What discipline for an 8 year old ?

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  • What discipline for an 8 year old ?
  • Premier Icon weeksy
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    As he gets older we reckon he’ll choose what he enjoys the most

    That’s how we’ve played it, he’s done tennis lessons, golf, swimming, cricket, etc, then we did 2 seasons of semi-serious football and now his ‘thing’ is cycling.

    Apparently this weekend is the local village event, last year we had a meltdown pre-event as he took a strop for some reason and didn’t want to ride it, it’s a 5km event. He ended up then deciding to ride it about 5 mins late after the start and finished 2nd. When he found out it’s this weekend he instantly jumped at the chance to go for the win instead lol. Sometimes you can try your best and make it all about the FUN, but they’re blokes deep down and have a competitive spirit, so it looks like i’ll be chasing him on the 5km and we’re out for that. Then probably the Wessex CX series on Sunday.

    Premier Icon jonathan
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    My youngest had a complete melt down a local town-centre crit event last year. Massive wobbly and refused to race the 1-lap Go-Ride races (too many people). But then he announced at the last minute that he did want to race the proper Cat E race – so a 5 year old in the under 8s. He loved it. Plugging away solidly (on his own!) for 5 (longer) laps πŸ™‚

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/uZommg]Ezra top corner[/url] by Jonathan Bateman, on Flickr

    crosshair
    Member

    I’m more surprised that Weeksy made it 20 miles than that an 8 year old did πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

    Weeksy- don’t listen to the naysayers- it’s only Jnr that counts and I think you’re balancing it perfectly. You’ve exposed him to lots of opportunities in a non-forceful way and right here right now, this one has grabbed him a bit- good on you both!!
    That it’s something you are into is only a credit to your relationship. If it was rubbish- he’d probably hate cycling (and polishing motorbikes πŸ˜‰ )

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Today was very very interesting for the race. 5 miles with 4 significant climbs in there. Straight out of the gate, boom… we’re in 2nd place following another kid from his school, well, technically not as the other lad has now moved up to senior school which makes him 11. First climb was tough, the pace they were both going was quite hard… The other lad pulled away, my lad closed back, then repeat. My boy is very much a Contador not a Froome, power, then rest, power, rest… as opposed to the Team Sky, limited power, maximum gains…. But i tell him to cruise a bit and he doesn’t really listen.

    We got to the top of that one all together and with i’m guessing at least a 1min gap to the next ones behind.. . Down the descent and along, we’re all holding position… Hit the next climb… my lad has a heartbreak and meltdown… just too much too hard, breathing crazy and struggling… we eased off a lot and the other guy pulled away… about 50m lead over the crest and then a descent into the next part… My boy held station but it was too big a gap, the other lad pulled away, we’re now about 4 miles in and we have i guess a 4-5 min lead on 3rd place so we take it easy, as we get to the last climb, the leader is just a smidgen before the end of the climb, my lad is toast.. really struggled on this climbs, it’s about 100m length and a decent 9-10% climb. We had a little meltdown near the top, but fought through it and onto the last descent.. My lad flew down but it was too little too late. Through the village and into the park and it was all over.. 2nd place… He was shattered. That said, i’d worked pretty damn hard myself… on 90% of the ride i couldn’t have gone much quicker, but a couple of times of course i could have.
    2nd considering the age of the winner and some of the others was brilliant… We were a good 5mins ahead of 3rd place, so got to be happy with the result.

    Emotionally my boy is in a good place and happy with 2nd.. he’s proud of himself and his result.

    It was a bit of a ‘race’ day/ride rather than a fun day/ride, but it went really well overall.

    Aristotle
    Member

    Were you riding along with him and shouting instructions or does “we” mean “he” and you were watching from the sidelines?

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    We did the ride together. It was out of the village up onto the Ridgeway, along 3 miles and back to village.

    I wouldn’t go as far as shouting instructions, we were chatting and I was guiding him with advice as I knew what was coming up next etc.

    His comment as tea tonight was that he wasn’t bothered about not winning, it wouldn’t matter if he came last as it’s all about me and him being out riding.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Couple of fairly big crashes today, partly due to loads of kids out there and partly due to the terrain, it’s an airfield circuit and they start with about 75-100m sprint into the technical grass section. Couple of comings together and some screaming kids with gravel rash… ouch !

    Front 20 are gridded on championship points, but only the under 12s count, the rest is a free for all.

