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Old 05-23-14, 04:16 PM   #51
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It takes a while to get over the Stockholm syndrome of thinking that motorists have a point. They don't. At all. There are so many selfish drivers in the U.S. that really need to have some sense beaten into them. And that's just from the perspective of a motorist, don't get me started on the misbehavior I've seen while riding a bike. We're all road users, and all of us get in someone's way sooner or later. Today on the way home form work, I saw a guy that was honking at everyone because they were slowing to turn and slowing him down. He really should have his privileges to drive revoked until he realizes the roads are part of the transportation system, not the sports car of america track. But no, we have to watch out for idiots like him lest he kill us and himself.

Of course, this is a bit of a contentious subject. It would be great if we could get the word out more. I
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Old 05-23-14, 04:35 PM   #52
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It takes a while to get over the Stockholm syndrome of thinking that motorists have a point. They don't. At all. There are so many selfish drivers in the U.S. that really need to have some sense beaten into them. And that's just from the perspective of a motorist, don't get me started on the misbehavior I've seen while riding a bike. We're all road users, and all of us get in someone's way sooner or later. Today on the way home form work, I saw a guy that was honking at everyone because they were slowing to turn and slowing him down. He really should have his privileges to drive revoked until he realizes the roads are part of the transportation system, not the sports car of america track. But no, we have to watch out for idiots like him lest he kill us and himself.

Of course, this is a bit of a contentious subject. It would be great if we could get the word out more. I
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Old 05-23-14, 04:37 PM   #53
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Ah. Well, this is more what I actually wanted to discuss. This is where I see a rift between what bicyclists think motorists think and what motorists actually think.

I don't actually feel irritated at having to slow down or stop for garbage trucks doing their thing. I don't want to slow down. I drive a Corvette. I like to go fast. Yet even I am not bothered by this. And I think that is typical of most motorists.

I'm not irritated by slow drivers either even if I get stuck behind them... unless they move into the fast lane where they don't belong. That irritates me because then they're blocking faster traffic when they don't need to.

I'm not going to suggest that there aren't drivers who get angry at anything that slows them down for any reason, justified or not. But I think most drivers aren't that way. They have varying levels of patience but for the most part don't have a problem with slowing down sometimes when it is necessary.

Do you also drive a car? What I've noticed is that a lot of bicyclists pretty much only ride bicycles and so don't seem to understand the point of view of motorists very well. That may be harmful to bicycling advocacy.
really! so cyclists pretty much only ride bicycles... just curious, but how many cyclists do you know?
there are those that do a car free / car lite type of lifestyle, but I don't think that makes the majority of cyclists out there... I happen to own cars and because of the length of my commute, I do a multi-modal commute, which does include my car... maybe when get a bit more tough, I will be able to commute without the car... either way, I have a license, and can drive a car, and know what the situation is on the road. Maybe its because I don't have a "corvette"...
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Old 05-23-14, 04:50 PM   #54
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At risk of exposing myself as an ill tempered jerk, I'm pretty much angry all the time, biking or driving a car. When I was a daily driver I yelled at other drivers at least once a week for dangerous driving. As a daily cyclist I still yell at drivers at least once a week for dangerous driving.

Anecdotes from 2 sides of the coin:

-I remember having to drive up a single lane road 5 AM and having to wait behind a group of lycra clad roadies going 15 mph, no other cars in sight. They took up the full road, did not bother to allow me to pass when it was clear that I wanted to, and even looked back at me and smiled (which BTW to those who say just "smile and wave" IS NOT a good way to diffuse drivers, it just comes off as smug, trollish, and arrogant). Clearly this is a no win situation, if a group of cyclist refuse to let a car pass what can I do but get irritated? Probably the only time I've ever been angry at cyclists, but it was in response to trollish behavior.

-I cycle to work during morning rush hour and often times take the shoulder to pass cars when gridlocked. I've had on several occasions been purposefully blocked by motorists so I can't filter through the shoulder. They can't move but a couple feet during bad traffic and they choose to angle the nose of their cars into the shoulder when they see me in their rear view just to prevent me from passing through.

