how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby fat and old » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:05 pm

All of this is well and good. If you use your bike for transport. In fact, in most cases it’s not an issue if you use your bike for transport....it’s less common to cop a serve on the sit up commuter dressed for the office or a trip to the shops than it is on the roadie dressed in Lycra. As human points out, the culture change is exponential in inner Melb; the bulk of the cyclists are obviously going about their business; going to work, the shops, off to meet old mate(s).

What does any of this do for the majority of cyclists on the roads in this country? Why is this not addressed? Right or wrong the majority of cyclists on the road at any given time barring peak hour (possibly, I’m not so sure about this) are sports cyclists. “Training”, riding with mates, everesting, coffee cruising etc. These cyclists are bearing the brunt of the criticism, the brunt of the close passes, the brunt of the incidents and the brunt of the deaths. They are the ones being complained about, not Sunshine Everlove on her Dutch step through; not Ken commuter with his panniers and sandals.

Like it or not, the average roadie most likely drives or PT’s it to work, and most people are smart enough to draw the distinction. Arguing about congestion, health et al is a waste of time in this case. Take Melbourne’s popular cycling haunts...Beach Rd and The Dandenongs. Everyone here has ridden one of those. How many people are going to drive their car up the 1 in 20 for repeats? How many will drive Port Melbourne to Mornington and back for the sake of it?

Roads were built for transport. That’s why they exist, from the moment of conception. There’s no arguing this simple point. And there’s no way to paint road cyclists as transport in most cases. THAT is the elephant in the room. In motorists (and many non motorists) eyes we don’t belong; if we want to “play on our bikes” then go on the shared path.

We need to change the concept of ownership of roads. Until then anything else is a waste of time.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby Cyclophiliac » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:46 pm

If even a member of this forum can make the invalid generalisation of a road bike rider as someone who doesn't use it for transport, then the future of cycling in Australia is grim.

In the building where I work, the overwhelming majority of bicycles are lightweight road bikes, with a much smaller number of other types: touring, folding, etc. Most of the road bike riders wear lycra, for purely practical reasons. I have no doubt that many of these ride road bikes on weekends sometimes, too.

In other words, there are too many ways that non-cyclists (and even cyclists) try to pigeonhole cyclists, and make completely wrong assumptions about them, based on what type of bicycles they see them riding.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:16 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:I mostly disagree (and mostly agree with no_gears_no_tears). I haven't seen a scientific survey (though I'd love to see one), but for me the anti-cyclist sentiment is for two primary reasons:
1. cyclists are perceived to flout the road rules
2. cyclists (in some cases) slow traffic down.

If there was a culture to keep the road rules, the reasons to not like cyclists would be cut by 50%, which is a good start. Especially because, for many cyclists (e.g. probably most commuters), reason (2) doesn't really apply.

Which brings me to what I'd do: an education campaign. Focusing on (1) why cycling is good for society in general (less traffic actually makes commuting and parking easier; less pollution); (2) where rego money goes and why bike rego would be counter productive; and (3) some basic cycling-related road rules (passing distances, where 2 abreast is and isn't legal, filtering, etc). I can't see the government forking out for many TV ads, but I think it could be done via social media. (EDIT: And getting back to the point at the start of my post, such a campaign would obviously be helped if more cyclists kept to road rules).


That some cyclists flout the laws is not the problem... that is used as the argument but in reality doesn’t impact other drivers in their travel.

The issue is that some drivers see cyclists as an inconvenience so even when they are in a traffic jam, while other drivers are just like them, along comes a cyclist and they are an easy target - a scapegoat. Then they create reason why bike riders shouldn’t be there.

Trying to integrate too many facts makes it more complex and facts can be countered with facts, unfacts and denial.

The education (advertising) needs be emotional... and without a genuine committment by the governments into education abd infrastruction, progress will be slower and more bike riders will be injured and killed at the fault of drivers.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby fat and old » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:47 pm

Cyclophiliac wrote:If even a member of this forum can make the invalid generalisation of a road bike rider as someone who doesn't use it for transport, then the future of cycling in Australia is grim.

