To this cyclist who is also a member of AAA, the new-to-Southern-New-England service should be welcome and praised. Not so fast.
The auto folk brag on the front of their new monthly Members can get help with bicycle breakdowns. While the feature did not note this was not a Massachusetts idea. As the Boston Globe writes, AAA has done this is two more bicycle friendly areas, Oregon and Idaho, for the past two years. The New Jersey AAA has been doing it for a year.
Unlike the sparse coverage in the AAA regional maggy, the Globe reported that what it really means is that 30 AAA trucks will have attached bike racks — a limit sure to further delay help on a bike call.
What do we AAA members who cycle get? “Transportation for you and your bike will provided to your home, your vehicle or another location free of charge within a limited range,” writes AAA.
More limits? Sure, this is AAA, after all. Consider:
- Annual total of two bike calls.
- No promise of repairs or attempts to repair.
- No service off-road or bike trails or paths.
This is in fact the very least AAA could do.
While the current maggy has scattered biking items. The upper left for one writes about the chance to win a bike. Even that has a catch though. You need to go to the Facebook page and answer questions about the program to prove you’ve absorbed the marketing info. Hazing.
So at least you’d get a ride home with an inoperative bike, twice max. Meh.
Moreover, in the Boston area, our experience the few times we’ve called AAA over the decades was extremely slow response, often in the nature of two hours. In fairness, AAA’s strength is using garages near major highways in the sticks. We’ve never had to use that but chum claim that is their forte.
Honestly, AAA, if you want to claim multi-modal transportation, you have to do better. Your rescue trucks need the gear and knowledge to patch flats and pump up both types of valves. Being a biannual taxi service for someone with lots of time to wait is nothing to brag about.