Twinkling in your twilight years. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 20 Old Oct 20th, 2019, 11:08 pm Thread Starter
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Twinkling in your twilight years.

What do you do to prolong being able to ride as you enter your motorcycling twilight years (say 60+ years)?
Let us know how old you are then ........

Ian

My plan is to live forever. So far so good.
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post #2 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 12:15 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

The short version:
  • Keep fit
  • Have somewhere you want to go.

The long version: I re-entered motorcycling at 56 and got rearended at 60. After I healed and did the PT (so I could walk without limping), then got my rotator cuff fixed (and did the PT to rebuild strength and preserve range of motion), I became conscious of the need to take care of myself physically. This spring I realized I'd put on a whole bunch of weight so I joined Weight Watchers and have successfully lost 40 lb, although I'm still 10 lb into "overweight" territory. I'm retired now and because I don't have time pressures I can do some errands on foot. I do some pushups (helps with pain between shoulder blades) and leg lifts (core strength helps with back problems) on an irregular basis, maybe once or twice a week. The result is that I'm more comfortable on the bike, so I can ride longer. Thinking about taking up bicycle riding. So that's the physical part.

As for the mental part: I've always been a solitary person, and it only got worse (better?) after my wife died when I was 58. So anything I do, I pretty much do by myself. After I retired at 62, I figured it was time to start riding to some of my bucket list places. I remember distinctly wanting to see Crater Lake, Pacific Coast Highway, and so on. I figured I'd do some of them on my way to see my son - who lives in Alaska (I live on the East Coast). So that was my summer vacation - 3 months. Then the next year was things I'd heard about but missed the first year. Then the third year was stuff I'd missed the previous two years. etc. Plus it's gratifying when people say "You rode to Alaska all by yourself on a motorcycle!?"

Now I'm 66, in the process of replacing the bike that's been so good to me (R 1200 GSA low) with as close to the same thing as possible (R 1250 GSA low). It still runs fine and I'd have no qualms packing my bike right now and riding off cross-country. I keep the bike maintained, and ride it just about every day. I, and it, can be ready to leave for a week or a season on 4 hours' notice. But it's showing its age, and the warranty ran out 3 years/110,000 miles ago.

I do think this is likely to be my last bike, though. I like traveling and the idea of downsizing to a smaller bike doesn't appeal to me. I'd like to stay fit enough to continue riding the GSA at 70, maybe longer, but whatever age I reach I want to quit while I'm ahead. It's like any other thing: by the time you ask yourself "Is it time to [get a ride home, reef the sails, retire, lose some weight, make peace with my sister, quit riding]?" - the answer is probably "yes."
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post #3 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 7:11 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Like "Rider2," I straddled a motorcycle again in my mid fifties after a couple of decades not riding. In addition to my work, one of my (too many) hobbies had been horses. After one incident where the horse had decided to reverse our relationship, I decided that it was time to retire the saddle. My joke was that a good ride was when I arrived back at the barn and I was the one still on top!

Now that I'm about to be 75 in a few days...I am aware that every ride I take, could be my last. I start every day with a prayer of thanksgiving for my life and health. Due to my exposure (drenching) to Agent Orange in Vietnam, I have developed diabetes. Tragic as that may sound, in some ways, I consider it a blessing. It has forced me to pay attention to my health (diet & exercise) that I probably would not have done otherwise. I had two older brothers who passed away in 2007. Both, had been smokers, were overweight, and rarely visited a doctor until they were already sick.

By 5:AM this morning, I have already taken a couple of oral meds & injected insulin. I will have breakfast & coffee for my wife when she awakes. I suffer less aches & pains than her these days. I'm grateful for the health I retain and eagerly accept the challenge to manage and sustain it.

Another good fortune of mine is that I married a nurse. She has always seen to it that I have regular checkups and never passed up an opportunity to sign me up for any preventative medical program her hospital was promoting (even if I objected). In fact, it was she who diagnosed my diabetes and began my journey toward control and management. That was long before we became aware of the association of diabetes and Agent Orange.

