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  1. #76
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Weak. Very weak.

    For the number of passengers who travel by that train, and the number of people who drive, the incidence of delays on the train is huge by comparison.

    We weren't discussing the merits of safety on either mode of transport.
    I disagree. My coworkers are often late due to car problems and traffic delays. I have been late a couple of times in many years of carfree commuting, whether by bus, bike, or walking.

    I don't think there are fewer delays in a car. I think people are so used to automotive delays that they just calculate them into the travel time. For example, people have 15 mile car commutes that take an hour every day because of congestion, and just consider that to be their "normal" commute time. But if a train or bus is 15 minutes late one time, people get bent out of shape about it.

    Its also funny that if their bus is late because it had a flat tire, they usually blame the bus company. But if their own car has a flat tire, they never blame themselves.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  2. #77
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    So @Roody ...

    You're big on being car-free ... what features about your current place appealed to you so that you could continue living your car-free lifestyle?

    I'm curious to know what you considered important when you made your move ... and what advice might you give to others who are looking for a place to live with a car-free (or car-light) lifestyle in mind.

  3. #78
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    So @Roody ...


    You're big on being car-free ... what features about your current place appealed to you so that you could continue living your car-free lifestyle?


    I'm curious to know what you considered important when you made your move ... and what advice might you give to others who are looking for a place to live with a car-free (or car-light) lifestyle in mind.
    Gosh, @Machka, I already answered that question early in the thread. Did you have any specific questions? I'm not sure many people would be interested in more details about my personal life.

    If I could pass along one general bit of advice: don't get too caught up on whether your new location will be "great for being carfree." Just find a place where you'll be happy living in general. You can work out all the carfree stuff after you move in. So long as you have a little ingenuity and flexibility, you can happily live carfree in almost any location.
    Last edited by Roody; 07-21-14 at 06:17 AM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  4. #79
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Gosh, @Machka, I already answered that question early in the thread. Did you have any specific questions? I'm not sure many people would be interested in more details about my personal life.

    If I could pass along one general bit of advice: don't get too caught up on whether your location is "great for being carfree." Just find a place where you'll be happy living in general. You can work out all the carfree stuff after you move in. So long as you have a little ingenuity and flexibility, you can happily live carfree in almost any location.
    Thank you for your contribution.

  5. #80
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    A few more considerations:

    1) What about bicycle storage?

    2) What length of bus trip to work/school would be acceptable?

    3) And what about elevation? Low enough so you don't have to climb steep hills to get home every day ... but high enough so you don't get flooded?

    4) How about the amount of sunlight a place might get? Too much and the place is blazing hot all the time ... too little and it's dark and cold?

    5) Room for entertainment? (That seems to be a big one on Escape to the Country)
    To answer my own questions ...


    1) Bicycle storage ... very important to us. A new house absolutely had to have bicycle storage and lots of it.


    2) Length of bus trip to work ... 30 minutes is maximum for me. I just can't see myself riding the bus longer than that.


    3) Elevation ... this was definitely a consideration. Of course we wanted to be out of flood range, but around here it is fairly easy to find a house that is quite a significant climb. Because we wanted to be able to cycle from and to home, we had to rule out anything with a difficult climb.


    4) Sunlight ... I've lived much of my life in dark places. Apartments with no sun, basement suites, etc. These days I am attracted to bright sunshine-y places.


    5) Room for entertainment ... a little bit. This is not hugely important, but it is nice to have space for a table big enough to have guests round, and a room for the sofa bed.

