We've been Buysse

We've been Buysse

V-Announcements: We’re Back!

by / / 115 posts

I have to tell you, there is very little that gets me as aggravated as having Velominati go down. Its like having kids kicking down my sandcastle when I was a kid, watching helplessly as your labor of love collapses right before your eyes. We’ve spent the better part of the last month with the site staggering like a drunkard between being online, offline, and painfully slow. Its no way to live.

I’ve been unhappy with our host for a while, but I’ve been reluctant to move on because of the risk in changing platforms and the downtime associated with such a move. But, as my VMH cleverly pointed out on Sunday afternoon while I was tearing my hair out, I might as well take advantage of the downtime to change hosts. So we did.

After a careful evaluation, I settled on a WordPress-specific host called WP Engine. All these guys do is WordPress, and their servers are tuned specifically to the unique loads this platform imposes. They are like the Classics specialists of WordPress hosts. To my surprise, however, once I moved the site and data over to their platform even they couldn’t accomodate it without getting some of their specialists involved. I had a feeling Velominati imposed some unique demands on the platform, and it was a bit cathartic to have them express surprise over the volume of data we have. The Rules in particular has such a high volume of traffic and posts (several million hits a year and 11k posts and counting) that it simply causes things to choke. They also helped me find some optimizations in the code that helped reduce the load on the servers.

Part of the optimizations include changing how the photo upload tool works; you can still upload multiple photos into your posts, but the album tool is dead. I built that myself as a way to share photos with my family before we ever launched Velominati; it was never designed to support the kind of traffic we have here. So DM Albums is dead. Let us thank it for its service and wish it well. A-Merckx. On the plus side, you can now add captions to any photo you upload, so that’s kind of cool.

Anyway, we got it all up and running and last night I poured myself a stiff drink and flipped the switch on the domain name to point to the new boxes. Words can’t express my relief when I woke up this morning and everything was humming away nicely. We’ll give it a day or so before posting up new content just to make sure we’ve got everything squared away.

Its great to be back; let us know if you notice an improvement in site performance or anything that doesn’t seem to be working correctly. Vive la Vie Velominatus!

// V-Announcements

  1. Very nice to see the site back up and running. Nice work @frank. It would be interesting to see how everyone’s riding kilometres spiked since we clearly had more time to ride.

  2. @frank

    @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Sigh, one thing is still the same – my IP address from home is still on the blacklist.

    Have to use the VPN to comment, or do it from work.

    but @frank is in clearly in high spirits as the +1 badge does actually exist…………………

    Hey, me saying “+1″ and awarding the badge are two different things. I expect everyone to be funny and clever and witty and a bit of a jackass (Rule #43) but the badge is only awarded if you truly outsize expectations.

    I trust the very last bit is not a ref to @ChrisO‘s porn link……………..

  3. @snoov

    Great to see you back posting. I must apologise for not popping in to visit to see how the family and the house has developed! Catch up on the bike soon.

  4. Thank you Frank. A toast of fine Belgian Ale in my newly received V-pint glass!

  5. @girl

    Very nice to see the site back up and running. Nice work @frank. It would be interesting to see how everyone’s riding kilometres spiked since we clearly had more time to ride.

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending upon your point of view, I live in Wisconsin. To say it’s been a bit nippy of late is an understatement. I think the high was like 4 degrees yesterday. Not. Riding. Weather. You know it’s bad when the weather guy on the radio says, unironically, “it’s going to warm up nicely to 16 degrees today.”

    Still, I have 5 rides in this year which is 5 more than this time last year!

  6. @frank, truly fucking awesome that you’re back. Keeping this thing running must be like trying to control some massive, inquisitive, mischievous toddler that never sleeps or stops trying to poke it’s fingers into the sockets. Chapeau.

    Don’t get complacent though, no resting on your laurels, not too many stiff drinks, there’s still The Gear and V-Caps to sort out.

  7. @frank

    @ChrisO

    Six weeks of recovery most of it with no Velominati.

    Thank god there was still porn.

    Oh, yeah. That’s the first +1 badge of the new site award sorted, then.

    Cheers to that! +1 indeed. I can’t imagine what all’s involved. Both recovering from hip surgery and recovering from cranky servers.

  8. @wiscot

    @girl

    Very nice to see the site back up and running. Nice work @frank. It would be interesting to see how everyone’s riding kilometres spiked since we clearly had more time to ride.