In the building where I work, the overwhelming majority of bicycles are lightweight road bikes, with a much smaller number of other types: touring, folding, etc. Most of the road bike riders wear lycra, for purely practical reasons. I have no doubt that many of these ride road bikes on weekends sometimes, too.

In other words, there are too many ways that non-cyclists (and even cyclists) try to pigeonhole cyclists, and make completely wrong assumptions about them, based on what type of bicycles they see them riding.


No offence intended, but you’re either deliberately missing my point entirely or just don’t understand it. I think a little of both. Until you learn to face uncomfortable (because they may not support your own opinions) truths, and “think like the enemy”, you’ll always be behind the game. “You” being a generalisation.

My personal commuter is a Di2 R5 Cervelo; I assume nothing based on the bike a person rides. Most of our detractors do. I do see many more people commuting into and around the CBD and suburbs on “normal” bikes (I don’t know how else to differentiate between sports/road cycles so I’ll go with this) than “road” bikes. I’m pretty sure that the vast bulk of cyclists getting around outside of weekday peak hour aren’t “transport” cyclists; they are sports, recreational or health types.

Sure, you can deflect the conversation by claiming pigeon holing cyclist types is wrong etc (which I agree with btw). Doesn’t make a lick of difference to my claim that none of these ideas apply to the recreational/sports rider, nor to my claim that perceived ownership of the roads based on intended use is the one and only issue.

All cyclists need to get past their tribalism and look at the issue from a cycling POV, not their personal POV imo. At least that’s how it seems to me.

Oh, something else. Many drivers are actually quite nervous when close to cyclists. They don’t hate them per se, they hate the feelings invoked and transfer that to the cyclist. I don’t know how you solve that short of separation.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby AdelaidePeter » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:54 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:I mostly disagree (and mostly agree with no_gears_no_tears). I haven't seen a scientific survey (though I'd love to see one), but for me the anti-cyclist sentiment is for two primary reasons:
1. cyclists are perceived to flout the road rules
2. cyclists (in some cases) slow traffic down.

If there was a culture to keep the road rules, the reasons to not like cyclists would be cut by 50%, which is a good start. Especially because, for many cyclists (e.g. probably most commuters), reason (2) doesn't really apply

...


That some cyclists flout the laws is not the problem... that is used as the argument but in reality doesn’t impact other drivers in their travel.

The issue is that some drivers see cyclists as an inconvenience so even when they are in a traffic jam, while other drivers are just like them, along comes a cyclist and they are an easy target - a scapegoat. Then they create reason why bike riders shouldn’t be there.


So you're saying that, even though anti-cyclists SAY that riders flouting laws is their problem, their real problem something else, an irrational "cyclists shouldn't be there"?

Sorry, I don't buy that. I think it's better to take people at their word, unless there's a really good reason not to.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby find_bruce » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:20 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:So you're saying that, even though anti-cyclists SAY that riders flouting laws is their problem, their real problem something else, an irrational "cyclists shouldn't be there"?

Sorry, I don't buy that. I think it's better to take people at their word, unless there's a really good reason not to.
cyclists are people & there is no evidence that they break the law any more frequently than other people

On the other hand there is plenty of evidence that people’s motivations are rarely what they say.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby skull » Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:29 pm

I am a pessimist, any advertising campaign isn't going to do anything to improve cyclist image. All it will do is further drive the angst of the bicycle haters.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby human909 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:11 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:So you're saying that, even though anti-cyclists SAY that riders flouting laws is their problem, their real problem something else, an irrational "cyclists shouldn't be there"?

Sorry, I don't buy that. I think it's better to take people at their word, unless there's a really good reason not to.

I envy your life having not seen nor experienced bigotry. Bigotry meet AdelaidePeter. AdelaidePeter meet bigotry.


Bigots generally find all sort of excuses why they hold their views. Generally those proffered are not the real ones.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby AUbicycles » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:54 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote::
So you're saying that, even though anti-cyclists SAY that riders flouting laws is their problem, their real problem something else, an irrational "cyclists shouldn't be there"?

Sorry, I don't buy that. I think it's better to take people at their word, unless there's a really good reason not to.


