Coffeeneuring Challenge 2014: Unofficially Official

When I announced the list of 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers, reader and original coffeeneur Vannevar asked me about my own coffeeneuring for the year.

While I am a big fan of riding one’s bike in the pursuit of a good cup of coffee, there is at least one year where I did not officially complete the challenge.

Too many rules! Busy weekends! Ran out of time! You know the excuses of which I speak. In those instances, I’ve quietly awarded myself an honorable mention. E for effort!

This year, though, I’m pleased to announce that I followed all the rules and successfully crossed this year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge finish line. Below is my report for your review and enjoyment.

October 5
Distance: 66 miles

Beans in the Belfry

Beans in the Belfry
Brunswick, Maryland

This was the return leg of my Choose Your Own Eventure weekend. Felkerino and I toured back home on the C&O Towpath after spending the day running around the Harpers Ferry area of West Virginia. Beans in the Belfry is a popular spot for C&O cyclists. It’s a short diversion from the trail, offers tasty sandwiches, and the coffee isn’t terrible.

The bike parking is acceptable, not great. While there is a bike rack somewhere, it is not easily accessed and most cyclists park their bikes alongside the building’s exterior.

Baked and Wired
Georgetown. Washington, D.C.

10-5-14 Baked and Wired

Beans and the Belfry coffee is no match for the smooth rich goodness at Baked and Wired, however, and Felkerino and I celebrated our weekend by slurping on Baked and Wired espresso as well as a slice of the irresistible pumpkin ginger loaf.

Baked and Wired also has terrible bike parking. Most people end up parking to the gate that separates the sidewalk from the C&O Towpath.

October 11
Distance: 43 miles
Earth & Tea Cafe
Harrisonburg, Virginia


We threw our tandem on the roof and headed down to Harrisonburg to explore the area with our cycling friend Matt. The fall foliage was just past peak, but still quite lovely. In the absence of a premier coffee shop in the downtown area, we checked out the tea shop.


I remember my tea being tasty (I believe I ordered some kind of green blend), and Felkerino and I split a piece of cake, which was both tall and tasty.

Bike parking? We didn’t see any so we leaned the bike over in the grass near the sidewalk.

October 12
Distance: 55 miles
The Little Grill
Harrisonburg, Virginia

The Little Grill

Before heading out to immerse ourselves in more fall colors, we stopped at The Little Grill for breakfast. Felkerino has given up drip coffee for good, but I still enjoy the occasional drip coffee, provided it’s strong and fresh.

The Little Grill did not disappoint. We dined on tables made by a randonneur in the area, so maybe that gave the coffee that little extra something special.

Bike parking is plentiful at The Little Grill, and it’s easy to find a spot to lock a normal-sized bike (as compared to a tandem).

November 8
Distance: 35 miles
Volo Coffeehouse
Manayunk, Pennsylvania


It was another weekend of throwing bikes on the roof (this time plural), as we planned a weekend of riding and bike ogling at the Philadelphia Bike Expo.

We rode our single bikes from a Philadelphia suburb over the Schuylkill River Trail to Volo Coffeehouse in Manayunk. Good coffee, sweet pastries, this shop is apparently a popular stop for the weekend group rides around the city.

The bike parking here was alright. We ended up locking our bikes near some exterior tables where we could keep an eye on them from inside the shop.

November 9
Distance: 30 miles
Elixr Coffee
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Every time I spell this shop’s name, I have to remind myself to remove the “i.” Tricky stuff. Felkerino and I visited Elixr last year around this time, and we were both looking forward to a return trip. In retrospect, it might have been nice to explore a new place, but it was early morning and I was not in the mood to take chances.

I drank an espresso as well as an Americano, and lined my stomach with a flavor-rich scone of some sort.

Bike parking at Elixr? Lacking. As you can see from the photo, we stationed ourselves above our bikes so they were in view while we hung out.

November 16
Distance: 10 miles, maybe?


Slipstream Coffee
14th Street NW. Washington, D.C.

In the interest of trying something new, Felkerino and I headed up 14th Street to try out Slipstream coffee. This shop was a mixed bag, but ultimately I’d call it too much work for a cup of coffee. There was no bike parking outside the shop so we ended up leaning the bike against the large glass shop window.