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending upon your point of view, I live in Wisconsin. To say it’s been a bit nippy of late is an understatement. I think the high was like 4 degrees yesterday. Not. Riding. Weather. You know it’s bad when the weather guy on the radio says, unironically, “it’s going to warm up nicely to 16 degrees today.”

    Still, I have 5 rides in this year which is 5 more than this time last year!

    Man I feel for ya up there in the great white… I have to say that the weather down here in the deep south as well has helped to prevent any serious effort at being fit for the early season. And today’s race, Southern Cross, 55 miles of forest road in N GA Mtns was postponed due to ice storm having knocked out power and made roads impassable. The dang daffodils are popping up and it’s supped to be blue skies and sunshine down here in Alabama! It’s cold.

    Reminds me of the baby polar bear, asking his dad if he is 100% polar bear. His dad saying uhhh, ask your mom. Baby polar bear asks mom if he’s 100% polar and momma polar bear says, of course you are 100% polar bear son, why do you ask? And baby polar bear says, ’cause I’m friggen cold mom.

  9. Welcome back. We missed you!

  10. @Chris

    Don’t get complacent though, no resting on your laurels, not too many stiff drinks, there’s still The Gear and V-Caps to sort out.

    Too bloody right. No articles to write, no comments to reply to and he still hasn’t sorted out the freaking caps.

  11. @ChrisO

    er, you might get a -1 coming your way? Anyway, how’s the recovery coming on – been on the road yet, or still sticking to the turbo-trainer?

  12. @markb

    I would gladly go back to being a mere Level 4 if it brought the Day of the Cap any closer.

    Recovery is going well. If nothing else the great server outage has saved you all from regular updates.

    I got out for a short ride on the weekend. Not much more than a few laps around the block to make sure I could still do it.

    I’ve been doing quite a few hours on the trainer, and Zwift has been brilliant – a real sanity-saver but also very social.

    Mostly 60-90 minute sessions but yesterday I did over three hours, which was 100km. Some guy in Japan did 300km in 11 hours. Tell you what, having not spent much time on trainers, I hadn’t quite appreciated how hard it is when you don’t do any freewheeling over that length of time.

    Anyway I’m back in Dubai now and generally OK. The leg is fine in a straight line and if there’s nothing sudden or slippy but I’m still limping around and not very nimble. Using the walking stick not so much for support but really to indicate to people that I can’t leap out of their way while they walk along texting.

    I’ve definitely reached the point where the gains are becoming ever more marginal. At some point it will stop but hopefully not for a little while yet.

  13. @frank

    @Teocalli

    @ChrisO

    Hey, me saying “+1″ and awarding the badge are two different things. I expect everyone to be funny and clever and witty and a bit of a jackass (Rule #43) but the badge is only awarded if you truly outsize expectations.

    I believe it was LeMan who said to expect 2-3 weeks to regain fitness after taking a week off the bike. Not sure how long my wittiness bit will take to recover after such a prolonged layoff.

    Jackassness though has a way of persisting, even without regular use.

  14. Its great to see the site back and running much faster. I’ve been commuting to work 3-4 days a week (its summer downunder) and I found a new cycleway along the coast to avoid the traffic, so my motivation is high.

  15. Does anyone have even the slightest curiosity about the special edition bike to commemorate the Prophet’s 70th birthday. It is steel and it looks awesome…

  16. In honor of the Prophet’s 70th birthday…

  17. @Jay

    $17,500 price tag cooled my interest somewhat…

  18. @Mikael Liddy

    Since there are only 70 being made and only 69 up for grabs I know that at that price I won’t ever have one. However, it is an intriguing machine.

    If money were no object, my order would already be in the queue…

  19. @ChrisO

    @markb

    I would gladly go back to being a mere Level 4 if it brought the Day of the Cap any closer.

    Recovery is going well. If nothing else the great server outage has saved you all from regular updates.

    I got out for a short ride on the weekend. Not much more than a few laps around the block to make sure I could still do it.

    I’ve been doing quite a few hours on the trainer, and Zwift has been brilliant – a real sanity-saver but also very social.

    Mostly 60-90 minute sessions but yesterday I did over three hours, which was 100km. Some guy in Japan did 300km in 11 hours. Tell you what, having not spent much time on trainers, I hadn’t quite appreciated how hard it is when you don’t do any freewheeling over that length of time.