  6. #81
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've looked through the responses here, and these are the factors people have mentioned here when looking for a place to live:


    • Proximity to work for you – what distance is acceptable?
    • Proximity to work for your spouse or others in your household – what distance is acceptable?
    • Proximity to childcare, school, university
    • Proximity to shopping, banking, medical facilities, library, church, fitness centre, local pub, restaurants and entertainment
    • Proximity to the country, outdoors, nature, hiking trails, the beach
    • Proximity to family and friends
    • Availability of public transportation incl. car rental
    • Availability of long-distance public transportation
    • Cycle-ability
    • Walk-ability
    • Traffic
    • Storage/lock-up garage
    • Workshop
    • Kitchen
    • Room for entertainment
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Floor covering
    • Size of house/unit
    • Size of land house/unit sits on, if applicable
    • Possibility of a garden to grow your own fruit & veg
    • How close the neighbours are/population density
    • The neighbourhood in general
    • Crime rate/security
    • Price
    • Taxes
    • Utilities - is the place well insulated so that the utility bills won't be sky high?
    • Utilities - is the place well insulated and effectively heated so it won't be roasting hot in summer and freezing cold in winter?
    • Views
    • Holiday feeling
    • Good weather & sunlight
    • Terrain & elevation



    If I've missed something you deem important, let me know and I'll add it to the list.

  7. #82
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I've looked through the responses here, and these are the factors people have mentioned here when looking for a place to live:


    • Proximity to work for you – what distance is acceptable?
    • Proximity to work for your spouse or others in your household – what distance is acceptable?
    • Proximity to childcare, school, university
    • Proximity to shopping, banking, medical facilities, library, church, fitness centre, local pub, restaurants and entertainment
    • Proximity to the country, outdoors, nature, hiking trails, the beach
    • Proximity to family and friends
    • Availability of public transportation incl. car rental
    • Cycle-ability
    • Walk-ability
    • Traffic
    • Storage/lock-up garage
    • Workshop
    • Kitchen
    • Room for entertainment
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Floor covering
    • Size of house/unit
    • Size of land house/unit sits on, if applicable
    • Possibility of a garden to grow your own fruit & veg
    • How close the neighbours are/population density
    • The neighbourhood in general
    • Price
    • Taxes
    • Utilities - is the place well insulated so that the utility bills won't be sky high?
    • Utilities - is the place well insulated and effectively heated so it won't be roasting hot in summer and freezing cold in winter?
    • Views
    • Holiday feeling
    • Good weather & sunlight
    • Terrain & elevation



    If I've missed something you deem important, let me know and I'll add it to the list.
    I think crime/security are important considerations for many people--especially those who do a lot of walking, cycling, and waiting for a bus.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  8. #83
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I think crime/security are important considerations for many people--especially those who do a lot of walking, cycling, and waiting for a bus.
    I was thinking of that in the "The neighbourhood in general" category.

  9. #84
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I was thinking of that in the "The neighbourhood in general" category.
    Crime is probably the number one consideration for me--way ahead of floor covering. But if you don't want it on your little list, fine....

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    If I've missed something you deem important, let me know and I'll add it to the list.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #85
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I was thinking of that in the "The neighbourhood in general" category.
    All of the previously listed outside the home considerations could be wrapped up in "The neighbourhood in general" category.

    Crime and fear of crime as well as crime related problems with local schools may not impress you as a significant consideration but Roody is correct and it is a very important consideration to many people regardless of their carfree status in picking a neighborhood. It is likely that carfree people may have more direct contact with unsavory elements in their neighborhood, or in going to and from their neighborhood via walking, bicycle or public transportation.

  11. #86
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Crime is probably the number one consideration for me--way ahead of floor covering. But if you don't want it on your little list, fine....
    As I said, I would put it on the list under the "The neighbourhood in general" category ... and it would fit under walkability and cycleability as well. After all, if you're uncomfortable walking or cycling through a neighbourhood for one reason or another, that would be a big consideration for those of us who want to live car-light.

    When Rowan and I are looking at housing possibilities, we don't just look at the house in question, we look at the neighbourhood in general. What do the surrounding houses look like? Do they look like they are occupied by people who care about the place ... or not? Is there anything nearby that sets off warning bells for us? What does the nearby shopping area look like?

    We will go for a walk through the neighbourhood and see how comfortable we feel. We'll wander through the local shops and get a sense of the place.

    Some real estate websites and other websites provide demographic information for the places we look at as well.


    And there have been places which looked all right in the ads, but as soon as we got there, those warning bells went off. Those places get crossed off the list pretty quickly.