    It was a harder race to watch from than the last CX race as the course goes off into the scrublands, but when me and the boy rode it earlier it was brilliant, couple of swoopy bits, droppy bits, uppy bits and round and round bits.. then out over the runway and onto the other side which was a flatter technical section.

    Due to the fact that the numbers are not grouped into say ‘500-599 is 12s, 600-699 is u10’s…’ etc you have absolutely no idea who’s who and who your kid is racing against… Or not… You just watch and give encouragement when he goes past.

    I did notice on the last lap he made some great overtakes against 3 kids who looked very like they were in his class… but it’s hard to say.

    He came back beaming and happy. “I had to stop once for a second daddy as i thought my heart may explode”… i laughed lots with him about that.

    Another great morning racing though. Looking forward to XC Rampage next weekend now.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    6th out of 38 in the under 10s class. That’s pretty darn impressive. I hate to bang on about him being out aged in his class, but he was only 8 in Aug.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Well that didn’t quite go according to plan. Got there in plenty of time, the course was being run in reverse today which made the usual falling off obstacle a little easier actually, so no problems there in practice.

    Lined, up, got ready to go and the race began… BOOM, it’s a donkey of a start and he’s got it all wrong…. lost loads of places and was back in about 15th place. He picked up a few places on the run into the woods. They pop out of the woods and i have to admit he took longer than i expected, but there’s not many passing places in there. A couple of overtakes and he’s back in the woods….He’s lost a lot of ground though and it’s quite clear today is not our day to be chasing podiums… He comes home in 8th place. Good thing is, he wasn’t phased by that, it’s all good and he’s happy.

    So happy in fact he asks if he can enter the U11’s race which comes up next and we rush to get entered and paid, new number and off we go… they’re off within 30s of him getting to get line and his start is slightly better… But not massively so… Instead of the 25+ riders who were in the U9’s it’s only 8 of them for this race and the pace is a LOT higher… The bigger faster 26″ bikes along with the bigger faster kids and he’s battling nearer the back than the front. It seemed a long 3 laps, with him battling and overtaking the kid in front/behind, he went for the overtake up the start finish and then went in longer grass and lost momentum, but then on the 2nd lap he went past the kid and gapped him, also pulling out a gap on the next rider… Coming home for a nice 6th place finish.

    I was very pleased he’d gone out for the 2nd race as i think he was a little disappointed in Race1, so it did him really well to get out and crack on again. It’s also helped by the fact he clearly enjoys it, so it’s all good.

    All in all, not quite the day we’d hoped for…. but a couple of good life lessons for him πŸ™‚

    He’s now recovered and is back out playing with his mates.

    I’ve cleaned, spannered and lubed his bike and we’re all good for next time out.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Today brought a foggy start and a damp track at XC Rampage. We’d discussed tactics, which were “nail it off the start and ride like a crazy guy”

    Lined up and BOOM ! he nailed the start, leading into the woods and leading the riders into the technical section…. First part of the job done, it’s quite hard to pass in the woods section, so if you lead into it, the odds are, you’ll be leading coming back out of it. The time passes quite slowly when you’re waiting… then he pops into sight, where was 2nd…. oh, about 4-5 secs behind….. Good lead…

    He then cruised a little on the grassy section, the 2 riders behind caught up about 2secs of it… but my lad was off and into the woods again in 1st still.

    It was at some stage of the next few mins it all went wrong for him… As a parent, you get to know your kids crying and sobbing noise and we both looked at eachother as we heard a squeal and crying/sobbing…. The riders came out of the woods, but the boy was no-where in sight… Yup, he’d binned it..

    He came out of the woods and was still riding, getting on with it despite the fact he was sobbing while riding… I think he finished 6th but we’ll wait for results to confirm that.

    Lots of tears after the race, he’d not crashed just the once, but twice…. No major injuries apart from a bit of bruising and a battered bit of emotions..

    I made him smile at least with a Lego Minecraft toy for doing so well overall…. I was properly proud of him for getting back on and finishing ! Top performance.

    That’s the end of the series, so it’s time to make some decisions as to what happens next. We won’t decide that for a little while though as he’s away on holiday for half term.

    Frankenstein
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    Weeksy – nice report. Hope gets a win.

    You must be very proud πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    He got 5th. With 2 crashes, that’s good!

