Announcing New V-Features: Community Page and VVallpapers

Announcing New V-Features: Community Page and VVallpapers

by / / 193 posts

Whenever The Keepers disappear a bit and our postings become sporadic and pointed, you can bet we’re either out riding our bikes or we’ve been busy working away at new features for the site. We have a number of features in various states of completion, and we’ll be rolling them out over the course of the next few weeks and months as they reach maturity and we become convinced they’re working reasonably well.

The beautiful thing about a word like “reasonable” is that it contains within it the perfect amont of vagueness while giving the impression of specificity. After all, there’s no universally agreed-upon reasonable degree of reasonable, meaning that what seems reasonable to me might be completely unreasonable to others. Take, for example, the number of times the word “reasonable” appears in this paragraph. Completely unreasonable.

Back to the point, when I say our new features are working reasonably well, I mean to say that three requirements have been satisfied. First, the vision for the feature is well understood. (The vision does not need to be realized in the release, but it does need to allow for it to become realized at some later stage.) Second, the initial feature set is working sufficiently well that I got tired of testing before I found any major problems. Third, it looks good.

At this time, we’re releasing two new features, both of which represent an initial iteration which we plan to expand on as the features grow and the community adopts them (or not). As we gather feedback on what new features would be helpful, we’ll incorporate it into the subsequent releases (or not).

The VVallpapers

Velominati is founded on the idea of sharing with each other the little things about Cycling that make this sport so amazing. On that premise, providing desktop Wallpapers or, indeed VVallpapers, has been part of the envisioned feature set from the beginning; to select photos from our collective archives within the community that represent Cycling in some way, and provide a specific place to share them with each other. But, like so many other ideas we have kicking around, there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to make everything come to reality.

However, a discussion last week spurred us into action, and we present you with The VVallpapers. We haven’t really found a good home for them yet, but for the time being at least, they can be found through the footer and via The Keepers. The same principle applies as elsewhere; post your suggestions for additional photos for inclusion, and we’ll update the main list with the best ones. Several initial wallpapers have been added already as a start.

The Community

As we know, there is great sense of community on Velominati, and increasingly we’re seeing the desire to know a little bit more about our fellow members. To that end, we’ve put together a Community page which provides a mechanism to share some background information and posting activity. Obviously, we wanted to provide this as an option to people who wish to share information, but still make sure that people who want to stay anonymous can do so. To that end, people who have an account at Velominati may log in and update their profile, sharing whatever information they are comfortable sharing, including a bio, their location, and various social networking coordinates. For those who don’t have a Velominati account or who don’t fill out their profile, only a very basic amount of information is shown along with their posting activity. The fundamental idea is to allow people to choose what they’d like to share; only the handle, photo, and website are shown by default.

To access anyone’s profile, simply click their name in the posting threads. The only downside to that is that in order for you to access a member’s profile, they need to have posted at least once; there are loads of members who have never posted any comments. Unfortunately, this release doesn’t provide a mechanism for viewing their profiles.

To that point, however, is the notion that The Community in particular is viewed by us as an initial iteration; we have a mountain of ideas that we think will help foster a sense of community here, and we’re sure you do as well. With that in mind, have a look, fill out your profile (or don’t), and start using learning about the community. If you have ideas or suggestions, we’d love to hear about them.

Thanks as always to everyone who comes here and makes this all worth while.

// General

  1. @Marko

    But the first fucker that replies first to an article with only the word “first” is getting water boarded with an extra large bidon and a dirty chamois stuffed in their pie hole.

    Fuck yeah. Gotta +1 on that!

  2. @frank @Marko
    The funny thing is I was so surprised to stumble across “Le Jour Sans”””with no comments yet, without 45 minutes of reading to do to get caught up. And I almost screamed “First!” But, like a newly discovered road that winds upward, it seemed more appropriate to just dig in and enjoy the silence of the ride…

  3. @Rob

    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    Were we separated at birth?

    Depends: what’s your take on nipple lube?

  4. I’m also a luddite, and so couldn’t give a flying watoozee about like buttons and big ups buttons and friend buttons and whatever the hell else it is you crazy switched on kids do in your virtual worlds. But if there was some way to recall how to find those outstanding moments without tearing at the fabric of the culture or putting the Keepers to more work I’d vote for it. If there was a vote button. Which I could find.