    Incidentally, that list is not in any particular order. The order depends on each of us individually ... what's important to me might not be the same thing that's important to you or to others who have posted here.

  12. #87
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Well, I am in the process of changing jobs and I noticed one thing in the town I am going to that makes living car free a nuisance. The only public transport in and out to town is by air. The nearest town with a bus (greyhound) or Amtrak connection is over 65 miles away; and no, there is no bus to that town.

    I fedex'ed my bike and trailer (oddly enough it was cheaper than anything other than renting a truck and driving myself). I will then fly in (over $450 from Utah to Rural Kansas. . . I kid you not, I can fly from SanFrancisco to Shanghai for the same price. . .). So, to your list, I would suggest adding access to a variety of long-distance mass-transit.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  13. #88
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    As I said, I would put it on the list under the "The neighbourhood in general" category ... and it would fit under walkability and cycleability as well. After all, if you're uncomfortable walking or cycling through a neighbourhood for one reason or another, that would be a big consideration for those of us who want to live car-light.

    When Rowan and I are looking at housing possibilities, we don't just look at the house in question, we look at the neighbourhood in general. What do the surrounding houses look like? Do they look like they are occupied by people who care about the place ... or not? Is there anything nearby that sets off warning bells for us? What does the nearby shopping area look like?

    We will go for a walk through the neighbourhood and see how comfortable we feel. We'll wander through the local shops and get a sense of the place.

    Some real estate websites and other websites provide demographic information for the places we look at as well.


    And there have been places which looked all right in the ads, but as soon as we got there, those warning bells went off. Those places get crossed off the list pretty quickly.


    Incidentally, that list is not in any particular order. The order depends on each of us individually ... what's important to me might not be the same thing that's important to you or to others who have posted here.
    The list is BS if you will only put on it what's important to Rowan and you.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #89
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    The list is BS if you will only put on it what's important to Rowan and you.
    Thank you for your intelligent, well-thought-out, and helpful opinion.

  15. #90
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    Well, I am in the process of changing jobs and I noticed one thing in the town I am going to that makes living car free a nuisance. The only public transport in and out to town is by air. The nearest town with a bus (greyhound) or Amtrak connection is over 65 miles away; and no, there is no bus to that town.

    I fedex'ed my bike and trailer (oddly enough it was cheaper than anything other than renting a truck and driving myself). I will then fly in (over $450 from Utah to Rural Kansas. . . I kid you not, I can fly from SanFrancisco to Shanghai for the same price. . .). So, to your list, I would suggest adding access to a variety of long-distance mass-transit.
    Good luck getting this added to "the list" but I do agree with you.

    Small and even medium-sized cities in America often have connection problems that make them nearly inaccessible to anybody who's carfree and on budget. It's much easier (though maybe not cheaper) for me to go from Lansing to Shanghai than to visit my a small town about 100 miles away. There's no train service. I could go the first 60 miles on a Greyhound bus, but I don't know how I could go the last 40 miles. A plane would be the same deal. I could take a taxi (!) 100 miles for less than $200, but I wouldn't be able to get a cab in the small town to take me home.

    We have an "international airport" here in Lansing, but the places you can and cannot go are baffling. You can go about anywhere in the world if you first fly to Detroit or Chicago. But the cost of that 30 minute leg can be nearly as great as the cost of the flight overseas.

    We have a very nice shuttle bus that makes 15 trips (or so) to the Detroit airport. That can often be cheaper and faster than flying out of Lansing. I don't know if you have that option where you're going, but it might be worth looking into.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  16. #91
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    Well, I am in the process of changing jobs and I noticed one thing in the town I am going to that makes living car free a nuisance. The only public transport in and out to town is by air. The nearest town with a bus (greyhound) or Amtrak connection is over 65 miles away; and no, there is no bus to that town.

