Sunday January 21st 2018

January 21st, 2018

The weather improved a bit on Saturday for the Vancouver area, and made life easier for Sam and his Ride the Vibe crew at the Tradex Motorcycle show.  Here he is doing his back-flip on the Outlaw TRRS 300. - Looks to be a good crowd of spectators.

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The 2018 Dakar Rally is now in the history books, and will list it as one of the toughest yet - lots of crashes, but fortunately none that were life threatening.  - I spite of strong challenges  from other factories, it was one again KTM that came away with the bike victory. German rider Matthias Walkner was the man who conquered the dunes and mountains of South America, when others faltered.

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Toby Price from Australia rode hard, and did well to finish 3rd overall after returning from injury.

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There is a new Trials book on the market, and no doubt copies of this will be gobbled up quickly

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As we look ahead to the 2018 Trials season, it’s also fair to glance back at what transpired last year, and in the previous decades in Canada.  - While many people tend to think that our sport is growing, this is only partly true, as it appears that for every area that shows growth, another one slumps, in both bike sales and attendance.

Generally speaking, it was the weather related issues that affected both sales and events last year in Western Canada, the forest fires had things shut down in BC at a prime time during the summer season.

Jamie McGregor of Ontario, has been posting a ton of old photos on the social media, of events from the past, which is a reminder that Trials has always attracted a lot of riders in that region. - It is perhaps fair to say, that at this point in time, the numbers of riders at some Eastern events, is greater than out West.  ( I wish I had some of those pics, when I did my rather hurried article on Canadian Trials for the British Trial Mag: some time ago)
This could be, because the clubs put a lot of effort into catering to the lower classes, making events more attractive to people who just want to get out for a Sunday ride without having to resort to  gymnastics.

Looking back  at the early World rounds in Canada, the bulk of the entrees were all from the home market, where as these days, the sport is completely different at this level.  - There hasn’t been a World Round in this Country for many years.

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How things progress in the future, will I think depend on a lot of things, but in my opinion, all organizers, need to study carefully how they both promote and set up events, in order to succeed. - Somebody once said, that you don’t set up a Trial for the winner in the Expert class -  this could be even more true today.  The gulf between the 2-3 top riders and the rest is vast.  - It could be said that at many events, the difference in ability, tends to split the entry into two or three different Trials.

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Maybe we need to post more pics of junior riders on the web sites, rather than the “Big air” or splat type shots of the top experts.?   -( We need more junior, introduction to Trials, type events at low cost)

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Here is a list of some of the events on the Calendar for 2018.  If you wish to learn more about Trials in Canada, we suggest you click onto the Trials Canada website. Bob has compiled a great list of results from past events, plus posted info on the WTC.

April 15th         Ioco, BC          Round 1 Outlaw Series (CPTA)


 May 19 and 20      Scotch Creek, BC  Round 2 Outlaw Series (WTC)
 June 3rd           Malakwa, BC       Round 3 Outlaw Series (WTC) 
July 1st           Revelstoke, BC    Round 1 WTC National Series - West

 September 30th     Malakwa, BC       Round 2 WTC National Series - West

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Saturday January 20th 2018

January 20th, 2018

The first day of the Vancouver Motorcycle show at the Tradex Center - turned out to be pretty soggy, but Sam. Sean & Tanner, persevered and put on a great show for the crowd - hopefully the weather will be better for the rest of the weekend.

Here is Sean splatting up the side of the bus, on his Beta, while Sam & Tanner act as minders - obviously  cold as they are all bundled up. ( This must have taken a lot of courage with it being so slick)
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Jamie McGregor from Ontario, has been posting a lot of old Trials photos on FB, which is nice to see, and while the images from this day back in 1975 at the Calgary World Round , are understandably a bit  poor due to the weather and the older cameras being used, it shows the way things were back then.

Remember, this was the first ever World Round in Canada, and the long 69 mile loop had all types of natural sections to test the riders.  This one shows Bob Todosychuck exiting the long Muskeg section, which took points from most riders. - ( Most Europeans had never experienced this type of terrain before - and likely never wanted to again!!)

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Here is the report on the latest X Trial from Friday in France ( courtesy Trial Mag: UK)

Toni Bou recorded a dominant victory at X-Trial Toulouse, his third victory of the 2018 season

Reigning X-Trial World Champion Toni Bou (Repsol Montesa Honda) recorded his 55th career victory and tenth in succession in front of over 5,000 spectators in the Zénith de Toulouse.  Dominating each of the competition´s three rounds, he took a commanding lead over Adam Raga (TRS) in the Final and ultimately victory by a seventeen-mark margin.