  5. @Marko
    Nipple lube.

  6. @Steampunk

    I feel the same way. I come on here the day of a post and I’m reading for like an hour until I post. In the mean time there have been another 15 minutes worth of posts. At times its mine boggling!

    P.S. The desktop has been sa caobra’d and profile updated. Great work guys!

  7. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    To the Velominati: My apologies for any part of this.

  8. @G’phant

    @Marko Nipple lube.

    +1 Nipple Lube, , something about height to weight ratio.

    Think i have ALL the bases covered for a niche Yahoo cycling messageboard

  9. @Zoncolan

    @G’phant

    @Marko Nipple lube.

    +1 Nipple Lube, , something about height to weight ratio.
    Think i have ALL the bases covered for a niche Yahoo cycling messageboard

    +1 to me. missed the Thumbs Up.

  10. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    I was thinking of you with my response to @m’face.

    Also, nipple lube.

  11. We can warm up the waterboarding with all the plus f*#king ones (eyelid twitching, handguns being polished, irrational dislikes growing…)

  12. @Luddites Agree about buttons to lube/unlube people’s nipples but still think some velointerface to miles and logging with totals, speeds, meters climbed etc would be good, even if not everyone uses computers etc when they ride.

    Cycling appeals to the somewhat autistic streak in many people which is why we love that stuff.

    Or let me put it another way… it would IMHO be somewhat less than awesome to have a site dedicated to hardness and cycling which had people tracking their weight and asking does their bum look big in these bibshorts, but not how many farking miles they put in.

  13. WTF are people talking about? Sharing training distances (Kms please) on a website!

    FFS, if you have a clue about cycling, you lie about how many ks you do, you tell your mates/competitors that you haven’t been doing any training and you are riding like a busted arse.

    And then you smash them…

    @ChrisO
    Go easy on glib comments about autism.

  14. @Marcus

    WTF are people talking about? Sharing training distances (Kms please) on a website!
    FFS, if you have a clue about cycling, you lie about how many ks you do, you tell your mates/competitors that you haven’t been doing any training and you are riding like a busted arse.
    And then you smash them…

    Yes…
    I think that’s what is being discussed. Logging false distances.
    What’s the problem?

  15. @Marcus

    WTF are people talking about? Sharing training distances (Kms please) on a website!
    FFS, if you have a clue about cycling, you lie about how many ks you do, you tell your mates/competitors that you haven’t been doing any training and you are riding like a busted arse.
    And then you smash them…

    That way, if readers like the way I write about the form I don’t have, they can look up the training I’m not doing and decide how best to falsify their distances, zones and power to support the form they’re fictitiously waxing lyrical about.
    If all goes well, we could post articles about how to doctor footage to make it appear we’re climbing Hawaiian volcanoes in times better than our previously cooked-up personal bests.

  16. @Blah

    @Marcus

    WTF are people talking about? Sharing training distances (Kms please) on a website!FFS, if you have a clue about cycling, you lie about how many ks you do, you tell your mates/competitors that you haven’t been doing any training and you are riding like a busted arse.And then you smash them…

    That way, if readers like the way I write about the form I don’t have, they can look up the training I’m not doing and decide how best to falsify their distances, zones and power to support the form they’re fictitiously waxing lyrical about.If all goes well, we could post articles about how to doctor footage to make it appear we’re climbing Hawaiian volcanoes in times better than our previously cooked-up personal bests.

    Now you are just being creepy.

  17. @marcus

    @Blah

    That way, if readers like the way I write about the form I don’t have, they can look up the training I’m not doing and decide how best to falsify their distances, zones and power to support the form they’re fictitiously waxing lyrical about.If all goes well, we could post articles about how to doctor footage to make it appear we’re climbing Hawaiian volcanoes in times better than our previously cooked-up personal bests.

    Now you are just being creepy.

    At first I thought so too, but after my nightly sprint repeats up the Stelvio I came over to Blah’s point of view.

  18. @Marcus

    Not meaning to be glib Marcus, but apologies if taken as such. I have two boys with Asperger’s so I’m well aware of what I was saying. One has Tourette’s as well.

    The Aspergery end of autism it has been described as ‘the essence of maleness’ i.e. we all have it, but to different degrees.

    Cycling is I think something that genuinely appeals to that male-autistic streak.