So, my thought regarding my motorcycle is like most of my interests...as long as it is FUN, and I remain capable, I will continue. But, just as I did with the horses, once it becomes more of a chore than something I enjoy and look forward to...I'll walk away and not look back, except to recall the fond memories and humorous foibles of my occasionally awkward youth.
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post #4 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 7:33 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

No secret got busted up real bad in 2010 and totaled my 07 LT.

Diet and exercise.

You hear and see it all the time and just blow it off.

62 years old.

Well from 239 to 189 over a year's period of time.

Gym 3 times a week also.

No Jenny Craig or Richard Simmons just pushing back from the table. PORTION CONTROL. Look at the size of your portions. Yes in America everyone is getting Obese! More fiber, fruit, vegetables. I still burn a steak on the grill and it is chared a bit on the outside and pink on the inside. I eat a piece of peanut butter cake, just a 2 inch sliver.

The strength training in the gym gives a lot of confidence not only on the bike but in normal everyday life. Legs and core work has made me more comfortable moving and man handling the bike for sure. Also the strength shows in gripping the tank with my knees, and supporting some weight on the pegs when needed. Arms, abs, and back help in sitting the bike in the correct posture.

Small stuff like park away and walk at stores, take the dogs for walks instead of just letting them out your back door.

The other benefit is mental and nothing makes you feel better then a good work out. It is the taking time for yourself and concentrating on YOU! Trust me when I tell you I was and am really messed up physically and mentally, we all go through our own mental hell.

Put a few colors of food on your plate, look at the size of what you are eating, get some exercise, and EVERYTHING in moderation. You can have just about anything you want to eat or drink, you just have to moderate how often.

Baby steps doing fun stuff and you soon see the benefits and feel them even more.

Just so you know this is me from 2010. In addition on that get off in the Bad Lands, I had a broken right wrist they put a plate in with 9 screws, broken left ankle, and 3 broken ribs. They took some of my hip bone and put it in my neck to help bone growth.

So in 1964 I was hit by a car, thrown over the parked cars and landed on the sidewalk. My shoes were left in the street I was hit that hard. Three months in the hospital, and a month of inter venous feeding as I could not eat/digest solid food.

In 1989 I was blown off a piece of heavy equipment and broke my back in 3 places. Did not work for 2 years.

2010 The accident in the Bad Lands.

2015 Calcaneus heel fracture and compressed 1 vertebra. Of course it was a month after I bought the 15 RT so it was 6 months of no riding and close to a year for a "healing" of sorts.

So you can carry on but it does take a bit of effort on your part. So as I got older and heavier and the aches and pains kept increasing over a period of the last ten years have gotten in and out of gyms. Each time going longer. I am a year in now and feel guilty if I miss. My longest was 2 years but I did not have the weight loss, and the attitude I now have.

And once you retire you worked all your life for that money you want to stay alive and draw every penny you can

[

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post #5 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 9:22 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

I rode and had a 75/6 back in the 70's then when my first kid was born in '78 I stopped riding until my second kid turned 21 in 2004. I had a serious accident in 2015 in Missouri and spent 2 months in a wheel chair, but I'm fine even with all the hardware in my hip area and left leg. I'm 71, 5'10" and 175lbs. I workout four times a week and limit what I eat. You can get by and stay fit by just doing planks (The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.) We limit our riding to manageable days now, under 600 miles, try not to ride at night, and enjoy the evenings, but we still ride between 3K to 4K miles in eight to nine days each summer. I believe I can continue to ride another 5 to 10 years if I stay healthy; may have to get a lighter bike somewhere down the road, but for now the RT is a good fit for my size and strength.
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post #6 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Keep physically fit and alert mind! At 73, I am going to sell my '15 RT and get the new 1250RT next year, which will probably be my last bike. I have been riding since 1962 (or was that 1961???), with a long period off while raising my family! Keeping fit and strong interests to ride along with strong, very strong desire to travel does it for me. What will come after my last bike? A good Class B camper-van, so that I can continue to travel.
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post #7 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 10:11 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Twilight Years?
Come on, haven't you heard that 70 (also my retirement date) is the new 50? Just bought a new '18 RT in April and have 7K on it already and most of that was with my wife touring the Maritimes of Canada and New England this summer.

