Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Rear View '20: The Top Ten Posts of 2020

 The 15th year of the blog deserves to have a few different things done in celebration of not only what I did, but what you thought about the posts here this year. So, I thought it would be fun to rank the Top Ten posts from the blog during the calendar year 2020. These posts are ranked according to what Blogger stats tell me were the most read posts of the year. 

I'll start with #10 and work up to #1 and then I will put up what post I got the most feedback about, but isn't on the Top Ten List at all for reads. 

Now- On with the list!

#10: A Further Commentary On The Cummins/DK Story, June 23, 2020: 

Much of 2020 was marked by what happened to what was the event known as the "Dirty Kanza 200". Previously, before the turn of the calendar to 2020, back in 2018, it was announced that Life Time Fitness had purchased the Dirty Kanza 200 and its associated events. With that change in ownership, a new set of corporate driven decisions were possible concerning the event and its core principles. Not that anything was meant to change, but with new owners the reins had been handed over. 

This post was an explanation of how corporate decision making and culture trumps personal actions when it comes to public perceptions. It sought to explain 'cancel culture' in this particular instance, and it sought to show that - not only would the event's name have to be changed, but how that all would render this event something completely different going forward. When you 'cancel' your history you don't get to cherry pick elements you want to keep.  

#9: Gravel Grinder News: Dirty Kanza 200 Co-Founder Fired, June 20th, 2020:

Obviously #10 doesn't happen without this happening first and it slotted in at #9 for the most read post of 2020. Pretty self-explanatory here. All over a viewpoint shared on Jim Cummings personal Facebook page. This is representative of a lot of what is frustrating about 2020. But, what about calling people in instead of calling people out? Hmm..... (Some food for thought)

#8: A Concept Bike Revisited Part 4, February 6th, 2020: 

Around about 2011-2012 or so, I was dreaming up what I thought would make for a good gravel bike. This was a pretty deep dive, it was nerdery of the highest order. Then the Tamland happened and that put an end to that dreaming. Well, as I was wont to retire the Tamland going in to 2020, I picked up the thread and started reviewing several bikes I felt were right for me. Apparently, many people thought this was interesting as well. This post slots in at #8 for 2020. 

#7: Salsa Cycles Introduces The Rangefinder, February 1st, 2020:  

The press release machine never stops anymore these days when trade shows are pretty much a dead horse and consumer trade shows are non-existent, even pre-COVID. (Sea Otter notwithstanding) So, these days companies and brands along with marketing agencies often send news to "influential" sites, bloggers, Instagrammers, and the like in a way to get the word out. This post was pretty much my take on the Rangefinder 'range' of bikes introduced by Salsa Cycles along with some of the press release info. It slotted in at #7 for the most read posts of 2020.  

#6: The Elephant In The Room, March 12th, 2020:

On the eve of our World being upended by the pandemic, I wrote this post concerning gravel events for 2020. I asked why in the world no one was talking about just postponing, or even cancelling, the season's events. Obviously, the gravel community thought this was an important topic then, and it still is today. That's probably why it slots in at #6 on my most read posts for 2020. 

#5: A Concept Bike Revisited Part 3, January 28th, 2020: 

Another post from the four part series, this one looked at what materials I preferred in a gravel bike and why, with several examples reviewed. Apparently you readers like nerding out about bicycle stuff here. This put this post at #5 over-all for the year. 

#4: The New Job Announcement, January 7th, 2020: 

 The career of Guitar Ted apparently was of some interest to many readers as the announcement of my new job in January drew enough hits to place it comfortably in the #4 slot of the most popular posts for 2020. 

#3: Gravel Grinder News: DK200 Postponed, Cancelled.......Dead?, July 8th, 2020: 

Among the events cancelled for 2020, Life Time Events announced in early July that they were calling off any gravel events in Emporia Kansas for 2020. There was a move afoot to change the name of this event, which we know now has been done. It will move on as a new event called "Unbound Gravel".

New? Isn't this just going to be the DK200 renamed? I said this in July, "The Dirty Kanza 200 died as an event on July 7th, 2020. It's over folks." The rest of the third most popular post on the site for 2020 goes on to explain why I think this still is the case. 

#2: The State of the Gravel Scene 2020 Part 1: January 1st, 2020: 

Since 2018 I have made a "State of the Gravel Scene" proclamation on the site. Coming into 2020, it looked as though moves by a few major players in the gravel scene- Life Time Fitness, USAC, and a group of high profile promoters, were about to take the grassroots out of gravel and monetize, promote, and codify the scene into 'the next level'.  Basically replacing the old crit/road race scene with gravel events pushed more into what those old racers, promoters, business people, and influencers thought should be the "way things are done around here". I mentioned that I thought there were going to be a LOT of changes.

Boy howdy! Were there ever! Just not in the way I figured there would be. 

#1: The State of the Gravel Scene 2020 Part 2, January 2nd, 2020:  

I take on the notion that HPC's (otherwise known elsewhere as 'e-bikes') are going to bring in more participation in gravel events. I show how these types of motorized vehicles will be used to cheat to gain advantages, and that money to buy technology will actually decrease, not increase, rider participation. I ask what we are doing to reach marginalized and disadvantaged people and bring them into gravel riding, and that only an open heart to these folks and open minds as to how to get them out there really matters. No electrified bike is going to do that. It became my #1 most read post in 2020 by a country mile. 

And Now For The Most Impactful Post Of 2020: 

Once in a while, I get private messages or emails concerning what I have written and how it affects you- the readers of G-Ted Productions. This year, being what it has been, was rather trying and I did not escape this. I wrote a post that elicited a response of the sort that has not been seen by me before in all the years I have blogged. 

It was a risky post to make, but I felt so strongly about expressing these feelings that I just had to go ahead and publish it. That post was titled "Country Views: Learning To Fly", published on July 23rd, 2020.  

And that wraps up my look at posts that pulled the biggest numbers and best responses in 2020.   

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