    It requires very little empathy or intuition – unlike rugby or football for example where the best players ‘know’ what other people are going to do.

    I would be very surprised for example if Brad Wiggins was not somewhere on the spectrum.

    It also lends itself to introspection and solitude if desired, and to lists and facts, which was what I was specifically referencing.

    You know how they say you can tell an extroverted audaxer – he looks at YOUR shoes while he’s talking to you.

  19. @ChrisO
    Cool mate – know what you mean…

  20. @ChrisO

    My 4yo daughter has ASD too and I identify with your observations.

    My wife tells me I ‘see’ autism and autistic traits too much, but I always maintain that the spectrum is so broad, for sure it crosses over into the realms of ‘normal’ society and produces behaviors that can be considered obsessive.

    Like engineering- and IT-type careers, I’m certain that cycling is definately a sport that is attractive to the selfish/obsessive/single-minded traits of autism. When necessary, it requires no social interaction and little imagination. Indeed, the longer one hammers away at the road, the better one gets! Perfect!

    It’s always comforting to be reminded that we are not alone in with the trials that ASD presents.

    Cheers,
    mrhallorann

  21. @G’phant
    Steampunk likes your post.

  22. @itburns
    Wow! Sounds like you climb well for your weight!

    Of course, any distance log should be measured in vertical meters, not horizontal kilometers.

  23. @ChrisO @mrhallorann

    My eight year old son was diagnosed with verbal dyspraxia (childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) in America) and his brother also shows some symptoms of if. Dysphraxic kids often show autistic and dyslexic traits. Left to his own devices he’ll leave all his kit at school and come home with items of clothing inside out or back to front but his bedroom is always beautifully tidy, pencils ordered in a pot on his desk and toy cars lined up in neat rows.

    He’s lucky in that he’s very aware of what make him different from his mates and never seems to get frustrated by not being able to do things that they can, it just spurs him on. He’s also lucky that while he likes to spend time doing his own thing, he’s also really into his team sports and social groups – rugby, football, cub scouts etc. I suspect that he’ll make an excellent cyclist.

    @mrhallorann, I think your certainly right about there being a broad spectrum, I can see elements of these thing sin all of of my kids, in myself and elsewhere in my family. Our kids are lucky that they live in an age where these things are more likely to get properly diagnosed and support provided rather than being labelled an idiot or a retard.

  24. From nipple lube to an insightful and heartwarming discussion on autism. This place is the best. You guys rulck. This is so much better than picking up the paper in the morning.

  25. @Marko
    By the way, there is a group of Velominati over on Strava for those of us who like to lie about our stats.

  26. @Marko

    From nipple lube to an insightful and heartwarming discussion on autism. This place is the best. You guys rulck. This is so much better than picking up the paper in the morning.

    Running a class called Global Perspectives at school. We’re looking at pop culture right now and kids asked what TV I watched. Just showed them the ‘bikes’ folder in my bookmarks and explained that largely, rather than TV I’d rather read blogs and sites like this.
    Actually, this topic will be hard to teach in an international school, as the kids have no shared pop culture to reference and they’re being led by an old man of 36 who has all but given up on mass pop culture. Cynical lessons ahead.
    On the topic at hand, I was thinking exactly that nipple lube to autism (yep, as a teacher I have some first hand experience of full blown and ‘spectrum’ cases) makes this place very cool.

  27. @Marko
    The problem with the Strava thing is that it doesn’t work too well if you don’t use a GPS device. It doesn’t allow you to click your way round a map to create a route in the same way that say ridewithgps does. I find that useful not only for logging my rides but planning them as well. I can set up a route, get an idea of the elevation profile and if it’s a bit complicated print out a set of intersection instructions. I find it’s also good for working out rides to do when I’m on holiday, no wasting time doing recces, just head for the biggest hill and mash it.

  28. @Blah
    The nipple lube to autism spectrum?!?

  29. @Marko

    @Blah
    The nipple lube to autism spectrum?!?

    Ouch. That would be some spectrum. Not sure I’ll bring it up in class. I like my job too much.

  30. Not sure wether this is clever or not: My MacBook Pro Keyboard

  31. @VVallpapers Found this one the other day whilst clearing out some old image files. Oh Norway how I miss your roads.

