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Author Topic: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!  (Read 1732 times)

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Offline Drawn

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2018, 09:34 AM »
Good to see you finally got back out on the bike, appears the weather might finally start playing nice.
The new plate is pretty cool, always enjoy seeing something different to the norm being run.

Don't forget, any questions in regards to skills just ask.
Might be a bit hard to get an easy answer back to you but will definately try (ie find pictures to give you an example).
The best advice i can give you though is, if you can get video of yourself it will help you analyse what you re doing and what you need to change. It might not give you the 1 on 1 tuition of having a coach there but itll be a step for you to see what you are doing.

And lastly, Keep having fun.

Online Mikku

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« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2018, 05:01 AM »
Thanks mate! Appreciate the offer too. You're right though, a video would definitely enable me to see what I'm doing (wrong), though the thought reminds me of my snowboard instructor's course when they film you riding down the slope then take apart your riding style! :'(

& I need to keep everything in perspective too. I want to get better results but need to balance that desire with the whole idea of having fun, which I still am despite the slightly negative tone of my last post! :daumenhoch:
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From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2018, 04:29 PM »
Have had a few days off work this week, so after a couple of long bike rides, I put the Crupi in its bike bag today and went to the Kawaguchi track for a practice session. It was the first time there this year and I had quite a productive day, spending a lot of time practising the big doubles just after the start hill (my favourite part of the track) and also the final rhythm section, where I managed to manual a couple of the smaller jumps. Well, I think that was what I was doing as I can't manual for toffee on a flat surface but was somehow able to keep the front wheel up between the rollers. Kind of!! Anyway, it was good to get back on track and a useful workout as I plan to enter the next race there at the beginning of June. I'll therefore head back there before then for another practice but in the meantime I'm racing again at Midoriyama on the 20th, with an official practice session there next Sunday. :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 02:40 PM by Mikku »
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Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2018, 11:11 AM »
Didnít make it to the Midoriyama practice session yesterday. I planned to but rain was forecast, so I decided that it wasnít worth all the hassle of getting there and back for what was likely to be an hour or so of practice before the rain arrived. Bloody annoying as I could really do with the track time before this Sundayís race but such is life. Or at least life without a car, which would have solved the transport difficulties. On that note the rental carís booked for this weekend but Iím also on the lookout for something more permanent, so hopefully track access will become easier in the near future! :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 12:32 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2018, 02:34 PM »
Had a fun race day back at Midoriyama on Sunday. There were 7 of us on the gate, which I think was the largest class of the day. First moto I was drawn in lane 1 and managed to get away in front of the guy in 2 and held my line through the first berm, as shown in the sequence of three pics below. He squeezed past me later then fell, as did another rider, so I ended up in fifth. The second moto I didn't get away so well and finished 7th. The final moto was much more interesting! I got away ok but was squeezed from either side and had to back off going into the first berm. Those 2 riders then tangled with each other and another in front of me. With nowhere else to go I headed high and wide to avoid (and hopefully overtake) them but soon ran out of space and tagged one of the bikes. None of us fell but we'd all lost speed, so it was then a sprint back up to race speed which I lost! It was bloody good fun though!! :daumenhoch:

Next race will hopefully in a fortnight's time at Kawaguchi. Before then I really need to do some stamina training as my performance noticeably deteriorates moto by moto!! ::)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 10:58 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2018, 01:08 AM »
The weather's been a bit iffy this week but it's looking like tomorrow's race at Kawaguchi is on! :daumenhoch:

I haven't been out on the bike much since last my last post, but plan to do some sprint training this afternoon before I get the Crupi bagged up ready for it's 90-minute, early morning train ride! I normally hire a car for Midoriyama races but there's a decent-enough rail connection up to Kawaguchi, so I always let the train (and my back) take the strain! Race report to follow in due course! :slayer:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Offline factory pilot

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2018, 08:41 AM »
Love this mate ... keep it coming bro fistblump
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Online Mikku

