Yes, something is up.
I realize many of you have experienced errors and/or slow load times when visiting this site. There’s a very good reason for it.
Last Friday we were hit with a major bot attack. According to our web guy, it emanated from Russian sources and started as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This is when tons of fake visitors bombard our server with requests for files. The requests overwhelm the server and it just gives up trying to respond. That attack gave way to a botnet strike that we are still not fully recovered from.
When our server host looked into the problem, they said BikePortland was, “getting totally inundated with bot traffic… an insane amount of IPs [bots] with reports of abuse.” They said there wasn’t much they could do beyond taking some basic steps because, “These bot networks are vast.”
Suffice it to say, this is not what an internet business owner likes to hear about their site! It has all been very frustrating, in large part because I have no idea why BikePortland would be targeted for something like this.
Thankfully, we have survived (thanks to our web guy Steve Bozzone!), but we’re not fully out of the woods yet. That’s why you still might see that black screen when you click onto our site. If you do, don’t worry, it’s friendly! You’re not on a naughty list or anything, even I get that screen when I log in sometimes. It’s just a service we use to help mitigate high server loads.
Hopefully this will all be behind us soon. Steve has made some changes and we will plan to take even more substantial steps over the winter as we continue to polish things up after our major site upgrade this past June.
Sorry for any hassle this has caused you. And as always, please feel free to send us a note via email, text, or various DMs if you experience anything odd.