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Old 03-07-07, 05:19 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by sggoodri
Precisely. Stopping for red lights, riding in the same direction as other traffic, and using lights at night may be obvious to all of us reading this forum, but for many of the beginning and "casual" cyclists I've taken out for rides, these represent significant changes in their behavior as part of their conceptual introduction to vehicular cycling. It's a challenge to gently influence new cyclists into following the basic vehicular rules - but the number of near-collisions I've seen convince me of the importance of doing so. These novice cyclists aren't stupid, they just didn't equate bicycle operation with driving a vehicle. Once they understood the paradigm, and why it works, their cycling was immediately safer, because they quickly were able to get the basics right. And best of all, I was no longer worried that I would have to tell their loved ones that they got killed on their bike ride with me.
I think VC can be fairly cleanly divided in AVC and BVC - Advanced VC and Basic VC.

Basic VC is the collection of VC techniques and practices most experienced cyclists already use, but most novices need to learn, such as:
  • Right on the right half of the road, with vehicular traffic.
  • Obey traffic control.
  • Use hand signals before turning.
  • Use lights/reflectors at night.
  • Use speed positioning, including riding in the margins.
  • Turning left by waiting for a gap before merging left.
  • Etc.
Advanced VC is the collection of VC techniques and practices few experienced cyclists already utilize, at least not consistently, and almost all novices need to learn, such as:
  • Using negotiation to create gaps.
  • Merging left one lane a time.
  • Signaling using look backs.
  • Being able to look back for more than a fraction of a second without riding off course.
  • Using assertive "centerish" lane positioning to discourage lane sharing/squeezing when the lane is too narrow to be safely shared.
  • Using assertive "centerish" lane positioning to improve sight lines and conspicuity when safe and reasonable to do so.
  • Recognizing when traffic behind needs a hint about what to do, and providing it appropriately and effectively.
  • Recognizing when and where bike lanes are okay to use, and when they should be avoided.
  • Etc.
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Old 03-07-07, 05:23 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I think VC can be fairly cleanly divided in AVC and BVC - Advanced VC and Basic VC.

Basic VC is the collection of VC techniques and practices most experienced cyclists already use, but most novices need to learn, such as:
  • Right on the right half of the road, with vehicular traffic.
  • Obey traffic control.
  • Use hand signals before turning.
  • Use lights/reflectors at night.
  • Use speed positioning, including riding in the margins.
  • Turning left by waiting for a gap before merging left.
  • Etc.
Advanced VC is the collection of VC techniques and practices few experienced cyclists already utilize, at least not consistently, and almost all novices need to learn, such as:
  • Using negotiation to create gaps.
  • Merging left one lane a time.
  • Signaling using look backs.
  • Using assertive "centerish" lane positioning to discourage lane sharing/squeezing when the lane is too narrow to be safely shared.
  • Using assertive "centerish" lane positioning to improve sight lines and conspicuity when safe and reasonable to do so.
  • Recognizing when traffic behind needs a hint about what to do, and providing it appropriately and effectively.
  • Recognizing when and where bike lanes are okay to use, and when they should be avoided.
  • Etc.
Why not call it: "basic traffic cycling practices", and "vehicular cycling techniques"? Appending "VC" to both of these is redundent and would be done only for political reasons. You are still trying to include the world with your definition of "VC".
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Old 03-07-07, 05:28 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Moreover, the broad definition of vehicular cycling has a self reference, namely, that a cyclist follows vehicular rules of the road. (now, define vehicular) The OP definition is not self referential.
Gotta nip this one in the bud.

Claiming that defining "vehicular cycling" as "cycling per the vehicular rules of the road" is self-referential is like claiming that defining "truck driver" as "one who drives a truck" is self-referential. It's not. Neither is.

Why? Because we're defining vehicular cycling and truck driver, not vehicular or truck.

