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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-01-2013 01:01 PM
mama amie Can this be revived? Another thread begun? I want a car-free network up in here! wink1.gif

I'm about to divorce and start living CF in an apartment near downtown Austin, TX. My 2 kids will be with me at least 50% and i have a bike w/ Burley Encore double trailer/stroller. Also, my apartment will be on the bus line. STBX will have an apartment less than a mile away. My job will be about one mile away. I am excited to try this!
03-04-2011 11:04 AM
gingerandpickles

My kids love the bus. Now that we have 4 youngsters, I find myself using the car more than I'd like, but boy the kids beg for the bus!

02-01-2010 10:32 AM
sanguine_speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
Ouch. I know you didn't mean to, but this attitude from Vancouver city dwellers -as if the only people in Van that can live carfree/ in a walkable way live there - annoys me. We have lived carfree in those terrible burbs for 5 years. ;-) We take transit everywhere, the bus stop is 2 mins walk from my house. 2 blocks from my house in the burbs is a library, pool, city archives, park, dog park, restaurants, groceries etc. A mall is 15 minutes walk. which I guess makes it local shopping? Har. DH bikes to work DT. You may not be aware of this - most vancouverites aren't, I find - but the Vancouver car coop has many cars in burbs like Burnaby, for people who need a car sometimes but don't want to buy one. As members, we have access to a car only a few blocks from our house. I can think of quite a few other burbs where this is possible, so it's not that unusual.

Burbs can be walkable too.

Fellow 'burbanite with gratitude.
We're not all McMansioneers trying to kill the rainforest.
12-29-2009 08:46 PM
Tapioca
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post

I really believe in living locally and supporting local businesses. I buy my clothes and gifts in the neighbourhood and never go to the mall. We are also trying to get into a local housing coop. I know tons of moms in the neighbourhood and in the 3 years since dd was born have developed some wonderful friendships. I wouldn't move to the burbs for anything.
Ouch. I know you didn't mean to, but this attitude from Vancouver city dwellers -as if the only people in Van that can live carfree/ in a walkable way live there - annoys me. We have lived carfree in those terrible burbs for 5 years. ;-) We take transit everywhere, the bus stop is 2 mins walk from my house. 2 blocks from my house in the burbs is a library, pool, city archives, park, dog park, restaurants, groceries etc. A mall is 15 minutes walk. which I guess makes it local shopping? Har. DH bikes to work DT. You may not be aware of this - most vancouverites aren't, I find - but the Vancouver car coop has many cars in burbs like Burnaby, for people who need a car sometimes but don't want to buy one. As members, we have access to a car only a few blocks from our house. I can think of quite a few other burbs where this is possible, so it's not that unusual.

Burbs can be walkable too.
12-29-2009 04:06 AM
lactatinggirl My daughter is young (9 months) so she rides everywhere in my Sleepy Wrap. We walk and take public transportation constantly because I hate driving, she hates the car seat, and we're trying to be eco-conscious. We still have 2 cars, but I'm trying to talk my husband into selling mine.
07-26-2009 12:17 AM
HarperRose
Quote:
Originally Posted by klk197 View Post
Hi all. We, too, don't have a car here in Philadelphia, and I'm hoping you might be able to advise us. On occasion, we rent a car to travel or grandparents come to town and we hop in the car to do a big shopping trip. We've been using a borrowed infant car seat, but soon, DS will to be too big for it. Can you recommend a convertible seat that 1) doesn't cost a bundle 2) is easy to install quickly curbside--no driveway 3) is light enough to carry 4) will fit most styles of car in a rear-facing position. Is this an impossible thing to find? I fear that my wild little boy could require some trips to the emergency room via taxi some day, and we'll need to own our own seat (borrowing one will no longer be an option!). I've been searching the web, but haven't found anything yet that seems right. . . and all of the stores that sell them are out-of-town, and hauling one back on the bus seems a bit ridiculous when I can have it delivered to my door.


