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Cyclist Beware

Old 03-24-24, 10:02 AM
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Cyclist Beware

Iím from Los Angeles where riding your bike from the east side to the beach could very well cost you your life.

For the last 10 years Iíve lived in Copenhagen Denmark, home to some of the best bicycle focused infrastructure on the planet. But when I travel, Iím consistently shocked to see how, in this modern age, not only is bike infrastructure lagging behind, but how drivers seem to care less and less about sharing the roads.

Whatís your experience? Most dangerous cycling cities in US, Europe?
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Old 03-24-24, 10:48 AM
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Can ridding a bicycle make you a better driver?

Having ridden a bicycle, could that make you more courteous to bicycle riders?

More often now I run into people who have never ridden a bicycle.

How could I ask them to understand?

They have no seat of reference...
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Old 03-24-24, 10:56 AM
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In my experience I encounter good cyclist and bad cyclist just like I encounter good drivers and bad drivers. Thankfully most are good.

And your point is?

Shouldn't everyone "beware" to a certain extent whether they are cyclist or not?
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Old 03-25-24, 11:49 PM
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Almost 60 years and close to a quarter million miles riding the "dangerous streets of NYC (before bike lanes), the Metro NY area, and (mostly) the Northeast USA, and so far so good. In my opinion, the real enemy lies within. It's not that the streets or drivers are inherently dangerous, but the failure of cyclists to adapt to conditions and do what's necessary to keep themselves safe.

Of course things could be better, but they're not, and won't be for a long time. Moreover, even as we build out infrastructure, we'll still have to share roads on various stretches. Also, comparisons to Europe are problematic, because the distances are so non-comparable. Americans, for many reasons, typically travel much farther daily for work, school, and shopping than Europeans do, so our transportation needs are different.
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Old 03-26-24, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Almost 60 years and close to a quarter million miles riding the "dangerous streets of NYC (before bike lanes), the Metro NY area, and (mostly) the Northeast USA, and so far so good. In my opinion, the real enemy lies within. It's not that the streets or drivers are inherently dangerous, but the failure of cyclists to adapt to conditions and do what's necessary to keep themselves safe.

Of course things could be better, but they're not, and won't be for a long time. Moreover, even as we build out infrastructure, we'll still have to share roads on various stretches. Also, comparisons to Europe are problematic, because the distances are so non-comparable. Americans, for many reasons, typically travel much farther daily for work, school, and shopping than Europeans do, so our transportation needs are different.
Nicely put. Although I would certainly argue that the mobile phone and an overall faster-paced, instant gratification society tips the scales of responsibility. At the end of day, 90kg vs 2000kg presents a clear loser.

That's not to say that I donít take responsibility for myself while riding. We have to look after ourselves right?

Just curious, do you ride with a helmet?
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Old 03-26-24, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
Nicely put. Although I would certainly argue that the mobile phone and an overall faster-paced, instant gratification society tips the scales of responsibility. At the end of day, 90kg vs 2000kg presents a clear loser.

That's not to say that I don’t take responsibility for myself while riding. We have to look after ourselves right?

Just curious, do you ride with a helmet?
Cyclist beware: the moderators move helmet discussions (i.e., those that evolve beyond "I wear one"/"I don't wear one") to the helmet sticky thread.
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Old 03-26-24, 04:37 AM
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That's ok. Since his email address is public, the discussion can be easily continued that way.
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Old 03-26-24, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
More often now I run into people who have never ridden a bicycle.

How could I ask them to understand?
Keep running into them, harder and harder, until they either understand or they bleed out.
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Old 03-26-24, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
......

Just curious, do you ride with a helmet?
Interesting segue.....

FWIW, short answer is no. A longer answer would derail this thread, so let's leave it at that.
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Old 03-26-24, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Interesting segue.....

FWIW, short answer is no. A longer answer would derail this thread, so let's leave it at that.

