Thank you for your interest in Adventure Cyclist magazine. We accept queries and manuscripts on a rolling basis year-round. However, since our very small staff is primarily focused on producing each Adventure Cyclist, we'll be reviewing them on a roughly quarterly basis so response time can be up to six months. We typically schedule stories 12-18 months out. At present, we're especially looking for well-photographed stories of touring in North America (road or dirt).
If you decide to submit ideas or materials to us, please closely read and follow the guidelines below.
Adventure Cyclist generally uses two types of stories from freelancers:
These should be about specific areas and must be accompanied by high-quality photos, both in terms of content, composition, and size (see photo guidelines below).
First Person Tour Account (word count: 2,000 - 3,000): Share your bicycle trip with our readers. They may decide to take a similar trip or simply to experience it vicariously through your writing. All tour accounts should tell our readers what's unique about the places you traveled. 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. Features include a Nuts & Bolts sidebar with basic travel information such as the time of year to go, special equipment to bring, routes, accommodations, food, etc.
These are essays less about locale than about a singular experience while on a bicycle trip that captures the essence of bicycle travel (not always inspiring — sometimes hilarious!). These run at 1,200-1,500 words and don't require accompanying photos. Note: we want to see full manuscripts for Final Mile submissions, we don't accept based on queries.
Photos often make or break a story for us so the availability of great images is paramount when it comes to whether your story is accepted for publication. We require at least 20 images to accompany any feature submission, but 40 would be better (we want to see your "selects," not everything you took on the trip). 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. Therefore, we're NOT interested in publishing vacation-quality snapshots. We require high-resolution (300ppi is standard) images with appropriate content and excellent composition. Smartphone images almost never cut it — we're aware that they can often deliver on the technical requirements, but unless you're a pro, they're very unlikely to be magazine quality.
The photographers whose work you see in the pages of Adventure Cyclist know that a beautiful backdrop, stunning sunset, or high mountain pass alone aren’t always enough to make a great image. You must approach your tour like a professional photographer: bring the right equipment, think ahead to plan shots and, of course, take the time needed to make publication-ready images.
There are many excellent resources in the pages of Adventure Cyclist and around the web offering tips on elevating your photography. A few of our favorites are:
How to Photograph Your Tour, Adventure Cyclist, April 2010
Bicycle Touring Photography: A quick guide to taking better pictures by Paul Jeurrison
From Selfie to Self Portrait, Adventure Cyclist, May 2017
You can also browse our Publications Archive for examples of some of the well-photographed stories we've published over the years by Gregg Bleakney, Chuck Haney, Dennis Coello, Nathan Ward, Aaron Teasdale, Tom Bol, Chris Guibert, Pierre Bouchard, Paul Jeurissen, Cass Gilbert, and others. .
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 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 in a way that will blow our editors away, go ahead and include the shot.
We strongly prefer shots of helmeted cyclists. Read our full policy regarding helmets in cycling photos here.
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.
What we pay is negotiable, but generally ranges from $.25 to $.50 per word, with the lower end of the scale representing what we pay first-time writers and the higher end what we pay repeat writers. We buy first rights and will consider simultaneous submissions as long as we are informed of the other publications considering your manuscript. Adventure Cyclist pays for photos based on how we use them. See our Photography Rates PDF.
All materials (inquiries, text documents, and images) 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.
Editor-in-Chief, Alex Strickland