We have the Cosco Scenera (between $40. and $55. depending on where you live and where you purchase) convertible and it's been GREAT. We can use it RF or FF and it's very easy to pop in and out of whatever vehicle we're using.
07-13-2009 04:19 PM
klk197 Hi all. We, too, don't have a car here in Philadelphia, and I'm hoping you might be able to advise us. On occasion, we rent a car to travel or grandparents come to town and we hop in the car to do a big shopping trip. We've been using a borrowed infant car seat, but soon, DS will to be too big for it. Can you recommend a convertible seat that 1) doesn't cost a bundle 2) is easy to install quickly curbside--no driveway 3) is light enough to carry 4) will fit most styles of car in a rear-facing position. Is this an impossible thing to find? I fear that my wild little boy could require some trips to the emergency room via taxi some day, and we'll need to own our own seat (borrowing one will no longer be an option!). I've been searching the web, but haven't found anything yet that seems right. . . and all of the stores that sell them are out-of-town, and hauling one back on the bus seems a bit ridiculous when I can have it delivered to my door.
05-26-2009 03:28 PM
KekoneR
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarperRose View Post
Since I broke my foot, I wasn't able to walk for several weeks.

Today I was back to it!

I took my 7 yr old (rode her bike) and the baby (17 mos, stroller) for a 1-mile walk this afternoon to pick up a few groceries. She was riding her bike through the crosswalk (we had the little walking man, it was our turn to go) while I pushed the baby in the stroller. Some dummy turned RIGHT IN FRONT of her and nearly HIT her!!! I ran to grab her (she didn't hear my yelling for her to stop) and the woman never once stopped!!! She looked right AT US and didn't even slow down! WTF?!?! Are you kidding me?!

People are nuts! I sooooooo hate it when that happens! Also look out for idiots trying to pass on the right and zooming around a person at a stop sign, I have actually been hit this way. I wasn't hurt bad that time but it's terrifying & infuriating. I slammed my fists on the girl's hood and she had the never to say "You don't have the right to hit my car!" lady, if your car so much as touches my body, I think pretty much I have the right to smash it to bits with a brick, and count yourself lucky if I stop at the car.

Keep reminding all the kind and green people you know to watch out, to be especially cautious and polite to pedestrians. If you can't go car free yourself, the next best thing is to make an extra effort to be conscious and kind to those who do, as drivers take OUR lives in THEIR hands every day. I'm sure most of the people who have hit me over the years were not "bad" people, just careless & distracted, well meaning people being foolish. Unfortunately being car-free still seems to be you WILL be hit by a car, eventually. I've been hit multiple times, so far never seriously physically injured, but it takes it's emotional toll all the same.
05-26-2009 03:18 PM
KekoneR
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenirene View Post
I'm also thinking about using my bike with either a trailer like a burley or putting my son in one of those front bike seats that sits between your arms and my 5yo on one of those towed bike attachments (tandem looking thingies). Any thoughts on this arrangement?
I have a tandem style towed-bike / trail-a-bike, and love it. We've been using it since my dd was barely 3, which is earlier than the recommended age. It works great on side streets, but had me so paranoid in the bike lanes I generally avoided those most of the time. We took a loose interpretation of local (Chicago) bike laws which state 12 and overs must ride in the street, under 12s on the sidewalk. She's under 12, so we rode where we pleased. Drivers in our area are *really* aggressive.

As much as I like the trail-a-bike, I don't know that I'd recommend using it at the same time as an on the bike carrier. The tandem takes some effort to pull even with dd peddling away, and it makes the adult bike more cumbersome to maneuver, both while riding and getting on and off and during lock-up*. If it were me, I think I'd try to cram both kids in a pull along trailer, until one was old enough to ride independently along side.

One more thing, being car free and cheap I had been a big fan of cheap-o, garage sale bikes. But with dd I bit the bullet and bought a pricey new bike, an Electra brand Townie bike. (I haven't spent a penny on a car or stroller, as a key part of my car-free lifestyle I realized I had to splurge on a good bike) "Real cyclists" kept trying to steer me to the fastest possible bike, for safety in traffic, they figure speed = maneuverability = dodging cars. That style of riding stopped working for me when I had a kid in tow. Now I like to cruise along slow and steady, and hopefully visible, but often semi-legally on the sidewalks where cars are less likely to run me over. The Townie is a "comfort" or "cruiser" bike which works well for me with the tandem. The "flat foot stance" has been really helpful in supporting that sometimes wobbly trail-a-bike.