The key to Raga´s defeat were fiascos in the opening two sections, which left Toni Bou to seal the X-Trial in the third section.  But the 4-times World Champion nonetheless enjoyed a fruitful night, his second position producing a 100th career podium.

A third different rider in three rounds accompanied Bou and Raga on the podium, with young Frenchman Benoit Bincaz (Scorpa) demonstrating his continued progress and taking third position.  The result is the first time that a French representative has made an X-Trial podium since Bruno Camozzi in 2001.

Another X-Trial youth hopeful, Miquel Gelabert (Sherco), only narrowly missed out on the podium, but a crash in the fourth section led to three successive failures that dropped him to fourth.  Nonetheless, by beating the three other event riders, including Takahisa Fujinami in the second round of Heats, Gelabert earns automatic qualification for the fourth round of the X-Trial World Championship next week in Strasbourg.

Fujinami (Montesa) missed out on automatic qualification by just one mark, but he and Jaime Busto both improved in Toulouse after disappointing showings in Montpellier.

Meanwhile Jack Price (Gas Gas) on his X-Trial debut was an early eliminee, as was his teammate Jeroni Fajardo.  James Dabill (Beta) was surprisingly knocked out in the first round of heats on the back of a strong podium showing in Montpellier, and after a dramatic crash that forced him to change machines mid-lap.

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Friday January 19th 2018

January 19th, 2018

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Here is the Sammy King crew, posing outside at the Tradex Center - getting set up for the Motorcycle Show which opens today..  Sam’s Mum has flown in from Australia to take in the show, ( and maybe check out his new girlfriend !!!). ( Danielle is a very nice young lady) - Sean (Birdman) and Tanner Nordin will help out with the performances, but if you want to have a chance to get a free pass - click onto Sammy’s website “Ride the Vibe”
Unfortunately, because of sickness, we can’t attend this year, but  we look forward to seeing our young Aussie TRS team rider wowing the crowds through the video connections.

A reminder that Sam will be doing Trials schools this year, both on the road and also at his home base in Malakwa.

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As we have been able to get to any of the shows in Western Canada - we are offering a BIG discount, on the first Beta Evo 300 that we have in stock - This will be just a one unit deal, so if you are in the market better act quick.

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This morning I actually walked up the driveway to drop off the blue boxes - first time out of the house in over a week - the fresh air tasted good.

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Thursday January 18th 2018

January 18th, 2018

Although I have been “Off Line” for the best part of the week - I did see this post on Facebook., by Kellee Irwin - her Dad Bert was a great guy and was the overall Team Manager at the 83 event in Wales, that we attended - Bert along with Jim Kelly ( also no longer with us) were a pleasure to work with.  -  read on >
I share this with very mixed emotions. Proud of Tyler, his gold medal and winning the award in my Dad’s memory.

But sad, angry and frustrated about CMA’s announcement. Canadian off road riders and racers of every discipline deserve better.

Tyler Medaglia wins the 2017 Bert Irwin Award as the top finishing Canadian at the 2017 International Six Days Enduro, ISDE
Congratulations to Tyler.
Unfortun See More

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Blair Sharpless just posted this, which gives a better understanding of why the decision was made - Blair is a very well respected former ISDE rider and was on our Team in 83, - As always there are two sides to every situation.
>Blair Sharpless I was talking with Derek Rockel about this last night and it was his decision to not go to in 2018. There are a lot good reasons not to. In fact many of the European teams don’t go to the south American isde because of logistics and cost. One of the biggest reasons for Derek is that is in November and he has to work. Derek has done a great job with the team and did not want to make the decision not to go but it was the only one that made sense. He is already looking ahead and working towards Portugal 2019.
If someone wanted to put together a team with a qualified manager and the the necessary financial support for this year. I am sure the CMA will do the required paper work.
Anyone got an extra month an 50 grand to spare.

