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Cyclists slam "victim blaming" road safety video advising "improve visibility" so drivers don't hit you; Bike rack vs drunk man; Chris Boardman calls for end to "relentlessly hostile rhetoric" about cyclists; New bikes + more on the live blog

Welcome to the Wednesday live blog, attempting to fill the post-Giro void will be Dan Alexander, back in the hot seat for all your updates, reaction and more
29 May 2024, 10:34
Cyclists slam "victim blaming" road safety video advising "improve visibility on the road" so drivers don't hit you

Surrey RoadSafe is a partnership between the county's police force and council "working to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Surrey roads". So, what are we focusing on today? Speeding? Drink driving? Mobile phone use? Anti-social behaviour on the roads? Oh, right... telling cyclists how to ride to help improve visibility so... they don't get hit by drivers...

 "Car/bike collisions can be avoided," we're told. "Use defensive action to ride safer!" the video continues. Because, as the graphic goes on to imply, if someone fails to give way and pulls out in front of you, causing a collision, the action we should all be seeking, to avoid such incidents is... cyclists riding in the middle of their lane so they are more visible.

Needless to say the Surrey RoadSafe partnership got plenty of feedback under the post... from those calling the advice "victim blaming", through to people pointing out it might be slightly useful to instead ask the cause of the collision pictured not to... well, you know... crash into cyclists because you didn't look properly to see an oncoming road user when pulling out at a junction? 

Bob From Accounts called the video "victim blaming 101" and suggested "separate infrastructure is the only solution". VNS added that as cyclists we already know about riding in primary position in certain situations as it can be safer. Rather, he said, "It's drivers who think cyclists are being inconsiderate for doing this. Please also educate drivers. Drivers being the ones who are responsible for collisions like this."

Matthew: "Yeah, because it's definitely not the drivers failing to look properly. All you're doing is empowering drivers to blame cyclists for 'not riding correctly, so I couldn't see them'."

RedLaser4000: "Is this real? That was the fault of the driver pulling out without looking!"

Mustapha Cycle: "Nothing wrong with cyclists improving their visibility but maybe focus on the real offenders and less on the victims. Enforce the Highway Code rigidly and get the standard of driving back on track to an acceptable level."

Tim Pryce: "Problem is drivers then yell at you and close pass you for being 'in the middle of the road'."

Ian Bradbury: "We know and we do. The people you should direct this at are the drivers screaming 'get out of the middle of the road' and the eejits who paint murder strips at the side of the road and pretend they are cycle provision."

Female cyclist in london red coat on steel road bike -copyright Simon MacMichael

Incidentally, the UK's head of roads policing recently spoke at-length about her wishes for making the roads safer, highlighting the key areas of concern that addressing would bring about real-world change and a reduction in the number of deaths and serious injuries.

Jo Shiner urged stricter sentences for driving offences and warned that the "basic standard of driving has reduced" and puts cyclists and pedestrians at risk. She also suggested that deaths on the UK's roads have become "unseen" due to their frequency.

"We have over 1,700 deaths a year on our roads, we have got to look at it differently," she said. "Sometimes the reporting of those people who are killed or seriously injured barely features in the local papers anymore.

"Anti-social driving is really prevalent on our roads at the moment and we know that it is causing a lot of collisions and I think that's where in terms of the punishment fitting the crime we do need greater deterrence. 

"So one of our focuses within our portfolio is on greater sentencing, so the ability for us to be able to actually increase the sentences which both magistrates and other courts can give, but also greater sentences.

Female cyclist in London indicating in front of traffic - copyright Simon MacMichael

"What I mean by that is that if you actually compare some of the sentences the drivers who do kill people because of the way in which they've drive on the roads versus maybe some other crimes in society, predominantly you see that those sentences are lower and that's just one example where I think families are not feeling that they do get the justice that sometimes they deserve.

"I think the basic standard of driving on our roads has reduced," she continued. "Using an indicator, being in the correct lane, actually knowing what the Highway Code says, knowing which lane to go in when you're going around a roundabout and also just calming down on our roads.

"You know, sometimes I see behaviours where people are just utterly impatient to get where they want to go, really not recognising the risks that are around them, that they're both creating for others but also that others are then potentially creating for them.