*about lock-up - the only time in my life I have ever been pick-pocketed was while locking up the bike, dealing with the tandem, a pile of library books, and a feisty 4 year old mooning around next to a busy street. I think I dropped my wallet, and one of the homeless guys who hang out in front of the library grabbed it. If you see a normally laid back momma acting like bike lock-up time is a military drill, this is why, so have a little sympathy. I get migraines, and sometimes when I get off that bike, I'm tired, achy, thirsty, and maybe rattled after having idiots honk at me and fancy ladies in SUVs flip me the bird, I'm stressing hard.

If you can find one, I highly recommend hooking up with another biking momma, for co-oping these rough patches. I haven't yet, but I'm still looking. Next to that my best biking friend is GoogleMaps, both for finding the best routes, and the fun & educational map play after a trip where we review our route, measure the mileage, etc.

happy biking!
Kekone
05-26-2009 02:45 PM
KekoneR
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthyamber View Post
So, what does everyone do when walking when it is raining or cold? We have been car-less for about 5 months, so it has been warm and only rained once on us while walking. Here we get heavy snow! It is ultra cold, but we just bundle up. I worry about snow and rain. What do you all do?
I'm a SAHM with zero childcare assistance, and no car, so this is in fact a pretty big issue for me. I have a weather widget on my desktop and plan my weekly excursions around the weather.

I don't own a stroller either, and I extended the baby-wearing past the time most people seem to quit in a large part due to being car free - dd is warmer bundled against me than she is walking. I keep her in a Tibetan back carry for outings during most of the snowy part of the winter. We also own and wear good quality woolen undergarments every day for the 3 colder seasons. I don't let her slog through snow drifts when we go out, we save that for playtime.

I get fresh produce and smaller things in the neighborhood, and have bigger / heavier items delivered. For the rain we have rain gear (from Columbia sporting gear, found them cheap on Amazon) and dd has learned that jumping in puddles is allowed on the way HOME, not on the way out. Being SAHM and broke and carfree dovetail naturally with cooking at home - when the weather is too bad we spend the day inside making soup. :
05-11-2009 03:14 PM
HarperRose
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldsmom View Post
For those of you with more that one or two kids, how do you manage logistics? Especially on the bus. We have tried it, but with stroller, 3 kids, diaper bag - it is too much for one person. ANy suggestions?
I have 3 kids, but only the youngest is still in a stroller or baby carrier.

Can you wear the baby on your back and fold up the stroller? Then when you're ready to go again, open the stroller, toss the diaper bag on the back or in the basket, load the baby, and have each big kid hold on to it?

How old are your kids?
05-11-2009 12:24 AM
ar2974
Quote:
Originally Posted by annawest View Post
My husband and I live in New York City with our son, 7 weeks old, and our cat. Not only do we not own a car, but neither of us even has a driver's license (I had one that I let expire since I never drove, and my husband is from England and has never driven). We walk or use public transportation to get most places, sometimes splurging for cabs. Being able to live car-free is really important to us, so even when we get our licenses (we're both working on this now, as we want to be able to rent a car for weekend getaways to the countryside), we never want to live somewhere where we would have to drive to survive. That definitely limits our future options for where to make a home, but it's really important to us. I love walking and take the baby out for a stroll every day, weather permitting. I have invested in an expensive but very high quality stroller (Uppa Baby Vista) since we'll be using it so often, and so far we love it. We also have a baby carrier (Ergo), but I have a bad back so I can't use it for long walks.

Okay, I'm rambling . . . I'm completely new to this site and this is my first post. Really glad to meet other car-free people!

I'm similar in that I live in Brooklyn, neither dh nor I have licenses and don't ever want to live in a car world. My daughter is now almost 3 so she mostly goes in her umbrella stroller, it's been a while since I used the Ergo.
05-07-2009 10:56 PM
ldsmom Some thoughts on bike/stroller choices....