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In health news, we are still struggling, I’m  afraid, with no real break through as yet - sleeping lots and at least getting some food ( mostly soup) - Sorry for the delay in getting back to customers.
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Dan Gurney who raced a variety of cars, including Formula One, has dies at age 86. - Dan also had a keen interest in Motorcycling and liked to watch Flt Track. - Another legend gone.
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There is no doubt that the current crop of young riders coming through the ranks in Spain are energizing the sport, but this is also happening in the UK. - The new Trial GP 2 World Champ is Iwan Roberts from Wales, and there have been other really good young lads appearing on the scene in recent years, however some of these have been lost to the more lucrative Enduro market.
Up in Yorkshire, Trials has long been a “Family affair” with the Lampkins and their cousins the Hemmingways. - Here is a pic of the latest  up & comers .
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Here are a couple of videos that may be of interest >>
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Wednesday January 17th 2018

January 17th, 2018

After spending most of the past week in bed with the flu - (worst I can recall) - We can now take email messages and orders. - However, it’s still going to be a few days before we are back up to speed. Very limited to the time I can spend on the computer.
During this time we have not been able to take phone calls, so if you left a message, please email and we will try to answer your questions.  - daverhodes@shaw.ca

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Checking on some of the news fro last weekend, we see that the XTrial in France brought at least a few surprises - namely James Dabill grabbing 3rd, which will make the Beta boss happy. - Not a good night for Gas Gas with the team failing to making the final.  - Adam Raga actually was leading after the qualifications, but as usual Tony Bou came out strong in the final.

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The Vernon crew who traveled to Texas all had a great time, with Malcolm Hett finishing 19th over the three day event - the Enduro was won by Cody Webb.
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Looking ahead to the weekend, it’s the Vancouver bike show, where Sam and Sean will put on stunt shows - we will watch for news and pics on this.

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Sunday January 14th 2018

January 14th, 2018

Sorry folks but we got hit pretty hard by the Flu bug over the weekend so no blog today - will catch up when I’m feeling better.

Saturday January 13th 2018

January 13th, 2018

We had another “Snow day” in the Valley yesterday - not that heavy, but it didn’t stop, so not sure what we will see through the window when it gets light.  Obviously when the weather is like this, most people are confined to watching TV - or working on their bikes, - (If they are lucky enough to have a heated garage).

There has been a thread on FB this week about fuels in the 2 strokes - while we are lucky in BC to have Ethanol free 94 octane from Chevron, other Provinces like Alberta, are not - at least so I thought, until somebody posted that Co-op gas ( supplied by Shell) is in fact Ethanol free.  - I thought I would pass this bit of info: on to our friends on the other sides of the  Rockies.   While Ethanol is OK in cars - it is really bad for the 2 smokers.

As most people know, Outlaw have been Distributing Optimol ( now called Opti) since 1987, and although we don’t travel anymore, we still supply it to a lot of people, and all our bikes go out with a free package to last a full season.  - Opti has a built in fuel stabilizer, so fuel can be mixed and stored without going bad, plus bikes and carbs, do not need to be drained for winter storage.  We sell the snowmobile injection oil in  45 gal drums to many Tour Operators.
The Optimol Factory is in Germany, and has been in operation since the 1920’s - the family owned business was sold to Castrol a few years ago.

While many riders are concerned about running lean mix ratios, Opti is designed for this, and all our Team bikes run 100-1, although we suggest most customers might want to mix at 80 -1, depending on the application.  (Ice Racing at very cold temperatures with wide open throttle  etc)
A common question that we have been asked by new customers over the years is ” How often do I have to fit new rings etc”  - My answer is that, we still have pistons in stock from 1994 - the first year we started selling Beta & Gas Gas.  - Unless the bike gets “thrown away” and the throttle sticks wide open - the chance of engine seizure is zero ( Now we have the tether switches on the Trials bikes this is less of an issue)
If anybody wants more info” on the Opti Lubricants, they can call me at (250) 545-6139

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Friday January 12th 2018

January 12th, 2018

NEWS from the DAKAR.

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Overall Ranking after Stage 5:

  1. Adrien Van Beveren (Yam) 14:37:40
  2. Kevin Benavides (Hon) +1:00
  3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) +1:14
  4. Joan Barreda (Hon) +7:33
  5. Xavier de Soultrait (Yam) +7:42
  6. Toby Price (KTM) +10:39
  7. Antoine Meo (KTM) +12:12
  8. Gerard Farres Guell (Yam) +15:24
  9. Pablo Quintanilla (Hus) +16:12
  10. Ricky Brabec (Hon) +25:48

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THE MOOSE MOUNTAIN STORY.

As the new guy in town - I was introduced to the Moose Mountain Cross Country Race, by my new Trials buddy Terry Porter, who convinced me in 1972 to ride this famous event that dated back to the 1950’s. - The stories of this race were almost mystical - and just to finish was considered to be an achievement.