I realized that after I wrote that I was opening a can of worms
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Old 03-28-24, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
Iím from Los Angeles where riding your bike from the east side to the beach could very well cost you your life.
This kind of hyperbole does no one any good. Around about two dozen cyclists are killed in Los Angeles County annually. By way of comparison, Denmark, with roughly 2/3rds of the population and triple the area, saw 22 killed in the most-recent year for which statistics seem available. And no, before you ask, Danes don't ride all that much more than Americans do -- the former averaging about 7 blocks per day.

The statistics do not support the degree of difference that you describe -- largely because infrastructure does not work to save lives, and never has.
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Old 03-28-24, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by TC1
This kind of hyperbole does no one any good. Around about two dozen cyclists are killed in Los Angeles County annually. By way of comparison, Denmark, with roughly 2/3rds of the population and triple the area, saw 22 killed in the most-recent year for which statistics seem available. And no, before you ask, Danes don't ride all that much more than Americans do -- the former averaging about 7 blocks per day.

The statistics do not support the degree of difference that you describe -- largely because infrastructure does not work to save lives, and never has.
I suppose youíre welcome to infer from the data what you will. The fact of the matter is that in regards to fatal accidents, you are more than 10xs more likely to die riding a bicycle in Los Angeles than Copenhagen.

Despite the obvious differences in size and population, the population DENSITY is nearly the same between greater Copenhagen and Los Angeles county. Fatalities, unfortunately are on the rise everywhere in the world but in 2018 were 7 and 74 respectfully. Los Angeles has long since been the most dangerous city for cyclists in the US.

Considering the fact that approx 93,000 commute to work by bike in Los Angeles vs nearly 555,000 in Copenhagen DAILYÖ. the data is hard to ignore. SOMETHING makes it safer to ride a bicycle everyday in Copenhagen. It could be due to any number of factors, but infrastructure plays no small part in my opinion and in the publicly available data.

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Old 03-28-24, 01:42 PM
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I've been watching this thread with a jaundiced eye from the drop three days ago. Clear ragebaiting from someone who 'escaped' U.S. carcentricity and wants to rub it in from a distance. It is such an original premise it is confusing the response. A thread with a more clear POV this triggering would have 96 posts by now. As it stands, most of us are wondering what the point is.
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Old 03-28-24, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
Can ridding a bicycle make you a better driver?

Having ridden a bicycle, could that make you more courteous to bicycle riders?

More often now I run into people who have never ridden a bicycle.

How could I ask them to understand?

They have no seat of reference...
I think it has mad me a better driver, simply because I am so aware of what goes on in the roadway when I'm cycling, I try and be JUST as aware when I am driving. I make sure I am aware of my blind spots; the location of my right side relative to the shoulder; and how my response to oncoming traffic has impact on cyclists too.
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Old 03-28-24, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
I suppose you’re welcome to infer from the data what you will. The fact of the matter is that in regards to fatal accidents, you are more than 10xs more likely to die riding a bicycle in Los Angeles than Copenhagen.
If you are going to discuss "the fact of the matter", you may want to use facts.

Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
Despite the obvious differences in size and population, the population DENSITY is nearly the same between greater Copenhagen and Los Angeles county. Fatalities, unfortunately are on the rise everywhere in the world but in 2018 were 7 and 74 respectfully. Los Angeles has long since been the most dangerous city for cyclists in the US.
Density is not the relevant metric, even if you resort to all capital letters. Especially not if you are subsequently going to attempt to compare with gross fatalities.

You are also wildly-incorrect when you claim that 74 cyclists were killed in 2018, or any recent year, in Los Angeles County.

Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
Considering the fact that approx 93,000 commute to work by bike in Los Angeles vs nearly 555,000 in Copenhagen DAILY…. the data is hard to ignore.
It might be... if it weren't completely incorrect. The entire population of Copenhagen is only 660,842. Not even 550k Copenhageners have jobs, so you clearly imagined that number. The actual number of Copenhagen commuters is about 400,000 -- including students, who ride a couple blocks, on average.