  32. @huffalotpuffalot
    Send that to us in full resolution and we’ll add it. That is absolutely stunning.@Marko

    From nipple lube to an insightful and heartwarming discussion on autism. This place is the best. You guys rulck. This is so much better than picking up the paper in the morning.

    I was about to say something similar.

    @Marko, @all

    @Marko
    By the way, there is a group of Velominati over on Strava for those of us who like to lie about our stats.

    To that point (late to the game, very busy day yesterday, not much time for posting and reading) those of you who have updated your profiles may have noticed MapMyRide and Strava profile options. MapMyRide for sure and I believe Strava provide API’s so while today those bits are unused, I’m planning to integrate them with the site.

    We’re not a training site or a mapping site, and that’s what those are made for, so I’m not sure why we would make people update this stuff in a bunch of places. But if we can pull the interesting stuff in and display it if you want to share it, then that’s fine with me. It’s easy to want to be everything, but important to remember what we are not.

    @Chris

    @Marko
    The problem with the Strava thing is that it doesn’t work too well if you don’t use a GPS device. It doesn’t allow you to click your way round a map to create a route in the same way that say ridewithgps does. I find that useful not only for logging my rides but planning them as well. I can set up a route, get an idea of the elevation profile and if it’s a bit complicated print out a set of intersection instructions. I find it’s also good for working out rides to do when I’m on holiday, no wasting time doing recces, just head for the biggest hill and mash it.

    You or someone else pointed me to RwGPS the other day and it seems really great. That’s what I like about MapMyRide as well, the ability to plot routes; I do a lot of urban riding in Seattle and it helps me figure out candidates for new routes without having to go get broadsided by a city bus first.

  33. @frank
    Sure thing I will try and send it over tonight. Shame I cannot find the full resolution version for this beauty.

  34. @huffalotpuffalot

    @frank
    Sure thing I will try and send it over tonight. Shame I cannot find the full resolution version for this beauty.

    So, I was about to propose a virtual Rule #55 for the VVallpapers, that they could only be included on the list if they were either ridden (Frank’s Tourmalet / Luz Ardiden) or created (the Eddie Merckx as Jedi Knight) by a Velominatus… but then you post this.

    China is a big place, and I don’t know you from Adam. But if you find out WTF this is, and you wanna go: I’m in. No day job is worth missing out on this. I am your pack bitch for this one. I. MUST. CLIMB. THOSE. SWITCHBACKS.

    BTW… Frank, not sure what has happened to my posts, but am LOVING the jersey I get each time I hit return… cooooool! matches what I wear on the road, dude.

  35. @huffalotpuffalot
    I can count at least 25 switchbacks. I must know the location of this peice of heaven, ride it i must

  36. @huffalotpuffalot

    @frankSure thing I will try and send it over tonight. Shame I cannot find the full resolution version for this beauty.

    WHERE THE FUCK IS THIS??????????

  37. Slideshow:

    Fullscreen:

    This one? or the next one? Stelvio and Gavia a day or so apart

  38. @Mikael Liddy
    @Sean from the great white north

    This is in Norway and is the Trollstigen(Trolls Ladder) mountain road. Sure as hell is an awesome road for sure although the ascent is probably only about 850m.

  39. @frank

    @Chris

    @Marko
    The problem with the Strava thing is that it doesn’t work too well if you don’t use a GPS device. It doesn’t allow you to click your way round a map to create a route in the same way that say ridewithgps does. I find that useful not only for logging my rides but planning them as well. I can set up a route, get an idea of the elevation profile and if it’s a bit complicated print out a set of intersection instructions. I find it’s also good for working out rides to do when I’m on holiday, no wasting time doing recces, just head for the biggest hill and mash it.

    You or someone else pointed me to RwGPS the other day and it seems really great. That’s what I like about MapMyRide as well, the ability to plot routes; I do a lot of urban riding in Seattle and it helps me figure out candidates for new routes without having to go get broadsided by a city bus first.

    Yeah, the planning side of it is very handy. I like to be aware of what I’m getting myself into. I’m beginning to push up my distances and if I’m going to find myself at the bottom of a big hill 70km into a ride I like to be able to factor that into my pace prior to it in the same way that I’ve started to look at the elevation profiles for club runs to make sure that my efforts are more measured. There’s no point in taking a long pull if you then come round a corner to find a hill that you’ll get dropped on.

