The Chainlink


Bike Geeks

Cyclist I.T. Nerds.  Group to support Julie with technical consulting and maintenance, and to develop a pool of programmers and web developers for local cycling projects.

Inspired by the extraordinarily high ratio of I.T. Professionals I've met on rides, the ongoing discussion about TCL and Ning, and the urgent need for help with projects.

If you are a cyclist, and have I.T. skills, please join this group to begin what could become some productive networking.

Location: chicago
Members: 29
Latest Activity: Mar 6

Discussion Forum

Calling all web developers! Bike commuting experience a plus!

Hello Bike Geeks, hope you are doing well! We’re continuing to move forward on so many exciting projects and we’d greatly appreciate your help fielding this RFP out for Bike Commuter Challenge 2014…Continue

Started by Active Transportation Alliance Dec 13, 2013.

Looking for a Web developer hosting service

I am a member of a committee with an Evanston based church which is redeveloping our web site and interested in supporting fellow cyclists.  We are in the process of searching for a…Continue

Started by SkokieSurly Apr 26, 2013.

Hosting Recommendations

Like this isn't a topic done a bazillion times on the web, but hey, local personal experience matters.POST YOUR WEB HOSTING EXPERIENCES and RECOMMENDATIONS HERE PLEASE!I'm constantly looking for…Continue

Started by Andronymous Dec 18, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Steven Lane on March 4, 2014 at 11:57am

West Town Bikes needs a new website, so I'm hosting a weekend web jam at my place, THIS WEEKEND!!!

It's a Drupal site, so we need programmers, designers, and content developers. No money, but lots of snacks and libations. If you can party and work, you can join us, otherwise do not waste our precious time. Ninjas only, we ain't fucking around!

West Town Bikes Weekend Web Jam
Castle Bikenstein, 1549 W. Chicago Ave
Sat & Sun, 11am - 11pm
No buzzer, call Steven Lane 312-504-7108

Comment by Andronymous on February 11, 2014 at 12:26pm

Divvy visualization competition.  Offers huge anonymized trip dataset.

I wish I could field an entry, but my plate's much too full to undertake a big challenging freebie.

Comment by Andronymous on February 6, 2014 at 7:20pm

I always said Ning is a pretty great PaaS value.  WPEngine has a slick site and a trial offer (but a beta up there under some other name and see how it performs under some load).  HostGator's site is almost kitsch "We eat up the competition!" - so there's that.

Comment by Justin B Newman on February 6, 2014 at 6:45pm

In my opinion, if TCL is going to operate in absence of a permanently-retained consultant, or an active team of senior administrators, a "Platform as a Service" such as WPEngine Pro is the only real option.

For any other option, who is managing, say, the firewall? Who's dealing with redundancy, and backups? Amazon, etc. are cheap until you consider that you have to do all the labor. DDOS Mitigation? Application firewalls? (Cloudflare + mod_security are great. mod_security needs care and feeding, though). A platform as a service firm should take care of all these things. 

Comment by Andronymous on February 6, 2014 at 5:13pm

Nice work Tom.  This is not a let's simply choose one challenge.
I'd further say you should oblige the developer to be involved in the choice, and share responsibility for it fully operating as planned on the eventual host, or it'll be a convenient out (oh, that's a hosting problem).

Personally, number one problem I always hit is email capacity.  TCL probably generates tens of thousands of messages a day.  No ordinary host will allow that, and you must confirm in advance in writing.

In all cases you're going to need ongoing expertise to take care of what Ning did for you (option 1 below), which is NOT a small job.  Sorry, but you should budget possibly a few hundred $ a month, at least for the first year or so.

I have some huge and high traffic sites happily hosted on GoDaddy.  Amazingly, they offer unlimited space and bandwidth cheap (option 2 below).  But charge extra for bulk email.

Professionally, I may no longer recommend anything other than Amazon cloud (option 3 below).  But again with the email, large outgoing volume requires using their messaging and queuing services, which may not be supported by stock content management systems out of the box.

Bottom line, find someone's who's done exactly the same kind of migration before and ask them.


Comment by Alex Kim on February 6, 2014 at 1:30pm
Hey Bike Geeks on The Chainlink,
It's Alex, The Chainlink intern tasked with helping on the build out of the new site.  
The developer is done with the research, development and specking stage and has just started "prototype and design" stage (he ended up doing some wireframing earlier and started buildout as we gave him the features we wanted included).  
They say the launch will happen quite soon, around springtime.  
It's time to make a decision about hosting.
Our developer suggested these two as viable options:
However, we are also wondering if it'd be worth using Amazon, which is cheaper, but requires us to set it up and maintain it ourselves. 
Comment by Andronymous on February 3, 2014 at 3:15pm

Cross posting from the mailing list:

Hey Folks ->

As you know, we have begun work on a new website for BTG's old member organization -- West Town Bikes.  

After a strong start, the project has foundered.  And that's where you come in.

We're looking for someone to come in and provide the leadership necessary to get this job complete. 

You need to be a fairly strong Drupaler -- the folks who are already involved will continue to stay involved, but we need someone who can do it all (for the most part).

The work involves setting up the site in the context of a nifty, but complex purchased theme.  Additionally, there is coordination work with a company hired to complete the CiviCRM setup.
WTB won't be able to pay you what you're worth in today's market, but can give you some neato thankyous.  Sweet bike?  Free classes?  You name it and it could likely be yours.
Give me a call to discuss -- 773-220-4134.
Comment by David Gibbs on October 7, 2013 at 12:13pm

FWIW: I created a Facebook group called Geeks on Gears.  It's a group to discuss the geeky aspects of cycling (bike computers, smartphone apps, cycling tech, etc). 

The URL is

Comment by Active Transportation Alliance on October 2, 2013 at 11:30am

Hello Bikegeeks, 

Active Trans is seeking pro bono Drupal development help for a website overhaul.

We've got wonderful pro bono UX help from Fuzzy Math and are searching for a back-end partner.

We just posted this blog (copied/pasted below) and wanted to get this in front of you all, local bike geek people.

Thanks much,

Ethan Spotts, Active Trans

Web developers wanted for pro bono project!

Active Trans is seeking the pro bono assistance of a qualified web development firm or developers to helpredesign and rebuild the back end of our current website,

We’ll be moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, and hope to build some great new features and functions for the website. The generous people at the user-interface firm Fuzzy Math are working pro bono with Active Trans to provide all front-facing design aspects for this project.

Active Trans is also in the process of putting in place a new constituent relationship management (CRM) database called Raiser’s Edge. We hope to integrate Raiser’s Edge with our new website to allow our members and supporters easier ways to join, renew, and donate.

If you're interested in helping out, we would love to hear from you.

Here's the RFP and scope of the project. 
For any questions, please contact

Comment by Julie Hochstadter on April 3, 2013 at 8:03am

I can attest working with Chi Lowe (who has been tirelessly volunteering with The Chainlink due to his passion) has been nothing short of a gift from heaven.  He's an awesome person with great vision and a lots of expertise and knowledge.  He's kinda a renaissance man (writing, engineering  strategy, economics, good teacher, father, etc).

do it.


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