Both of these stories involve being actively blocked. Yes, when it happens on purpose I lose me temper right away.
I agree and just to put into perspective, I get irritated usually when I encounter a driver / rider that does something that isn't expected or as you stated is actively blocking me. Actually the one time I get annoyed at cyclists was a similar situation to what you stated... it was one of the "benefit rides". and I had no problem waiting my turn until I got to where I had to make a right hand turn with cyclists buzzing me on both sides and in a frequency that had me stuck in the road.
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Old 05-23-14, 05:58 PM   #55
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I get annoyed and frustrated with anyone who cannot operate his vehicle safely, predictably, legally. The thing is: when the vehicle has two wheels, its operator might cause me some road rash; when it has four wheels, its operator might cause me death.
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Old 05-23-14, 07:05 PM   #56
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Despite all of the jerks out there who want to deny our right to share the road, most motorists in my neck of the woods are willing to cooperate with cyclists. Today I had most drivers treat me like any other vehicle, which is all we can hope for; a few went out of their way to be accommodating. A few also expressed impatience, or whatever it is that they feel as they pass too close and tromp on the accelerator as they come along side.

Most are good. Some are bad. A few are real ass holes. The mix is kind of like most populations, including Internet forums. I don't think there is a war between motorists and cyclists, at least not where I ride.

My greatest fears are caused by negligent motorists and those who are just piss-poor drivers. My closest calls recently have been close passes by women who, I believe, couldn't gauge what a safe passing space should be. Legislation and public awareness programs won't do much to rehabilitate this crowd.

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Old 05-23-14, 07:23 PM   #57
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Disturbing every time you hear this, stricter driving tests is a must!
I see this comment all the time on this forum. Stricter driving tests would help out in the future, but it would not do anything for the present where the majority of people that are on the roads have been driving for many many years.

I've been driving for 26 years. I can not recall at all what I was "taught" when I was getting my driver's license about bicycles. I can tell you, the amount of education I had was I picked up a book and was to read through it. When ready, which was the following day in my case, I went to the State Police barracks and took a 20 question test. I do not remember anything about bicycles off-hand. Pass the test and I got a learner's permit in which I could drive around with an over 21 licensed driver and go take a driver's test when ready. I believe I went about a week. After that, I took my driver's test at the State Police barracks on a closed course in the parking lot with hundreds of other 16 year olds in line. I had to put my seatbelt on, stop at a stop sign, use my turnsignal and turn left, navigate through a serpentine section in which I was told I need to go slower or I would get myself in trouble with a laugh from the officer when my tires squealed, make a 3 point turn inside a coned area, and finally parallel park in which it was so busy, the officer told me to just pull straight in and park.

Now, how many other 42 year olds are driving on the roads who had driver's education like that? How many older than 42 years old? Has the requirement for getting a license changed any and how much since 1988? I don't know that, I received my license 26 years ago and all I have to do now is pay a fee and get my picture taken every 4 years.

How does better education today help out today when there are so many people who have been driving for years? Unless something changes and motor vehicle operators have to start being tested to renew their license, it doesn't help at all today and won't for many many years to come until today's new drivers would be the majority on the roads.



One more thing because I also always see the comment about "holding you up for a few seconds" and such. I have an image in my head the environment that everyone in the commuting, living car free, and advocacy forums ride in when on the roads. The image I have is that you all only ride either on multi-lane roads where cars can easily change lanes to go around, or in no traffic whatsoever. I live in the middle of nowhere where it is possible I could go miles and miles without ever seeing a car. But if I'm in the local city and I think about how drivers would react to a bicycle riding in the lane, it wouldn't be the 5 seconds you held them up that would be frustrating. It would be the miles you would hold them up as my city of heck, only 13,000 people (surprised me looking that up as it is congested like crazy) has very few multi-lane roads. I just envision a cyclist riding in the lane with cars backed up behind driving a frustrating 8-15 mph (nothing but hills around here) on 35 mph roads with no way of going around because of traffic coming past in the other lane.