Furthermore, measuring cycling only by commuters is wildly inaccurate. Not everyone who bikes rides to work. In actual fact, only 15% of trips in Denmark are taken via cycle. And, as previously noted, those bicycle trips are extremely short -- averaging only just over a handful of blocks. Which means that one Los Angeles cyclist riding 20 miles accounts for the same person-miles as 24 average Danish cyclists.

Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
SOMETHING makes it safer to ride a bicycle everyday in Copenhagen.
Not by much, if at all -- per the real statistics, that you didn't just invent.

Originally Posted by efriis@mac.com
It could be due to any number of factors, but infrastructure plays no small part in my opinion and in the publicly available data.
Infrastructure doesn't work in Denmark, which is no surprise, because it has not worked anywhere it has been tried. Every municipality that has tried to build safety, has watched it fail, at significant cost of time, money, and lives, and then subsequently pivoted to enforcing traffic laws, and discouraging motor vehicle use. And the point is, if you can accomplish those two projects, you don't need to first waste time, money, and lives pouring useless concrete and paint.
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Old 03-28-24, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
If you are going to discuss "the fact of the matter", you may want to use facts.

Which means that one Los Angeles cyclist riding 20 miles accounts for the same person-miles as 24 average Danish cyclists.
My guess, which is also not a fact, but is like your mishmash of stats and identification of "average" cyclists and commuters is that one Danish cyclist riding 20 miles daily probably accounts for about the same daily person-miles as 10 to 20 "average" LA cyclists.

Got any stats on how many LA cyclists commute by bicycle 20 miles/day?
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Old 03-28-24, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
If you are going to discuss "the fact of the matter", you may want to use facts.



Density is not the relevant metric, even if you resort to all capital letters. Especially not if you are subsequently going to attempt to compare with gross fatalities.

You are also wildly-incorrect when you claim that 74 cyclists were killed in 2018, or any recent year, in Los Angeles County.



It might be... if it weren't completely incorrect. The entire population of Copenhagen is only 660,842. Not even 550k Copenhageners have jobs, so you clearly imagined that number. The actual number of Copenhagen commuters is about 400,000 -- including students, who ride a couple blocks, on average.

Furthermore, measuring cycling only by commuters is wildly inaccurate. Not everyone who bikes rides to work. In actual fact, only 15% of trips in Denmark are taken via cycle. And, as previously noted, those bicycle trips are extremely short -- averaging only just over a handful of blocks. Which means that one Los Angeles cyclist riding 20 miles accounts for the same person-miles as 24 average Danish cyclists.



Not by much, if at all -- per the real statistics, that you didn't just invent.



Infrastructure doesn't work in Denmark, which is no surprise, because it has not worked anywhere it has been tried. Every municipality that has tried to build safety, has watched it fail, at significant cost of time, money, and lives, and then subsequently pivoted to enforcing traffic laws, and discouraging motor vehicle use. And the point is, if you can accomplish those two projects, you don't need to first waste time, money, and lives pouring useless concrete and paint.
I guess you can choose whatever numbers suit your agenda as I would assume you think I have done. Greater Copenhagen (StÝrkÝbenhavn) is over 1.9 million people. I know that because I live here and pay attention to the numbers.

In addition to try to complete my 10 post probation, I thought it might be interesting to discuss infrastructure, risk, and perhaps any interesting stories or perspectives from anyone wanting to contribute.

I certainly donít feel triggered by opposing opinions. And when it comes down to choosing stats to quote, thereís probably just as many metrics as there are cyclists.

Cycling works in this city for many reasons, and you can claim all day long that itís just as effective in wherever your frame of reference is. Iím glad that you feel safe, I hope you continue to do so.

I would invite you to come and take a spin on Copenhagen streets and come to your own conclusion as I have.