Inside, we sat down and ordered two espressos, and were asked what kind of espressos. Apparently we both ordered different types of espresso beans for our espressos, and they charged us $4 and $4.50 for them, respectively. ESPRESSOS!

The drinks took a while to come, too long for people who haven’t had any coffee yet, and as we impatiently waited fellow BikeDC’er Andrew came in and told us that the secret was to order from the to-go station.

It also appeared that the espresso at the to-go station was less expensive, at least according to posted prices, which apparently do not apply throughout the restaurant. Too late for us, though, we’d already ordered from the bar.


On an up note, the espresso was sublime, but I would sacrifice a little flavor for a less complicated (and less expensive) coffee experience.

The Wydown
14th Street NW. Washington, D.C.


Left with mere pennies in our pockets, we left Slipstream and checked out The Wydown a bit farther north on 14th Street. I liked the vibe at The Wydown. It was hopping with activity.

The Wydown appeared to draw in people from the Trader Joe’s next door as well as nearby residents, and the people working there were not messing around. No five types of espresso here, just a decent pull to get your day going in the right direction.


There was some bike parking outside in the form of a couple of city racks, but we locked up to these short little garden gates that are found throughout the city. With an Abus Bordo, I can lock to those with ease.

Penn Quarter. Washington, D.C.


After The Wydown, we made a final stop at Teaism for lunch. Again, we locked our bikes to the short garden gates. There used to be decent bike parking here, but it has moved up the street and is not as good because it doesn’t allow a sightline to one’s bike.

2014-12-16 23.11.34

As an after-lunch treat, I ordered my preferred lavender mint herbal tea. So good. This is also where I met Eunice, of North Carolina, which I thought to be quite a nifty trick played by the universe on me. What better way to round out the coffeeneuring season than with an interstate coffeeneuring meetup?

November 17
Distance: 20 miles
Bethesda, Maryland

It was somewhat dreary in D.C. for the final day of coffeeneuring, but the absence of rain meant no excuses. We meandered our way up to Bethesda for a bagel at the bagel place, and a hot cider at Quartermaine, the local Bethesda coffee shop and roaster that regularly draws cyclists.

Bike parking is kind of tricky there– no bike racks, although the garden gates will do the trick, if you can find a free spot.

2014-12-16 22.41.35

My cider was tasty, and we drank our beverages while looking out at the mural you see pictured.

Baked and Wired
Georgetown. Washington, D.C.

After our short Bethesda stop, we rode the Capital Crescent Trail back to Georgetown and to Baked and Wired for a final cup.

Feeling pretty caffeinated, I chose a chai latte, and after I sucked it down I decided that I am not a chai latte person. Something about that drink is not fulfilling to my senses. It tasted like this picture looks– uninspired. I’ll stick to espresso, tea, or lattes, but not chai tea lattes.

2014-12-16 23.10.32

And there you have it. Coffeeneuring 2014. Seven different shops in seven weeks.

Thanks to Felkerino for the fine company, and for picking up the tab on occasion (!). You’re alright, man.

Coffeeneuring Achievement Badges

Hi all. This post is for those coffeeneurs who ordered patches. The patches have arrived!

Coffeeneuring Patches

I will be sending them out over the holidays. If you think you earned a patch, there is still a small window of time to send your coffeeneuring documentation to me.

To all people who said they would snail mail, I have your cash or check in hand. Thank you! If you sent me a check, I will cash it this week, hopefully tomorrow.

Joe-coffeeneuring drawing
Joe’s Coffeeneuring Drawing

Coffeeneuring renewed my appreciation for snail mail, and the U.S. Postal Service made sure that every coffeeneuring envelope found its way expeditiously from Point A to B. Success.

One coffeeneuring envelope even contained coffeeneuring-inspired art drawn by Joe (1st time finisher) and Sally (2-time finisher)!

Sally's Coffeeneuring Drawing
Sally’s Coffeeneuring Drawing

To those who gave a little extra for the general Coffeeneuring Challenge fund, another thank you!

