Flat tire? Broken chain? AAA, the auto membership club that has rescued many a stranded driver, will now provide roadside assistance to cyclists.
AAA Southern New England announced Monday that members can make bicycle-
related service calls; if a bike breaks on the road, tow truck drivers will attempt repairs or transport cyclists to their homes or to a nearby bike repair shop, within a 10-mile radius.
“It’s our effort to keep everyone on the go wherever they are,” said Mary M. Maguire, spokeswoman for AAA Southern New England. “They’ll make their best attempt to make a repair, and if they’re not successful, then they would put the bike on the rack and take it to a convenient location.”
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 bicycle-specific service will be incorporated into existing auto membership programs. Members will receive two free bicycle pickups per year, which will not count toward their annual allotment of vehicle tows; members will be charged for additional bike pickups. There will be no membership plan just for bike-
riding, though teenagers whose families are AAA members will have access to bike assistance, even if they have not yet reached driving age.
“For parents, it’s a nice peace-of-mind addition to our service, because kids are out there and they may be cycling alone,” Maguire said.Martine Powers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.