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  1. #1
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    I've seen ever manner of thread about cyclists obligation to follow the rules of the road- and I generally do my part. I won't unclip and put my foot down at every stop sign, but I don't run reds unless it is 6am and no one is around... I don't pass on the right at red lights if the road is too narrow for cars to easily repass me when the lights change, I slow almost to a stop for stop signs...

    I also see drivers speeding- everywhere I look... cars are truly no better at following the rules of the road.

    I'm here to assert that no matter how good an example that ALL CYCLISTS could possibly set, some motorists will still hate us. The only thing that would change is we could be even more indignant at the crap we put up with from time to time (and reality is that the vast majority of drivers are very curteous). I don't hold this up as an excuse to ignore the law... I'm just stating a sad fact.

    I find the argument that scofflaw bicyclists "bring it upon themselves" to be truly disingenous... I commute 40 miles round trip in an urban environment- and I "always" see a few vehicles blowing through the just-changed-to-red lights... see vehicles roll through stop signs- often as "bad" as bikes, and when I actually drive, I see incidents bordering on road rage almost daily. The fact of the matter is that the roads are clogged with motorized vehicles- most people encounter ZERO bicyclists when they drive to work. Bikes are simply easy targets for bully drivers...

    ...there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING cyclists can do that would please these motorists. But we sit here pissing in the wind arguing about the whys and wherefores and should'ves and could'ves.... but in the end, does it really matter?

    The one time I had a fantasy about having a polite, civilized conversation at a red light with a bully motorist who just buzzed me- no profanity on my part, no gestures, no nothing- was met with extreme hostility on his part- in front of his poor wife. There is no reasoning with these people. The only acceptable solution (for them) is if we stay off the road... and that aint happening.

  2. #2
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    I'm here to assert that no matter how good an example that ALL CYCLISTS could possibly set, some motorists will still hate us.
    I will invoke the 10 percent rule...which will really tick off some of the VC and other advocacy snobs I have run across in here. Basically no matter what you do, what laws you pass, what educational programs you offer, etc. etc. etc. - 10% of the people won't get with the program. Substitute your own percentage as you see fit, 10% comes from my years in the Marines, where I was first introduced to the concept and saw it played out over and over again.

    Does that mean we don't try to improve things? Of course not. It just means that we are realists and we know that the ultimate responsibility for looking out for our own safety rests with us, not the other folks. Expect the worst, hope for the best and rely on your own skills, experience and awareness of your surroundings to proactively avoid situations that will put you at risk, and react to those 'perfect storms' that you cannot prevent. I like to call it planning for Murphy's law.

    Now let's sit back and wait for the usual suspects to whine, nitpick and be their normal anal selves.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Drive the Bicycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    ...some motorists will still hate us... There is no reasoning with these people.
    --- Seems to me that what you describe is not a motorist/bicyclist problem but a large scale MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM. Hateful people seem determined to target some group. The targeted group may be Jews, or Blacks, or Whites, or Cops, or Doctors, or Women, or Cyclists, or... fill in the blank. This kind of hate has been a plague to humanity for centuries and is a mental illness. As responsible cyclists, we have to learn the coping and survival mechanisms that the other groups have had to learn, maintain our dignity and carry on. Hateful bigots/motorists will be with us forever and one of our solutions to deal with them is this very Bike Forums where we can exchange useful information and provide mutual support. Another strategy is to demand legislation that will protect our rights.
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

  4. #4
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Does that mean we don't try to improve things? Of course not. It just means that we are realists and we know that the ultimate responsibility for looking out for our own safety rests with us, not the other folks. Expect the worst, hope for the best and rely on your own skills, experience and awareness of your surroundings to proactively avoid situations that will put you at risk, and react to those 'perfect storms' that you cannot prevent. I like to call it planning for Murphy's law.

    Now let's sit back and wait for the usual suspects to whine, nitpick and be their normal anal selves.
    In the end thats the only thing you can do. Use what skills you have use xamples from various schools of thought including vc and adapt them to your own skills areas you live in etc.

