Thank you for your interest in Adventure Cyclist magazine — we know you are excited to tell our readers about your bicycle journey and the many wonderful events that happened during your travels. Because of the overwhelming number of cyclists who would like to be published in Adventure Cyclist and the time it takes to review their queries and submissions, we only accept ideas or submissions for publication between June 1 and October 31 each year. We will begin reviewing these new materials by the end of the summer and will be selecting stories and articles to publish in the next editorial volume by November 15. Between November 1 and May 31, we are focused on producing an issue of Adventure Cyclist each month, as well as the many other publications of Adventure Cycling Association, and we will not be available to review new materials. If you decide to submit ideas or materials to us during the open submissions period, please follow the guidelines below.
Note: We use Submittable as the only portal through which we will accept inquiries, submissions, and photos. (If you don't have access to the internet, see the bottom of this page for more information.)
Time Frame: If a story idea is accepted, the next decision we face is when to publish your story or article. This decision is based on many factors and the period of time from acceptance to publication could range anywhere from three to 18 months.
Adventure Cyclist is a bicycle-travel magazine published nine times yearly by Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit service organization for bicyclists. Adventure Cyclist is dedicated to publishing stories about bicycle travel and other recreational cycling subjects.
First Person (word count: 2,000 - 3,500): Share your bicycle trip with our readers. They may decide to take a similar trip to the one you describe or simply to experience it vicariously through your writing. All tour accounts should tell our readers what's unique about the places you traveled through. It is important to relate these unique aspects to cycling. The real substance of the article will be the specific experiences you had as a cyclist. Remember, Adventure Cyclist is about travel by bicycle so don't stray too far from that focus.
Before you let loose with your imaginative angle, make sure you have covered basic travel information such as the time of year to go, special equipment to bring, routes, maps, guide books, accommodations, food, water, transportation, etc. Make sure to include information about what equipment worked best for you and what didn't. Was there equipment you brought along with doubt but it turned out to be indispensable? On the other hand, was there equipment you thought would be a necessity but you found you could do without it?
If you wish to include a sidebar before discussing it with the editorial team, keep it to 750 words or less. Keep in mind that including a sidebar will eat into the main story word count and/or photo use.
All of the types of stories we have mentioned thus far can be handled in a humorous way, something we welcome. We also are interested in humorous essays. (Tip: Humor is hard and we've published only a few of these over the years. If you'd like to write a humor piece for Adventure Cyclist, make sure other people laugh when they read it before submitting.)
Tour accounts and profiles should be accompanied by electronic images (300 dpi is standard) or color transparencies. Special focus and humor pieces do not require photos, but if you have something good, by all means, send it. And remember, we are always looking for stunning verticals to go on the cover. (See more about photos below.)
Adventure Cyclist generally uses two types of stories from free-lancers:
These should be about specific areas and must be accompanied by high-quality photos, both in terms of content, composition, and size.
These are essays less about locale than about a singular experience while on a bicycle trip. These run at 1,200-1,500 words and don't require accompanying photos.
What we pay is negotiable, but generally ranges from $.40 to $.60 per word, with the lower end of the scale representing what we pay first-time writers and the higher end what we pay repeat and regular writers. We buy first rights and will consider simultaneous submissions as long as we are informed of the other publications considering your manuscript. Your manuscript should be typed with single returns between paragraphs — no indentations — and single-spaced.
Since Adventure Cyclist is the only U.S. magazine that regularly publishes bicycle-travel stories, we receive a tremendous amount of interest from many writers and photographers interested in this type of bicycling. Because of this amount of interest, we prefer to receive an inquiry about any story idea before we make any decisions to take the next step. If we like your idea, we can then move forward and make arrangements for the submission of materials.
If you decide to submit materials without an inquiry or an arrangement with the editorial team, the Adventure Cyclist staff does not guarantee that you will receive a response concerning your story nor will we guarantee the return of unsolicited materials.
Once we decide to proceed with a story idea, these are the things to consider:
More and more photographers are shooting digital images and that’s fine with us. The advancement in electronic manipulation techniques now gives photographers the ability to control their own images and produce extraordinary results, but we still use good old fashioned 35mm slides as well.
We require at least 20 images, but 40 would be better. You'll want to include a variety of photos but keep in mind that Adventure Cyclist is a respected internationally distributed magazine, not a newsletter. High-quality, stunning photography is extremely important to the impact Adventure Cyclist as a whole and the stories we publish will have on our readers. Therefore, we're NOT interested in publishing vacation-quality snapshots but high-resolution images with appropriate content and excellent composition.
The majority of the images we use are of people riding bikes or engaged in activities important to a successful bike trip, such as interacting with other group members and/or locals, camping, cooking, eating, packing, repairing equipment, reading maps, etc. We're typically NOT interested in people posing for the camera or bikes without people riding them, like bikes leaning against trees, signs, fences, etc. We are ESPECIALLY NOT interested in cliché photos such as people surrounding a mountain-pass sign or people dipping wheels in the ocean. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule so if you think you've somehow captured a moment like this so incomparably and in a way that will blow our photo editors away, go ahead and include the shot.
Images of architecture and landmarks unique to a place and beautiful iconic landscapes should also be included. (Tip: If a landscape shot looks like it could have been taken just about anywhere, you probably shouldn't include it.)
In summary, what we're looking for are bicycle-travel photos that are so inspiring, seeing them will make Adventure Cyclist readers immediately start planning a bike trip — whether it's out their front door, across their state, or around the world.
We realize it is often difficult for solo bike travelers to meet our photo guidelines for obvious reasons but many solo cyclists have submitted excellent photos to us. It takes planning and effort, but it can be done.
In our April, 2010 issue, we published a photo essay titled "How to Photograph Your Tour" (PDF). This photo essay is filled with great advice for taking the kinds of photos that will increase the likelihood of Adventure Cyclist's staff deciding to publish your article. You can find this photo essay in our Publications Archive. You can also view examples of some of the well-photographed stories we've published by Gregg Bleakney, Chuck Haney, Dennis Coello, Nathan Ward, Aaron Teasdale, Tom Bol, Chris Guibert, Pierre Bouchard, Paul Jeurissen, and Cass Gilbert.
Also keep in mind that we are extremely busy and being asked to browse hundreds or thousands of photos online is not our idea of a good time. If you are serious about being published in Adventure Cyclist, you'll need to submit only photos that meet the criteria above using the instructions below.
Adventure Cyclist pays for photos based on how we use them. Photography Rates PDF
All materials (inquiries, text documents, images, and ads) must be sent to us through Submittable. If you don't already have an account with Submittable, you will be prompted to start one. Accounts are free and will allow you to track your submission as it makes its way through our system. Further instructions for each type of material is available through Adventure Cyclist's Submittable portal.
If there is a valid reason why you cannot use Submittable or you'd like to discuss what you've read above, please contact:
Editor, Mike Deme
Art Director, Greg Siple
Adventure Cycling Association
150 E Pine St
Missoula, MT 59802
Photo by Chuck Haney