I have a 5 y/o, 3 y/o and 15 month old. We walk or ride bikes as many places as we can (grocery, library, co-op, post office) as often as we can. When I walk, I use a double jogging stroller by Schwinn. I have loved it! It is sturdy, heavy duty (it can carry 4-5 kids plus library books) and easy to push. It's biggest drawback is that - it is big. IF you're looking to get a double stroller (with two kids, the oldest being 5, it may not be worth it to you), consider a tandem stroller or make sure it fits through wheelchair standard sized doors. Ours doesn't, which makes it so we either can't get into a building or i have to unload and break the stroller down to get it inside. It is also a pain when we take the bus.

For biking, I use a BUrley trailer that we bought for $50 at a yard sale. The new trailers have great features (better straps, independent seats), but I can haul two kids plus a weeks worth of groceries in my basic, no frills trailer. We also have a tag a long (kids bike that attaches to my bike frame) but I rarely use it, as it makes the ride really unstable and wobbly (harder to balance). My 5y/o rides his bike on his own when we take bikes somewhere.

For those of you with more that one or two kids, how do you manage logistics? Especially on the bus. We have tried it, but with stroller, 3 kids, diaper bag - it is too much for one person. ANy suggestions?
05-04-2009 09:54 AM
annawest My husband and I live in New York City with our son, 7 weeks old, and our cat. Not only do we not own a car, but neither of us even has a driver's license (I had one that I let expire since I never drove, and my husband is from England and has never driven). We walk or use public transportation to get most places, sometimes splurging for cabs. Being able to live car-free is really important to us, so even when we get our licenses (we're both working on this now, as we want to be able to rent a car for weekend getaways to the countryside), we never want to live somewhere where we would have to drive to survive. That definitely limits our future options for where to make a home, but it's really important to us. I love walking and take the baby out for a stroll every day, weather permitting. I have invested in an expensive but very high quality stroller (Uppa Baby Vista) since we'll be using it so often, and so far we love it. We also have a baby carrier (Ergo), but I have a bad back so I can't use it for long walks.

Okay, I'm rambling . . . I'm completely new to this site and this is my first post. Really glad to meet other car-free people!
04-27-2009 12:01 PM
greenirene I'm also thinking about using my bike with either a trailer like a burley or putting my son in one of those front bike seats that sits between your arms and my 5yo on one of those towed bike attachments (tandem looking thingies). Any thoughts on this arrangement?
04-27-2009 11:59 AM
greenirene I have a Bob jogging stroller. Can I attach a lascal buggy board to it (not for use when running of course lol) for when we're going around town? What do you think?
04-22-2009 03:43 PM
earthgirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenirene View Post
I'm so glad this group exists! I'm thinking about moving from the burbs to a walkable area. School, grocery store, galleries, are all within about 1/4 mile. The Walk Score there was a 98 out of 100. And there's a free bus that goes the train which goes everywhere in the city. I've never lived this way at all and am totally going to need tips. My biggest concern is how we'll get around. My 2 year old won't be ready to walk miles. I'll likely get a dog as well so i'll often have a 2 year old, a 5 year old, and a dog. I'm thinking about getting a good urban stroller with a buggy board for longer walks, but I think as long as I can keep everybody from running off in different directions, we'll do fine just on foot. I know one thing. My kids will be easier to put to bed at night with that lifestyle - they'll be genuinely exercising each day. I'll be a single mom doing this so - I need to think how all this will work. What stroller do you use? I think by next year i may be able to eliminate the stroller for the most part. But for the near future, it will be needed.
We use a BOB Revolution stroller, which is quite large, but works well in the snow so that was the ultimate decision for us. But we also wear DD in a Beco carrier. It just depends on what the outing is. I can't say that I've had to keep up with 2 kids and a dog, but living in a pedestrian friendly area, I frequently see it. I'm sure you'd figure out a good system. Good luck if you decide to move.
04-21-2009 10:41 PM
greenirene I'm so glad this group exists! I'm thinking about moving from the burbs to a walkable area. School, grocery store, galleries, are all within about 1/4 mile. The Walk Score there was a 98 out of 100. And there's a free bus that goes the train which goes everywhere in the city. I've never lived this way at all and am totally going to need tips. My biggest concern is how we'll get around. My 2 year old won't be ready to walk miles. I'll likely get a dog as well so i'll often have a 2 year old, a 5 year old, and a dog. I'm thinking about getting a good urban stroller with a buggy board for longer walks, but I think as long as I can keep everybody from running off in different directions, we'll do fine just on foot. I know one thing. My kids will be easier to put to bed at night with that lifestyle - they'll be genuinely exercising each day. I'll be a single mom doing this so - I need to think how all this will work. What stroller do you use? I think by next year i may be able to eliminate the stroller for the most part. But for the near future, it will be needed.
04-21-2009 01:54 PM
HarperRose
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMom2Be09 View Post
I wish I could walk to more places by our house, but everything is too far away. Walking is good exercise! Remember Jerod from Subway...he walked to and from Subway every day to eat those sandwiches and he lost like 100 lb or whatever it was! Just from walking (and eating the lower calorie subs) so it has its advantages! Oh well, at least I got a gym I can go work out at if I can't walk everywhere doing errands.
Yeah, you guys live kind of out in the middle of nowhere.
04-20-2009 05:57 PM
MountainMama2Be I wish I could walk to more places by our house, but everything is too far away. Walking is good exercise! Remember Jerod from Subway...he walked to and from Subway every day to eat those sandwiches and he lost like 100 lb or whatever it was! Just from walking (and eating the lower calorie subs) so it has its advantages! Oh well, at least I got a gym I can go work out at if I can't walk everywhere doing errands.
04-19-2009 11:29 PM
HarperRose Since I broke my foot, I wasn't able to walk for several weeks.