It’s been a wonderful coffeeneuring season. I hope to be back to the blogging soon, but the new job, new routine, holiday shopping, and other odds and ends have thrown me off my game for the moment.

Coffeeneuring patches

But I have been running, riding, even unofficially coffeeneuring, and I look forward to catching up with you all soon.

2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers and Honorable Mentions

The 2014 edition of the Coffeeneuring Challenge shows that people’s dedication to riding bikes and drinking coffee (or similar beverage substitutes) while also following a general set of rules remains strong.

After the homologation of results, the season ends with 175 Finishers and 4 people securing an Honorable Mention spot.

This year was exciting, not only for the increase in participation, but the geographic reach. The United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and Canada all represented this year.

People in states heretofore unrepresented made sure their state was counted in 2014. New coffeeneuring states include Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.

Our addition of the Collaborative Coffeeneuring Destinations Map also enriched the challenge by allowing people to map specific locations they visited. As of this writing, 248 distinct stops had been added. I hope this map can serve as a resource for others who may be searching for a good cup in a particular area, but if nothing else, it’s cool to see the places people visited.

I will have more about coffeeneuring around the globe in a future post. In the meantime leave you with these tidbits:

The states most populated with coffeeneurs were:

1. Washington. 22 coffeeneurs
2. Pennsylvania. 21 coffeeneurs
3. Virginia. 21 coffeeneurs

Top-ranked coffeeneuring cities:

1. Washington, D.C. 18 coffeeneurs
2. Pittsburgh, Pa. 10 coffeeneurs
3. Seattle, Wa. 9 coffeeneurs
4. Portland, Or. 8 coffeeneurs

coffeeneuring finisher

2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers

I now present the 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers. Well done to everyone who took on this challenge and successfully reached the finish line at the end of its seven weeks.

Names are alphabetical by first name, for the most part. I’ve also grouped some people by team, but this was more haphazard than systematic.

The number that follows each coffeeneur indicates the number of times he or she has completed the Coffeeneuring Challenge.