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Old 03-28-24, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
My guess, which is also not a fact, but is like your mishmash of stats and identification of "average" cyclists and commuters is that one Danish cyclist riding 20 miles daily probably accounts for about the same daily person-miles as 10 to 20 "average" LA cyclists.
Rather than guess, and wind up looking clueless, you can easily look up Denmark's official statistics on their average distance cycled. It's 1.4 km daily -- which is about 7 city blocks. That said, the official Danish numbers are internally inconsistent, so they've made a large mistake somewhere -- which is not uncommon among countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, where cycling is both a major part of their travel industry and a point of national pride. Both countries "accidentally" misstate their cycling statistics to project a happier situation than reality. In the Netherlands case, they undercount cycling injuries by a factor of 3, in order to avoid answering difficult questions about cycling safety, after having spent many millions on ineffectual construction.

The inaccuracy in the Danish statistics is revealed by the fact that they claim 1.4 km daily per citizen, and 8.6 km per Danish cyclist, while also claiming that 70% of citizens cycle. Which is clearly impossible. If 70% of Danes ride, and average 8.6 km daily, that's 36M km daily, which would be 6 km per citizen -- not 1.4.

So something is rotten in the state of Denmark.


Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Got any stats on how many LA cyclists commute by bicycle 20 miles/day?
As already explained, that would be a completely meaningless number, even if it existed -- and it doesn't, because no one has ever tracked miles-cycled in the US with any useful degree of precision.
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Old 03-28-24, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
I've been watching this thread with a jaundiced eye from the drop three days ago. Clear ragebaiting from someone who 'escaped' U.S. carcentricity and wants to rub it in from a distance. It is such an original premise it is confusing the response. A thread with a more clear POV this triggering would have 96 posts by now. As it stands, most of us are wondering what the point is.
Iíve never heard of ragebaiting but I guess that youíre implying that Iím trying to illicit a response. I suppose thatís true but I never meant to make anyone angry and certainly not rub anything in. I donít know what Iíd be rubbing in?

As I said in another response, I was simply killing two birds with one stone. Satisfying my 10 post probation and hearing about otherís experiences. I have no agenda, no pride, and certainly no ill will.

Ride safe and happy Easter if thatís your jam
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Old 03-28-24, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Midlifecyclist
I guess you can choose whatever numbers suit your agenda as I would assume you think I have done.
My "agenda" -- as you call it -- is that people should not make claims that are unsupportable by any statistical evidence, as OP did. In particular, many cyclists have a fixation on telling anyone who will listen how dangerous cycling is. This is both wrong, and counterproductive -- unless their objective is to get more people injured and killed on bicycles.

Originally Posted by Midlifecyclist
Greater Copenhagen (StÝrkÝbenhavn) is over 1.9 million people. I know that because I live here and pay attention to the numbers.
That's nice. And greater Los Angeles has 19M people. Neither are useful bits of information without cycling statistics compiled for that municipal area, which is why we were using Los Angeles County, Copenhagen, and Denmark in this discussion.

If you "pay attention to the numbers", why did you lie about several of the relevant statistics?

Originally Posted by Midlifecyclist
Cycling works in this city for many reasons, and you can claim all day long that it’s just as effective in wherever your frame of reference is. I’m glad that you feel safe, I hope you continue to do so.
I would invite you to come and take a spin on Copenhagen streets and come to your own conclusion as I have.
I am not from Los Angeles or Copenhagen, and it wouldn't matter if I was. Feeling safe is wildly different from being safe. Feeling safe is almost completely irrelevant.

Denmark -- with a population of 6M people and about 4.2M cyclists -- sees about 30 of the latter killed annually. The United States -- with about 120M cyclists -- sees about 850 killed annually. Those are almost exactly the same rate per cyclist.

Pretending that one of those rates is wildly lower than the other is not an effective strategy -- and neither is trying to build safety.

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Old 03-28-24, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
My "agenda" -- as you call it -- is that people should not make claims that are unsupportable by any statistical evidence, as OP did. In particular, many cyclists have a fixation on telling anyone who will listen how dangerous cycling is. This is both wrong, and counterproductive -- unless their objective is to get more people injured and killed on bicycles.



