Roadside Assistance for Bike Breakdowns: Emergency rides for you and your busted bike

May 28, 2020 • Transportation

By Anna Walters - Events & Communications Manager at Bikes Make Life Better

I once carried a bike floor pump 1,000 miles to avoid getting a flat. I was on a tour from Seattle to San Francisco, and each morning, I’d pump up my tires to the precise PSI and pray for pavement free of glass and nails. That was back when I was less confident in my bike-fixing abilities. So schlepping a large misshapen pump seemed worth it.

Luckily, I didn’t get a single flat or have a mechanical issue the entire bike tour. But that was more good fortune than preparedness. Maybe if I had known that roadside assistance for bicycles was an option, I’d have abandoned the pump and breathed easier.

Ridehailing

SRPGO wants to make sure that you breathe easier to. Check out SRPGO’s Guaranteed Ride program rules, as Uber and Lyft pick-ups can be reimbursed if your bicycle breaks down on the way to/from work, or you rode to work but become ill or have another workday situation arise that prevents you from riding back. This can sometimes be tricky if you AND your 2 wheels need a ride, as you must negotiate directly with the driver on whether or not they will take a bike. Calling an Uber XL—an SUV or other larger capacity vehicle—can yield better results, but loading in a bike is still up to driver discretion, so you’ll need to call the driver before they pick you up to confirm.

AAA

The gold standard of auto clubs began recently offering bicycle tows as part of its memberships. If you’re already a AAA member, this benefit is available to you, although the level of coverage and limitations vary by membership type. “For example, if you're a Plus Member, you could receive a bicycle tow up to 100 miles,” says Jennifer Hanke, Senior Manager, Marketing for AAA Arizona (our region). “This will count toward the 4 service calls each Member receives each Membership term.” More details:

  • Will tow to one location, either work, home, or a service center

  • There is a whole host of things AAA won’t do when it comes to bicycle roadside assistance. Some examples:

    • AAA won’t pick up you and your bike in an not safely passable by vehicles (sorry mountain bikers)

    • If your bike is impounded, AAA won’t pay to spring it loose.

    • AAA won’t come get you if you’re too tired to finish your ride.

    • Fixing your bike or changing a flat is on you; AAA won’t help you there.

    • AAA will not break a lock.

    • For more conditions, see: https://membership.calstate.aaa.com/terms-and-conditions and do a key word search: “Bicycle Tow” or call the Member Service Center at 1-800-922-8228 with specific questions.

Spoke Insurance

Spoke is best for those with lots of bikes, people with bikes that cost as much as car, or those who’d like more specific coverage when it comes to their bikes. This is primo bicycle insurance, and cost varies depending on number and of type of bikes a member owns (and you must have $100/year minimum policy). Once you’re a member, you can add on roadside assistance for an extra $10. That means you have access to 24-hour emergency service with up to 35 miles of transportation per breakdown.


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