I do have a hard time wrapping my head around all you folks on bicycles on the road talking about the number of bicycles on the roads that you talk about because I've said it before and since then I've seen another which makes it I have seen a total of 6 bicycles riding in public disregarding kids in neighborhood streets in 42 years of living. I have also never seen what a bike lane looks like aside from in Myrtle Beach which pretty much almost 100% a tourist city.
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Old 05-23-14, 07:29 PM   #58
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Maybe a solution for those who drive now...

Take $20 (one time per lic driver) off a sticker renewal for taking a free course (online preferably to save budget for states) on state bicycle road laws and awareness, have a quiz at the end that they must pass in order to get $20 off their sticker renewal. This could be something DOT agencies could offer to help with the cycling infrastructure.

How do you all feel about an idea like that? Would it help?
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Old 05-23-14, 10:52 PM   #59
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Maybe a solution for those who drive now...

Take $20 (one time per lic driver) off a sticker renewal for taking a free course (online preferably to save budget for states) on state bicycle road laws and awareness, have a quiz at the end that they must pass in order to get $20 off their sticker renewal. This could be something DOT agencies could offer to help with the cycling infrastructure.

How do you all feel about an idea like that? Would it help?
I actually love that idea!
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Old 05-24-14, 12:13 PM   #60
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I see this comment all the time on this forum. Stricter driving tests would help out in the future, but it would not do anything for the present where the majority of people that are on the roads have been driving for many many years.

I've been driving for 26 years. I can not recall at all what I was "taught" when I was getting my driver's license about bicycles. I can tell you, the amount of education I had was I picked up a book and was to read through it. When ready, which was the following day in my case, I went to the State Police barracks and took a 20 question test. I do not remember anything about bicycles off-hand. Pass the test and I got a learner's permit in which I could drive around with an over 21 licensed driver and go take a driver's test when ready. I believe I went about a week. After that, I took my driver's test at the State Police barracks on a closed course in the parking lot with hundreds of other 16 year olds in line. I had to put my seatbelt on, stop at a stop sign, use my turnsignal and turn left, navigate through a serpentine section in which I was told I need to go slower or I would get myself in trouble with a laugh from the officer when my tires squealed, make a 3 point turn inside a coned area, and finally parallel park in which it was so busy, the officer told me to just pull straight in and park.

Now, how many other 42 year olds are driving on the roads who had driver's education like that? How many older than 42 years old? Has the requirement for getting a license changed any and how much since 1988? I don't know that, I received my license 26 years ago and all I have to do now is pay a fee and get my picture taken every 4 years.

How does better education today help out today when there are so many people who have been driving for years? Unless something changes and motor vehicle operators have to start being tested to renew their license, it doesn't help at all today and won't for many many years to come until today's new drivers would be the majority on the roads.



One more thing because I also always see the comment about "holding you up for a few seconds" and such. I have an image in my head the environment that everyone in the commuting, living car free, and advocacy forums ride in when on the roads. The image I have is that you all only ride either on multi-lane roads where cars can easily change lanes to go around, or in no traffic whatsoever. I live in the middle of nowhere where it is possible I could go miles and miles without ever seeing a car. But if I'm in the local city and I think about how drivers would react to a bicycle riding in the lane, it wouldn't be the 5 seconds you held them up that would be frustrating. It would be the miles you would hold them up as my city of heck, only 13,000 people (surprised me looking that up as it is congested like crazy) has very few multi-lane roads. I just envision a cyclist riding in the lane with cars backed up behind driving a frustrating 8-15 mph (nothing but hills around here) on 35 mph roads with no way of going around because of traffic coming past in the other lane.
well this is not my situation. I have never held up traffic like the manner described... now, I have had to take the lane a intersections for the time it takes to cross an intersection for visibility / prevention of right or left hook etc and even though the drivers are pretty good there are a few that can't seem to tolerate that...
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Old 05-24-14, 12:41 PM   #61
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I sometimes get "in the way" of motor vehicles behind me. The 2 reasons i do this, are 1. avoiding hazard and 2. giving myself the space i need to make a turn without being cut off. As soon as turn or hazard is passed, i head back over to the right 1/4 of the lane.