    I’m starting to think that a Garmin 500 or the like is going to be an inevitable investment. Being relatively new to road bikes, I do find it difficult to judge how I’m riding. For example, I might feel that it’s coming together with a bit of style and that the guns are in fine fettle only to find at the end of a ride that I’m down by a minute or that regardless of form I gain a minute on a day of strong headwinds. On the bike I’m not that interested in the data, except maybe time and speed but in addition to getting a feel for how I’m going from what my body and the bike are telling me, I’d like to be able compare rides on each route on a segment by segment basis and try to understand what differentiates the the slow days from the fast days.

    This is on the Castelli’s UK importers site. I’m a sucker for a good black and white shot. I’m guessing it’s on this years Giro route, but anyone know where?

  40. @anotherdownunder
    Just looking at the second one raises the heart rare a notch or two. Foreboding!

  41. ridewithgps does look good but they say they are working on adding bulk upload (from device) and also teams and groups, which some others have already.

    There’s also something a bit strange – I have uploaded from my Garmin but the figures that come out don’t match what was on the device, or what it showed in Garmin Connect or Strava. Basic figures like moving time and total distance.

    I’m sending them some files to look at so will let you know what they say. In the meantime I’ll keep using Strava so thanks for adding it to the profiles.

  42. @ChrisO
    I’ve had some similar problems with the speed that it shows in the activities summary being different from the speed shown in the individual activities. It seems to be something to do with entering a different moving time to overall activity time. Route 11 Long being a prime example although it is different from the other’s in that it was imported as a route fro someone else’s .gpx fie for a club run and still seems to contain some residual bit’s of their previous activity.

  43. @anotherdownunder
    Do you own that picture of the Stelvio, or at least have permission to let us put it in the VVallpapers? That looks totally rad.

  44. @frank

    Yes, as I took it with my camera. I would be honoured to have it added in. This one was taken part way up, looking to the summit where the other pic was taken.

    Is the resolution OK or would you prefer pic to be emailed?

  45. One more….. Gavia on Bormio side.

  46. @All A brilliant idea for a new feature which popped into my head when reading proCycling on the way home from work. It basically breaks down to a Velominati Hall of Fame. Each month the keepers create a new page with the candidate on it. We all submit the questions we would like to be answered by said hero. The Keepers through their infinite wisdom and channeling of The V decide the top 20 questions. Once this is done a hand written letter on the Velominati header paper is sent to the Hall of fame candidate which will hopefully get a reply. I know some will be dead so the letter part will not be possible. Also on the original post we could have people submitting pictures they think should be used in the hall of fame as well as famous quotes. Each month a new hero is added to the hall of fame with a picture, palmares, famous quotes and a copy of the letter and reply. We should also provide the hero with an account to access and comment incase they ever feel the need to do so. The envelope could also be covered in very light grey text on a 25 degree angle(NorthEast) all the handles of the current memebers of the Velominati.

    I think the hand written letter will definitely get more attention that a typed one or an email which tends to get picked up by minions.

  47. I just figured out that I can use all the VVallpapers in a custom desktop slideshow in Windows 7. I’m stoked.

  48. @huffalotpuffalot

    @All A brilliant idea for a new feature which popped into my head when reading proCycling on the way home from work. It basically breaks down to a Velominati Hall of Fame. Each month the keepers create a new page with the candidate on it. We all submit the questions we would like to be answered by said hero. The Keepers through their infinite wisdom and channeling of The V decide the top 20 questions. Once this is done a hand written letter on the Velominati header paper is sent to the Hall of fame candidate which will hopefully get a reply. I know some will be dead so the letter part will not be possible. Also on the original post we could have people submitting pictures they think should be used in the hall of fame as well as famous quotes. Each month a new hero is added to the hall of fame with a picture, palmares, famous quotes and a copy of the letter and reply. We should also provide the hero with an account to access and comment incase they ever feel the need to do so. The envelope could also be covered in very light grey text on a 25 degree angle(NorthEast) all the handles of the current memebers of the Velominati.
    I think the hand written letter will definitely get more attention that a typed one or an email which tends to get picked up by minions.

    @Frank What do you reckon, a possibility?

  49. Mrs Weiner’s father has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood but why not Obama has gone out of his way to say that AQ is all but whipped out even when it’s not.

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