    Change what you can accept what you can not and react to it. If you like the ideas of vc then pratice them but be ready to adapt them or toss them out the window in some cases. Know a bad stretch of road and a mup is near by that will by pass it use it a alternate road route thats not quite as enjoyable to ride because its ruffer terrain has a bigger hill etc but is safer for your life use it. Unless cyclists could be 100% seperated from cars trucks etc we will always have to face the fact that no matter what brand of cycling we use it wont protect us 100%.Personaly i doubt we will ever in any of our life times see what is needed to keep us completly seperate from cars trucks etc. Hell in some cases it would mean taring down entire cities to do it. Its just not going to happen.

    Theres no easy answer not bike lanes not drivers ed and not vc. Not even a combo of it all.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    10% ???? Wow, I guess things are improving already !!!!!

  6. #6
    lws
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    Unless cyclists could be 100% seperated from cars trucks etc we will always have to face the fact that no matter what brand of cycling we use it wont protect us 100%.
    See, here's the thing. I know that 100% separation won't protect you, either.

  7. #7
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lws
    See, here's the thing. I know that 100% separation won't protect you, either.
    I hear that! Gonna have to separate us from everyone else too, peds, pets and even other cyclists!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lws
    See, here's the thing. I know that 100% separation won't protect you, either.
    From cars it sure will. Lets see a car get by a steel baricade. Idiot cyclists going the wrong way on the path are a diffrent matter. Any part of a population will have its idiots. Id rather be slamed in to by 200 pounds at 25 mph than 2 tons at 25. Sure i could die from ithe but im much more likly to die from the 2 tons of the 200 pounds.

    Oh heres one for you on my last ride at silver creek i ran over some ladys 2 dog leashes the ones with like 30 feet of thin nylon cord. She had them fully extended and locked out. I gave here a nice rules and regulations book after the fact . Im just glad the dogs were not big dogs with the lead tought. Id never have seen that nylon cord against the black top and got yanked off my bike from it. So yeh no matter where you ride theres dangers. I mean come on you could be hit by a 30 pound chunk of airplane toilet water that froze and fell from a plame (seen that on the new a while back where it fell from a plane and put a huge hole in some ones house.)

    No activity will ever be 100% safe thats a given. All we can hope for is to be as safe as is possible. I mean come on theres been people who have been hit from cast of from meteor impacks in their own back yards or had their cars completly destroyed from a full on impact. People have had train wheels flying off the train hitting their cars houses. And had small planes crash in to their house. And the list goes on and on.

    Life is about minimizing risks hopeing for the best planning for the worst. Cycling is no diffrent than any other activity or life in general.

    You want to minimize your risks and plan for the wort. 100% seperation of bikes and cars would while impossible at this point in time would minimize the risks. But as i said that is something we can not acheive. But there are things that can be done to leason our risks. Cycling techniques cycling gear drivers ed bike lanes better enforcement of laws etc.

    What can we as cyclists do to promtoe safe driving around cyclists?
    Some might say large organised rides. But what about things like block meetings and block parties or even larger parties? These would surely atract some of the less than respectful motorists. Maybe even some you may have had run ins with. And allow you to talk to them in a friendly atmosphere. Ive found that in many cases a face to face with some one whos a jerk in one condition is more willing to listen in another.

    In the end its not one little thing that will start the change its lots of little things that add up. Some will never change their ways unless they are some how adversly effected by their own actions. I doubt the driver in the white van will every listen to reason (the white van is a jerk whos tried his best to cause me to crash twice and has done the same to 3 other cyclists causeing one to ruin both rims of his bike and other minor damage and cost him 6 stiches as well). This guy is some one who might take the hint of getting his rear end beat to a pulp. But teen agers are a difrent matter. They just like to hassle us to impress their friends.Get them when they are outside of their car around alot of other people and you can likly change their attitude for the better. Hell maybe to the point of gettign them in to rideing. Some friends of mine in high school were always teasing me about riding a bike (in a generaly friendly manner) Till one day they seen my calves toward the end of school year. They all ended up takeing up cycling them selves. Id say the rest of that season we put about 800 miles in togather. Back then i was riding a old beater but decent savoy mtb and my 73 raleigh GP.