The definitions are based on the pre-existing definitions of the base terms vehicular and truck respectively.
Neither defines or redefines those base terms, they refer to them.
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Old 03-07-07, 05:35 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Why not call it: "basic traffic cycling practices", and "vehicular cycling techniques"? Appending "VC" to both of these is redundent and would be done only for political reasons. You are still trying to include the world with your definition of "VC".
Steve answered this at length, but the short answer is they should be called basic vehicular cycling techniques to differentiate them from non-vehicular cycling techniques, like most if not all of the "sly cyclist" tips and tricks in Dave Glowacz' book, for one (like jumping up onto the sidewalk to for whatever reason, as one example).

Please reread Steve's last couple of posts.

I think you're the one who can't get out of a box - you can't seem to recognize the reasoning as being technical and practical - all you see is political motivations.
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Old 03-07-07, 05:40 PM   #155
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So give me a sentence which describes "vehicular", as in "vehicular rules of the road", without resorting to situational examples.

Truck driver = person who drives a truck. Truck = largest vehicle on the road, used to carry cargo.

Vehicular cycling = cycling by vehicular rules of the road. Vehicular rules of the road = ?????.

Fill in the question mark blank. One sentence. If you can do this, you'd convince me of your point. It is still self referential, but it is acceptable as a definition.

FWIW, defining a "truck driver" as "a person who drives a truck" is also self-referential. It is accepted as a definition because it is easy to define "truck."
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Old 03-07-07, 05:44 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
To put it in bare terms, the term "vehicular cycling" should be formalized to mean (and will be when I speak of the term from now on) "ride a bike like a car", since this is what it means to most people anyway.
Why have any term that means "ride a bike like a car"?

No one rides a bike like it's a car. No one can. No one wants to. A bike is not a car. What would be the point to define something that no one does, can do, or even wants to do?
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Old 03-07-07, 05:53 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Steve answered this at length, but the short answer is they should be called basic vehicular cycling techniques to differentiate them from non-vehicular cycling techniques, like most if not all of the "sly cyclist" tips and tricks in Dave Glowacz' book, for one (like jumping up onto the sidewalk to for whatever reason, as one example).

Please reread Steve's last couple of posts.

I think you're the one who can't get out of a box - you can't seem to recognize the reasoning as being technical and practical - all you see is political motivations.
Shouldn't your "basic VC" be the norm? Isn't this what everyone wants?

I'm beginning to see why John Forester never used the term "vehicular cycling" in Effective Cycling. If "vehicular" is the norm, then it doesn't have to have a label other than "basic traffic cycling", which is, in fact, what he uses to describe the techniques presented in his chapter on traffic cycling. In fact, to back this up more, all your "basic VC" items are in the Oregon DMV driver and bicyclist manuals, so they really do deserve the moniker "basic traffic cycling".

In other words, your "basic VC" is already the norm. No need to append "VC" to it. Let the non-normal methods of cycling get the special names.

You guys are fighting ghosts. There is no battle between "VC" and "sly cycling" or any other varient of non-normal traffic cycling. There is, however, a battle to educate cyclists on basic traffic cycling principles. Lumping everything under the sun into an ideologically driven version of "vehicular cycling" which is promoted only by "vehicular cyclists" who believe very special things about bike lanes and such doesn't exactly help in the quest to reach out and educate cyclists about basic traffic cycling principles.

This is the "branding" that chipcom has a problem with.
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Old 03-07-07, 05:59 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Why have any term that means "ride a bike like a car"?

No one rides a bike like it's a car. No one can. No one wants to. A bike is not a car. What would be the point to define something that no one does, can do, or even wants to do?
Perhaps you can come up with something better. Answer the fill in the blank question in post 155. Be a sport.

Remember: One sentence that embodies what "vehicular" means in non-self-referential terms.

And of course one can ride a bike like a car. It'd just be a slow car. But as you always say, speed is a non-issue here. We ride like a car every time we change lanes to make a vehicular left turn. The NC contingent even emphasises this by terming their brand of VC as "Bicycle Driving."

