by Jo Olson
Wallet space is at a premium and as bicyclist I like to keep my wallet as light as possible. That said, I’ve had my AAA card nestled snugly between my insurance card and my library card for the past 15 years. Growing up in Greater Minnesota in the ’90s, getting your driver’s license was a rite of passage. For my friends and I, it meant the freedom to go to the movie theater in the next town over, rolling through the Subway drive-through during school lunch, and going to “the lake” whenever we wanted in the summer.
I still remember the solemn moment when my dad handed me a brand new AAA card. It was the other official piece of plastic for my wallet, aside from my driver’s license. Many years and miles later, I’ve used my membership for and more instances of towings for myself, for friends, keys locked in the car, roadside assistance, etc., than I care to mention. However, as I grew older and wiser, I learned the fastest mode of transpiration, especially in metropolitan areas, is by bicycle. I still had my gold membership card in my wallet, but it was growing faded with lack of use. My bicycle always starts and I can’t lock my keys inside of it so my need for AAA had decreased dramatically.
Then in 2016, AAA added bicycle roadside assistance to their services. As a multimodal commuter, you can imagine my excitement. I really couldn’t believe that their roadside assistance program would help you wherever you were in Minnesota. This made me feel more comfortable on long rides, as well as when I took my bike to my parents’ house in International Falls. AAA Bicycle Service is now a benefit with every membership that provides transportation for you and your bicycle if it breaks down on your ride. This new service applies to all bicycles and tandems, including rental bicycles and bicycle trailers, if it is accessible from the road and service can be safely delivered using normal servicing equipment. Bicycle transport coverage is provided to a member (like me!) whose bicycle has become disabled or inoperable.
Transportation service will be provided to any point of safety within the limits of the member’s coverage:
- Classic – up to a 5-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown
- Plus – up to a 100-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown
- Premier – one service call up to a 200-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown while the remaining services calls for the membership year are up to a 100-mile radius.
When I spoke to the folks at AAA about their new service offering, I also learned that AAA members get instant discounts or earn AAA Dollars on bicycle purchases, parts and accessories, service and repairs, rentals. etc. More good news! Visit AAA.com/Save or download the AAA Mobile app to find nearby deals.
Thank you to AAA for being a sponsor of BikeMN’s fundraiser rides: the Tour of Saints, Saint Paul Classic, and Mankato River Ramble. We’re excited about this new partnership as well as the added help that AAA is offering to their bicycling members.