Eastern Bloc Cycling Club
Bicycle Roadside Assistance for AAA Members
I just saw this on the Simsbury Free Bike Facebook page - AAA is now offering bicycle roadside assistance. (Now all the Stravaholes can leave their saddle bags at home to save a few grams!).
There will be a tent set up on Friday, May 6 from Noon to 2:30 pm at the commuter parking lot in Simsbury (Rt. 10 and Winslow Place, along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail) with information for cyclists, and a press event scheduled for 2:00 pm.
I have not yet dug into the details on this, but you may need to have a "Plus" level membership to get the 100 mile free "towing" service. This could be handy for those catastrophic failures when you're out in the boonies (like Brent shearing off all of his rear spokes upon acceleration, or one of Roy's Ebay Chinese carbon parts spontaneously returning to its molecular state).
From the AAA website:
"Bicycle Service Bicycle roadside assistance providing 2 tows up to 10 miles each, per member, per year. Bicycle service applies to all 2-wheeled bicycles, including rental bicycles that can be transported by a normal bicycle rack. Tandem bicycles are not eligible for service."
The service is available to all levels of membership.
Hardly enough (not even) to fetch you from the North end of the Res Loop!
I believe its up to 100 miles for Plus or Premium members - same as car towing at those levels. Gotta cough up more $$$ for those levels, though.
Looks like there may be different coverage for different AAA clubs. The Hartford AAA club has good coverage which varies with your level of membership. "Plus" gets you 100 miles of bicycle roadside assistance... Can't figure out what my club in MA (Pioneer Valley AAA) covers. Their website shows bicycle roadside assistance, but if you look at the web page that shows the details, the URL is actually for the Hartford AAA.
I tried emailing the Pioneer Valley AAA to verify that they did in fact offer this coverage and got a completely unintelligible answer. I'm going to try stopping by their office in West Springfield to find out what the story is.
I heard AARP was offering roadside assistance for bikers too. You guys may need it on the RUSH rides. :P
> I heard AARP was offering roadside assistance for bikers too. You guys may need it on the RUSH rides. :P
I plan to burn through the Social Security and Medicare trust funds so fast there won't be anything left for you youngins.
> Looks like there may be different coverage for different AAA clubs.
In looking at the details of the Hartford AAA site (AAA Allied Group), coverage is not available outside their "territory," which is Hartford, Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham counties. So if you're stranded in Hartland you're covered; not so in Barkhamsted. Seems more useful to folks in central and eastern CT.
To Tom's point, it appears the AAA club that covers Litchfield, Fairfield and New Haven Counties (AAA Southern New England) has bicycle coverage that covers only 10 miles. Lew, is this the group that covers you in western MA?
AAA's web sites are a mess. It appears benefits differ by local club, and it's hard to tell which site you are on.
The AAA club that I am in is the Pioneer Valley AAA...I guess based on my residence. That is not part of AAA Southern New England. Yet AAA Pioneer Valley has a banner on it's website touting bike assistance...but when you click on it, the resulting page is an AAA Hartford page listing all the benefits...the good benefits according to the level of membership you have ("Plus" getting you assistance of up to 100 miles). One would think AAA would be offering the same coverage everywhere. Maybe this is all still in the roll out phase and all these AAA chapters just don't have their act together yet. That's why I want to go to the main office of AAA Pioneer Valley in West Springfield to see if anyone there has a clue...the person that answered my email on the subject appeared not to, in fact, I have no freaking idea what the hell she was talking about. I think she must have been answering someone else's question, not mine. Maybe I'll just ride out to western CT, hit a chicken and crash...and then call AAA and see what happens.
Update to this thread -
I am a member of AAA-Hartford, which is part of the AAA Allied Group. I called them today to clarify coverage territories and this is what they told me:
Their bicycle roadside assistance covers Hartford, Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham counties within CT (as well as some areas in other states). Their towing coverage is the same as your auto coverage: 5 miles for Classic membership, 100 miles for Plus or Premier, and one 200 mile for Premier.
Since a fair portion of my riding is outside of these 5 counties, I asked them to clarify what happens if I call AAA, for example, in Litchfield County. The answer I got is that I would still have coverage, but since Litchfield county's AAA club limits coverage to a 10 mile tow, I would be billed for any overage. However, I could obtain a reimbursement from my local AAA by going through a reimbursement procedure.
You do need to have your AAA card on hand, but you can get a duplicate via the web and just keep it in your saddle bag.
For what its worth, USAC now offers a non-racing membership ($50) that offers a similar benefit nationwide, but limited to a 20 mile tow/ride.