"So I think changing behaviours and changing minds is really, really important in terms of just calming people down and also trying to reinforce just how much damage a vehicle can do, particularly to other vulnerable road users, whether that's a pedestrian, a pedal cyclist, a horse rider, it's really important that people take responsibility for the risk that they could pose to others when they're behind the wheel."

We must have missed the bit about cyclists being more visible so they don't get hit.

29 May 2024, 15:26
Excuse me?!
29 May 2024, 15:21
Evans begins 70% off sale on old Wiggle stock – as it's revealed Frasers Group paid just £3m for struggling cycling retailer after initial deal collapsed
29 May 2024, 15:07
Chris Froome is back in the peloton — and finishes 18 minutes down on return to racing

17 minutes and 40 seconds later Chris Froome crossed the line in 47th place. Maybe we'll get some disc brake excuses later? Maybe the four-time Tour de France winner was riding for his teammates today on his return? After all, George Bennett and Matthew Riccitello were both in the top 10, while rising star Stephen Williams and Mason Hollyman finished just a minute up the road from Froome. Anyway, we'll cross our fingers for disc brake excuses...

29 May 2024, 14:42
Miguel Ángel López handed four-year doping ban for "use and possession" of human growth hormone during 2022 Giro d'Italia
29 May 2024, 13:59
"The message about riding defensively is fair enough, they've just framed it pretty poorly in my opinion": In the comments section today
Cyclists slam "victim blaming" road safety video (Surrey Roads Safe)

A few of you have had your say on the Surrey RoadSafe video...

Clem Fandango: "I mean, the message about riding defensively is fair enough, they've just framed it pretty poorly in my opinion.

"Doesn't matter where you ride if the drivist isn't looking or paying attention & in this example, it's still not the cyclists fault if there is a collision (which you could argue is being implied - certainly the rabid anti-cyclists & Loophole lawyers would no doubt jump on it that way & put all accountability on the rider). Surely they could have found a better way of educating all road users that cyclists taking primary in certain circumstances is a good option? At least it's not a party election broadcast....."

hawkinspeter: "Considering that the majority of bike/car collisions are unavoidable and the fault of the driver, it would be far more effective to lecture drivers about actually looking for bikes and paying attention to what they're doing. Experienced cyclists will generally ride defensively anyhow, so they're just targeting the inexperienced cyclists."

AidanR: "I can't help but think that the illustrated collision could have been avoided by the driver actually stopping at the junction, rather than rolling through it."

FionaJJ: "I don't mind advice on better road positioning to improve visibility, as there are still some cyclists, as well as drivers, who for a variety of reasons think bikes should hug the pavement, or think that's the considerate or even safest thing to do. Anything that explains why it isn't, or gives permission to more deferential cyclists to take the right position on the road for them is good IMO.

"However, if I were in charge I would pitch it differently. I'd aim the clip at drivers, using it to explain why it's the safest road position for cyclists, and ultimately makes life easier for them, then hope that it clicks for cyclists that don't already realise this."

Elsewhere there has been praise for Chris Boardman and a call for Jo Shiner to be given a particularly loud megaphone to spread her message. We can hope...

29 May 2024, 12:25
Politicians on bikes
29 May 2024, 11:18
Tour de Suisse outlines tributes to Gino Mäder at upcoming 2024 edition
The Bahrain-Victorious riders cross the line on stage six of the 2023 Tour de Suisse in memory of Gino Mäder (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

With the Tour de Suisse just a couple of weeks away the race's organisers have announced a series of tributes that will be made to Gino Mäder, the Swiss rider who tragically died in a crash at last year's race. Mäder crashed on a high-speed descent at the end of stage five, falling into a ravine and was airlifted to hospital, his Bahrain Victorious team later revealing the worst possible news that the 26-year-old had not survived.

Gino Mader at Giro d'Italia 2021 (CorVos/SWpix)

Swiss journalist Pascal Ritter reports that this year's race will honour Mäder with a series of tributes. The race number 44 will be retired and the highest KOM climb of the week will be named 'Ride for Gino', the slogan also appearing on all of the leaders' jerseys. There will be a memorial ride in Aigle on 16 June. Mäder's family requested that no minute's silence is held.

29 May 2024, 08:45
BIKES!

SHOCKING EXCLUSIVE: Lots of bike news on bike website... would have guessed it?

First up, is this an unreleased Canyon Aeroad that F1's Valtteri Bottas was seen riding at the Monaco Grand Prix?