Sometimes i get focused too much on staying to the right, and i end up nearly riding off the side of the road where there is no shoulder. I have internalized in my head the idea now that i don't need to have both my tires within an inch of the white line 100% of the time, as it takes my focus off pedaling and the route i've planned out. If the lane is narrow, such as turn-offs that eliminate a "turn lane" with median or such on left and not much on the right, i tend to wander a bit in from the edge, because it's easier for a car to slow than for me to try and fit next to it.

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Old 05-25-14, 12:52 PM   #62
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I think one fix would be to include questions on driving license exams that test a potential driver's knowledge of laws that relate to bicycles on the roads. If we teach 'em young, and make it a mandatory part of getting a license, the law might be better known and appreciated by more drivers.

Education, that's the key! For both drivers and cyclists.
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Old 05-25-14, 01:06 PM   #63
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I think one fix would be to include questions on driving license exams that test a potential driver's knowledge of laws that relate to bicycles on the roads. If we teach 'em young, and make it a mandatory part of getting a license, the law might be better known and appreciated by more drivers.

Education, that's the key! For both drivers and cyclists.
I agree that education is an important part of promoting walking/biking safety. I doubt including written questions in license exams would help much, though. The applicant memorizes rules, passes the exam, and forgets them.

One way to make that approach work better is to mandate written exams at every license renewal. That way, the drivers will be reminded at least every 4-5 years.
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Old 05-25-14, 01:09 PM   #64
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I very rarely have any issues with motorists getting angry or impatient with me taking the lane.

I suspect that's because, while I take the lane, I don't hold the lane, and make an effort to create passing opportunities when I can. I start a mental clock when I hear a car settle behind me, and unless there's no choice I try to create a safe passing opportunity within a 5 second time limit.

One thing that few mention is that commuters aren't like recreational cyclists. We see the same drivers daily, and at a time when everybody is focused on getting to a destination as fast as possible (rush hour). So you're either a constant, and repeated source of frustration, or you're someone who, like them, wants to get home (to work) quickly and safely. Demonstrating a pattern of sharing the road courteously serves to buy return courtesy when you can't, because drivers know you'd move over if you could.
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Old 05-25-14, 01:13 PM   #65
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I agree that education is an important part of promoting walking/biking safety. I doubt including written questions in license exams would help much, though. The applicant memorizes rules, passes the exam, and forgets them.

One way to make that approach work better is to mandate written exams at every license renewal. That way, the drivers will be reminded at least every 4-5 years.

Agreed! Regardless of cyclist-safety issues, there are a ton of terrible drivers out there, and I think making it a little tougher to get/keep a drivers license would help keep our roads safer -- or at least there won't be as many drivers who can claim they were "ignorant of the laws"
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Old 05-25-14, 02:00 PM   #66
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I very rarely have any issues with motorists getting angry or impatient with me taking the lane.

I suspect that's because, while I take the lane, I don't hold the lane, and make an effort to create passing opportunities when I can. I start a mental clock when I hear a car settle behind me, and unless there's no choice I try to create a safe passing opportunity within a 5 second time limit.

One thing that few mention is that commuters aren't like recreational cyclists. We see the same drivers daily, and at a time when everybody is focused on getting to a destination as fast as possible (rush hour). So you're either a constant, and repeated source of frustration, or you're someone who, like them, wants to get home (to work) quickly and safely. Demonstrating a pattern of sharing the road courteously serves to buy return courtesy when you can't, because drivers know you'd move over if you could.
Good post. Great attitude!

Cyclists can make friends or create enemies, depending upon how thoughtfully we conduct ourselves. We can't favorably affect everyone, but we can convince a lot of motorists that we are good citizens.
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Old 05-25-14, 02:14 PM   #67
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That's an interesting response. And quite hostile.

It seems likely that you're venting anger at me for what other motorists have done to you. I have never harassed a bicyclist. Not even a little.

I felt let the same way when I read that response... I am also a new member here. I found your thread well written and an interesting read. Unfortunately the above hostile response is typical of some members here and I can't figure out why. Because of this I very rarely post.

End rant.
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Old 05-25-14, 02:26 PM   #68
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Agreed! Regardless of cyclist-safety issues, there are a ton of terrible drivers out there, and I think making it a little tougher to get/keep a drivers license would help keep our roads safer -- or at least there won't be as many drivers who can claim they were "ignorant of the laws"
Totally.

