Back in 2009, we
congratulated AAA’s Oregon/Idaho office for following our lead in
offering bicycle roadside assistance. They were 6 years late to the
party, but hey - at least one region got there eventually.
Unfortunately, their bike membership clause looked like it had been
hammered out by a team of lawyers who moonlighted as accountants.
Coverage was limited to Oregon and Southern Idaho, and only Premium
members were eligible.
As of May 2012, they’re allowing Basic members access to their bike assistance - although coverage is still limited to Oregon and Idaho. Two more AAA regions have technically begun offering bike assistance: AAA Mountain West and AAA South Jersey. The catch? It's only available for student members between 17 and 25.
It looks like that obfuscation team is still earning its keep. In Oregon and Idaho, cyclists under a Basic plan will be transported:
“Back to the station that dispatched transportation service or any point of choice along the direct return route, or to any point of safety within the city of the station providing transportation service, or to any point of safety within a 3-mile radius in Oregon and 10-mile radius in the southern 34 counties of Idaho, of the bicycle breakdown.” - Oregon AAA website
Got that? Know which county you’re broken down in? Know where your tower is going to be dispatched from? Know what a “point of safety” means to the AAA legal team?
Neither do we. And while we think it’s beyond awesome that bikes are gaining recognition as a valid form of transport, we’re still watching as AAA opposes cyclists’ rights in California. There’s also their long history of anti-environmentalism and highway lobbying that isn’t going to be greenwashed away.
Better World Club’s bike coverage takes you anywhere you need to go within 30 miles. Period. AAA members have to purchase auto coverage to be eligible for bicycle assistance; we have a bike-only plan. Our coverage is nation-wide. And not to ring our own bell, but we’ve been advocates for environmental progress and cyclists' rights (and stood up to AAA when they weren’t) for a decade now. We’d love to welcome AAA to the world of socially-responsible, green business – but they still have a long road ahead.