AAA agrees to pick up bikes/riders in select locations
Greater Cincinnati Chapter of AAA Will Now Help People if Their Bicycle Breaks Down
(Article in the Cincinnati Business Courier)
The Greater Cincinnati chapter of the American Automobile Association will now pick up stranded bicyclists under a new initiative by the organization, whose focus has traditionally been on problems people have with their cars.
In recent years, AAA has offered roadside assistance for bicyclists in other regions.
The local chapter of the American Automobile Association will now pick up stranded bicyclists under a new initiative by the organization, whose focus has traditionally been on problems people have with their cars.
The service is available to all local AAA members at no extra cost. Cyclists can use it for their own bike or if they rent a bike. AAA will not be able to make mechanical repairs, including unlocking a bike lock.
Under the service, which is available in select cities including Cincinnati, cyclists can be taken to their home, a bicycle repair shop or their car. They will have to make their way to a regularly traveled road in order to get picked up.
Frank Henson, the president of cycle advocacy group Queen City Bike, said bicycling advocates had been working for months with AAA to get the service offered here, showing how cycling has grown in Cincinnati and it’s one of the fast-growing cities for bike commuting in the United States.
“Bicycles are becoming an increasingly more popular mode of transportation in Greater Cincinnati, so this AAA service could not come at a better time,” Henson said.
Other cities/regions served (pieced together from several sources…)
AAA clubs in Colorado and Southern New England announced the new service in time for this week’s Bike to Work Day, following the lead of other regional auto clubs.
The organization, whose territory includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, will send mechanics in trucks that are outfitted with bike racks to cyclists who call for help, in a new benefit the company says comes with existing memberships.
Minneapolis, has similar service.
“Service for bike riders has been available in Oregon and Idaho since 2012 and in New Jersey since last year. In Massachusetts, about 30 AAA trucks will be outfitted with bike racks.”
The trucks can’t get to isolated bike paths, meaning cyclists will have to make their way to a road to receive help. Once they’re picked up, they can ride for up to 10 miles without an extra fee.
“AAA will not be able to make mechanical repairs, including unlocking a bike lock.”
But I accidentally locked my keys in my bike!
AAA of Central Maryland has had this policy since January 1st.
This is interesting, from an organization that’s historically fought tooth and nail to shove cars down our throats.
If AAA would implement this nationally – or at the very least in PA – I’d join.
FWIW, Better World Club (an AAA competitor but without the car-only orientation) has offered bike roadside assistance for a while. It’s a better program in some ways (30 miles of travel instead of 10) but it’s not free with car membership either. (BWC used to include bike liability and accident insurance in the program, but haven’t been able to find an insurance company to underwrite the coverage since 2013. The web page I linked needs an update.)
So are there any companies that offer bicycle roadside assistance HERE at all? and/or do any of those bicycle insurance companies operate in our area?
@benzo, Uber and Lyft. Not exactly roadside assistance, but they’ll get you home. I once had a double flat in the GAP in the Baldwin section and nothing to fix them with. I walked a bit until I got to the hole in the fence near Becks Run, walked across the railroad tracks and called a Lyft from Carson/Becks Run.
I didn’t call ahead to tell the driver that I had a bike, though that’s because I simply didn’t think to do so, not to intentionally mislead him. The driver was super cool about it, and got himself a nice tip.
Spoke gave me an estimated base rate of $100/year for a $500 bike, covering “Theft, Damage, Worldwide Damage Coverage, Rental Reimbursement and Roadside Assistance”. They claim that last is nationwide too.
Big Ring quoted $8.33/month for insurance on a $1000 bike (minimum value allowed), but instead of roadside assistance they just pay up to $50 for some transport you find for yourself when you’re stranded.
Each of these covers different sorts of things, so I don’t think you can simply compare prices without getting into more details.
Uber and Lyft are nice if you happen to be in a region where they operate, but I don’t think they even cover all of Allegheny County.
I guess AAA saw that our money was as green as anyone’s.
AAA also knows that most bicyclists have cars too. That, and with the millennial rate of car ownership (or at least their relationship to cars) decreasing, they figured money is money.
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