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« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2018, 01:05 PM »
Cheers Ant! Had another fun day at the races today. Got an earlier-than-planned train, which made things a bit more relaxing when I arrived at Kawaguchi and I managed to squeeze in a good 20 minutes worth of track time before the 9am registration. After signing up I also did about half a dozen gates during official practice. :daumenhoch:

The over-30s class tuned out to be the most popular of the day, with 8 riders. Since Kawaguchi has a 6-man gate, that meant 2 separate groups of 4, with the first 3 from each going through to the main. I had a day long battle for 3rd place in my half of the class. In the first moto I got away third but ran wide and slipped down to fourth, which I couldn't get back. Bloody annoying as I felt I had the legs of the 3rd-placed guy. In the second moto I was in lane 6 and entered the first turn side-by-side with the same guy but he had the inside line and I couldn't pass him. One of the good things about the Kawaguchi track is that it's small and fast but that means that there's not a lot of space or time to do much overtaking.

Starting the final moto from lane 2, I got away ok but just got squeezed out of third going through the first turn. I was determined not to give up without a fight and gave it some wellie, starting to gain on the two ahead of me. I had the speed but couldn't pass them, and had to back off at one stage to avoid hitting the 3rd-placed guy.  So I ended up finishing fourth in all 3 motos and therefore missed out on the main. Disappointing but still bloody good fun, since unlike Midoriyama where I always run out of steam well before the finish line, my body just about holds out for the whole of the Kawaguchi track, meaning that I'm more in with a shout of getting a result there. It's also bloody fast! :slayer:

Reflecting on the day during the 90-minute train ride home, I know that half of my problem is that flippin' first turn. I call it a turn rather than a berm as only the outer part is banked. It's not a very good view but you can see it in the 4th pic below, in the background behind the gorilla! This is the turn where I has my first fall on the Crupi last year and is often a bit damp there. The entry is also just after the big doubles, so you're carrying quite a bit of speed into it and because it's not very banked it's easy to slide out. As a result, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not so confident going through it and, being a left-hander, I don't want to go down and aggravate my left shoulder. It's definitely (yet) another case of mind over matter, so I just need to man up and deal with it! I also chose to watch the mains from just after the doubles, which gave me a good view of the lines being taken by riders going through turn one, and I could definitely see people taking putting the power down earlier than me. The next Kawaguchi race is not until September, so I'll try to work on improving both my confidence and speed though that corner during some practice sessions.

Next weekend it's back to Midoriyama for an official practice day ahead of the following weekend's race there. My back's feeling bloody sore after today's fun and games (including a post race meeting practice session where I did another dozen or so gates), so hopefully it has loosened up a little bit by then! :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 03:00 PM by Mikku »
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From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Offline oldschoolace

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2018, 06:16 PM »
Grest stuff Mick, keep it up  :daumenhoch:
Interested to know how much difference you think your race bike makes to some more old school like your green free agent?

(love the idea of you progressing through the ranks on something a little older  ;) )
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Online Mikku

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« Reply #34 on: June 04, 2018, 12:58 AM »
Thanks Clint! Ignoring the fact that the Free Agent is no longer on my side of the world, Iíd say the bikes are like chalk and cheese! The Crupiís so light and roomy that when I get back on an old school bike, like I did with Dan for our Tokyo night ride, it feels like a world apart. Which I guess it is in terms of technology. That said, I took another new school Pro XL bike (albeit with a 21Ē tt compared to the Crupiís 21.5Ē) around Midoriyama and it felt so short and less confidence-inspiring than mine, so maybe itís a size/geo issue rather than a technological one. Perhaps I should give the Laserlite itís Japanese race debut one day!! :daumenhoch:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 02:53 AM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Offline Drawn

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2018, 08:35 AM »
Nice work out there.
Sounds like your training and practicing is starting to pay off by being up with the others on the track, which is awesome.