1. Alicia M. Lynnwood, Washington 1
2. Andy W. Seattle, Washington 2
3. Anna, CM San Antonio, Texas 1
4. Anna Banana Utah 1
5. Anne-Gigi Sammamish, Washington 1
6. Anniebikes Burlington, Vermont 2
7. Astrid B. (tour de kiosk) Lynnwood, Washington 1
8. Bear T. Thousand Oaks, California 2
9. Becky J. Seattle, Washington 1
10. Bill A. Portland, Oregon 4
11. Bill D. Seattle, Washington 1
12. Bill E. Novato, California 1
13. Bill H. Zelienople, Pennsylvania 1
14. Bill W. Park Ridge, Illinois 1
15. Bob K. Port Washington, New York 1
16. Bob S. Washington, D.C. 1
17. Bob T. Alexandria, Virginia 1
18 and 19. Brommie and Dr. Diarist West Chester, Pennsylvania 2
20. Bryan R. Garner, North Carolina 3
21 and 22. Carey and Lisa J. Silver Spring, Maryland 1
23. Carol H. Bend, Oregon 1
24. Carolyn C. Washington D.C. 1
25. Charli C. Washington, D.C. 1
26. Charlie W. Marysville, Washington 1
27. Charlie W. Plymouth, Minnesota 2
28. Pondero Sanger, Texas 1
29. Chris C. Columbia South Carolina 1
30. Chris F. Swindon, United Kingdom 1
31. Chris G. Portland, Oregon 1
32. Chris N. Easton, Pennsylvania 1
33. Chuck A. Arlington, Virginia 1
34. Colleen S. Upper St. Clair Pennsylvania 2
35. Corbi B. Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 2
36. Corey T. Olympia, Washington 1
37. Rusty C. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2
38. Dan D. Catonsville, Maryland 1
39. Dan B. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2
40. Dan O’ Perkasie, Pennsylvania 1
41. Dan W. New York City, New York 1
42 and 43. Mr. and Mrs. Bikesnick McLean, Virginia 2
44 and 45. Daniele C. and Sara Iguria, Italy 1
46. Dave P. Denver, Colorado 1
47 and 48. Dave and Jean Washington, D.C. 1
49. David C. Waitsfield, Vermont 1
50. Hutner. Chevy Chase, Maryland 2
51. Deb D. Arlington, Virginia 3
52. Devi T. Aptos, California 1
53. Don P. Wanatchee, Washington 1
54. Donald G. Subiaco, Arkansas 1
55. Doug CM San Antonio Texas 1
56. E. CM San Antonio Texas 1
57. Felkerino Washington, D.C. 4
58. Vannevar Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 4
59. Elaine B. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1
60. Emma R. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2
61. Biking Yogini Arlington, Virginia 2
62. Eunice C. Durham, North Carolina 1
63. Evelyn E. Novato, California 1
64. Gene P. Readington, New Jersey 1
65. Geoffrey. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1
66. George S. West Park New York 4
67. Graham R. Portland, Oregon 2
68. Gregg D. Salem, South Dakota 1
69. Jackie C. Springfield, Missouri 1
70. Jake D. Germany, mostly 1
71. Jeff K. Snohomish, Washington 1
72. Jennifer L. Pensacola Florida 1
73. Jennifer M. Portland Oregon 1
74. Jenny Oh Oakland, California 1
75. Jerel F. Toledo Ohio 2
76. Jerry S. Washington D.C. 1
77. Jessie P. Catonsville, Maryland 1
78. Jim L. Columbus, Ohio 1
79. Jim R. Tacoma, Washington 1
80. Joaquin O. St Albans, United Kingdom 1
81. Joe Flood Washington, D.C. 2
82. Joe P. Bellevue, Washington 3
83. Joe R. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2
84. Joe R. St. Petersburg, Florida 1
85. Rootchopper Alexandria, Virginia 3
86. John E. Asheville North Carolina 2
87. John R. Washington D.C. 4
88. John RA Phoenix Arizona 1
89. Jolene C. Eugene Oregon 2
90. Jon E. Dillsburg Pennsylvania 1
91. Jonathan S. Hamilton, New York 1
92. Josh H. Chicago, Illinois 1
93. Judy O. Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1
94. Julie C. Seattle, Washington 1
95. Jussi S. Helsinki, Finland 1
96. Karen Q. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1
97. Kathy W. Marysville, Washington 1
98 and 99. Katy and Trish Portland,Oregon 1
100. Keith Mo Woodenville, Washington 3
101. Old Knotty Buoy San Diego, California 1
102. Kelly K-V Madison, Wisconsin 1
103. Kelly S. Fairfax, Virginia 2
104. Kevin C. Derby, United Kingdom 1
105. Kristy Raleigh, North Carolina 1
106. Laura C. Seattle, Washington 1
107. Laura H. Seattle, Washington 1
108. Lauren K. Dublin, Ireland 2
109. Linel S. Alexandria, Virginia 1
110. Lis W. Washington, D.C. 1
111. Lisa D. Norfolk, Virginia 1
112. Louise K. Seattle, Washington 1
113. Luis G. Dallas, Texas 1
114. Luke H. Asheville, North Carolina 1
115. Lynne F. Portland, Oregon 3
116. Marisa F. Scottsdale Arizona 1
117. Martin B. Kent England 2
118. Matthew N. Washington D.C. 1
119. Meade A. Richmond Virginia 1
120. Melissa Mc Lafayette, Indiana 1
121. Michael R. Dunn Loring, Virginia 1
122. Michal Y. Eugene, Oregon 2
123. Mike B. Severna Park, Maryland 2
124. Mike Q. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2
125. Mike T. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 3
126. Mike W. Park Ridge, Illinois 1
127. Millison F. Olympia, Washington 1
128. Mister Ed Gainsville, Florida 1
129. Nadine Q. Washington, D.C. 1
130. Nancy G. Mukilteo, Washington 1
131. Nicole R. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1
132. Iron Rider. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 3
133. Nolan R. Dunn Loring, Virginia 1
134. Owen B. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2
135. Patricia C. Arlington, Virginia 1
136. Paul R. St. Petersburg, Florida 2
137. Perry W. Durham, North Carolina 1
138. Pete D. Falls Church, Virginia 2
139. Phill M. Washington, D.C. 1
140. Raymond S-R Shawville, Quebec, Canada 1
141. Rebecca C. Philadelphia Pennsylvania 2
142. Rebecca O. Bedfordshire, United Kingdom 1
143. RJ L. Burlington, Vermont 1
144. Rob L. Pensacola, Florida 2
145 and 146. Robyn W. and Jeff G. Kissimmee, Florida 1
147. Rose C. Santa Rosa, California 1
148. Rudi R. Washington D.C. 2
149. Ryan S. Washington D.C. 1
150. Sally H. Eugene, Oregon 1
151. Sally R. St. Petersburg, Florida 2
152. Sara H. Topsham, Maine 2
153. Sarah R.S. Washington, D.C. 2
154. Sarah S. Seattle, Washington 1
155. Scott F. Newport News, Virginia 1
156. Shawn G. Portland, Oregon 2
157 and 158. Simon B. and Tara H. Silver Spring, Maryland 4
159. sprite Washington, D.C. 2
160. Stefanie R. Olympia, Washington 1
161. Steve A. Burtonsville, Maryland 2
162. Steve O. Arlington, Virginia 1
163. Susan O. Portland, Oregon 3
164. SR Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 3
165. Ted G. Medway Massachusetts 1
166. MrTinDC Washington, D.C. 3
167. Jimmy Phoenix Manchester, England 1
168. Tom B. Madison, Wisconsin 1
169. Tom B. Florence, South Carolina 1
170. Tom H. Billings , Montana 2
171. Tregg H. Newport News Virginia 1
172. Van W-P Seattle Washington 1
173. Vance R. Greensboro, North Carolina 2
174. Wayne G. Springfield, Missouri 1
175. Will L. McLean, Virginia 3
176 and 177. Sherry and Mike E. Falls Church, Virginia 1