    Teen agers are always generaly easy to get to change the way they react to cyclists. Couple teens were razing me when i was stopped one day at a light i said i bet i can lift 3 x the amount you can with your legs and laughed as did they. They then asked how many miles i was going to be riding i told them about 35 to 40 total for the day. They then asked other questions about cycling such as how much it costs to get a decent bike and how much the upkeep is per year.
    Gave them a couple buiss cards for LBSs that they tucked in to their wallets.
    In less than 4 minutes i changed their attitudes towards cycling maybe even got them in to cycling.

    Thats part of what advocacy is all about. Its about changing other non cyclists attitudes towards cycling. In some cases it takes alot of work n other cases a 4 minute stop lite conversation is all it takes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Filtersweep, I am with you buddy. Hell the cagers seem to hate each other! Recently I have noticed that I actually get the repect of motorists, when I am traveling in the most bike-unfriendly parts of my commute. I get the way to go biker! When I am on a ramp that dumps me onto the left lane, with cars that soon merge in from the right lane. Bad bike behaviors dont improve or make matters worse with the cagers. The accident rates have been dropping, but I dont believe it is because of better cycist's behavior. I think that some cyclists are embarrassed that they do something where some folks act poorly. Likely this is only selective noticing-- motorists dont notice when a biker does something good only bad. It is a lawmakers excuse to blame the light-blowers for not working towards legislation that would improve cycling.

  10. #10
    lws
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    Nova, I agree with most of what you said about talking to people. Props for your chat with the carload of teens. I especially agree with the statement that "You want to minimize your risks and plan for the wort." Mmm. beer.

    But where we part ways is this statement:
    100% seperation of bikes and cars would while impossible at this point in time would minimize the risks.
    ...
    Id rather be slamed in to by 200 pounds at 25 mph than 2 tons at 25. Sure i could die from ithe but im much more likly to die from the 2 tons of the 200 pounds.
    Yes, I'd rather be hit by 200 pounds than 2000, but the matter at issue is not just "if" but "how often".
    I contend that the frequency of bike/bike and bike/ped collisions is higher on crowded sidepaths than the frequency of bike/bike-ped-car collisions on roadways.

    I've been hit by a cyclist at 25 mph, twice. I've never been hit by a car at 25 mph. Just my personal anecdotes, and maybe it's no good for risk analysis, but I have fewer conflicts on the roads than I do on the paths.

    I definitely do agree that 100% separation is impossible at this point in time, and furthermore, that it always will be impossible.

  11. #11
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    I also see drivers speeding- everywhere I look... cars are truly no better at following the rules of the road.
    It's true, but the consequence of speeding isn't the same as running a stop sign or a red light. And bicycle are smaller, quieter, with less powerful lights at night (if they have any), in smaller numbers, basically harder to see, so when one "comes out of nowhere" and runs a stop sign or red light, the consequence can be disatrous. I've seen two car-bike near-collision in the last week. One time, the cyclist just went through the red light on a busy boulevard and the second time, the cyclist was riding on the sidewalk against traffic, with no lights and didn't even slow down for the stop sign. The driver was turning left and almost hit it. Granted, the driver's stop was less than stellar but if the cyclist had been following the rules of the road, it wouldn't have happened.

    I've never heard a driver say bikes don't belong on the road, or just being hateful. But I hear the running stops and red lights complain all the time.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  12. #12
    mizu no kokoro yama's Avatar
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    Here it seems to be a question of the season, how agressive drivers are towards me. In the months from April till late September there are many people cycling who seem not to know even the simplest rules. They even annoy me as cyclist, so I can understand why many drivers are upset. When it gets colder, these cyclists dissappear from the streets, and I nearly never get honked at.

    Cyclists break rules like drivers break rules. Due to the different natures of the vehicles, the rules being broken differ. It's just a question of selective awareness.