There is a certainly a difference with the old school to new school bikes.
Brakes being one haha (its great to be able to stop).
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Online Mikku

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« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2018, 01:51 PM »
Thanks man! Yeah, it's great to be mixing it with the other riders, albeit at the back of the pack. The only downside is that instead of focussing on technique, when I'm on track all I'm thinking about is how to overtake the bugger in front or keep ahead of the guy breathing down my neck! ;D

I love my old school bikes, as they're the bikes I grew up riding and dreaming about as a kid but I have to say that I flippin' love riding the Crupi! On or off track it just feels great! :smitten:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Offline oldtired

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2018, 01:57 PM »
 :4_17_5:  top stuff Mick ,  sounds like you'll soon be  banging elbows in the pack ,   great report that.
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Online Mikku

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« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2018, 02:32 PM »
Cheers Jim! Hopefully my elbow pads will give me some extra clout in the pack! :daumenhoch:

So this week saw the official start of the rainy season, which means a few weeks of hot and humid weather interspersed with heavy downpours. This is already having an effect with tomorrow's practice session being cancelled due to an approaching typhoon!! Tbh, I'm not too disappointed as my back's been giving me jip all week, so I could do with not riding tomorrow. However, hopefully both the weather and my back will improve in time for next Sunday's race. :D
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 10:04 PM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2018, 09:58 AM »
We've had a couple of damp days, with on and off rain and colder temps, but it's now 6pm on Saturday evening here and I haven't received one of those "Sorry! Event Cancelled!" emails, so I guess I'm racing tomorrow!! Time to dust down the bike and start packing! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2018, 02:13 AM »
Morning from a muddy Midoriyama!! Am definitely riding with the Maxxis Holy Roller on the front today! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2018, 03:24 PM »
Glad I ran with the Holy Roller on Sunday because a couple of days worth of rain had made track conditions fairly sketchy early on, and I had a big moment during a practice run despite the extra grip up front! The warm weather improved things as the day wore on, with a dry, smoother line appearing on the straights, though the berms remained damp throughout the day. More on that below!

So there were 5 riders in my class, with the other 4 being regular Midoriyama riders and unfortunately, all regularly faster than me! That ultimately proved to be the case, though I gave it a bloody good shot. In 2 motos I was battling for 4th place going into the first berm but lost out both times. I had the inside line but wasnít far enough in front to cut them off. With the inside line still damp, nor could I turn in sharply, therefore I had to back off to avoid t-boning the other guy. That meant they were able to keep their speed and overtake me around the outside, with me slotting in behind them. This happened twice (with different riders) and tbh, Iím not sure what I could have done differently! Any advice would be gratefully received!!

In the meantime, here are some photos from what Iíve just realised was my 5th race of the season. Doesnít time fly!! :daumenhoch:
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From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2018, 02:00 AM »
With apologies for the quality of my diagram, below is what I was referring to above, if you follow my drift! ::)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 02:02 AM by Mikku »
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From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Offline Drawn

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Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2018, 10:42 PM »
couple of options you have.
-go full old school foot out flat out (they wont be expecting it)
-get a bit of mongrel into you and stand your ground, elbows out etc and force the right of way.
-change the way you might approach the corners and the lines you may want to take.

The last one does require faith in your equipment and to over time learn corners and how you can carve them, along with speeds you need to be able to carry in and out to either benefit or know what youll have to implement on the next straigthts (eg less speed youll have to know where you can get on the cranks as much as possible).

Ill give an example in your scenario. In practice youve hit that 1st corner from a whole range of angles and sides of the track to know the conditions. You are side by side with the other guy, you have the inside but he is just creeping away a little bit near the end of straight #1. You know from his style he generally will want to rail the berm to maintain speed. you can either try tuck in behind him and follow with the same speed or you could always lean over a bit more and take a tighter line in the first berm to be able to come up under him about 3/4 the way round. In such a situation the outside rider will normally take a bit of evasive action and loose a bit of speed and if you've done it right you can keep going hopefully in front.

Or for example, youve got a great gate start and are infront for half the 1st straight, dont be affraid to move over in their direction and squeeze them out thus you having the advantage going into the first corner.
If you watched worlds you may have seen a few younger riders going from say gate 1 to lane 4 by the bottom of the hill for that exact reason.