Coffeeneuring at Elixr

Honorable Mention

Sometimes life intrudes on the best-laid coffeeneuring plans, and you close in on the finish, but don’t quite get there. That is the case for these four Honorable Mention awardees.

1. Daniel, also the Northeast Regional Office of Coffeeneuring Arlington, Ma.
2. Dennis O’ Springfield, Mo.
3 and 4. Jayne and Janice, rescuers of the Rando-cat during a coffeeneuring ride. Lyon Station, Pa.

If you do not see your name on one of these lists and think it should be, please send me an email as soon as you can so that your efforts can be counted! If your name is not spelled correctly or contains some other type of error, please advise me of that as well.

Thank you for your posts, tweets, updates, and photos. I enjoyed reading all of them, and thanks to your fine submissions I have some excellent guest posts in the Coffeeneuring Rewind queue.


coffeeneur 100dpi

The prizes for this year have been unexpectedly delayed by the maker. While not yet in hand, I do have a photo of a sample. I hope they arrive in the next two weeks, but I’ll keep you posted. If you ordered a patch and did not send me a mailing address, please do so when you have the chance.

Someone wrote me that the Coffeeneuring Challenge “is a wonderful community activity that truly binds us, perhaps in a somewhat silly way, to a greater sense of togetherness, good purpose, and fun. In the world we share, that’s important. And what is better than riding bikes and sharing our tiny adventures?”

Once again, congratulations to everyone who has contributed to making this challenge what it is. It lives and breathes on the rides you take, the coffee and other drinks you consume, and the images you capture to document your experiences. Thank you all for joining in the challenge this year.

Giving Thanks for Bike Rides

Ten years ago I began life as a daily bike rider, after years of mass transit and more driving than I care to remember.

My bike was my tour guide, encouraging me to explore and familiarize myself with the city.

Because of bike rides, I gained physical strength and confidence.

Surly LHT in DC
Surly LHT in DC

Through a friend of a friend I learned about the D.C. Randonneurs, and soon began clipping in with them on brevets and flèche rides.

The D.C. Randonneurs welcomed me, and their bike rides taught me that I was tougher than I knew and could ride more miles in one go than I ever imagined, in weather I previously considered un-rideable.