Today I was back to it!

I took my 7 yr old (rode her bike) and the baby (17 mos, stroller) for a 1-mile walk this afternoon to pick up a few groceries. She was riding her bike through the crosswalk (we had the little walking man, it was our turn to go) while I pushed the baby in the stroller. Some dummy turned RIGHT IN FRONT of her and nearly HIT her!!! I ran to grab her (she didn't hear my yelling for her to stop) and the woman never once stopped!!! She looked right AT US and didn't even slow down! WTF?!?! Are you kidding me?!

03-26-2009 10:15 AM
HarperRose Welcome, Chouette!

That sounds so nice to have everything so close!!! I can't even imagine!
03-25-2009 08:29 PM
Chouette Our little family is car-free in San Diego, a city that really LOVES driving their cars. Our public transportation is mediocre, but it sounds like it's better than some of the others have mentioned. And of course we don't have to deal with any actual weather, other than the occasional rainy day (which I personally love, probably because they are so few and far between).

Here's how we do it:
We moved to an area where our daily needs are walkable--library, groceries, post office, park, husband's office, etc. It's a great way to get to know your community and your neighbors, especially when your toddler wants to lay down for a 'nap' in someone's front yard.
Periodic needs are busable--my office a couple of days a week, a lake to visit, hiking trails, craft and other specialty stores, other libraries and parks, museums, zoo, friends' houses, etc.
We rent a car periodically to either haul stuff, or make pre-planned trips--the nice thing about renting a car is that it is always new and well-maintained, and you can rent the vehicle you need for the task at hand.
We alternate with the Mei Tai or the stroller, depending on the mood of the toddler and the parent, and the duration of the trip, and how close to naptime it is. Sometimes we even take our little wagon to the grocery store if we need to stock up on kitty litter or something, and need to take the toddler, too.
We shop online and have things delivered. I LOVE having 7th Gen. toilet paper delivered through amazon.com because there's no plastic! We also have their diapers delivered since our Daycare (who we otherwise love very much) won't do cloth diapers.

With the toddler, who is 26 months and has lots of (often contradicting) opinions on everything now, we need to be pretty creative. We do a lot of singing on the bus and play 'what do you see' games. (Though even car-driving parents have to do that, too) There are days when it takes us 40 minutes to go two blocks, and days when 25 pounds feels like 75. She's not into walking very far yet, so I try to have more and more neighborhood outings so she'll get a little bit better.