We just committed to another European trip next spring to include Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and Rome on our own after the ride.

My philosophy is to be content with your life as it is, have multiple interests outside of riding, stay in shape and work on the bucket list that will never be emptied.

Sure the body ages and there are some memory issues. I had a a bone removed from my left wrist in April that was damaged in a non-moto fall (off my roof) 20 years ago with scar tissue that was irritating nerve bundles affecting my hand and arm. The surgeon removed a bone, screws to increase use & mobility, cleaned up the area and with the miracle of surgical super glue and PT/OT, I was back on the bike in six weeks. The prognosis was 12-18 weeks before I could ride but I had other plans and worked hard.

At 73, I'm planning on at least another 10 years of traveling by motorcycle, meeting with moto friends every Wednesday morning for breakfast, sharing stores of life and then hitting the road (weather permitting) for a RTE destination that is at least 2-3 hours away riding the back roads of NE Ohio and western PA. We also do a couple of weekend trips over the course of the riding season.

The photos are of a group ride last weekend to the wine country of NE Ohio. Direct route was an hour but our GPX track was 2.5 hours of leaf-peeping and enjoying the aroma of the vineyards of those varieties that have not yet been harvested for "Ice wines". Also, just received a new Gerbing outfit for use until the snow flies!

Life is Good!
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post #8 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 10:34 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

I am 75 years old, 5'7" tall, 28" inseam and weigh 158 pounds. A few years ago I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and weighed between 175 and 180 pounds. I listened to the dietician and became more attentive to what I ate especially sugar and carbohydrates. My wife and I try and usually do at least a one mile walk every day. I have a 2018 650 V-Strom and a 2016 low suspension GS. I mention the bikes because the V-Strom is a lightweight bike and the GS is a bike that allows my feet to reach the ground easily. Both of these attributes contribute to my confidence and comfort when riding. I have riding friends that ride safely, are ATGATT riders and enjoy long distance riding as do I. My absolute favorite person to ride with is my wife who is my passenger. My riding style when together is to make sure that she is comfortable and not nervous. My riding style without her is to make sure I return to her in as good of condition as when I left. This means not only riding a little slower than my confidence level in curves, it means trying to be super aware of everything around me and not getting angry when some cager or big rig trucker does something dangerous and/or stupid. I believe that mc riding is like piloting small aircraft, if you cannot do it often enough to feel confident you may want to consider a different type of recreation. So a quick summary, try and stay in good physical shape, have a good mental attitude, ride a motorcycle that fits your riding style and abilities and watch out for the idiots.
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post #9 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 11:26 am
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Not do to Age, but a really silly accident that mess up by back forever, I decide to stop riding a few years ago (Basically I want to save my self for my kiddos)

But things have changed, I few month back I learn that I'm going to lose control of my left leg , it will become a ragdoll, so I decide to come back to ridingand at the same time start to explore way I can keep riding even if I only have a useful leg..

Sidecars come to mind, many of them have been retrofitted even to be use by people in wheelchairs (extended control to the "Monkeys chair"

Then again riding a 900 pound motorcycle is not exactly smart, even if you don't drop it, that effort to "Not drop it" can still hurt you body in a big way..

maybe a Maxi scooters since their center of gravity is so much lower than a typical motorcycle..
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post #10 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 12:46 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack_d View Post
I am 75 years old, 5'7" tall, 28" inseam and weigh 158 pounds. A few years ago I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and weighed between 175 and 180 pounds. I listened to the dietician and became more attentive to what I ate especially sugar and carbohydrates
Great point! I also had an extended interview with a dietitian because my doc said I was borderline diabetic weighing almost 250 lbs. I counted carbs much more than calories and over 18 months lost 55 lbs. BTW, she is a Type 1 diabetic and received an alarm during our meeting to get an injection of insulin. I sold & gave away some of my riding gear because I "swam" in it!