Trail Ridge Road, Colorado
Trail Ridge Road, Colorado

Because of my daily bike rides and weekend brevets, I began to feel a sense of belonging to the city and a connection to people that I hadn’t during my initial years residing in Washington, D.C.

It was thanks to a bike ride– ten years ago– that I met my tandem and life partner, Felkerino. We rode 100 miles on our first date (my first time on a tandem), and we just kept on riding together.

Our bike rides have taken us to places I never thought I would see, at least not from the perch of my saddle.

Igor and Felkerino at the Philly BIke Expo
Igor and Felkerino at the Philly BIke Expo

Through my daily rides in the city, I began meeting other local cyclists. I’ve shared good bike talk, friend talk, Friday Coffee Clubs, and miles of pedaling along with good #BikeDC friends.

Eunice and me: coffeeneuring
Eunice and me. #BikeDC meets #BikeNC through bikes rides and coffeeneuring

My bike rides inspired me to begin this blog and, later, to launch the Coffeeneuring Challenge and the Errandonnee.

These events, which are all about using your bike to go places, led the way for me to connect virtually with other bike riders, some of whom I have had the unexpected good fortune to meet in real life.

Self-confidence, fitness, friendship, camaraderie, laughs, and true love. I found them all through bike rides.

Potts Mountain, Virginia
Potts Mountain, Virginia

Happy Thanksgiving, bike rider buddies.

Hard Reset

I came over to this computer intending to write a Coffeeneuring Challenge update (entries due this Monday!), but instead I’m pondering other matters– small changes in my own life that have altered my daily routine and energy levels for the past few months.

One month ago– though it feels longer– I completed my second marathon of October, the Marine Corps Marathon. It was a stimulating event that turned out to tip my emotions and fitness into unexpected fatigue. I lost most of my enthusiasm for riding and running, and ate too much during the lull.

I fell out of balance, which sometimes happens to me after a period of intense activity. Continue reading Hard Reset

2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Update!

The final weekend of the Coffeeneuring Challenge has come and gone, and the time to submit summaries and compile results is upon us.

Thank you to everyone who has participated and supported the challenge this year. You are awesome!

Coffeeneuring outings were frequently visible on Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram. I’m currently addicted to Instagram, and I blame all the good coffeeneuring photos.

David L., of the Seattle area, had a great idea to establish the Coffeeneurs Facebook group last year, and it made an excellent virtual coffee shop of sorts for coffeeneurs all around the world to interact.

As of this writing, the 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge boasts 68 official finishers, and I imagine many more are on the way.

Here are some final notes as you prepare your entries: Continue reading 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Update!

We Love Coffeeneuring, Featuring the Ultimate Coffeeneur for Final Weekend Inspiration

In the great city of Portland, there is a person who has coffeeneured more than anyone I know. His name is Bill, and in the course of 94 weekends he visited 110 distinct coffee shops.

That accomplishment is a testament not only to the preponderance of Portland-area coffee shops (yay, alliteration!), as well as Bill’s passion for coffeeneuring and his determination to seek out new shops.

In honor of the final weekend of the Coffeeneuring Challenge, I share with you this interview with the Ultimate Coffeeneur. Continue reading We Love Coffeeneuring, Featuring the Ultimate Coffeeneur for Final Weekend Inspiration

We Love Coffeeneuring: A Talk with Four-Time Coffeeneur John R. in #BikeDC

The final weekend of the Coffeeneuring Challenge approaches, and as part of the final week festivities I took the opportunity to chat with four-time challenge finisher John of #BikeDC.

You may know John from Twitter (@dirteng) or through his blog, Portajohn. John used concepts from the Coffeeneuring Challenge and created a beer and bikes challenge known as the Brewvet. (The Brewvet is a springtime challenge so you have plenty of time to practice up for it.)

A cyclist, coffeeneur, and explorer, John loves to combine bikes and coffee whenever he can (unless he’s opting for a craft beer instead). We recently talked about the appeal and expansion of the Coffeeneuring Challenge as well as other bikes ‘n coffee-related topics. Continue reading We Love Coffeeneuring: A Talk with Four-Time Coffeeneur John R. in #BikeDC


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