Well, I didn't mean to make this post so long, but I wanted to say that I have a lot of respect for those of you doing this in the snow with more than one child. Kudos! There are days when, after a nice long weekend with a rented car, I feel like it might be time for us to get one. But most of the time, we're doing alright. I think we'll probably get bikes next. Shame we can't get our hands on one of those Scandinavian bikes with the big wagon in front (what are those called?) in this city.
03-22-2009 06:16 PM
lucifugous
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthgirl View Post
Would this help? You can probably find cheaper versions at a hardware store.
I do have one of those! Thanks for suggesting/ reminding me. I use it when I plan to haul a bunch of groceries on the bus. It holds 4+ FULL bags, but it is quite bulky & in the way on the bus. The slimmer ones might be more appropriate for everyday type stuff. Mine is really rickety unfortunately, but I've seen nicer ones. I paid twenty for it. Definitely a lifesaver at times! But a PITA if I've ever got it with me when it's not necessary. I call it my old lady shopping cart.
03-20-2009 03:37 PM
HarperRose My mom is buying us a car. :

I'm happy because it means I can get to the museums, doc appointments, and far-away places MUCH easier now! I certainly don't intend to just quit walking, though! Don't worry! Besides, the kids like to ride their bikes all over!

With my ankle being out of commission (still! nearly 2 weeks now), the car will help. We've been stuck at home for 2 weeks and we are going stir crazy.

And babywearing while using crutches is actually a little scary.
03-20-2009 03:20 PM
earthgirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifugous View Post
I'm wondering how to comfortably tote around a huge diaper bag (+ often groceries) w/ baby on my back!
Would this help? You can probably find cheaper versions at a hardware store.
03-19-2009 08:16 PM
mama516/419 Just saw this thread and thought I would stop by and be in awe at how awrsome you all are . We live in a 1 car house hold but its mainly Dhs car , he works "on site" so he would never beable to take public tansport , though he does car pool ( by picking up the guys who dont drive) I guess he feels sypathetic since his wife doesnt drive . I grew up in Boston and never felt the need to get a drivers licience - tho now somedays I think I should get it for the heck of it . When it was just DD and I we walked all the time all over the place , but when the baby was born we tended to wait for an other adult - I hated the thought of being out nubered away from home . Now that the kids are older tho I am ready to treak this summer . We are lucky to like on a street with a wooded path to the play ground and an local ice cream parlor only ten minutes away .
We are planning to learn the bus schedual this summer to . I hope I will eventuly get it down as well as I know the T ( bostons subway)
Peace
03-19-2009 07:45 PM
boigrrrlwonder I just wanted to pop in and say hi. I'm so happy that it's finally spring. We're car-free. Public transit here is really expensive. I won't bike in the winter when it gets below about 30 degrees with the kiddo (though I'm thinking about buying a trailer so that next winter it might be an option....). I just felt REALLY isolated this winter. I'm looking forward to summer again, where walking is nice and jumping on my bike again!
03-19-2009 02:40 PM
Sometime
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

Just found this tribe...we aare carless, er, er carFREE (yeah!! I think???). I just got hired at a new job 2.5 miles away so we will see how it goes when I start there. We have to walk about 3/4 mile to the bus and then the bus drops us off a 9 minute walk from the job (a daycare). So I guess we belong here.

Public transportation in Virginia Beach is a doozy. the buses only run once an hour, from 6-6. There is no public transportation at all after 6 PM. Which means we have to walk or cab it. And taking a cab is expensive and dangerous since there is no carseat for ds.
Most of my aunts and uncles live in Virginia Beach, which is definitely oriented toward cars. However, it is nice and flat, so maybe a bike? Just a thought since your son is over a year and could go on a bike at this point. If you're only going 2.5 miles, it might be a nice alternative.
03-19-2009 01:15 AM
waiting2bemommy
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifugous View Post
I'm wondering how to comfortably tote around a huge diaper bag (+ often groceries) w/ baby on my back!
you have to get a backpack and wear it on your front. it looks completely ridiculous, but my philospshy is that when i signed up for parenthood, I signed up for 18 years of regularly making a total fool of myself.

Just found this tribe...we aare carless, er, er carFREE (yeah!! I think???). I just got hired at a new job 2.5 miles away so we will see how it goes when I start there. We have to walk about 3/4 mile to the bus and then the bus drops us off a 9 minute walk from the job (a daycare). So I guess we belong here.

Public transportation in Virginia Beach is a doozy. the buses only run once an hour, from 6-6. There is no public transportation at all after 6 PM. Which means we have to walk or cab it. And taking a cab is expensive and dangerous since there is no carseat for ds.
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