2024 Valtteri Bottas Canyon Aeroad Stills from "What is the magic of Monaco?" Ted's Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying - 1

Next up, leaks have emerged online showing a new Trek road bike with an 'IsoFlow' seat tube hole, leaving our tech team to ask, is it a new Émonda or revamped Madone?

2024 new Trek Madone 666pounder weight weenies

And finally, Jamie's travelled back to 2012 to take an in-depth look at the bike that arguably signalled the beginning of the end for rim brakes (*smiles as he looks away from his desk at the lovely rim brake bike still serving him well*)...

Colnago C59 disc Bike at bedtime

> Check out the Colnago C59 Disc

29 May 2024, 08:15
Chris Boardman calls for end to "relentlessly hostile rhetoric" about cyclists
Chris Boardman (Active Travel England)

Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman has penned a comment piece in the Evening Standard calling for an end to the "relentlessly hostile rhetoric" about cyclists, arguing that the "hate-mongers offer no solutions".

Referencing his own family tragedy — Boardman's mother was hit and killed by a driver in July 2016 — the active travel chief said it upset him to read "certain parts of the media continue their relentless campaign against cyclists", meanwhile "more than 1,700 people are killed each year by motor vehicles".

"In 2016, one of them was my mother, Keith's life partner, gone, crushed to death by a law-breaking driver," he wrote. "A vibrant, elderly woman in great health because of her passion, wiped off the face of the earth. What makes this even more horrific, if that was possible, is she was one five people who died on our roads that day. Five mothers, sons and daughters killed every day, without national headlines or calls for changes in the law.

"Allowing such uniformly negative, data-barren and blatantly false accusations to continually go unchallenged does people like my dad, and the vast majority of cyclists, a terrible disservice."

> "Mums, dads, sons and daughters being labelled as killers. It’s just got to stop": Chris Boardman comments on Telegraph '52mph in a 20mph zone' article as it emerges co-author is former BBC fact-checker

He later concluded: "At a time we desperately need to decarbonise, to improve public health and ensure everyone has affordable transport choices, we cannot afford this relentlessly hostile rhetoric.

"You'll notice the hate-mongers offer no solutions, they don't take responsibility for their actions, they just peddle hate (excuse the pun). So I for one am going to speak up for my dad and my kids, for the things that will lead to a better life for them. I hope others will stand with me, be brave and speak up for their family’s future.

"Whether walking, wheeling or riding, our streets would be a nicer place if we stopped persecuting the vulnerable and instead directed our energies to ensuring everyone has the choice to be a bit more Keith."

29 May 2024, 07:49
"You won't find your bike in there": Bizarre coiled bike rack captures (presumably drunk) man who climbed in for a laugh, only to get stuck

It's a pretty decent summary of humanity that you've got the one mate giving a hand, at least trying to help the man who's made the questionable choice to climb into this coiled bike rack, only to (very predictably) get stuck. Meanwhile, the other mate is simply trying not to cause himself any damage by laughing too hard or falling over while filming his pal's predicament.

Reason #2,701 why Sheffield Stands should be the universal cycle parking design. Obviously, simple and practical racks to lock your bike to would be number one, but preventing drunk people using them as a tunnel only to get stuck is at least on the list somewhere, even if a bit further down the priority hierarchy.

Man gets stuck in bizarre coiled bike rack (@mannenteam/Instagram)
Man gets stuck in bizarre coiled bike rack (@mannenteam/Instagram)

We've got no idea where this happened, or which unimpressed fire service was asked to attend. Maybe he was just confused by the design and went looking for his bike? Okay, fair enough, that's too generous — always remember to enjoy alcohol responsibly. Otherwise you might end up stuck inside a Turkey Twizzler bike rack... enough to give Jamie Oliver nightmares.

We've seen these god-awful bike racks before, namely outside a Lidl branch in Dublin and they got a shout-out in our appropriately titled feature: 

Worst bike racks

> Worst bike racks — from the useless to utterly unusable places to park your bicycle

You'd do well to get stuck in any of those other ones, although I guess the middle one up top ('the toast rack' as it was dubbed) has potential.

Fans of Always Sunny might think they've seen this one before:

Another in the comments declared that "stupid springs to mind"... ba dum tss...

