The Power of Photos

March 3, 2016

As Adventure Cyclist staff work to produce the March issue (available here for members), there’s an extra element that — I admit — always feels like a bit of a chore at first. For more than three months, we’d watched entries stream into the seventh annual Bicycle Travel Photo Contest, each one pinging inboxes with a notification. Again and again and again the emails landed until it was little more than static, something we were aware was happening, but until the deadline arrived wouldn’t be reviewed. Imagine, then, the overwhelming feeling of seeing more than 450 images from hundreds of photographers patiently queued up for review. 

Woe were we? Hardly.

In this age of supercomputers in our pockets, 4k video, drones that middle schoolers can afford with allowance money, and an entire internet full of GIFs that jump and dance around our screens, the power of still photography still manages to stop you in your tracks.

The winning 11 photos in the March issue are the best of the bunch, but they were hardly the only great shots. Winnowing the field isn’t easy, but it is fantastically fun — our panel of judges got to to travel the world in the midst of a bleak Montana winter. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we did, and join me in saying thanks to all the photographers who submitted images and took us — if only for a moment — along with them on their journeys.

On the topic of photos, the March issue is full of them, with a beautifully shot trip down the shores of Lake Michigan from Chuck Haney, a few throwback photos from the Adventure Cycling founding quartet’s early 70s Hemistour expedition, and a look inside the shops of Sugar Wheel Works in Portland and Old Man Mountain in Santa Barbara (you can see more from Old Man Mountain at

Elsewhere in the issue Nathan Ward returns to the magazine with a piece about a developing route through Manitoba. Wait, Manitoba? Yeah, we weren’t sure either, but the story he brought back from the Canadian Shield (great geographical feature name, by the way) has us convinced it would be a fine addition to any cyclist’s trip list.

We also take a look at two very different bikes in a pair of Road Tests, the Jamis Dragonslayer and the Traitor Wander. The former is part of the vanguard of new 27.5+ size mountain bikes sporting “mid-fat” tires that offer backcountry bikepackers an interesting option for exploration. The latter is a budget-priced road tourer that offers neither frills nor flash, but could be a solid companion for a range of rides.

Hope you enjoy the March issue, we’re working hard on April’s biggest-ever edition of Adventure Cyclist, 76 pages that include our annual Cyclists’ Travel Guide and the organization’s annual report. 

–Alex Strickland

Cover photo by Niko Kroeger / Bottom photo by Jeff Clark




Mark Phillips March 4, 2016, 11:30 AM

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