If you told someone to make a left turn like a car, she'd immediately get the basic concept. The rest, those techniques for changing lanes and merging into faster traffic streams and such, are just details.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:10 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
So give me a sentence which describes "vehicular", as in "vehicular rules of the road", without resorting to situational examples.

Truck driver = person who drives a truck. Truck = largest vehicle on the road, used to carry cargo.

Vehicular cycling = cycling by vehicular rules of the road. Vehicular rules of the road = ?????.

Fill in the question mark blank. One sentence. If you can do this, you'd convince me of your point. It is still self referential, but it is acceptable as a definition.

FWIW, defining a "truck driver" as "a person who drives a truck" is also self-referential. It is accepted as a definition because it is easy to define "truck."
First, how "easy" it is to define something has nothing to do with whether a given definition is self-referential or not. A self-referential definition is one that refers to the term it is defining in the definition of that term.

The definition of truck driver, one who drives a truck, is not self-referential, since it defines truck driver without referring to truck driver. For it to be self-referential it would have to refer to truck driver in the definition; it doesn't.

The fact that the term and its definition both utilize the term truck is as irrelevant as the fact that the term and its definition both utilize the letter T.

With respect to your challenge...

vehicle: a mechanized means for transporting people (or use whatever definition of vehicle you are happy with)

Edit: For completeness I'll add:
vehicular: adj., pertaining to vehicles.

Vehicular rules of the road = rules of the road pertaining to the operation of vehicles

Vehicular cycling = cycling by the vehicular rules of the road

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Old 03-07-07, 06:12 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
In other words, your "basic VC" is already the norm.
Steve's post, which you continue to not address, explained how this is not so.

And why is whether it's the norm or not relevant to whether it should be called "basic VC".

Are you assuming that something must be "out of the norm" in order to be called "basic VC"? Why?
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Old 03-07-07, 06:15 PM   #161
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^^^^
So, riding like you are driving a car. That's what I said. A car is a vehicle. Fits like a glove and easier to understand.

If it is not like driving a car, if there is more to it, then you've got more work to do to define exactly what "vehicle" is and how the rules pertain to various types of vehicles. And don't say a "slow moving vehicle." Most people don't know how these operate either, and they are rarely seen in urban and suburban areas.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:20 PM   #162
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The "vehicular cycling" moniker indicates there is something special about it. "Traffic cycling" is a neutral moniker. Even Forester got this.

And the DMV drivers and cyclists manuals don't use the term "vehicular cycling." They use a term like "traffic cycling"; something with a neutral connotation and purely descriptive. Nobody knows what "vehicular cycling" is (we have spent 7 pages talking about it). Everyone can conjure what "traffic cycling" or "cycling in traffic" involves.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:22 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
^^^^
So, riding like you are driving a car. That's what I said. A car is a vehicle. Fits like a glove and easier to understand.

If it is not like driving a car, if there is more to it, then you've got more work to do to define exactly what "vehicle" is and how the rules pertain to various types of vehicles. And don't say a "slow moving vehicle." Most people don't know how these operate either, and they are rarely seen in urban and suburban areas.
A tractor trailer, a motorcycle, and a streetsweeper are all vehicles too. You don't drive them like a normal car. You don't drive a bike like you drive a car. You do operate any vehicle according to the vehicular rules of the road though.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:25 PM   #164
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^^^^^
Yea, but I don't know how a tractor trailer, a motorcycle, or a streetsweeper driver drives. I suspect that this is the general case throughout most of the population, including the population of cyclists. So now you have to describe, as part of your definition, how these three vehicles drive.

We're getting to be over one sentence here. Just say'n...

PS. Remember you are trying to describe the term "vehicular" in non-self-referential terms, i.e. in terms which most people have reasonable experience with. Driving a streetsweeper is not something that normal, everyday people do a lot of. If you cannot do that, you have to drop the term "vehicular rules of the road" from your definition of "vehicular cycling." Otherwise you have, to borrow from natural sciences:

entomologist = person who engages in the study of entomology

entomology = the work done by an entomologist

similarly...

vehicular cycling = following the vehicular rules of the road

vehicular rules of the road = how a vehicular cycling cyclist rides
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Old 03-07-07, 06:29 PM   #165
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Yea, but I don't know how a tractor trailer, a motorcycle, or a streetsweeper driver drives. I suspect that this is the general case throughout most of the population, including the population of cyclists. So now you have to describe, as part of your definition, how these three vehicles drive.