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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54 comments

Avatar
kingleo | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

My local council, Wandsworth, moved some stop lines for motor traffic from before a cycle path to after the cycle path at some road junctions, now the traffic pulls across the cycle path and stops, making these junctions very dangerous for cyclists. Again, the needs of people in cars first, the safety of cyclists a distant second.

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kingleo | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

I was cycling to work in London a few years ago, I was going past Harrods when a car pulled out in front of me - lucky for me there was a big red bus in front of me, the car crashed into the bus  - how can somebody in a car not see a big red bus in daylight and pull out in front of it!

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Disgusted of Tu... | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

So.... To follow their logic, any individual who is a victim of crime or is injured/killed by the actions or inaction of another person is to blame?

And pedestrians must wear hi-viz when crossing
any road?

And dark coloured vehicles must have hi-vis bonnets and boots/tailgates?

Perhaps just shorten the video to state, "don't ride a bike and you reduce your risk of being involved in a collision by 100%, oh - unless you're a pedestrian or driving another vehicle. Erm... maybe just stay at home and don't go out at all?"

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Wheelywheelygood | 3 weeks ago
1 like

Visability is key the number of bikers we see riding after dark wearing dark clothing and having no lights or reflectors  also riding on the wrong side of the road at night dosen't help much . It doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in bikers when we see them riding on a main road hands free because their texting . A few weeks ago I saw a group of youngsters traning for their proficiency there was no a single light or reflector on any of their bikes not the best of starts 

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chrisonabike replied to Wheelywheelygood | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Visibility is *good* but looking where you're going is key, no?

Apparently you're someone who's always getting ridden into by cyclists and is mentioning screen use here. I imagine you'd be less than thrilled if someone suggested you really need a wheelchair with more lights, reflectives and fluorescent material. Or that you should work on you situational awareness...

Still I'm glad to hear they're doing cycle training where you are. A good start. Next - if you're in the UK that is - they need to make places safer for them to cycle, and more convenient so there's a chance they continue.

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mark1a replied to chrisonabike | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

It's a bot account. You can tell by late night posts, lack of context, vague descriptions of events and fixation on a single topic.

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chrisonabike replied to mark1a | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Possibly. That campaign suggests we should be safer if we try to engage the attention of drivers though and it's possible it's in control of a Tesla by day, so...

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JLasTSR replied to chrisonabike | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

Cycling in the dark on the road with no lights especially on unlit roads is a mugs game. In daylight I would say not necessary, unless you have a road coloured bike and clothing then a little twinkle from a light might be a good idea. 

However regarding their terrible infomercial I can tell you from painfull experience that the odd driver still pulls out even when they say they saw you. Then blames you for hitting them. So being seen is good, driving like a self righteous wrecking machine not so much. 

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chrisonabike replied to JLasTSR | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Yeah, I know looking but not seeing alright. I'm a bit fatalistic now. I make an effort so I feel I have tried but don't expect I'm not invisible.

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perce replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 weeks ago
7 likes

I also saw a group of youngsters training for their proficiency. 1966 I think it was. On a Tuesday.

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wycombewheeler replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

Wheelywheelygood wrote:

Visability is key the number of bikers we see riding after dark wearing dark clothing and having no lights or reflectors  also riding on the wrong side of the road at night dosen't help much . 

just think how much easier it is to see those of us with lights, and they still don't see. Aside from the issue with cyclists not using lights when legally required. I find that seeing cyclists without lights or hi vis is not hard. Excepting when the weather is really bad (foggy/heavy rain/so overcast it might as well be dark). Most drivers will see you regardless of lights (in the day) and some just don't look at all.

In fact on sunny days It's normal to see a cyclist long before you can see their lights when approaching from behind.

Wheelywheelygood wrote:

 A few weeks ago I saw a group of youngsters traning for their proficiency there was no a single light or reflector on any of their bikes 

they were doing cycle training after dark?

Avatar
Matthew Acton-Varian replied to wycombewheeler | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

wycombewheeler wrote:

In fact on sunny days It's normal to see a cyclist long before you can see their lights when approaching from behind.

Yes. This. As a driver you are told to look for hazards. What if, instead of a cyclist, it was a black cat running from underneath parked cars? Much smaller, and less visible, even than a cyclist in all black. And good drivers can still successfully avoid them. And we don't tell cats they should wear hi-viz and lights!

