Time for a Makeover: Adventure Cyclist has a glow-up for its 50th volume

Oct 6, 2022

A note from our Editor-in-Chief, Carolyne Whelan:

You may have noticed changes over the past few years, from programming to leadership. These changes, including this one I am writing to share with you, signify something much bigger, and hopefully much grander than the sum of their parts.

To better represent the current state of media, the reading patterns of most members, and the sort of enriching experience we hope to deliver, Adventure Cyclist is changing its production as part of our 50th volume. We are going to 76-page issues, perfect-bound like a book, and bimonthly.

Adventure Cycling embraces these shifts with full and open hearts.  

This is indeed a philosophical shift as well as a physical one. Currently, the magazine is nine issues per volume, averaging 60 pages per issue (between 52 and 68) and is saddle stitched (staple-bound like a catalog). Our current magazines are fast, casual reads for some members, but in many months the issues stack up as readers struggle to balance time to sit and read a magazine with time working, caring for family, or in the saddle on cycling adventures. The magazines are designed to be rolled up and tossed into a pannier or even a jersey pocket to be read by headlamp.  

This shift to six issues per volume, 76 pages per issue, with an enhanced cover, and perfect bound, celebrates the legacy of the magazine and of Adventure Cycling as a whole.

When Adventure Cycling first started as Bikecentennial and for many years after, it focused on routes and mapping and on a magazine, then called BikeReport. Since our 12th volume in 1985, BikeReport was nine issues per volume/year and that continued through rebranding to Adventure Cyclist in 1994 for our 21st volume. Pages have been added over the years, but the magazine has for the most part stayed the same, with the last redesign happening 10 years ago. Meanwhile, Adventure Cycling has been focusing on important work supporting cyclists’ safety, as well as expanding the organization’s interaction with adventure cyclists of all skill levels, abilities, and backgrounds.    

Adventure Cyclist magazine’s new format comes with a new digital platform to better engage with our readers through the ability to click on links, change font sizes, and move more fluidly from one story to another versus the previous PDF format. You may have already started interacting with this new digital platform, and I hope you have been enjoying the upgraded features.  

This shift represents a new legacy for Adventure Cycling that honors and supports new ways of thinking, new ways of approaching bicycle travel, and new ways of interacting with one another as cyclists in a community while also honoring our roots in being the first organization of our kind to design maps specifically to help cyclists navigate the country by bike.  

Rather than a digest-style magazine to be rolled up and carried on a bike tour, the new magazine design will feature a real spine to sit on a shelf and be acknowledged as a piece of literary history and referenced like a book.

Meanwhile, the individual stories are playful and meant to be torn apart and carried along. Expect creative layouts, including recipes designed on cards with a hole for carrying on a carabiner, illustrated guides to cyclist-specific stretching routines designed to be carried in a handlebar bag for post-ride rehab, and tips on how to handle the mechanical problems adventure cyclists may encounter on the road at varying levels of difficulty.

I don’t want to give the rest away, but I am so excited for Volume 50 and beyond. It is my hope and plan that these enhancements add curiosity and creativity to the magazine, continue to fill the need for cyclists to have something useable, tangible, and interesting to carry with us on tour, and catch up to our own legacy of empowering, inspiring, and connecting people to travel by bicycle. Bicycle travel contains multitudes and exists in both the prestigious and the irreverent, and we hope this new magazine carries that same lineage.