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Old 09-29-22, 09:03 AM
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Anyone know what is up with them? After a weekend of spam messages (a few dozen from the same user) they seem to be off line now. I wonder if they are fixing security or what. Anyone have any info?

They have had a steady flow of new users showing up and posting similar type spam, but not the same level of volume.
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Old 09-29-22, 04:57 PM
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Yeah. Probably security work. ACA ain’t as big as IB, Inc.
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Old 09-30-22, 12:43 AM
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They've glitzed up their website - as so many orgs now do.
Lot of people of all shapes, sizes, and colors cycling in lovely surroundings.
Meanwhile, they don't successfully migrate all content to tne new framework.

I must say, Neil Gunton always posts when the site will be down for maintenance.
I prefer an easy-to-use, informative site to all the glitz.
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Old 09-30-22, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
They've glitzed up their website - as so many orgs now do.
Lot of people of all shapes, sizes, and colors cycling in lovely surroundings.
Meanwhile, they don't successfully migrate all content to tne new framework.

I must say, Neil Gunton always posts when the site will be down for maintenance.
I prefer an easy-to-use, informative site to all the glitz.
If it is planned (or even unplanned) maintenance/migration it is really easy to put up a page that says "work in progress" or whatever. They aren't very good about managing their forums though. I suspect the forums have a pretty low priority with them and tend to be kind of an afterthought. Otoh, maybe they are finally doing something about the steady spam issue they have had.
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Old 09-30-22, 08:25 AM
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I emailed them this morning and it is working now.
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Old 09-30-22, 08:26 AM
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I cut them some slack on the spam attacks. It's all too easy to sign up and post 30 spam messages overnight, when the small staff has gone home (or on a bike ride). They've been pretty good about cleaning up the crap when I've reported spam messages.

Looks like the site is back up now, FWIW.
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Old 09-30-22, 08:34 AM
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I emailed them yesterday afternoon.
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Old 09-30-22, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Otoh, maybe they are finally doing something about the steady spam issue they have had.
Do you mean to say that I can't make $1000 a day working from home?
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Old 09-30-22, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I cut them some slack on the spam attacks. It's all too easy to sign up and post 30 spam messages overnight, when the small staff has gone home (or on a bike ride). They've been pretty good about cleaning up the crap when I've reported spam messages.

Looks like the site is back up now, FWIW.
Maybe I expect too much. Still it doesn't seem reasonable for the same pattern not to be able to be prevented. Also it seems like having the same guy with essentially no posting history should be tripping some allarm when he posts dozens of identical posts with a bunch of the same spam links. Also it was reported early saturday morning and went for the whole weekend. I guess they don't have anyone working over the weekend, but a volunteer moderator would be a possibility. Barring that, some posting filters/rules might cut 99% of it.
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Old 09-30-22, 10:02 AM
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Dunno. Gave up on the ACA forums as a useful place sometime back when a couple of posters began to openly ridicule others' tours and brag about their own.

BTW, a couple of ACA route maps have gone out of print. Natural evolution, or have we seen 'peak routes'?
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Old 09-30-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Maybe I expect too much. Still it doesn't seem reasonable for the same pattern not to be able to be prevented. Also it seems like having the same guy with essentially no posting history should be tripping some allarm when he posts dozens of identical posts with a bunch of the same spam links. Also it was reported early saturday morning and went for the whole weekend. I guess they don't have anyone working over the weekend, but a volunteer moderator would be a possibility. Barring that, some posting filters/rules might cut 99% of it.
During part if the spring/summer, the office is staffed with a few of people on Saturdays, but not many. I think they rotate that assignment. IIRC from stopping in, it’s only open until maybe 1 pm on those Saturdays. Closed Sundays.
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Old 09-30-22, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
BTW, a couple of ACA route maps have gone out of print. Natural evolution, or have we seen 'peak routes'?
I'm afraid we're past the age of "peak paper." ACA is ginning up more routes, but apparently paper maps aren't sustainable (profitable) any more. Though I haven't bought any .gpx or their proprietary smart phone app, it seems like the effective price has gone up when you need to buy a .gpx to use with a standalone GPS unit, and then you'll presumably also want the smartphone app to get all the services that used to be included on the paper maps.
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Old 09-30-22, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
They've glitzed up their website - as so many orgs now do.
Lot of people of all shapes, sizes, and colors cycling in lovely surroundings.
Meanwhile, they don't successfully migrate all content to the new framework.
While I wish ACA paid more attentions to their forums, I realize that forum use has gone down over the years and so it's probably not their priority. But I'm more frustrated by what Jama mentions. They've redone the website a few times in the last decade, and with every change they switch their blogging platform and/or where their content is located. But they did not migrate the old content to the new platform, nor did they keep access to the old content. So now all the links to older articles are dead.
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Old 09-30-22, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'm afraid we're past the age of "peak paper." ACA is ginning up more routes, but apparently paper maps aren't sustainable (profitable) any more. Though I haven't bought any .gpx or their proprietary smart phone app, it seems like the effective price has gone up when you need to buy a .gpx to use with a standalone GPS unit, and then you'll presumably also want the smartphone app to get all the services that used to be included on the paper maps.
I'd still rather use paper maps. I guess i am already out of luck on some routes and will be soon on all of them. I guess I really don't have anything against a well designed phone app other than I'd rather not be battery dependent. My preference is still to shut the phone off all day when on tour. My Garmin Instinct 2 watch will do turn by turn directions and has great battery life, but forget about looking at a map on it. For times when I can get by with a good look at the map in the morning and just the prompts from the watch at the turns that may be enough. It definitely isn't enough if the route is at all complex.