    I think the longest time I’ve ever endured on a trainer is 2hrs, its the tedium that gets to you. I suppose I should be doing more of it as it’s currently awkward to disappear for 1/2 day on the bike as my partner is not well and sometimes has to dash to hospital. Still on the plus side, I’m being made redundant and will have plenty of time on my hands in 3 weeks time.

  20. @markb

    That sounds pretty crap for both of you, sorry to hear it.

    Really if you want to spend some time on the trainer get the Zwift app. It’s still in beta testing and they aren’t charging for it (yet).

    I think the PC version is pretty open now, but the Mac version is still a limited test group.

    Really helps to pass the time and you get to know people when you see them regularly, then chat on Facebook or the Strava club. They’ve based the virtual environment on a real island, so if you link it to Strava it shows as if you were riding around the island, and also who you were riding with. Very clever.

    At the moment quite a few people are setting up group rides where they meet and do laps together, sometimes steady, sometimes racing each other for the climbs and finish points. They say the plan is to roll out more courses and options, and also to have races and competitions.

    You need a power device, although they do have virtual power estimation where they can estimate power on certain trainers (expanding list) based on your speed, but that seems to be a bit dodgy. There are some guys doing impossible power and speeds using that. Still it’s a way on if you don’t have a power meter.

    And the only other thing needed is an ANT+ receiver for your computer to receive the signal from speed/power sensor – they’re quite cheap and just slot into your USB port.

  21. Couldn’t get back to earlier comments using the page numbers.

    They link to http://www.velominati.com/v-announcements/v-announcements-were-back/comment-page-1/#comments or similar.

    Editing that back to http://www.velominati.com/v-announcements/v-announcements-were-back/comment-page-1/ got me where I needed to go.

    Of course I should say how lovely it is to have everyone back together again.

  22. @markpa

    Couldn’t get back to earlier comments using the page numbers.

    They link to http://www.velominati.com/v-announcements/v-announcements-were-back/comment-page-1/#comments or similar.

    Editing that back to http://www.velominati.com/v-announcements/v-announcements-were-back/comment-page-1/ got me where I needed to go.

    Of course I should say how lovely it is to have everyone back together again.

    Have been making some tweaks; the comment linking bit wasn’t working right for some time…try cleaning out the ol’ cache etc and see if it isn’t working right now. If its not, please be more specific or friend me and message me there to get into the nitty gritty. You might be doing something I haven’t thought of.

  23. @ChrisO

    Zwift looks like fun! have to have a play around with it…..

  24. @ChrisO

    Yeah, Virtual Power equations fall apart when you start comparing to other people. It’s a fine method for tracking day-to-day individual progress (since all things being equal, more speed = more power on a trainer) but it’s all, as they say in physics, “to a constant”.

    I have a friend raving about Zwift, using it to pass the time through the snowstorm we’re having (SNOW! IN THE FUCKING DESERT!) and preparing for an Everesting in May. Cool stuff. I’m a Sufferfest man myself, keeps me motivated and on the edge of death – just set a new power record last week without intending to, and broke the W’ algorithm. Gotta revisit the maths…

  25. @markb

    @ChrisO

    @markb

    I would gladly go back to being a mere Level 4 if it brought the Day of the Cap any closer.

    Recovery is going well. If nothing else the great server outage has saved you all from regular updates.

    I got out for a short ride on the weekend. Not much more than a few laps around the block to make sure I could still do it.

    I’ve been doing quite a few hours on the trainer, and Zwift has been brilliant – a real sanity-saver but also very social.

    Mostly 60-90 minute sessions but yesterday I did over three hours, which was 100km. Some guy in Japan did 300km in 11 hours. Tell you what, having not spent much time on trainers, I hadn’t quite appreciated how hard it is when you don’t do any freewheeling over that length of time.

    I think the longest time I’ve ever endured on a trainer is 2hrs, its the tedium that gets to you. I suppose I should be doing more of it as it’s currently awkward to disappear for 1/2 day on the bike as my partner is not well and sometimes has to dash to hospital. Still on the plus side, I’m being made redundant and will have plenty of time on my hands in 3 weeks time.

    Ugh. That sounds like a horrendous amount of time to sit on a turbo. Think I managed 1.5 hrs last summer training for a sportive.

    I had planned plenty of turbo sessions this winter, but I joined my local cycling club instead so have been going to their track nights.

    Racking up the kilometres without going more than a mile from my house! Plus it’s social and I’m learning a lot about group riding.

