Bicycling publishes stories about every aspect of cycling, from tips on how to pick out your first bike to human interest pieces to training techniques for competitive cyclists aiming to get better for their next event, and everything in between.
We speak to all cyclists: beginners, weekend riders, fans of the pro peloton, cross racers, gear fanatics, and more. Our audience responds best to stories that explain how to better themselves as cyclists for every ride.
We are cycling enthusiasts who want to spread the joy of riding to all, but you don’t need to be a cyclist to write for us. We’re always open to working with new writers, freelancers, and voices. We’re also committed to working more frequently with writers, photographers, and other experts in cycling who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or belong to other marginalized identities.
All of our story rates vary and are dependent on story length, required research/reporting, turnaround time, and more.
Before you pitch, here are some general tips that may help:
- Be clear on what the story actually is and why it is important for cyclists, specifically, or best for Bicycling.
- Make sure we haven’t already covered the topic (a quick search on our site or Google will do), but if we have, what’s new about the topic?
- Ensure the story is appropriate for our audience and not too narrow or too general.
- Personal essays are welcome, but try and think about what new, fresh perspective you bring, and what you can teach our readers. (If you would like your story to be considered for our How Cycling Changed Me franchise, please fill out this form.)
- Please read through some recent stories that Bicycling has published to get a good feel for the brand’s voice.
Please only send pitches; there’s no need to send full drafts of stories or op-eds.
Barring any tech or email issues, we will do our best to evaluate all submissions promptly and will contact you if we’re interested in pursuing your pitch. If you don’t hear from us within a few days on a relevant news story or within a month for evergreen/feature stories, it’s safe to assume we won’t be able to use your pitch. Because of the number of pitches we receive and because similar ideas may be submitted, we cannot give details for why a pitch was declined. Rest assured, if we are interested in your pitch, we will get back to you.
All pitches and materials are considered for publication on the understanding that they are original and that any similar or related material submitted or in publication elsewhere is disclosed to Bicycling upon submission. All accepted submissions may be edited or altered for length and clarity. The copyright of all published editorial materials is retained by Hearst Magazines, Inc.
In any pitch to Bicycling, please consider including the following:
- A sample headline to grab readers’ attention
- Sources you know you have access to and any other research or pre-reporting you’ve done on the topic
- Why this story is relevant now and why it’s a good fit for our audience
- Notes on possible imagery/photos, if applicable
- Any conflicts of interest, if applicable
- Your clips or portfolio
Below are several sections of our magazine and website to pitch to, and an email is provided so your pitch ends up in the appropriate inbox.
Our goal is to educate, inspire, and motivate cyclists everywhere through high-quality, science-supported, expert-backed service-based content. This section usually covers fitness, training, health, nutrition, weight loss, and performance topics, but it could also include info on how to repair your bike or stay safe on the roads.
We love to highlight what’s specific, cool, unique, and fun about our favorite sport in an authentic, sweaty way that serves our readers.
A few examples of recent pieces:
- New Cycling Goals That Have Nothing to Do With Racing
- Use This Healthy Grocery List to Help You Stock Up Your Kitchen
- How Much Do You Know About Heart-Rate Training?
While we cover a variety of general health/fitness topics, we always filter these through a cyclists’ lens, so please be sure to do the same with your pitch.
Send Training-Health-Nutrition Pitches To: BICservice@hearst.com
We like to feature stories about the cyclists who are doing extraordinary things through the sport and culture. Stories with a focus on an inspiring rider or group should be newsy and timely—ask yourself why is it important to tell this story now before pitching.
While our team is regularly monitoring what’s going on in the cycling world when it comes to major events and races, we’re always interested in something that might be slightly off our radar. If you have a news tip—about a cyclist, race, product, etc.—we’d love to hear from you.
A few examples of recent pieces:
- Silver Stallion Bike Shop Is Building a Community
- Since George Floyd’s Killing, Three Trek Women’s Advocates Are No Longer With the Brand
- This Cyclist Rode From Scotland to Greece to See His Family During Lockdown
Send News-Culture Pitches To: BICnews@hearst.com
Bicycling has a long history of publishing award-winning storytelling, including literary longform, travel/adventure narrative, profiles, personal essays, service/gear packages, and investigative reports.
When thinking about what to pitch, consider that often the most compelling stories are about something topical or universal through the lens of cycling/bikes.
Features generally differ from daily publishing in length and in the scope of reporting and storytelling. They range from 2,000 to 6,000 (or more), and usually require a deep level of interviewing, research, and editing (sometimes many rounds). We typically commission original art and/or photography and create a custom design. Because of this investment of time, we publish only a select number of features each year. Feature stories can run on the site or in print, but we generally assign independently from the platform.
In features, as with all of our storytelling, we are committed to representing a diversity of subjects and voices who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or belong to other marginalized identities.
The most successful pitches let us know you have a good handle on what the story is about and how you see it unfolding. Some points to consider:
- What is the main idea you are going to explore? Why now? Why Bicycling? What universal theme does it connect with?
- How do you see the narrative arc unfolding? How will you structure the piece?
- What will provide the narrative tension?
- Who are the characters in this story? Who will you talk to?
- What kind of scenes do you anticipate capturing that will help tell this story?
Give us a sense of your writing style by crafting a scene or lede for your story.
- Include a sample headline that makes the piece feel like a must-read.
- How would additional media enhance the story (video, audio, data visualization, social, etc)?
- Include links to your previous feature-length work and/or portfolio.
A few examples of recent pieces:
- Their Son’s Heart Saved His Life. So He Rode 1,426 Miles to Meet Them.
- Alexandera Houchin Is Ultra-Cycling’s Underdog
- Robyn Hightman Found a Life on Bikes
- Hey Bike Shops: Stop Treating Customers Like Garbage
Send Feature Pitches To: BICfeature@hearst.com
In any pitch to Bicycling, please consider the visual component:
- If possible, include existing images and/or reference images
- If you’re a writer with a photographer in mind to help tell your story, please include their contact info and any appropriate links to their work/portfolio
- If you are a photographer or artist with a pitch, contact the Photo Director, Amy Wolff (email@example.com) or BICphoto@hearst.com
- Previously published work may be accepted as long as there are no conflicts of interest