Lining up on my 250 Sherpa T Bultaco Trials bike, along with around 150 odd other crazy guys - oh yes the start was in a  field of muskeg !!  - The shotgun went off ( something new to me) and away we went like the charge of the Light Brigade - It was like a scene from the movie “On Any Sunday”  -  within the first 300 yards, I found myself tangled up in the willows, with the stringy branches jammed between my brake pedal and shifter ( #1 lesson learned ) sweating and swearing, I got it free and carried on. - The only other thing I remember from this event, is getting lost, and meeting up with a guy by the name of Brian Hamilton, who was on a Husky ( very popular back then)  like myself, he had already had enough - and as I had seized the bike lightly - we decided to find our way back to camp. ( Sadly Brian was killed later on a street bike heading home from Laguna Seca)

Roll on 1973, and again I was in the line up - this time alongside Bob Sadownick, only to find that the fuel tap on my 325 Sherpa was leaking. - I was still trying to fix it when the gun went off, and was stuck behind about 100 riders by the time we came to the first almost impossible slippery muddy hill - bikes everywhere, so I just rode off to the side over all the dead fall and logs etc - passing a ton of riders on the way. - the next obstacle was a river crossing, where all the riders seemed to be just jumping off the bank and getting washed downstream   ! ! ! -

This didn’t seem like a great idea, so being a Trials rider - I went upstream a bit, and followed a sand bar down before making my exit on the other side ( much to the amazement of about twenty riders who were there with their bikes up-side-down pumping the water out)   - The race was two loops of 50 miles and I was lucky enough to finish 6th overall and 3rd open bike. - However I think only about ten riders finished -  it was that tough.

In 1974 I did the Moose on a TY 250 Yamaha - another tough grind, and finished I believe 19th - I didn’t ride it in 1975 but the 1976 event was memorable  - read on. > > >
Racing Cross Country back in 1976 - Moose Mountain Alberta - 170 riders on the line - shot gun start and 200 miles over two days.  My IT 400 is in the middle pointed by the arrow.

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I can still remember this race as if it were yesterday - I was on the new IT 400, and instead of paying attention on the start line, I was busy chatting to a couple of other riders, so when the Shotgun went off, I didn’t even have my goggles down

With most of the racers now ahead of me, I found myself behind Ex MX World Champion Jeff Smith, who was out West promoting Can Am - unlike the rest of the horde, who were all heading towards a narrow deer trail over to the left - Smithy was aiming his little  Can Am 175 ( Super rocket) straight at the extremely steep embankment that rose up from the river valley ( more like a cliff) - I elected to follow him, and recall another rider on a YZ 400 looping it ahead of us - I think it was only Smith and myself who took this line apart from this guy. - Anyway we reached the top and turned onto a trail that was simply a dust bowl, bikes everywhere ( and I still didn’t have my goggles down) - we must have passed 50 odd by taking this line.
After that things seemed to settle down a bit and I was soon on my own ( Smithy had long gone) - I had a good race with Dean McFadden from Lethbridge who was on a 250 Husky - but I  really don’t remember too much of the rest of the 2 day 200 mile race - I know there was another huge hill climb which I was told later- only 4 riders made it straight up & over the top - Danny Amor - Smith, myself and a guy from Calgary by the name of Bill Bruins Snr, who was also on a Yamaha 400 - The long blast down the rocky river bed was super fast and there was also one big muskeg hole that I got stuck in and had to get helped. ( Big bikes are heavy) - There were a lot of river crossings, and many riders drowned their bikes.
At the end of the race - Danny Amor had won on the KTM 400, Jeff Smith was 2nd on the Can Am 175 - but I can’t remember who was 3rd - 4th was a Kamloops rider on an IT 400 ( John ?)  - 5th was McFadden, and I ended up 6th overall and 3rd Open bike. - Not sure how many finished.- Maybe some of our readers know.

Although we came to call the IT 400 the big “Blue Whale ” - it was very reliable and would definitely go up hills, However in the tight stuff it was a handful - I think that the only other time I raced that bike was at the Hinton Crass Country - another Muskeg fiasco.
Here I am coming into the pits at the end of day #1 ( Pic by Babsy)

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( It looks like I have my eyes closed - likely falling asleep)
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Thursday January 11th 2018

January 11th, 2018

We are now approaching the middle of January, and that, for most folk, who are not “Winter” lovers, is a reason to “Perk up” a bit - In the snow-belt, cabin fever for Trials riders has been a factor now for at least a month, and the very cold temperatures, have kept a lot of people indoors.