That’s fine. I have been in active in cycle advocacy in various capacities for almost two decades so feel that I have a very good reason to look beyond the basic abuse and excuses which are used to argue that cyclists should not be on the roads.

Even if you consider two; the rego argument and the red light argument. In essence they are completely different but the intent is to argue that cyclists shouldn’t be on the road even though these both have essentially zero impact on the anti-cyclist.

If you feel that it is irrational that some drivers want bike riders off the road, have a chat to a few of them. I have spoken to a number who hold this view and most interesting in a civil discussion or debate is to see how their reasoning can easily shift if they see one of their arguments is without merit.


(Blame the smart phone for typos)

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby human909 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:21 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Even if you consider two, the rego argument and the red light argument. In essence they are completely different but the intent is to argue that cyclists shouldn’t be on the road even though these both have essentially zero impact on the anti-cyclist.

(My emphasis.)

When the two most common arguments are essentially of not consequence, harm or impact on the those objecting it really is kindergarten stuff.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:04 am

RobertL wrote:
gorilla monsoon wrote:Cynical hat on: federal, state and local governments love motorised vehicles and here's why - feds make money from import tariffs, sales tax, fuel excise. States make money from registration, stamp duty. Councils make money from parking/parking fines, traffic infringements.
And lets not forget the tax made from everything - consumables and accessories - bought to fit on motorised vehicles.
Bicycles? pretty much nothing to be made from them except a tiny bit of tax on sales and consumables.
It all comes down to dollars so good luck winning that argument with a politician at any level.



I think that you have to counter this with Thoglette's argument above. Sure, governments make money through fuel excise etc, but they also spend lots of money on roadworks and the health budget. Keep bludgeoning them with the numbers that the costs outweigh the revenue and they may realise the benefit (to them) of more people cycling.


You mean the same way they deal with tobacco and alcohol consumption? Right. Got it.
I once dealt with my local member (who was then a junior minister in state parliament) about government funding for a public burn-out pad. The reason was that a private pad operated by Newcastle Speedway was dramatically cutting 'hoon' activity in the region to the point the local coppers could even put an accurate percentage figure on it.
He more or less laughed me out of his office.
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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby jindydiver » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:24 am

BJL wrote:
tcdev wrote:
And while we're at it, to think that cyclists paying rego would change anything at all is simply fantasy... despite the fact that I'm struggling to think of what they could hate on if we all paid rego, rode single file, and obeyed the road rules. I'm sure they'd find something... maybe we'd be forced to stop wearing lycra and stop drinking latte too...


As soon as cyclists have to pay rego, motorists will all of a sudden decide that rego doesn't pay for the roads after all, and that roads are completely funded by fuel excise.

There's no reasoning with many motorists because they're self centered, opinionated hypocrites. I know of at least one who'll call out other motorists on the roads for using mobile phones when driving (He'll see someone on the phone and he'll be muttering 'get off the phone you stupid bitch and look where you're driving' sort of thing but too gutless to actually say it loud enough for the offender to hear), but when he is driving and HIS phone rings, you'd never guess what happens next. :shock: And the time I called him out on this, he got angry at me and starts making all sorts of excuses.

He's one of 'those'. Never wrong, always right. There's plenty of them out there on the roads. Many of them write into newspapers complaining about cyclists breaking the law but conveniently omit who else breaks the law on the roads.

Thankfully, I have nothing to do with this !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !! anymore and I have no time for anyone else like this either.



It is called attribution bias and it is often about people pointing out errors (choices) that others make and criticising them for it but being able to find rationalisations for why they themselves occasionally make the same choices. Your example with the use of mobile phones is a great one.
In some motorists eyes the cyclist is always the bad guy, nothing anybody can do to change their mind about that.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:51 pm

In the cycling advocacy section I shared a resource which is on topic and show how marketing works, some key points, don’t use facts, use the lifestyle and show the ideal... so it would show happy everyday bike riders.

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=97111

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby cooperplace » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:29 pm

Some interesting replies here. I don't buy these arguments:
-that car driver bad behavior can't be changed
-that governments will never fund campaigns to improve the image of cyclists

Sure some people can't be reached, but I think the right ad campaign could reach some drivers.