Feeling great, not even borderline and get to the gym for a moderate workout at least three times a week.
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Life is too short to do anything
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post #11 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 4:24 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

twilight years (say 60+ years)?

Twilight years my arse. What a sad way of looking at life span. Im seventy, retired eight years and still going strong. Ride when I can, enjoy it and wont stop till some health professional says so to the DVLA. Prostate cancer stopped me (ouch at every bump and pothole) for six months two years ago but happy to say Im clear. No reduction in my love of life (or love life) so Ill go on till Im eighty+ if I can. This is my Third Age and still only at the beginning. Long way to go yet.
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post #12 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 5:24 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

This is someone I met 2y ago when he was picking up his new K1600B after its 600m service. He traded in a K1600GT on it. In 2016 he took his K1600GT to the California Superbike School track event at Thunderhill Raceway. When I introduced myself to him I asked him how old he was and he replied, "I'll be 88 on Wednesday..."



I'm 66.8y currently, and walk and ride a bicycle regularly, and play golf as well. I hate physical exercising so I'll try push-ups for awhile and eventually peter out. I really do need better upper body strength but for my entire youth I was very thin and did not put on muscle well at all, which probably again is why I really should be doing more. I developed type 2 diabetes 35y ago now, but have no known complications save some modest peripheral neuropathy but otherwise great kidney and retinal health thankfully. I live now at 5,300' and have good stamina when cycling and walking. Very fortunately motorcycling does not require brute strength, but demands exquisite attention & balance and I still am lucky to have both of those. Since resuming riding at age 61y/o I've had no close calls save the foolish experienced bicycle rider who used only his tiny wide angle helmet mirror to check his 6 before suddenly making an abrupt u-turn fully into my lane at point blank range leaving me the briefest moment to brake and swerve, so I only clipped him w/ my right mirror. The back popped off the mirror, I snapped it back into place, and the poor soul ended up with his $10K bicycle suffering from bad frame damage. He had a compression fracture in his spine and a big hematoma on one butt cheek.
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post #13 of 20 Old Oct 21st, 2019, 6:15 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

I'm 65, 5'8" and 155 lbs (despite being vertically challenged, I'm blessed with a 32" inseam which helps on tall bikes). Like many other posters, I use diet and exercise to stay fit and able to pursue an athletic lifestyle. Regarding diet, I'm primarily pescatarian (which means only fish, no other type of meat). I will occasionally have chicken but not very often. My wife is vegetarian and a fantastic cook, so we do a lot of excellent meatless meals. For exercise, I run, swim, bike and ski (both alpine and backcountry), which serves to keep me fit for motorcycling. I will do some weights, but find the weight room to be incredibly boring.

Living in an active, outdoor community really helps to stay motivated on those days when the aches and pains of aging are making the couch look pretty good.
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post #14 of 20 Old Oct 24th, 2019, 8:39 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

I haven't found age to be an issue. Obviously health is a concern but I haven't noticed much difference in my riding now versus 20 years ago. After all, BMW's do most of the work anyway. After a serious health issue I paused for a while, not over my ability to ride but concern over whether I could hold the bike up at a long stop light. Once I had recovered I suited up and rode like I never had taken a break. We have many seniors who ride on a daily basis. Some have made adjustments to compensate for age. I met an LT rider who had attached electric RV leveling jacks to the frame since his legs where no longer strong enough to hold the beast up at a stop if it got off center. He simply extended the jacks at long stops. Others have gone the side car or trike route. I will not let age alone decide when I must end my 50 year riding career. Listen to your doctor and take care of yourself. Something we seniors should be doing anyway.
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post #15 of 20 Old Oct 24th, 2019, 9:18 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjordan View Post
I haven't found age to be an issue....concern over whether I could hold the bike up at a long stop light.
Seems like a heavier curb weight and higher CoG would exacerbate this kind of issue w/ holding the bike up at a long light.