Of course this is the reason the Promoters of the Motorcycle Shows, choose this month to try and encourage enthusiasts to visit the various  locations across the country, to get rid of the “Blues” and maybe buy a new bike.

The Edmonton Show is on this weekend, but attending this one will be a challenge for many as the temperature is supposed to dip down into the minus 20’s.
Some lucky guys & gals, head South at this time of the year, and a group from our area, have in fact made a 42 hour drive to Texas, to compete in the “Rev Limiter” enduro - quite the undertaking. - Local VOR club member Dave Chambers was the brains behind it, and with co-driver Chris Hrabb from Revy, towed a large trailer full of bikes to the Southern venue, where top riders like Cody Webb will also be racing this weekend - we are looking forward to seeing more pics and hearing the stories when they get back.

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Here is a great shot posted by Jamie McGregor from Ontario, showing how a bunch of the lads transported their bikes back in the day, reminds me of when I sold a Sherco to a guy from Saskatchewan - he picked it up from me at the Calgary show, and him and his buddies strapped it onto the roof of an old Caddy - It was very cold and unfortunately I didn’t get a pic. ( It was also dark in the parking lot) - That was when I used to help out providing bikes to the ATRA for their booth at the shows.

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More Beta News - Jonathan Richardson has joined  Team Bosi  to contest the Enduro series - Another very successful Trials rider, “Jonno” won the Scott Trial back in 2011 and has been a regular at both British Trials and enduro races.

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And how about this for a stunning photo ? - Taken by Moto-Journal  of France in 1983, while doing a test on the Beta, Fantic and Montesa Trials bikes. ( That would make an interesting read now)
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Wednesday January 10th 2018

January 10th, 2018

The Dakar Rally is always tough, certainly not for the faint of heart - the latest news has last years winner, Sam Sunderland from the UK, retiring from the event after leading for the first three days. - A bad crash in the dunes has left him with a badly bruised back. - Aussie Toby Price is still going well as is Super broad Laia Sanz.
Here is a great shot, showing how close the choppers get to the action.
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We saw this pic of Andrew Christiansen, posted on FB -It shows him flying the Gasser at one of the Vernon races a couple of years ago - Andrew who now rides a Yamaha, is a prime mover in the local Off road scene, having been President of the Vernon based Club, and also the main man behind the Silver Star event. ( We even had him out on the Trials bikes last year when we were looking at doing something at Silver Star)

Outlaw sold Gassers from 1993 until 2005 - a ton of Trials bikes and set up a few dealers with the Enduro bikes to help out Don Clark of Mountain MC.
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Like most people these days, I check out the social media for information - but sometimes wonder which wrong button I pressed, in order to get all the latest Political BS - from Spain - Is it because I am a “Friend” who happens to sell Spanish bikes ?  We are not interested in how they work out their differences, as long as it doesn’t effect the Trials bike market.
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Although this blog is made up primarily of Trials news - we do like to post general stuff from all the other types of motorcycle competitions, plus the odd bit of info on what is happening in the Industry, and details on any upcoming legislation.  - It appears that this last point regarding the proposed shutting down of all Crown Land in Alberta was a hot Topic at the Calgary Motorcycle show last weekend, as it very well should be. - It’s an absolute outrage what is happening in that Province under the NDP Government.

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Here is a pic I took back in 1966 when they were building the Calgary Tower -  ( the original got torn a bit hence the white line)

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Check out this Enduro video - #94 Mr Super Smooth.  https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2F0nYE-0ZxuEs&h=ATOrI23TPCPPTJIXyUrBexYTNEV6qmZcP2Vlxrv-0fG05wKFC81_dpGIxDd91d41XEmOQRRr09LmeDjaiXEBQ_5bZ6uJAI_87szeb1F4JMs8IDMWDFECiv0OFA6xZFjx5obtbsny-qyQa-IEvl9Sx-gkOGpJe8x_HFmYN9UwSct_nV0bmbi1FuBPjaF22MhHk8jQLvjAio_vaNqjvTVKMoRQX44TdkqvRiBG96rcwlJSHQCsOqLe4B9VgnZlhX2FpVqMKuqtHBnUkURoZmz0IaW13q_JwXbj2srf4hsWRanaTA