FWIW I had assumed this occasional 502 was a cloudflare issue. Even though the message specifically explains there is no response from the server, it is proudly covered in their branding.
CloudFlare is just reflecting the 502 that the server is sending, if it was only a CloudFlare issue I would not see the 502 responses in the server's logs.
I have no issue at all with people reporting information, in fact it is encouraged, but unless someone actually sends me a PM, I don't always see or know if there is an issue (In this instance I stumbled across this thread).
Along with the info other incidences I've had could involve any individual thread and in some cases a whole board.
It really depends on what has been locked, there are tons of different updates that occur across the database all the time, even thread read counts.
Sounds like Dave's in for a server upgrade again.
Time for a couple SSDs?
This only makes sense if there is a HDD related bottleneck, this has not been established yet, nor do the current metrics point to such an issue.
I can think of a couple of reasons. Your initial explanation was not consistent with observed symptoms.
How so? I stated the server is experiencing a load issue, this has not changed.
Your force/refresh (Ctrl+F5) or clearing cookies/cache is only working by coincidence, its just the fact that you made another request to the server when it was a little less loaded and as such it was able to return a result.