton University

April 11 — monthly meeting

May 9 — monthly meeting

June 13 — monthly meeting

July 11 — monthly meeting

Aug. 8 — monthly meeting

Sept. 12 — monthly meeting

Oct. 10 — monthly meeting

Nov. 14 — monthly meeting

Dec. 12 — monthly meeting

Become a Member/Donate

Pace Car Program

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Department for free

Volunteer Opportunities – Sign up to give back to the community

Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

More Events »

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