Sign of the Times? ‘American Automobile Asoc.’ Now Catering to Bikes

In “bike city USA” (a.k.a. Minneapolis) even car-centric AAA is getting in on the two-wheel scene.

The Minneapolis branch of the organization formerly called the “American Automobile Association” today launched something called the Bicycle Service package to offer help if your bike breaks down.

While a AAA worker will not come change your flat, the package insures your broken-down bike will get to a shop. Notes the organization, “Cars aren’t the only things we tow.”

You call AAA if a problem comes up on a bike ride. A truck will then show up and transport your bike (and you) to a nearby shop for service. They will also drive you to your home.

AAA does not pay for the repair at a shop. The service only transports your bike to a shop and then you are responsible for the rest.

The Bicycle Service plan launches today in Minneapolis. A similar program was put in place in 2012 in Washington state and has been “very popular,” according to a AAA representative we talked to.

All AAA members are enrolled automatically. With the basic $77/year plan you get auto and bike coverage, including four service calls a year.

AAA does not distinguish between bike and auto service calls; a call for help with either a car or a bike issue counts against your four service calls a year total.

Experienced riders are unlikely to need a plan like this. But for anyone hesitant to go far on two wheels because of a fear of a breakdown, the AAA option could be a good one.

—Stephen Regenold

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.