V-Announcements: We’re Back!

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!

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115 Replies to “V-Announcements: We’re Back!”

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

  2. @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

  3. @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.

  4. @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,

  5. @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.

  6. 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.

       

  7. @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.

  8. 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

  9. @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.

  10. @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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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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