That's nice. And greater Los Angeles has 19M people. Neither are useful bits of information without cycling statistics compiled for that municipal area, which is why we were using Los Angeles County, Copenhagen, and Denmark in this discussion.




I am not from Los Angeles or Copenhagen, and it wouldn't matter if I was. Feeling safe is wildly different from being safe. Feeling safe is almost completely irrelevant.

Denmark -- with a population of 6M people and about 4.2M cyclists -- sees about 30 of the latter killed annually. The United States -- with about 120M cyclists -- sees about 850 killed annually. Those are almost exactly the same rate per cyclist.

Pretending that one of those rates is wildly lower than the other is not an effective strategy -- and neither is trying to build safety.
Cool

You seem pretty against bicycle infrastructure. Can I ask why? What is the more affective alternative approach in your opinion?
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Old 03-28-24, 04:17 PM
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I've been riding these dangerous roads of America for so long (since the mid-80's) that I don't want no stinkin' segregated bike paths -- they're too slow for me.

I'm like a wild animal you can't cage



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Old 03-28-24, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Midlifecyclist
You seem pretty against bicycle infrastructure. Can I ask why? What is the more affective alternative approach in your opinion?
I already explained why -- it does not work, and it is a waste of time, money, and lives. In addition, it does not scale at all, as the Netherlands is presently struggling with, along other places.

The more effective alternative, that every municipality turns to after they watch construction fail, is to enforce traffic laws, and reduce motor vehicle traffic -- the latter typically by making it prohibitively expensive.

We've already seen this play out. We know how it goes. Millions upon millions are wasted on construction, to no positive effect, and afterwards, the realization sets in that unless road users follow the laws, and behave cooperatively, it is impossible to build safety. So let's skip wasting millions and pouring acres of concrete and paint, and just move straight to the strategy that works. When you do that, you find that existing roads are perfectly fine and the only problem is road-user behavior. So fix the problem -- instead of throwing away resources on a strategy that has already been proven to fail every single time.
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Old 03-28-24, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TC1
I already explained why -- it does not work, and it is a waste of time, money, and lives. In addition, it does not scale at all, as the Netherlands is presently struggling with, along other places.

The more effective alternative, that every municipality turns to after they watch construction fail, is to enforce traffic laws, and reduce motor vehicle traffic -- the latter typically by making it prohibitively expensive.

We've already seen this play out. We know how it goes. Millions upon millions are wasted on construction, to no positive effect, and afterwards, the realization sets in that unless road users follow the laws, and behave cooperatively, it is impossible to build safety. So let's skip wasting millions and pouring acres of concrete and paint, and just move straight to the strategy that works. When you do that, you find that existing roads are perfectly fine and the only problem is road-user behavior. So fix the problem -- instead of throwing away resources on a strategy that has already been proven to fail every single time.
Okay, I think that we can agree on a few points.

Im not sure why you want to be so combative. I didnít lie about data, the thought that I would want to lie or cherry pick data is just ridiculous. Just like thousands of other conversations and debates, anyone can present data to support whatever their opinions are. I guess Iíve done the same. In reality Iím simply curious about other individual's experiences.

I got curious why youíre so confrontational, so I looked at some of your other interactions on the forums. Seems to be a trend so I wonít take it personally.

Hereís to a spirited debate and a happy holiday weekend
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Old 03-28-24, 04:41 PM
  #25  
TC1
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Originally Posted by Midlifecyclist
Im not sure why you want to be so combative. I didnít lie about data, the thought that I would want to lie or cherry pick data is just ridiculous.
You were pretty strident about being in possession of "the fact of the matter" and claiming that I was cherry-picking data to suit "my agenda" and claiming that you "pay attention to the numbers" and shouting "DENSITY" when it was irrelevant to the topic.

All the while, you were fabricating nonsensical statistics. So yeah, you earned what you interpreted as "combat" -- but as I said, the point is that one should not make claims that are unsupportable, as you did. If you found the result unpleasant, don't do that next time.
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