    I fedex'ed my bike and trailer (oddly enough it was cheaper than anything other than renting a truck and driving myself). I will then fly in (over $450 from Utah to Rural Kansas. . . I kid you not, I can fly from SanFrancisco to Shanghai for the same price. . .). So, to your list, I would suggest adding access to a variety of long-distance mass-transit.
    Thanks for that ... I added it as soon as I read your post.

    And excellent point. The long distance transportation was an issue for us too when we lived in rural Victoria.

  17. #92
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Thanks for that ... I added it as soon as I read your post.

    And excellent point. The long distance transportation was an issue for us too when we lived in rural Victoria.
    Thanks for adding that, and also for at last adding crime rate as I had suggested. Both of these might be bigger issues in the US than in some other countries, but a lot of our members are American.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  18. #93
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Thanks for adding that, and also for at last adding crime rate as I had suggested. Both of these might be bigger issues in the US than in some other countries, but a lot of our members are American.
    Well, like I said yesterday morning ... before your very strange rant calling a list (which I compiled from the excellent suggestions of many people here) BS ...


    I put it on the list under the "The neighbourhood in general" category.


    It's been on there a while now.

  19. #94
    Senior Member Zedoo's Avatar
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    ...and proximity to the LCF arena where Machka and Roody go at it. :

  20. #95
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I've looked through the responses here, and these are the factors people have mentioned here when looking for a place to live:


    • Proximity to work for you – what distance is acceptable?
    • Proximity to work for your spouse or others in your household – what distance is acceptable?
    • Proximity to childcare, school, university
    • Proximity to shopping, banking, medical facilities, library, church, fitness centre, local pub, restaurants and entertainment
    • Proximity to the country, outdoors, nature, hiking trails, the beach
    • Proximity to family and friends
    • Availability of public transportation incl. car rental
    • Availability of long-distance public transportation
    • Cycle-ability
    • Walk-ability
    • Traffic
    • Storage/lock-up garage
    • Workshop
    • Kitchen
    • Room for entertainment
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Floor covering
    • Size of house/unit
    • Size of land house/unit sits on, if applicable
    • Possibility of a garden to grow your own fruit & veg
    • How close the neighbours are/population density
    • The neighbourhood in general
    • Crime rate/security
    • Price
    • Taxes
    • Utilities - is the place well insulated so that the utility bills won't be sky high?
    • Utilities - is the place well insulated and effectively heated so it won't be roasting hot in summer and freezing cold in winter?
    • Views
    • Holiday feeling
    • Good weather & sunlight
    • Terrain & elevation



    If I've missed something you deem important, let me know and I'll add it to the list.

    We are just a few days away from taking possession of our new place.


    For us, our first consideration was selecting a location that was closer to Rowan's work than we are now, without being too far away from mine. We work about 36 km apart, so that was a challenge! Closely related to that first consideration was that we needed to be on a good bus route for my commute to work.

    The first consideration ruled out about 2/3 of the city, and the second consideration really narrowed things down. Very quickly we discovered that most of the possible houses coming available had to be crossed off the list because of poor bus service. Nice houses, nice neighbourhoods, within our price range ... off the list because I did not want to spend 2 hours commuting to work each day (walk + bus).


    Next, the place had to be below a certain maximum price. We did have a little bit of flexibility here because if we got a larger house, we could finally move our things out of storage (no more storage fees), and if we moved closer to Rowan's work, his transportation costs would drop quite considerably.


    We wanted a place with ample storage for the bicycles and big enough to house all our furniture. We wanted room for a bicycle workshop and small fitness area, an office, a bright and cheery kitchen with decent counter space to inspire me to bake, room for guests, and a yard surrounding the house with the possibility of some garden space. But we didn't want a huge yard to maintain.

    We would have liked hard-surface flooring, and got that in some of the rooms, but you can't always get everything on the list, and perhaps the carpet might be warmer. One of the things I wanted was a warm house. Australian houses tend not to be very well insulated and so they are freezing cold in winter. We won't know for sure if this one will be warm, but it does have some hopeful features including the carpeting and two heaters.

    A sunny neighbourhood was also important ... many of the areas around here can be quite dark and damp because of the mountains. We should get quite a bit of sunshine on the back of the house.