To be clear, I have not actually used the watch that way yet so I don't really know how it will work out for that. I have had it do some prompts when out on daily rides just as a proof of concept. I think it can do it with the phone off, again I'd need to do a bit more testing.
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Old 09-30-22, 06:16 PM
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I try to be as battery-free as possible. Last month I again used my PGS successfully. I did check my phone from time to time for confirmation when I simply should have trusted my cue sheet making skills. I learned to make cue sheets from a master ride leader in my local club before all this GPS nonsense.
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Old 10-01-22, 06:30 AM
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I think I would prefer to be battery free, if doable, for the most part.

Well, you take a left where the old north church used to be before it burned down a few years ago, then keep going a mile or so, and take a right where that grove of cedar trees used to be before they were cut down.....you can't miss it.
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Old 10-01-22, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood View Post
Well, you take a left where the old north church used to be before it burned down a few years ago, then keep going a mile or so, and take a right where that grove of cedar trees used to be before they were cut down.....you can't miss it.
To be fair that has everything to do with getting directions from people met along the way or possibly written cue sheets in dialog format and nothing to do with either paper maps or electronic maps.

On the other hand I have run across a situation where all traces of an intersection were gone despite it still being on both the paper and electronic maps and in my route. I rode back and forth past it several times and ultimately got useful directions from a local family. Usually I am pretty skepitcal of directions from local folks other than truckers or farmers, but will take directions from others is really stuck (if with a grain of salt).
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Old 10-02-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood View Post
I think I would prefer to be battery free, if doable, for the most part.

Well, you take a left where the old north church used to be before it burned down a few years ago, then keep going a mile or so, and take a right where that grove of cedar trees used to be before they were cut down.....you can't miss it.
Heh. Reminds me of my ACA Northern Tier tour in ‘99, before the “back way” to W. Glacier was as developed as it is now. One of the cues was something like “Right at telephone junction box 43287”. There was no street sign like there is today. I was riding sweep with one other tour participant in tow. We missed the turn, but no harm, no foul because if you stayed straight you ended up back on route. Thing was, staying straight took you through the major bear corridor in the area according to a local in a pickup truck we flagged down. Turned out the junction box was a little thing rising maybe a foot off the ground. We had been looking for something much more conspicuous. In any event, we survived.
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Old 10-02-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Heh. Reminds me of my ACA Northern Tier tour in ‘99, before the “back way” to W. Glacier was as developed as it is now. One of the cues was something like “Right at telephone junction box 43287”.
Reminds me of one of the more elusive turns on the westbound TransAm. Map 127 west of Berea KY ... "Turn left on Jack Turner Rd (single lane road)" Everybody misses it. You need your binoculars to read the sign. One year I was "leading" an ACA group and I missed it after warning everybody the night before at the map meeting to not miss the turn!

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Old 10-03-22, 07:13 AM
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The turn I missed on the TransAm was east of Berea. Didn't know where I was then, surely don't know now. It was a "turn right on unsigned (such and such) road." I'd probably have circled back after half a mile or so, but there was a family sitting out on their porch a couple hundred yards up the road. The man hollered, "Y'all looking for the bike route? It turned back yonder!" I thanked him, made a U-turn, and the rest is history.

That was back in the day when there was a (free) .gpx track developed by volunteers from the paper maps, lots of little tracks and a day and a half battery life in the GPS. It was much easier to find the right map on paper than to figure out the right file was named something like TAM08T0281. If I were to re-ride that route today, I'd probably still use paper maps, but I might turn on the GPS for the larger towns (Charlottesville!), the unsigned roads, and the numbered telephone poles. Using the paper maps back then, I rarely had a problem with "X miles, turn left onto Oak Rd." kinds of directions, so the anomalies stick out in my memory. And further west, where there aren't as many roads, you had the super-easy "0 mi. Continue on unsigned W. 95th St. 9 mi. Enter Stafford County. Route becomes NE 140th St. 23 mi. End of map." Hard to get lost there!
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Old 10-08-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I cut them some slack on the spam attacks. It's all too easy to sign up and post 30 spam messages overnight, when the small staff has gone home (or on a bike ride). They've been pretty good about cleaning up the crap when I've reported spam messages.

Looks like the site is back up now, FWIW.
Another batch this morning. The garbage doesn't look like anything that would actually be even remotely targeted to the audience there. Sometimes it looks like it has some tangential relationship to the subject, like a yoga mat site when the thread was sleeping pads. I suspect they aren't a garden variety spammer, but someone with a grudge against the ACA and the goal is just to be annoying..

I wouldn't find the spam so annoying except it seems that I was getting notified every time there was an update to any thread I had posted on previously. That was fine other than when there were a load of spam posts. The settings for notifications are not very clear on exactly how they actually work. I had to basically turn off all notifications before I think I got the annoying ones off. I think I had to kill the desirable ones in the process.

Edit:
I went through the settings again and it seems that I had it set to set the notify flag any time I posted to any topic. I had to go through and individually unflag hundreds of them as wel as changing that setting, but I think the annoying notifications should stop and I can more easily just ignore the spam.
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