I think older aged BMW (and other) riders value lighter curb weight and lower CoG, and yet you will not find an ST, adapted equally well to sport & touring, with excellent weather protection inc an electric screen until you hit around 615lbs on up. I know as I age I would love to have a BMW T1000GT, 115hp smooth parallel triple, light weight, efficient & clean belt-drive w/ 50K change interval, curb weight fully fueled inc side cases, 520lbs, full tech, full comfort, just lighters w/ ligher, trimmed fairing and side cases. To help lower CoG I would love to see utilizing a similar approach for fuel tank location as w/ the F800GT which was under the seat so the visible 'tank' in the normal location was a faux tank. 5G tank would be sufficient for this model. As much as I love my '16 RT I would swap it for a T1000GT if done as described and w/ RT-like ergos.
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post #16 of 20 Old Oct 25th, 2019, 5:12 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Guys -
It's really simple. Stay active, meaning move around, don't pig out, so that you control your weight and don;t do dumb things on the bike. As all of the other posters say, watch your health. If you do that, you'll be able to ride as long as you want. When you no longer "want", it will be time to get off the bike and find something else.
I'm 73 and have been pushing my 07 LT around for about 10 years. I can't see down sizing, except for maybe an RT, but my truck runs great, so I'm not ready to give it up.

My goal, like the guy who's 88 above, is to keep riding, until I don't want to .

RickG:
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post #17 of 20 Old Oct 27th, 2019, 2:40 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

Age is a state of mind. I met a man a couple of weeks ago and he said he stopped riding because he was 62 years old. I told him that I am 79 years old and I am still riding. Quit if you feel you can't ride safely at any age not because of any age.
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post #18 of 20 Old Oct 27th, 2019, 5:44 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

I'm 81+ yrs old, 6'3' 215 lbs and still riding all three of my BMWs. I had a small stroke (TIA) 25 years ago from sitting in the back of airplanes too much, take Coumadin for my PFO, swim, bicycle, am nearly deaf (not from M/Cs), but try to be as careful and unaggressive driving as possible. Never dropped one on the road in 50 years.

But just sold my 1941 Piper J4A
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post #19 of 20 Old Oct 27th, 2019, 8:54 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

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Jeff Dean
Tucson, Arizona, & Madison, Wisconsin

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Founder, Madison (Wisconsin) BMW Club, #1 (1968)
Co-founder, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, #115 (1972)
Co-founder, Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners, #2 (1972)
Co-founder, Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, #1 (1979)
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R1200RT R1250RT 1967 R60/2
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post #20 of 20 Old Oct 27th, 2019, 10:36 pm
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Re: Twinkling in your twilight years.

I am 57 now, had a couple surgeries in the last year. L4-5 fused a year ago with hardware and c2-4 done last March. I had c4-6 done in 2012. It's taken me a while to get back into the swing of things. I ride a day or two a week for the last month. Right now that's all I care to do. I've taken up hiking and walking and can go at a pretty good clip, but I am not what I used to be. The surgeries really took the starch out. Last week I was wheeling the bike into the garage and didn't realize the kickstand went up. It went over in my direction and I couldn't stop it. I didn't even try hard to get it back up. I didn't want to push with the back issues. I got two of my kids and we got it back up. At one time I would have done it easily by myself.
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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's trouble, a man alone."


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Previous bikes:2007 Nomad | 2001 Vulcan 800 Classic | 1984 GPz750 | 1978 KZ1000A2

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