A compilation of my 2020 posts and videos

It is time for the end-of-the-year video recap of 2020. And what a special year it has been for all of us! The first global pandemic for most people in their lifetimes taught us new phenomenons like social distancing and lockdowns. In some countries that meant you could not go out at all. In the Netherlands we were fortunate enough that we were allowed to cycle throughout both lockdowns, the ‘intelligent’ one in Spring and the current ‘hard’ lockdown for the second wave. You may not have noticed, but I had to be rather inventive to create my posts for some parts of this year. To create the illusion that everything continued normally I used material that I had shot in the past for quite a few posts. I could then just make it through the first lockdown with topics that were all at cycling distance until the travel ban inside the Netherlands was relaxed.

Social distancing observed in a number of parked bicycles and mopeds. ʼs-Hertogenbosch.
A still from my most watched video this year. And it is unmistakably from this year with the man and his facemask. The Dutch generally do not wear facemasks outside, especially not when cycling as Dutch experts told them over and over that facemasks do not serve any purpose when worn outside.

I shot so much material over the summer that I could even publish extra posts in Autumn. And then the second lockdown came in October. Which meant I cannot travel for posts again, but as you have seen. I stocked up on more than enough material to provide you with one post a week. I certainly intent to do that for the 13th year of publishing cycling videos which is about to start. Let’s hope 2021 brings us some of the relaxation we all desire and a life that becomes a bit more normal again. I do think the working from home (which I have done since early March) has a lasting and positive impact on the way we organise our societies and even how transportation is seen.

Even with all the travel restrictions in place for most of the year I did manage to do quite a few things in my role as cycling ambassador for the Dutch Cycling Embassy, apart from everything on this blog.

My other activities
  • Saturday 6 January 2020
    Tour of Utrecht, with one Canadian visitor
  • Tuesday 4 February 2020
    Pre-congress day in Helsinki, Finland
  • Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 February 2020
    Winter Cycling Congress in Joensuu, Finland
  • Thursday 6 February 2020
    A presentation on the main stage of the Winter Cycling Congress in Joensuu, Finland
  • Monday 17 February 2020
    Guided walk in Utrecht, for students of University College from London, UK.
  • Wednesday 19 Feb 2020
    Cycling tour in Utrecht, for the same students of University College, London, UK.
  • Friday 28 February 2020
    Presentation in Utrecht, at the main stage of the Cycling City Netherlands congress (organised by the Cyclists’ Union)
  • Monday 29 June 2020
    Webinar for the city of Cebu in the Philippines in cooperation with the Dutch Embassy in Manila and the Dutch Cycling Embassy
  • Tuesday 14 July 2020
    Webinar for students from Northeastern University in Boston (USA).
  • Sunday 26 July 2020
    Cycling guided tour of Utrecht, for two visitors from London
  • Monday 10 August 2020
    Another webinar for the city of Cebu in the Philippines in cooperation with the Dutch Embassy in Manila and the Dutch Cycling Embassy
  • Monday 10 August 2020
    Cycle tour in Utrecht with a British visitor from London
  • Thursday 22 October 2020
    Webinar for Ireland in cooperation with the Dutch Embassy in Dublin and the Dutch Cycling Embassy.
The following 6 events were all cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Tuesday 21 Apr 2020
    Cycle tour of Utrecht, for city planners from Düsseldorf, Germany
  • May 2020
    Cycle tour of Utrecht, for a student group of the University of Platteville, Wisconsin (USA)
  • Sunday 10 May 2020
    A presentation in Utrecht, for a group of the University of Augsburg, Germany
  • Wednesday 13 May 2020
    Cycle tour in Utrecht, for the same group of the University of Augsburg, Germany
  • Thursday 14 May 2020
    Cycle tour in Utrecht, with students of the University of South Carolina, USA
  • Tuesday 7 July 2020
    A presentation in Rotterdam, for a group of international students of the University of Amsterdam doing the Planning the cycling city course.

Hopefully these events can take place later in 2021.

Reminders to keep your distance can be seen everywhere, also here on the new cycleway on a former railway line in Utrecht.

Trying to come up with posts for which I could reuse old material has proved to be a good idea. Three of those posts made the top 10! (2, 3 and 9). The lockdown video I shot in Utrecht (on the last day that train travel was allowed for non-essential trips) also made it to the top ten at number 8. I’m very happy that the restored Utrecht canal, that replaced the motorway taking its place for a couple of decades, was my most read post, as well as my second most watched video. I haven’t seen the canal very often since September, but I am really proud of what Utrecht achieved.

Top 10 of Most Read posts

  1. Utrecht corrects a historic urban design mistake
  2. What does red asphalt look like after many years of use
  3. Cycle lanes in the Netherlands
  4. Cycling around the restored city moat of Utrecht
  5. A gas leak on the busiest cycle way in the Netherlands
  6. You are not made of sugar (you won’t melt in the rain)
  7. A huge new bicycle parking garage in The Hague
  8. Cycling during lockdown
  9. Is cycling priority on roundabouts a good idea?
  10. A huge new cycle viaduct in The Hague

The top 3 of most watched videos is a bit different. That has to do with the fact that there is a different audience for blog and videos and some of the videos make it to sites like Reddit.

Top 3 of most watched videos

  1. A new cycling underpass in Utrecht; 83.5K views
  2. Utrecht’s Canal ring is complete; 72.5K views
  3. Asphalt out, green in; intersection reconstruction in the Netherlands; 62.3K views

The 5 least read posts

  1. Bonus ride in ʼs-Hertogenbosch
  2. Ride in ʼs-Hertogenbosch
  3. Ride along to a nature reserve
  4. What was this winter like?
  5. A ride in Emmen

It is clear that the rides only appeal to a smaller audience. I will continue to make them, but possibly as extra posts, like most of these are as well. Most of the least read posts were also from the later part of the year.

Schools and universities have been closed for longer periods. This is the Utrecht University campus during the first ‘intelligent’ lockdown. The ‘keep at 1.5 metres distance’ sign is maybe a bit much when you look at how quiet this street is…

I would like to end this post by thanking you for all your support by visiting the posts, watching the videos and writing comments and messages, here or on YouTube and Twitter. All the comments give me new ideas for posts. A big thank you for the people who decided to support me financially with a donation. This year I used a lot of the money for a new camera. Finally I do need to mention Jeanne à Velo who took the lockdown in France as an opportunity to translate all my posts this year (and some older ones) in French. On top of that Jeanne also made subtitles for every video with those posts. And all that mostly on the same day I published my posts! This made my work available to a whole new audience. Merci beaucoup Jeanne à Velo!

Do make sure you visit my blog again next year. No matter how this pandemic develops in 2021, I intend to keep on showing you even more Cycling in The Netherlands!

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a great and healthy 2021!

My recap of 2020

Next post: Wednesday 6 January 2021.
If you can’t miss my videos for that long I have a very special playlist for you. A list of 20 videos with rides of in total 200 kilometres in 10 and a half hours. Enjoy!

One thought on “A compilation of my 2020 posts and videos

  1. Dear Mark – thank you for the wonderful website. I read each entry and watched each video. I look forward to the new post each Wednesday (especially this year!), and have enjoyed the bonus posts the last few weeks. I wish you very happy holidays and New Year!

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