We're getting to be over one sentence here. Just say'n...
Well you know that they stay on the right side of the road like everyone else. They make lefts from the left side of the road and rights from right and follow the arrows painted on the roadway. They stop at stop signs and red lights and use lights at night. They use the right lane when they are going slower than the rest of traffic. I could make that a run of sentence but "operating according to the vehicular rules of the road" sums it up pretty nicely. I don't see why you are fighting this so much.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:31 PM   #166
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^^^^
So, riding like you are driving a car. That's what I said. A car is a vehicle. Fits like a glove and easier to understand.
Saying "Riding per vehicular rules" means the same as "Riding per car rules" is like saying, "behaving like a human" means "behaving like a girl" (since girl is a type of human, and car is a type of vehicle), or "picking fruit" means "picking apples". Whether it is easier to understand is irrelevant since it doesn't mean the same thing.

Quote:
If it is not like driving a car, if there is more to it, then you've got more work to do to define exactly what "vehicle" is and how the rules pertain to various types of vehicles.
Huh? A definition of a set of practices is not supposed to be a comprehensive explanation of those practices.

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And don't say a "slow moving vehicle." Most people don't know how these operate either, and they are rarely seen in urban and suburban areas.
Yes, that is the point I made several dozen posts back. That explains why vehicular is difficult to understand. Never-the-less, it is technically and practically accurate, and I don't know of a better term.

It's unfortunate that people assume "vehicular" means "like a car", but I can't think of a good alternative to use to mean "in accordance with the vehicular rules of the road (as opposed to the ped rules of the road)".

But the difficulty shouldn't lead us to change the meaning of the term so that it refers to something that nobody does, nobody can do, and nobody wants to do. The term is not what is important, it's the concept.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:33 PM   #167
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Well you know that they stay on the right side of the road like everyone else. They make lefts from the left side of the road and rights from right and follow the arrows painted on the roadway. They stop at stop signs and red lights and use lights at night. They use the right lane when they are going slower than the rest of traffic. I could make that a run of sentence but "operating according to the vehicular rules of the road" sums it up pretty nicely. I don't see why you are fighting this so much.
Cars do all of these. Most people in the US drive cars.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:36 PM   #168
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Cars do all of these. Most people in the US drive cars.
Ok, great. So while driving a car, you operate according to the vehicular rules of the road. A bicycle is a vehicle too so you also operate it according to the vehicular rules of the road. Can we be done with this thread now?
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Old 03-07-07, 06:38 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Saying "Riding per vehicular rules" means the same as "Riding per car rules" is like saying, "behaving like a human" means "behaving like a girl" (since girl is a type of human, and car is a type of vehicle), or "picking fruit" means "picking apples". Whether it is easier to understand is irrelevant since it doesn't mean the same thing.
If I were an alien of non-obvious sex (like 3rd rock from the sun type alien), and this alien had experience watching women in an all woman college and wanted to interact amonst the general population. If this alien asked, "how do I act", I'd probably advise "like those women subjects you were watching".

If I were a former apple picker, and I was sent to the field to pick oranges and wanted guidance, One would suggest that I pick oranges like I picked apples.

The minor differences between male behavior (vs. female) and picking oranges (vs. picking apples) are minor details that can be spelled out later.

Similarly, if a person wanted to learn how to approach a vehicular left turn, I'd start with: "generally, it's like turning through an intersection like you would in your car." That starts things off on the right foot, and the details of how to change lanes and proceed with this are mere details.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:40 PM   #170
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The "vehicular cycling" moniker indicates there is something special about it. "Traffic cycling" is a neutral moniker. Even Forester got this.
Even Forester?