Ideally speaking, though, the license exam should require an applicant to spend at least a few hours on a bicycle on the road once they pass the written exam. I believe the drivers who know what it's like to ride a bike on the road will be more willing to share the road with cyclists safely, if not amicably.
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Old 05-27-14, 06:42 PM   #69
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I have both driven and cycled to work. I have never been in an accident with a car, but I have been in an accident with one other cyclist, and very nearly with a second cyclist.

I have never had an issue with bikes on the road, I understand, I mean... I cycle too right? But I have found that I have actually been frustrated with other cyclist's more so than motorists. I currently commute in a place with a lot of cyclists, so the car drivers leave me alone as long as we are all smart about the rules. But the time I got in an accident with another cyclist, to which luckily I left unscathed by the other guy left in an aid car, the other cyclist was not paying attention to their lane and left me with no where to go. (Two way pedestrian/bike traffic on a one lane bridge pass) I had no where to go, and did whatever I could to minimize impact, but with cyclists across the entire lane going the opposite direction of me I didn't have much of a choice... so we hit. If the cyclists had left a lane open for the other direction of cyclists, we wouldn't have collided.

The second almost accident was when a cyclist went the wrong direction on a single lane road that spanned about 30 feet during a ferry unload in which that was the only exit lane from the ferry. The road went around a corner so as soon as I cornered I damn near hit the him, or he hit me depending on how you look at it. We were really lucky to not have collided, but both of us could have easily been badly injured.

So... to sum up, I have actually encountered more cyclists that have caused me pain as another cyclist than I have as a motorist. I just get frustrated when we aren't looking out for each other, no matter the mode of transportation... I want to go home to my family, and I get we make mistakes. Some of them simply wouldn't happen if we took the time to look out for the other guy on the road.
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Old 05-27-14, 09:09 PM   #70
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Drivers don't get upset or hostile toward me when I'm on a bike. Whatever OP is doing, he's doing it wrong.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:14 AM   #71
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Good post. Great attitude!

Cyclists can make friends or create enemies, depending upon how thoughtfully we conduct ourselves. We can't favorably affect everyone, but we can convince a lot of motorists that we are good citizens.
The way I explain it to people who can't believe I bike through the city ... You have to be a mix of assertive but respectful.

You also have to understand that even if you do everything correctly, there's still going to be an a$$hole or two that will flip you off or show their displeasure otherwise.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:28 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post

You also have to understand that even if you do everything correctly, there's still going to be an a$$hole or two that will flip you off or show their displeasure otherwise.
....and as long as they don't try to back up their displeasure with sheet metal, I won't report them to law enforcement.
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Old 05-28-14, 07:41 AM   #73
ill.clyde
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....and as long as they don't try to back up their displeasure with sheet metal, I won't report them to law enforcement.
Agreed ... I didn't want to sound like an "internet bada$$" but yeah, my phone is always handy and if I feel in the least bit threatened or concerned I'll break it out and start filming/taking pics
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Old 05-28-14, 07:49 AM   #74
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I'm what many cyclists would call a "gutter bunny" (I think that's the term); meaning that I ride very close to the edge of the road. However, there are times I take the lane (IAW the law), such as when there is an obstruction or when I can maintain the speed of the cars, especially when starting off from a redlight and cars are making turns (I always take the lane in this case, because not everyone uses their turn signal; it's just safe to assume they are turning.

I think I do piss off drivers when I do this, not because I slow them down, but just simply because they are not use to seeing it and see it as a threat to their domain in some way, but anger that is probably dissipated quickly once they see me move back to the right side of the road once the threat of a right hook is gone.


Two ways to fix this problem of pissing off motorists

1. Ride IAW the laws, always.
2. We need more cyclists on the roads (that ride IAW the laws).
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Old 05-28-14, 07:56 AM   #75
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I have been cycling for 25 years. The one thing that comes to mind that I see cyclists doing is riding two or three abreast in a large group on a narrow road where it is difficult to pass them. In situations like this cyclists should skinny down into a single pace line. It just makes sense and is common courtesy. I see cyclists violate this and understand why motorists get irritated.
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