Another thing that an ad campaign could point out is the fact, obvious to all of us, that cyclists pay a bunch of rego already. I know I do: we've got 2 cars and a motorcycle in the house.
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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby Cyclophiliac » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:01 am

cooperplace wrote:Another thing that an ad campaign could point out is the fact, obvious to all of us, that cyclists pay a bunch of rego already. I know I do: we've got 2 cars and a motorcycle in the house.

I hope that never occurs, because it's misleading and wrong. Registration fees pay for motor vehicle registration, not the roads. I don't own or use any motor vehicles, but I have as much right to use the roads as anyone else.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby bychosis » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:06 am

Cyclophiliac wrote:
cooperplace wrote:Another thing that an ad campaign could point out is the fact, obvious to all of us, that cyclists pay a bunch of rego already. I know I do: we've got 2 cars and a motorcycle in the house.

I hope that never occurs, because it's misleading and wrong. Registration fees pay for motor vehicle registration, not the roads. I don't own or use any motor vehicles, but I have as much right to use the roads as anyone else.


True, but it's an argument that can be used on occasion.

1: "You shouldn't be on the road, you don't pay rego"
2: "I do pay rego, in fact there are three registered vehicles sitting at home right now not using the roads they are supposedly paying for"
1: "....but you're unregistered"
2: "and rego isn't distance based, so by not driving I'm subsidising your usage"
1: "but..."
2: "and while we are at it rego doesn't pay for road construction and maintenance, most of that comes out of your council rates"
1: "I don't pay rates, I rent"
2: "sigh..."
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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby fat and old » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:06 am

Doesn't always work. I had a fella once get into a pissing contest over how many regos he paid. I won....27. :lol: Didn't matter one iota.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:11 am

Sigh! could be used to describe the entire interaction in that example.

The issue with governments is that politicians have agendas and advertising can reflect this (i.e. they just want to be re-elected and use a campaign to promote themself and miss effectively addressing the topic) or they can just do it poorly with too small a budget or poor implementation. It is hard for them to get it right.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby AdelaidePeter » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:48 am

It's too much work to respond to you all individually, but many of you are basically saying the same thing:

"On the other hand there is plenty of evidence that people’s motivations are rarely what they say."
"I am a pessimist, any advertising campaign isn't going to do anything to improve cyclist image."
"Bigots generally find all sort of excuses why they hold their views"
"it really is kindergarten stuff."
"their reasoning can easily shift if they see one of their arguments is without merit."
"nothing anybody can do to change their mind"

What these responses all have in common is, essentially, "demonising" anti-cyclists. So even if a valid point is raised, it is dismissed with "that's not their real objection, their real objection is that they irrationally hate cyclists". And because all objections are irrational, it means (a) we don't need to respond to any rational arguments, and (b) anti-cyclist feeling is never the cyclists' fault, so we don't need to change cyclist behaviour in any way.

I don't buy that. I still maintain that a rational education campaign would help; as would some change in cyclists' behaviour. Yes there is the idiot 1%. But there is a large proportion of the population, reasonable people, who have a negative perception of cycling, and they have this negative perception for a reason. It is those people we should be trying to reach. The ABC online quiz was one small but nice way to do some of that educating.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby queequeg » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:23 pm

cooperplace wrote:Some interesting replies here. I don't buy these arguments:
-that car driver bad behavior can't be changed
-that governments will never fund campaigns to improve the image of cyclists

Sure some people can't be reached, but I think the right ad campaign could reach some drivers.

Another thing that an ad campaign could point out is the fact, obvious to all of us, that cyclists pay a bunch of rego already. I know I do: we've got 2 cars and a motorcycle in the house.


As with other comments, trying to fight "you don't pay rego" argument with "..but I do, on my car that is at home..." forces you to concede that rego funds roads. The problem is, it doesn't. There is no bucket of money allocated from "rego" that pays for roads. Everything goes into one big bucket called consolidated revenue, and the govt allocates funding from that based on whatever their current priorities are.