    Also had fastest lap of the race despite it being from a standing start

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    The big question is… What do we do next… Despite his crashing he still wants to ride and race… So i’m not going to stand in his way.

    It seems they’ve changed the Wessex CX league a little now, so the classes are what i’d consider a bit more user friendly and the U10 and U12’s are now split into 2 races… So he’ll be racing against U10’s which is good.

    I’m worried that Gorricks may be a bit too much for him at this age ? A bit too technical.. He can do Swinley Blue, but i’m not sure i’d want to stick him on too many of the red routes.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    It’s only when you sometimes think about something you realise just how bad things are.

    I was thinking after some of his recent crashes, “i wonder how the treads are on his tyres, maybe they’re not the most suitable for wet muddy roots”

    It was then when i eventually bought the tyres and they arrived i’ve realised just how unsuitable they are. There’s really not much of a tread on there at all.

    Sadly only the front fits as there’s not enough clearance for the 2.1 on the rear, so i’ve ordered the same model in a 1.9 to see if that goes on.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Still struggling with getting my lad into any sort of a cycling club down south.

    We’re on the waiting list at Palmer Park, but i have no idea how long that is…

    We tried Hillingdon, but that’s that over subscribed they’ve even closed the waiting list now.

    It’s a shame as he really loves the cycling and clearly has an apptitude in a power context, even if not always a ‘staying on’ context… Would be great to get him riding on a Velo circuit and bike just to see what happens.

    We did some Zwift riding yesterday on his Islabike and he was putting out 1.8w/kg for a 5 min effort. HOwever i don’t really know how that equates to other 8 year olds.

    He’s still up for CX racing, but as we’re seeing outside, the weather isn’t exactly inspiring for getting a young kid out riding.. I could persuade him to ride, but being cold and wet is more likely to put him off riding than inspire him.

    Premier Icon Yak
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    Are you near QECP at all? We’re at capacity right now, but I, and maybe some other mtb parents are hopefully doing the BC level 1 and 2 coaching courses next year so we will have room to expand then.

    Edit – I remember where you are – not that near QECP! 😳

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Not a million miles away Yak, certainly close enough to drive down for the right things.

    Premier Icon Yak
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    Would you do a weekly club session? I can put you on the list if you want.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Sure, obviously it depends on timings as we’re likely to be racing XC/CX on Sundays a fair bit next year, Sat morning is tough as he’s got flute….

    However, yes, potentially….

    If you have a minute, throw me an email please (in profile) and we can discuss the details.

    I’m not really sure where the longer term plans are leading us, ut he’s still enjoying the cycling and wants to get out…. even Sunday in the lashing rain he could have easily been persuaded to play CX racing… but i was less inclined to make him πŸ˜€

    natrix
    Member

    Is your lad entering the Reindeer Dash on Dec 9th in Woking? Charlottesville rascals xc race :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Not heard of it Natrix, but i’ll certainly have a google.

    Seems to be 10th πŸ™‚

    alexh
    Member

    I’d highly recommend a local bmx club. The skills learnt on bike handling easily translate to any other bike.

    Plus a lot of clubs are floodlit, run proper training sessions and bikes/kit need not be silly expensive.

    Bmx ers make great mtb ers.

    Worth looking at local clubs/tracks near you.

    I raced a lot as a kid, I’m sure my parents enjoyed it more than me sometimes. I eventually gave it up and played football just for a change after 8 years or training and racing. Hence I’m pretty laid back with what my kids want to do, they can all ride but it’s always social based riding.

    Map of UK bmx tracks:

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=z4JARLW3g6t0.kPhkdYnz-0xE

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    First night ride for my 8 year old tonight. Me and one of the lads are going out what is now our regular 30 miler for Fri evening, so we’re taking my lad out for the first 6-7 miles as a gentle intro ride.

    I’ve told him if he enjoys it and does well, we’ll go longer next weekend.

    gerti
    Member

    Hi Weeksy,

    What Wellgo pedals are those? My 8 yo could do with something better than the pedals which came with her Beinn 24, those look not to stupidly big and lethal! πŸ™‚

    Thanks.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Sorry for the delay. They’re just V8 copies.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Could do with a few ideas today please all.

    Spent the morning over at Brechfa Forest today… I was quite impressed. We only did the Blue and the Green routes as we had the small boy today, but they were pretty good i have to say. It’s quite a ‘rural’ place, it’s not true natural trails as they’re semi man-made, but because of the terrain and the location, they feel quite natural too.