  13. #13
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L
    It's true, but the consequence of speeding isn't the same as running a stop sign or a red light. And bicycle are smaller, quieter, with less powerful lights at night (if they have any), in smaller numbers, basically harder to see, so when one "comes out of nowhere" and runs a stop sign or red light, the consequence can be disatrous. I've seen two car-bike near-collision in the last week. One time, the cyclist just went through the red light on a busy boulevard and the second time, the cyclist was riding on the sidewalk against traffic, with no lights and didn't even slow down for the stop sign. The driver was turning left and almost hit it. Granted, the driver's stop was less than stellar but if the cyclist had been following the rules of the road, it wouldn't have happened.

    I've never heard a driver say bikes don't belong on the road, or just being hateful. But I hear the running stops and red lights complain all the time.

    I'm not talking about wearing all black, riding with no lights at night, and running lights/stop signs (OK- I don't need to be that extreme). Most bikes that I've seen run reds do so after making sure the intersection is clear- not that I do that or advocate doing so...

    You are lucky if you've never heard a driver tell you that you belong on the sidewalk... I've heard it at least a dozen times- as I was biking.

  14. #14
    mizu no kokoro yama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    You are lucky if you've never heard a driver tell you that you belong on the sidewalk... I've heard it at least a dozen times- as I was biking.
    And these motorists also cycle on the sidewalk, when it happens that they get on a bike.

    I was going down a busy street without bikelane or -path, where everybody except me was cycling illegaly on the sidewalk. At a red light, a driver behind me got out of the car, walked up to me and yelled: "You have to use the bikepath, idiot!" I tried to explain, but he refused to listen turned around and got back to his car. Bingo! One more motorist hating bicylists.

  15. #15
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I get the same thing on the Valley Parkway, which is part of Cleveland's Emerald Necklace. The MUP is the width of an entire lane of the parkway and drivers sometimes get pissed when having to pass cyclists on who ride the road. The 'Share the Road' signs don't give them a clue, and frankly I can see why they think we are in the wrong, since there is a perfectly good MUP right there next to the road. To the friendlier folks, I usually explain that Ohio law designates bicycles as vehicles and that riding the MUP, among the peds, pets, rollerbladers, etc, is like playing dodge-ems, not to mention the wet leaves that litter the MUP in the fall. To the jerks, I just stay that the law allows me to be there, and if they want me to pull out my badge and recite the law to them, they are gonna have a bad day. IMHO having paved MUPs that parallel the roadways just confuses everyone. Maybe if they placed speed limit signs on the MUP, we could state that we have to use the road because we ride much faster than the MUP speed limit?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  16. #16
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L
    I've never heard a driver say bikes don't belong on the road, or just being hateful. But I hear the running stops and red lights complain all the time.
    I hear "get off the road ass hole" far far to often. It doesnt matter where im at in the lane. Hell i pulled up on to a side walk when i busted a derailer cable and popped my chain and had a driver scream that at me. He wasnt even any where near me at the time. I thought that was pretty funny that he yelled at me and i wasnt even on the road or in motion. He seen a cyclist and obviously yelled what he has a 100 other times.

    Theres far to many drivers who asume they are the only ones who belong on the road. Fact is these drivers are the ones who dont belong on the road. They are far to wrapped up in their own little world to give a crap about others. Some of it is laws and politics causeing drivers to beleive bikes dont belong on the streets part is parents who tell their kids to stay on the side walk/off the road and they then grow up beleiveing bikes dont belong on the road.

    Better roads and road conditions can help. On foresters site he mentions makeing the far right lane wider with out bike lanes by a bike lane width or less (personaly i think a full width or width pluss is better) would be far better than bike lanes. tend to agree with this. This would allow us more space to remain safe even when we dont take the lane. Im sure most here drive at least some of the time. Next time your out driving look at your position in your lane. Youll notice that you tend to center your self there. Now by increaseing the right lanes width by a bike lane width or more you will still tend to do this. This is how you was tought to do and told to do so its now a habbit. By a motorists own nature they will make room for a cyclist on ither side if the lanes are wide.

    Now with these wide lanes what a cyclist could do is take far left of the far right lane to go strait and even make a left turn (if you cant get a spot at the red light) and far right of the far right lane for right turns. I know of one intersection in my area that is already plenty wide enough to do this and i do it all the time. For those in my general area take a ride or drive out to wooster road and 31st street intersection and look at the right lane heading towards jhonson road. Another is on center road between s cleve mass and south main.