Its all a bit of racecraft in the end. I missed making it to the national titles semi final on countback because the last corner i didnt manage to hold out the one guy i needed to be infront of. Carved in super tight and took a foot off (more due to now being a habit, and can very easily get it back on). Only thing i left the outside of the track with just enough for him to squeeze through and he took the win by 0.021 seconds. (0.01s and it would go to a camera review)
Learnt from it and put that into the memory bank for next time.
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Online Mikku

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« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2018, 01:14 PM »
Mate, thanks so much for that. I've already had a go at the first of those 3 options and so far at least, it hasn't worked as I lose too much momentum. Since I'm not really an elbows kind of guy, that leaves option 3! Interestingly, when I was in staging on Sunday I watched a quick young kid starting from lane 7. He got the holeshot then cut right across about 3 lanes to get a better line into the first berm. I'm not that fast out of the gate but could definitely try to think more strategically about where I am in relation to my rivals as I approach the berm. :daumenhoch:


I have to admit that I'm enjoying the challenge of improving my racecraft. Every race throws up something new to add to the list of things to work on! The problem is trying to keep all those plates spinning without letting one fall! :D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #45 on: July 21, 2018, 07:58 AM »
The Midoriyama race calendar has been chopped and changed recently due to filming near the track, but the next race is tomorrow! :daumenhoch: The only problem with that is weíre now smack, bang in the middle of a bloody gert heatwave. Itís been around 35 degrees every day this week, with stifling humidity to boot, and tomorrowís forecast is 36-37 degrees!! I was sweating like a pig after just 5 minutes on the bike this morning, when I went out for a gentle ride wearing shorts and t-shirt. In full racegear and a full-face helmet Iím going to fry, and thatís before I think about racing! Avoiding dehydration and heatstroke rather than honing my racecraft will therefore take precedence tomorrow! :D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2018, 02:01 AM »
Good morning from an already sweltering Midoriyama where the race has just been cancelled on safety grounds. Itís already 34 degrees and with it set to get hotter through the day, the organisers and site owners decided that itís too risky to race today. Given that Japan has already seen a number of fatalities this week due to heatstroke, thatís fair enough. I think thereís going to be a practice session instead, so since Iím already here, I may as well stay to work on my gates! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2018, 02:41 AM »
Well that was an interesting Sunday! Following the race cancellation the organisers ran a practice session but man, was it hot. After a couple of slow, sighting laps to warm me up, literally, I had a blast round the track and nearly collapsed! The energy just sapped from my legs. I stopped, rehydrated then had another go, doing my normal routine of practising one part of the track at a time but again, simply didn't have the energy to keep going. The gate practice didn't go much better. I managed three gates before my body cried enough, and by the time I got back to my car, I was feeling light-headed and had to sit down and guzzle my way through a litre of water. Thumbs down

Although I was initially disappointed by the race cancellation, man it was the right call, otherwise the medical staff would have had a busy day for sure, if only to deal with me!! :D On the bright side, I did manage to take some cool pics of the gate session, so will post those later. In the meantime, here are a few miscellaneous ones.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 05:14 AM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2018, 06:33 AM »
Whilst I was rehydrating from my aborted practice session, I took some gate footage including some shots of one of the elite riders. Bloody good he is too! :bow:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

Online Mikku

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« Reply #49 on: August 20, 2018, 11:06 PM »
It's been a while since I reported in, mainly because there's been no racing but also because I'm in the middle of moving. This is not only a move of house but a move of prefecture (county), which is going to take me far away from Midoriyama! All is not lost because my other half has ongoing work and family commitments in Tokyo, so I can just about justify/squeeze in a monthly visit and therefore race at Midoriyama or Kawaguchi, at least for the rest of the season. I will also need to find tracks nearer to my new place in time for next year!! :daumenhoch:

Back to the here and now, this Sunday sees the rescheduled Midoriyama race, so yesterday I dusted down the Crupi and went out for a gentle ride to blow away the cobwebs. The plan is to ramp up the riding/training routine this week and hopefully be in some sort of race shape for Sunday. This is all subject to the weather, with Japan now in the middle of the typhoon season! Never a dull day here! :D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=182215.msg1828811#msg1828811
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old guy on the Crupi!! :D

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