Yes, vehicular cycling is special. It's a special type of "traffic cycling": the type that is done acording to the vehicular rules of the road, as opposed to the kind that is not.

Quote:
And the DMV drivers and cyclists manuals don't use the term "vehicular cycling." They use a term like "traffic cycling";
The term "traffic cycling" does not refer to the set of road cycling practices per the vehicular rules of the road.

Quote:
something with a neutral connotation and purely descriptive.
And very different meaning! The term traffic cycling does not preclude cycling in traffic on the wrong side of the road (as I someone doing on the way to work today - I'm sure they consider themselves to be engaged in traffic cycling); the term vehicular cycling does. I find that that's a useful distinction. Don't you?

Quote:
Nobody knows what "vehicular cycling" is (we have spent 7 pages talking about it).
Well, hopefully you're catching on now.
If few know what some term means, that's not a reason to stop using it altogether, if you have a concept that you're trying to convey, and no better alternative to mean the same thing.


Quote:
Everyone can conjure what "traffic cycling" or "cycling in traffic" involves.
Yes, and it does not preclude riding on the wrong side or riding at night without lights, etc.

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Old 03-07-07, 06:40 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by joejack951
Ok, great. So while driving a car, you operate according to the vehicular rules of the road. A bicycle is a vehicle too so you also operate it according to the vehicular rules of the road. Can we be done with this thread now?
I'm done when you're done. The point is that "vehicular rules of the road" is an umpteen page legal document, most of which people are not familiar with. But most people know how to drive a car.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:45 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff

entomologist = person who engages in the study of entomology

entomology = the work done by an entomologist

similarly...

vehicular cycling = following the vehicular rules of the road

vehicular rules of the road = how a vehicular cycling cyclist rides
Those are both circular. These are not:

entomology = the study of insects
entomologist = person who engages in entomology


vehicular rules of the road = rules of the road that pertain to the operation of vehicles.
vehicular cycling = cycling per the vehicular rules of the road

Do you see and appreciate the difference?
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Old 03-07-07, 06:52 PM   #173
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I'm done when you're done. The point is that "vehicular rules of the road" is a umpteen page legal document, most of which people are not familiar with. But most people know how to drive a car.
But driving like a car has operational characteristics that make it substantially different from operating other vehicles on the road, so "like a car" causes problems too.

In fact, I've seen many criticisms of vehicular cycling based on the assumption that vehicular cycling means "riding a bike in traffic as if it's a car", and then pointing out how a bike is different from a car and how absurd that is.


"like a motorcycle" is better, but still problematic.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:59 PM   #174
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Forester labels your "basic VC" as "basic traffic cycling." He does understand the value of naming something for the mainstream. He doesn't mention the term "vehicular cycling" anywhere in the book. "Effective cycling" is meant explicitly as a brand of traffic cycling course.

Vehicular cycling is special, but the listing under your "basic VC" bears no distinction to basic traffic cycling. Your "advanced VC" is really the central core of vehicular cycling.
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Old 03-07-07, 07:00 PM   #175
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Similarly, if a person wanted to learn how to approach a vehicular left turn, I'd start with: "generally, it's like turning through an intersection like you would in your car." That starts things off on the right foot, and the details of how to change lanes and proceed with this are mere details.
One of the main obstacles of getting people to cycle according to the vehicular rules of the road is the fact that the details are very different when you go from operating a vehicle moving at the normal speed of traffic to operating one at half or one third the speed of traffic. Driving in a car on a multilane road, if you have traffic next to you, you may just speed up to pass them and change lanes into the left lane to make your turn. Or you'd put on a turn signal and slow down a bit to squeeze into a gap. On a bike, you really can't do either of those unless you get a significant gap in traffic. You need to negotiate the lane change and use the width of the lane and your position in it to indicate what you are trying to do (as opposed to in a car where you fill up the lane for the most part and thus really can't communicate by shifting left and right).
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