    My lad struggled slightly with both the elevation and the rocky terrain and also mostly the cold, it was only showing 1deg so it was a bit on the wrong side of chilly.

    You’d have laughed lots today, sitting on a tree stump with me putting my lads foot in my mouth full of sweaty sock so I could hot potato is back to life! He was getting all emotional about how cold his feet were, so I was rubbing them warm and doing the hot potato thing. Looking back now, it must have looked proper crazy.

    He does get some looks though when we’re doing this sort of stuff, its quite extreme for your average 8 year old.

    At times, its hard and I forget just how tough some of the things I ask him to ride must be on a small wheel rigid bike with rim brakes!

    So the question is… what do i do for him to make things better ? I know from all of our perspectives, Brechfa is fine on a nice FS bike… but imagine trying it on a 24″ rigid LOL

    He’s still too small for even an XS adult bike, but if we keep doing tricky stuff, a bit of bounce would help i think.

    Give him a bmx; send him to the dirt jumps or the skate park. That way he’ll learn how to ride a bike properly

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    davidtaylforth – Member
    Give him a bmx; send him to the dirt jumps or the skate park. That way he’ll learn how to ride a bike properly

    I think by the fact he’s winning xc races and racing Gorrick xc events we can assume he can ride a bike properly. But of course I get your point, however the world isn’t quite that simple is it? How do you think it will go with him hitting a skate park without any reasonable tuition? I suspect A&E would be very soon after. Skate parks are smooth and the same lap after lap, whereas a trail center is different every inch with rocks, roots, leaves, mud, puddles.

    We did look into bmx down here and there’s a school /club in Andover, but I’m not sure why that seems to be the answer to some. Being a good jumper doesn’t necessarily mean he’s got all the right tools for xc or CX for example ? I’m curious as to why this seems a default answer for some?

    I was going to take him on a day with Jedi, but in fairness I think its a bit early on for that.

    I don’t want to scare him away, pressure him out of loving riding, we bond massively with our riding and its all about fun for us, I’m not losing that.

    Racing round a muddy field is just racing round a muddy field.

    Time on the bike is what teaches you how to ride properly. This is generally easier with a bmx as it can be done from the front door.

    Depends if he enjoys it that much? I mean BMX is a proper hobby, like skate boarding. Kids do it everyday. Does he care about riding a bike that much? Maybe he just enjoys doing it with you at the weekends?

    I mean I guess you could get him full susser, but how often would he get to ride it? Just at the weekends with you? That’s not really often enough to progress quickly.

    It’s easier to learn stuff when you’re younger for sure, plus you heal quicker if you damage yourself.

    Take Harry Main for example, I remember him shredding liverpool skatepark as a child, now he does things you wouldn’t think possible on a bike. I don’t think he’d be troubled by wet roots at a trail centre

    Premier Icon Riksbar
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    So the question is… what do i do for him to make things better ? I know from all of our perspectives, Brechfa is fine on a nice FS bike… but imagine trying it on a 24″ rigid LOL

    Stop being tight and get him one of these πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Thanks for the reply DT.

    Acessibility wise BMX is a LOT trickier than XC. Distance, time etc

    I also am not convinced it’s something you just ‘jump on’ at 8 years old without any experience and expect to get anything other than injured. For us, the nearest BMS training is Andover, which is a 3 hour round trip assuming 1 hour lesson, Newbury is a 9 mile trip, still 30 mins each way by the time you park etc. XC Riding is something he/we can do straight out of the door, it’s instantly accessible to us and he seems to enjoy himself (when he’s not cold)

    Whilst yes he’s racing round a muddy field, doing Brechfa/Swinley and Gorrick is a fair bit more than just racing round a field, it’s techincal riding with terrain and inclines in both directions.

    I do accept we need to work on his skill levels though, no argument there from me.

    ferrals
    Member

    Worry about the warmth not the bike. Getting cold is a sure fire way to spoil enthusiasm. Get more appropriate clothing, tights waterproof socks and shoes etc. Aged 15 I was riding stuff on a rigid canti braked bike that I would be scared to walk down 20 years later 😳 so I sure aged 8 he’ll be fine with what he has. Plus suspension (esp cheaper suspension) doesn’t work well and adds weight.