Motorists are under the impression that their rego pays for everything, because that is what shock jocks and newspapers tell them, and they can't be bothered with the facts.

So, I don't get involved in the rego argument. The law says that Rego is not required for bicycles, and that I have the same rights and responsibilities as a motorist. If you don't like that, lobby your State MP to change the law instead of whining about it on Facebook or the comments section of a newspaper
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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby Ross » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:15 pm

The rego argument ("I have registered vehicle in the garage at home") doesn't really work as lots of people have more than one vehicle and obviously can only drive one at a time yet the other vehicles are still required to be registered if they want to drive them on the road. This isn't pro-bike rego (I'm agnostic on the subject), just pointing out flaws in the argument.

I doubt if cyclists paid rego that driver's attitiudes towards them would change and also paying rego would most likely cost more to administer than it would raise in actual revenue, so I see it as a waste of time and resorces.

Some of the other suggestions by people are good ones like seeing a cyclist getting road raged by a motorist and then later meeting up with the motorists when the cyclist is shown to be a doctor/dentist/cop/etc. The type of cyclist in these ads should be varied to include a lycra clad sports cyclist, a family in street clothes, a commuter, a MTBer. And the ad needs to show that rarely does a motorist lose more than a few seconds by being "delayed" by a cyclist.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:36 pm

Paraphrasing and adjusting the information to fit into your schema doesn’t mean that the opinions are being properly represented and doesn’t mean that counter arguments are more valid.

“So you’re saying....”

I admit that I do this as well though still attempt not to shift or skew the original premise.

The good thing is that we don’t have to agree and underneath some of the different views, in common we share an interest for an improvement in cycling. I also take this interest and put it into action in many different ways to help create a positive shift... but it is a very slow and often frustrating endeavour.

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby fat and old » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:25 pm

On the subject of "delayed by a cyclist", if we were to take the marketing approach we could say that it's only a few seconds. But it's not always. I've been behind cyclists on The Esplanade in Mt Martha from the creek to the other side of Marthas Cove and it's a lot longer than a few seconds. I can see people getting frustrated there. I'm sure there's more places like that. Not sure how to sell that? Can't very well tell the motorist to look around, take in the scenery, even if that's what we as cyclists do.

Actually, thinking about it there's a whole heap of double standards that occur between road users based on their (perceived) ability to cause mayhem. I know that whenever I'm faced with anything that suggests this I get real skeptical and dismissive of the campaign/claim/whatever that raises these questions. Trucks being outlawed in the "fast" lane is one I don't get for example. With cycling, how can you get through to people who see any campaign as favoritism?

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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby cooperplace » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:33 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:It's too much work to respond to you all individually, but many of you are basically saying the same thing:

"On the other hand there is plenty of evidence that people’s motivations are rarely what they say."
"I am a pessimist, any advertising campaign isn't going to do anything to improve cyclist image."
"Bigots generally find all sort of excuses why they hold their views"
"it really is kindergarten stuff."
"their reasoning can easily shift if they see one of their arguments is without merit."
"nothing anybody can do to change their mind"

What these responses all have in common is, essentially, "demonising" anti-cyclists. So even if a valid point is raised, it is dismissed with "that's not their real objection, their real objection is that they irrationally hate cyclists". And because all objections are irrational, it means (a) we don't need to respond to any rational arguments, and (b) anti-cyclist feeling is never the cyclists' fault, so we don't need to change cyclist behaviour in any way.

I don't buy that. I still maintain that a rational education campaign would help; as would some change in cyclists' behaviour. Yes there is the idiot 1%. But there is a large proportion of the population, reasonable people, who have a negative perception of cycling, and they have this negative perception for a reason. It is those people we should be trying to reach. The ABC online quiz was one small but nice way to do some of that educating.


agreed. I'm not interested in the hate-filled 1% but rather the majority who CAN be reached by ads. it's worth a try.
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Re: how govts could advertise to improve public image of cyclists?

Postby cooperplace » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:34 pm

it goes without saying that cyclists should always display exemplary behaviour. Going thru red lights, punching cars, breaking mirrors (even if there seems to be some justification) should never happen
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