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brooksby replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Matthew Acton-Varian wrote:

wycombewheeler wrote:

In fact on sunny days It's normal to see a cyclist long before you can see their lights when approaching from behind.

Yes. This. As a driver you are told to look for hazards. What if, instead of a cyclist, it was a black cat running from underneath parked cars? Much smaller, and less visible, even than a cyclist in all black. And good drivers can still successfully avoid them. And we don't tell cats they should wear hi-viz and lights!

https://road.cc/content/news/174381-hi-vis-paint-new-forest-ponies

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Hirsute replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Well, they rely on their eyes !

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Bristol Bullet replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 weeks ago
7 likes

Since you were able to spot these youngsters on bikes even thought they did not have lights or reflectors, I'm going to eschew high-viz clothing when riding my bike from now on and simply strap a youngster to my handlebars.

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chrisonabike replied to Bristol Bullet | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Just when I thought cyclists couldn't sink lower in public esteem.

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ktache | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

The witch that did the cable tie frayed cable thing should be burned at the stake because obviously they are in league with the devil!

Why is pointy cycle woman not wearing something more visible than a dark blue top and grey helmet if she wants to be seen easier?

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chrisonabike replied to ktache | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

A right-hand twist, but seems to be a follower of the left-hand path at work...

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Oldfatgit | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Maybe the videos are pitched at cyclists because they know we'll actually view them.

Although, as I'm not on Shitter or Turdagram, I wouldn't have known about them without Road.cc

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marmotte27 | 3 weeks ago
6 likes

"What I mean by that is that if you actually compare some of the sentences the drivers who do kill people because of the way in which they've drive on the roads versus maybe some other crimes in society, predominantly you see that those sentences are lower and that's just one example where I think families are not feeling that they do get the justice that sometimes they deserve."

M. Briggs, and with him the government and the opposition apparently couldn't care less...

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mitsky | 3 weeks ago
7 likes

Not sure how much more visible I could have been here...
This driver should have paused at the give way to allow for their view of me being temporarily blocked by the pedestrian crossing the road.
The road markings and "cycle lane" bollards should have been a big indicator that someone might be coming along on a bike and not to use those cycle lane markings as a give way line.
Most cyclists are faster than me and even with decent brakes might have ended up t-boning the driver's door.
https://youtu.be/vEeljHmz6KA

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Miller replied to mitsky | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

mitsky wrote:

Not sure how much more visible I could have been here...
https://youtu.be/vEeljHmz6KA

Can't work out whether the driver was only looking for cars or knew full well there might be a cyclist and didn't give a sh!t. Not great either way. 

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mitsky replied to Miller | 2 weeks ago
1 like

I think most drivers would be wary of doing anything that might damage their own vehicles and be even more concerned if someone else was to do so.
So to put their own vehicle in "harms way" indicates that she simply didn't look, given she use the cycle lane marking as a give way line.
I'm hoping the slight startle she got when seeing me so close would hopefully prevent it happening again.
But I won't hold my breath.

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Tom_77 | 3 weeks ago
3 likes
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NickSprink replied to Tom_77 | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Providing an example of dangerous cycling that they want to legislate against?

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chrisonabike replied to Tom_77 | 3 weeks ago
1 like

He's hoping to stay in his seat...

Nice to see a dynamo on a bike as well (in contrast to the rider).  Very practical!

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marmotte27 replied to Tom_77 | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

... and tries to make it look ridiculous...

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Clem Fandango replied to Tom_77 | 3 weeks ago
7 likes

Look at that though.  Out of touch politcal class type gets on bike. Has fun. That's awesome.

Obvs I've suspended my innate cynicism that it's no more than an electioneering photo op, but at least he's not in a Chelsea tractor whining about dangerous cycling laws and hi-viz tabards.

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eburtthebike | 3 weeks ago
9 likes

Jo Shiner ""Anti-social driving is really prevalent on our roads at the moment and we know that it is causing a lot of collisions and I think that's where in terms of the punishment fitting the crime we do need greater deterrence."

Comprehensive review of road laws, 2014, anyone?

Avatar
Carior | 3 weeks ago
11 likes

Can someone get Jo Shiner:

a) a medal;

b) the world's biggest megaphone so she can shout that message out loud and clear in as many places as possible?

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