AAA Colorado recently announced plans to expand its roadside assistance program to include bicyclists.
As of May 1, transportation services will be available for members when their bicycle is damaged or otherwise inoperable, with no increase in membership dues. The service applies to both road and mountain bikers.
“The idea came about from listening to our members,” AAA Colorado spokeswoman Wave Dreher said. “We started talking about it before we started talking to members. They enthusiastically agreed that that was a benefit they would like to see.”
The program will make the company’s service vehicles available for rider pickup. Each pickup will count toward a member’s limited number of free service events and tow mileage allowance.
A rider in need will have to make his or her way to a trailhead or a publicly maintained road in order to get a pickup.
Currently, service vehicles are not equipped to repair members’ bicycles, but Dreher said that was something the company may consider offering in the future.
“It’s something we’re looking towards,” she said. “We might be able to add that to bicycle benefits in the future.”
Colorado is one of only four regions currently offering bicycle assistance. Oregon was the first to institute a similar program. Bicycle assistance is also available in AAA’s Southern New England and Minneapolis regions.
Concerning the addition of bicycling services, Tony DeNovellis, president and CEO of AAA Colorado, said, “We’re proud to be one of the first AAA clubs in the United States to do so. Riding bicycles is becoming more popular, as Coloradans are concerned about fitness, the economy and the environment. Whether our members are riding for fun or commuting to work, we’ll be there to offer assistance if their bicycle breaks down.”
According to a AAA news release, Colorado is ranked as the second-most bike friendly state by the League of American Bicyclists, and includes 19 bicycle-friendly communities. According to Bicycle Colorado, no other state has more gold- and platinum-rated Bicycle-Friendly Communities than Colorado. Bicycling is considered a billion dollar economic driver in the state — including manufacturing, retail and tourism.