  26. @tessar

    @ChrisO

    Yeah, Virtual Power equations fall apart when you start comparing to other people. It’s a fine method for tracking day-to-day individual progress (since all things being equal, more speed more power on a trainer) but it’s all, as they say in physics, “to a constant”.

    My own power equations (what I got off of the interwebs) fall apart between me riding uphill and riding on the flat. I only use them to try and correlate my turbo trainer workouts with riding on the road. Except it doesn’t seem to work. Humph.

  27. @Mikael Liddy

    @Jay

    $17,500 price tag cooled my interest somewhat…

    Actually that price tag made it more interesting. Not for an actual purchase. No, no, no… that’s a looney tunes price for non custom fit steel frame bike. The prospect of marketing, producing and selling all of 70 bicycles and pulling in a half million + dollars margin? And quite possibly a lot more. That’s very interesting.

  28. @ChrisO

    >>> I hadn’t quite appreciated how hard it is when you don’t do any freewheeling over that length of time <<<

    Exactly what I noticed immediately. No freewheeling is strange. No stretching on the bike after an effort.

    I’ve never spent time on trainer nor own one. I always chose, when weather was inclement and days were short for the two months or so here in deep south USA, to simply hit the gym and work on strength and flexibility. This year however we’re working on an inaugural season for local High School Mtn Bike Club for state competition. And a local gym sponsored our team with time in their spin room. We do interval training for one hour once/week and I’m actually diggin’ the experience. The heart rate monitor, for me anyways, is invaluable for getting something out of the work. I suspect power would be even better.

  29. @Jay

    Where are the lugs ?? Needs lug construction.

  30. Thanks for all you work Frank!

  31. @RobSandy

    @tessar

    @ChrisO

    Yeah, Virtual Power equations fall apart when you start comparing to other people. It’s a fine method for tracking day-to-day individual progress (since all things being equal, more speed more power on a trainer) but it’s all, as they say in physics, “to a constant”.

    My own power equations (what I got off of the interwebs) fall apart between me riding uphill and riding on the flat. I only use them to try and correlate my turbo trainer workouts with riding on the road. Except it doesn’t seem to work. Humph.

    Don’t bother. Heart rate showed much more consistency to all sorts of power-estimation methods. I used Virtual Power on the turbo only to keep my indoor workouts consistent and hard.

    Now that I’ve spent a year with a real powermeter (the ludicrously-named Power2Max) I can tell that no other device has been as instrumental in inflicting pain as this, and my race-craft and training improved significantly.

    It’s remarkable how much “going by feel” means you go too hard out of the gate and fade towards the end. Knocking out the same watts on the final climb as on the first gives a new definition to hard.

    At the same time, it’s cool to see when the science and the actual riding line up. Pulling up a file of an interval session or a race and see the exact moment you crack coincide with hitting 0 on the W’-balance chart.

  32. Frank, the new servers and the not-quite-as-new update are terrific. Two points though:

    1. No point notifying us of our own reply, even if we were vain enough to quote ourselves in it.
    2. In said notification mail, the link sends us to your profile. Pretty as it may be, that’s probably not the address the link was supposed to direct to.
  33. Glad you’re back up and running, was running adrift……

  34. @ChrisO

    @markb

    Recovery is going well.

    This is good to hear!

  35. Thanks for the hard work Frank. As always this site is just another gear in the cassette that fuels the passion of cycling.

  36. @Nate

    Thanks be to Merckx for all your hard work, frank.

    I would have reduced the servers to rubble with a chain whip, pedal wrench and headset press had I been in your position.

    Yes, Thanks for your work @Frank. I’m glad things are back

  37. @tessar

    @RobSandy

    @tessar

    @ChrisO

    Yeah, Virtual Power equations fall apart when you start comparing to other people. It’s a fine method for tracking day-to-day individual progress (since all things being equal, more speed more power on a trainer) but it’s all, as they say in physics, “to a constant”.

    My own power equations (what I got off of the interwebs) fall apart between me riding uphill and riding on the flat. I only use them to try and correlate my turbo trainer workouts with riding on the road. Except it doesn’t seem to work. Humph.

    Don’t bother. Heart rate showed much more consistency to all sorts of power-estimation methods. I used Virtual Power on the turbo only to keep my indoor workouts consistent and hard.