    Edit. Also he’ll be too light to compress springs, even with air forks sub nine stone is hard to set up right

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Agree on the warmth, bit of a schoolboy error of being underprepared as we were over in St DAvids at the MiL’s, not at home, so we ended up slightly caught short… he had the tights and warm gloves, but the sock department was slightly lacking i have to say… I was impressed with his character πŸ™‚

    ferrals
    Member

    What shoes does he wear? I wind/waterproof my cycling shoes with careful application of duck tape. Makes a massive difference to foot temperature

    Premier Icon phil40
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    I have just bought my lad a bmx, he doesn’t need to go to a full on bmx track to have fun on it! The handling skills etc that he will build up by just dicking about on it (all day everyday since Christmas) will pay huge dividends at some point, if not screw it he has having a laugh on his bike!!!

    I think it is amazing that he is out riding these trail centres but do think you should have thought ALOT more about the conditions before going out! It is ok to recognise after the fact and talk about buying a new bike but he still had a bloomin uncomfortable time, a couple of those and he may decide it is all a bit shyte!

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    airwalk skate with Wellgo v8

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    http://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/bikes/kids-bikes/cube-kid-240-black-2017-kids-bike-82100024.html

    Just sorted one of these to give a quick opportunity so we have a suspension bike as a choice. We’ll plan on taking both to Swinley at the same time for back to back tests.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Picked up the cube today and my lad was instantly happier, quicker and more confident on it than on the Isla around Swinley. So much so, he was even troubling a few grown ups. Not sure if its the suspension that’s helped, the riser bars or the reach, but he’s happier. He was flying down the big bermy blues towards the end of Blue.

    Been debating what happens with the Isla now, do we keep it and use for xc rampage races? Keep it and use for CX? Don’t really know. I think if I fit some fast small block rubber on for the xc races he’ll still go fast enough but also have the confidence to tackle anything tricky too.
    If he wants to take on CX I guess we could use the money from the Isla to put in for a dedicated CX bike.

    At the moment, its winter, so its all about swinley fun for him and me.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Well thanks to an epic day at Forest of Dean (forest of Doom he calls it now) along with his new found confidence on the CUBE, we’ve now entered him for his first Enduro race

    http://pedalabikeaway.co.uk/product/mini-enduro-races/

    Thanks to Taff and his boy…

    Should be an absolute blast for the boy i rekon.

    Today was one of them days that just go down in history as epic… Epic beyond all comprehension.

    We all hooked up for some fun on the trails at the forest of dean. My lad on his fairly new CUBE and me on the Parkwood. From the get-go my lad was cracking on and riding really well, Taff showing us some cool trails. We stopped at a little skills section with some northshore type drops and sections. Now they may not look as epic to you as they were to me and him, but as soon as the adults had ridden them my lad looks at me “can i do it daddy?”…. Sheesh… it’s 12-14” vertical drop and quite easy to bash your cranks on a small bike, go over the bars and be in a world of trouble.

    We looked over it, discussed the riding style, bum back a bit, jump off it as you would a kerb, keeping pedals level… etc.. He attacked it… Woosh… no problem… “again again”….. So he did it 3-4 times.
    Lots of laughs and jokes and he’s having a ball.

    His hill climbing is still great, but since getting the new bike his confidence has gone up by tonnes… he’s now hitting stuff and i’m thinking “Damn, are you really doing that ! ! ” Proud doesn’t do any justice to how i felt.

    We ended up at a Bombhole and Taff and his lad do it… my boy looks at me “ok?”…. Why not… he’s then launching the jump, trying to get his position right and get some air time… Just awesome…

    We did Blues and Reds, reds are normally above his pay grade, but he absolutely made mincemeat of them… a couple of crashes on wet muddy roots didn’t put him off, just attacking trails and as soon as he saw something he could launch off, he was on his way…. He did a proper tricky red around Spooky Woods with some Northshore and then a small (but scary for 8 years old i bet) rock garden like they barely even registered as techincal ! Just flying through it and cracking on with laughs…

    After we’d finished he went out with Taffs lad, came back laughing “we did some more reds daddy….” sometimes all you can do is smile and feel the warm glow of happiness.

    Brilliant day out and great to make a few new friends… Just epic !

    Crust launching

    Fraction too late on the camera for my lad

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=902hM37ZjDs[/video]

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XrGdroiIjI[/video]

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