    Walkability and cycleability were also high on the list. Where we currently live, we feel somewhat hemmed in by the terrain and roads. In order to go anywhere, we've got to cycle up and over steep hills, across the Tasman Bridge or out busy highways. We have some good walks in the area, but the cycling isn't particularly brilliant, and we tend to load the bicycles into the van and drive to better starting points. So we wanted a place that would allow us to both cycle and walk from home. The place is not on the top of a steep climb (that requirement ruled out several places), and it is close to roads that have cycling potential ... shoulders, lighter traffic, etc. It is also close to a large nature reserve with lots of mountain bike trails.

    And related to that, we wanted to be closer to nature. Currently we're about 100 metres from the Derwent River, and that has been lovely, but it is a fair effort to cycle out to the country. We still wanted to be close to the water ... wanted to be able to walk or cycle to a nice beach. But we also wanted to be able to cycle from home and be out in the country within minutes ... and generally to be surrounded by nature and have views of nature. And we got that!


    As a bonus, we also hoped to be near shopping etc., and that has worked out really well. We're about 300 metres from a small shopping mall (plaza) with groceries, bakery, restaurants, etc., and about 3 km from a large shopping area. We will be further from our fitness centre, but we only go 2-3 days a week and it is quite close to where I work (easy walking distance), so the plan is to adjust our schedule a little.



    We're looking forward to less driving and more cycling. Just in time for summer!!

  21. #96
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Congratulations, sounds like a good place. Will Rowan still have to drive to work? Why don't they insulate houses in Australia?

    I live at the top of a ridge, so all my rides have lousy cool downs. Like, none. But the funny part is it isn't the climb that bugs me coming home, it's that first mile downhill on a cold morning when I head out.
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  22. #97
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
    Congratulations, sounds like a good place. Will Rowan still have to drive to work? Why don't they insulate houses in Australia?

    I live at the top of a ridge, so all my rides have lousy cool downs. Like, none. But the funny part is it isn't the climb that bugs me coming home, it's that first mile downhill on a cold morning when I head out.

    Thanks.

    My bus/walk commute will increase about 10 min each way to a total of 30 min each way.

    Rowan's driving/ferry commute will decrease from a little over a hour each way to probably a little over 30 min each way.

    And yes, for the most part he will continue to drive. There are no public transportation options for him (aside from the ferry ... he works on an island). But he may cycle once in a while, although that would still make for a long day ... and he is looking into motorcycle options.


    I don't know why they don't insulate Australian houses. Seems very strange to me, especially coming from Canada where everything is thoroughly insulated. It doesn't get really cold here (usually just down to freezing) ... but unfortunately interiors of the houses/buildings drop close to that if they aren't constantly heated. If you turn the heater off or let the fire die (lots of houses here are heated with a fireplace) when you go to bed, the place can be quite frosty when you get up in the morning.

    And insulation doesn't just keep a house warm in winter, it also keeps it cool in summer, so I would have thought they might insulate houses for that reason ... but no.

    Insulation will be something we check when we take possession. I suspect the house is insulated, but if not, we'll lay some in the roof.


    We are partway up a hill ... you just can't get away from that around here! But at least it is a reasonably gradual climb.

  23. #98
    Senior Member Zedoo's Avatar
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    I live in Michigan, but I rarely see the Great Lakes. St. Clair is wet enough, but the bigger lakes may have other qualities worth experiencing. I would need a car to drive to one before I can ride the lakeshore.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zedoo View Post
    I live in Michigan, but I rarely see the Great Lakes. St. Clair is wet enough, but the bigger lakes may have other qualities worth experiencing. I would need a car to drive to one before I can ride the lakeshore.
    Actually, it's impossible to be more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes when you're in Michigan. This would be a fairly easy bike trip for a long weekend. I live in Lansing, which is about the farthest point from the lakeshores.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    We are just a few days away from taking possession of our new place. ...We're looking forward to less driving and more cycling. Just in time for summer!!
    Yay!

    Good on ya!
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

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