    I keep stumbling upon heart rate. It’s not something I’ve had any intention of using, but I can see how it would have a use, especially as I’m planning to get in to doing time trials (riding my first 10 mile mid-March). Science is the difference between feeling and knowing, and HR seems a pretty scientific method of gauging one’s suffering. Plus, I’m not going to fork out for a power metre any time soon.

  38. @unversio

    I do agree that lugged steel is more elegant, and provides stronger joints. However, TIG welded joints can look nice and do the job. My own preference is that TIG welds are used on titanium tubes and steel tubes should be joined with lugs,

  39. @RobSandy

    I keep stumbling upon heart rate. It’s not something I’ve had any intention of using, but I can see how it would have a use, especially as I’m planning to get in to doing time trials (riding my first 10 mile mid-March). Science is the difference between feeling and knowing, and HR seems a pretty scientific method of gauging one’s suffering. Plus, I’m not going to fork out for a power metre any time soon.

    HR requires a little more thinking on the end-user’s part, but it can be a very effective tool especially for time-trialling. Before I got my power metre, I got HR-based pacing down to a science. I could target a 40k TT and know, to within 2bpm, whether this was a reasonable effort or if I’d blow.

    Basically, find out what your threshold is (loosely correlated to the average HR over an hour maximal effort), find your maximum and rest heart rates, and through some math-ing and testing you can figure out what %age of your threshold HR works for what length of time. The only catch is that even with a thorough warmup, HR has a delayed reaction so don’t overshoot the start.

    Pacing using a power metre is essentially the same, except one measures the effort itself (power) and the other the body’s reaction (HR) – who behave linearly one in relation to the other, except that relationship changes depending on fatigue and environmental factors.

  40. Oi @frank! WTF is going on with the Official Rapha Team Sky Blue (TM) all over the place? Is that now the official colour of Velominati? Have you finally sold out to the highest bidder?

    If it’s true then I’m completely cool with it as long as the next iteration of the V-Kit make me look as mind bendingly awesome as Bernie. If not then, sorry, it clashes a bit with the rest of the palette.

    Â Â

  41. @Chris

    Oh, it’s gone. Carry on. Nothing to see here.

  42. @Chris

    yeah I was seeing some of that, are you getting some weird ? graphics coming up in the text as well?

  43. @Chris @Mikael Liddy

    The host was helping me figure out a character encoding problem, and somehow got confused between the production and staging servers; I can’t believe they were troubleshooting in production.

    Not cool, but things seem to be back to how they were this afternoon.

  44. Text formatting in comments hasn’t been working for me since the site’s been back online. Safari 7.0.x. Looks legit in the comment box, but styles get stripped upon posting. Just testing:

    bold

    italic

    bold italic

    centre justify

  45. @pistard

    50% success rate isn’t bad…

  46. @pistard

    Text formatting in comments hasn’t been working for me since the site’s been back online. Safari 7.0.x. Looks legit in the comment box, but styles get stripped upon posting. Just testing:

    bold

    italic

    bold italic

    centre justify

    I should get rid of the italics button, I suppose, since I hate italics enough to deliberately strip them from the posts. Good catch!

    …and until I fix that, I’ll continue to torment you with the button.

  47. @frank

    I should get rid of the italics button, I suppose, since I hate italics enough to deliberately strip them from the posts. Good catch!

    …and until I fix that, I’ll continue to torment you with the button.

    Pedantically, they’re oblique rather than true italic, but that sounds like something cross trainers worry about.

  48. I feel like I’ve really missed an opportunity here – last time Fhronk updated the site, it only took me a handful of posts to really fuck up a lot of his carefully planned work. I haven’t been as satisfied since.

  49. Various minor but satisfying updates made to the site this past week.

    • Member aVatars are now properly clickable and take you to their profile page where you can check out their shit and/or message them.
    • The strange character encoding has been repaired (ie the weird characters like “”are gone) on the Recent Posts in the sidebar and Activity feeds on the community pages
    • The article author’s “View Profile” and “View Articles” are working again
    • The hanging indent on the Recent Posts has been fixed
    • The ellipsis on the Recent Posts has been fixed to remove extra periods and spaces so they no longer wrap
    • Some other cosmetics that I am willing to bet no one else will notice, +1 badge to the first person to point one of them out correctly.

    I’m guessing I’m the only person who was bothered by the last three items, very few noticed the third, but the first two should be noticeable to everyone.

    Rock the fuck on.

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