    Ive never had troubles getting in to far right or far left of the right turn/strait lane on wooster road at the stop light. Some times there will be cars that are crowding the space a bit so i just take a spot behind them till i can get over.

    I wish they would make the lanes here wider on all the roads would be alot less harrassing motorists then i think......

  17. #17
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I will invoke the 10 percent rule...which will really tick off some of the VC and other advocacy snobs I have run across in here. Basically no matter what you do, what laws you pass, what educational programs you offer, etc. etc. etc. - 10% of the people won't get with the program. Substitute your own percentage as you see fit, 10% comes from my years in the Marines, where I was first introduced to the concept and saw it played out over and over again.

    Does that mean we don't try to improve things? Of course not. It just means that we are realists and we know that the ultimate responsibility for looking out for our own safety rests with us, not the other folks. Expect the worst, hope for the best and rely on your own skills, experience and awareness of your surroundings to proactively avoid situations that will put you at risk, and react to those 'perfect storms' that you cannot prevent. I like to call it planning for Murphy's law.

    Now let's sit back and wait for the usual suspects to whine, nitpick and be their normal anal selves
    .

  18. #18
    lws
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    You are lucky if you've never heard a driver tell you that you belong on the sidewalk... I've heard it at least a dozen times- as I was biking.
    I've never been told that I belong on the sidewalk. I have been told that "there's a bike lane, you have to use it" when I chased down a woman who had leaned on the horn as she passed me recklessly on a double-solid line in a blind curve, just in front of a school bus of kids, in a 25-mph zone in which I was riding 25 mph, next to the bike lane which was full of broken limbs and other debris. That bike lane has done me more harm than good.

    I have also been told that I wasn't "sharing the road" as the signs command -- on a four-lane surface street. So I'm not a big fan of "share the road" signs either. I rank them right alongside the signs that read "This is a crime watch community. All suspicious activity is reported to the police."

  19. #19
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    +1
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lws
    I've never been told that I belong on the sidewalk. I have been told that "there's a bike lane, you have to use it" when I chased down a woman who had leaned on the horn as she passed me recklessly on a double-solid line in a blind curve, just in front of a school bus of kids, in a 25-mph zone in which I was riding 25 mph, next to the bike lane which was full of broken limbs and other debris. That bike lane has done me more harm than good.

    I have also been told that I wasn't "sharing the road" as the signs command -- on a four-lane surface street. So I'm not a big fan of "share the road" signs either. I rank them right alongside the signs that read "This is a crime watch community. All suspicious activity is reported to the police."

    Hey now dont say the bike lane doesnt help your...... After all if not for the bike lane those limbs glass etc would be right where you ride

  21. #21
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    I also see drivers speeding- everywhere I look... cars are truly no better at following the rules of the road.
    If bikes could speed, they would too. People are people.

  22. #22
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I get the same thing on the Valley Parkway, which is part of Cleveland's Emerald Necklace. The MUP is the width of an entire lane of the parkway and drivers sometimes get pissed when having to pass cyclists on who ride the road. The 'Share the Road' signs don't give them a clue, and frankly I can see why they think we are in the wrong, since there is a perfectly good MUP right there next to the road. To the friendlier folks, I usually explain that Ohio law designates bicycles as vehicles and that riding the MUP, among the peds, pets, rollerbladers, etc, is like playing dodge-ems, not to mention the wet leaves that litter the MUP in the fall. To the jerks, I just stay that the law allows me to be there, and if they want me to pull out my badge and recite the law to them, they are gonna have a bad day. IMHO having paved MUPs that parallel the roadways just confuses everyone. Maybe if they placed speed limit signs on the MUP, we could state that we have to use the road because we ride much faster than the MUP speed limit?
    The MUTs around here have "10 mph" stenciled into the pavement everywhere... but of course, you can't see the stencil from the road (as I tried pointing out to a hill billy in an SUV a few weeks ago).

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