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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Why not a “Triple A” like association for cyclists? Maybe ACA?

    I am only vaguely familiar with the way AAA is organized. But it would seem to me that there is certainly enough bicycle shops through out the USA to put together reliable cyclists rescue. Has anyone ever tried doing this? Would any AAA members also consider something like a ACA membership.

  2. #2
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    My guess is it would almost certainly come down to dollar and cents. there are 54 million AAA members paying ~50 to 100 dollars a year...so 250 to 500 million dollars a year.

    How much would you be willing to pay for "cyclist rescue"? How many other people would be needed to yay in to cover the costs?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    How often do you need your bike towed to a shop?

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    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Something like this exists. I'll post a link when I find it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    My guess is it would almost certainly come down to dollar and cents. there are 54 million AAA members paying ~50 to 100 dollars a year...so 250 to 500 million dollars a year.

    How much would you be willing to pay for "cyclist rescue"? How many other people would be needed to yay in to cover the costs?
    Looks like its About $40/year

  7. #7
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    The difference between bikes and cars is that 99% of bicycle breakdowns on the road are field serviceable, and for most of those that aren't, the bike can be limped home. That leaves a rare few, wher a lift would be needed. But unlike a car, a bike can be carried home on a bus or train, or cab, of you can phone a friend or hitchhike. (over the last 40 years, I've used all of the options except calling a friend or family to fetch me).

    Once, when I was leading a tour someone's frame cracked. We divided the rider, her luggage, her frame and wheels amongst the group and made our way 30 miles to where we could get a replacement bike sent. Try that if your car breaks down miles from home.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Once, when I was leading a tour someone's frame cracked. We divided the rider, her luggage, her frame and wheels amongst the group and made our way 30 miles to where we could get a replacement bike sent. Try that if your car breaks down miles from home.
    Did you have a spare bike or a stokerless tandem for the rider ?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhchdh View Post
    Did you have a spare bike or a stokerless tandem for the rider ?
    No we were on a 3 week tour, so everyone had racks and panniers (most). We arbitrarily declared the lightest girls as "designated passengers" and let them switch off in that role, then we had the strongest riders hand off their luggage and take one person ( three or four riders rotated in this role. The rest was spread around as well as possible, with periodic switching off as needed. Turns out the hardest job wasn't having a girl as a passenger, it was being the passenger.

    Once we figured it out, we got better as we went along. Meanwhile a bike was ordered, and put on a Jackrabbit bus to a destination/meeting point for the next day.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member the fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post

    Once, when I was leading a tour someone's frame cracked. We divided the rider, her luggage, her frame and wheels amongst the group and made our way 30 miles to where we could get a replacement bike sent. Try that if your car breaks down miles from home.
    Not to argue, but that's pretty much what happens at car lots every day. Could actually be easier replacing a car, if you're out in the middle of nowhere.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by the fly View Post
    Not to argue, but that's pretty much what happens at car lots every day. Could actually be easier replacing a car, if you're out in the middle of nowhere.
    You missed the point. It wasn't about the replacement, but the moving of the damaged bike 30 miles without outside help. It's simple, cyclists are very unlikely to ever need a tow, something often necessary with cars.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I am only vaguely familiar with the way AAA is organized. But it would seem to me that there is certainly enough bicycle shops through out the USA to put together reliable cyclists rescue. Has anyone ever tried doing this? Would any AAA members also consider something like a ACA membership.
    My AAA membership already includes bicycle roadside service/transportation as one of the 4(?) roadside service calls per year. So I suspect the real market for a bicycle-only service would be mostly limited to non-AAA members.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jputnam/collections/72157604835074312/

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    No we were on a 3 week tour, so everyone had racks and panniers (most). We arbitrarily declared the lightest girls as "designated passengers" and let them switch off in that role, then we had the strongest riders hand off their luggage and take one person ( three or four riders rotated in this role. The rest was spread around as well as possible, with periodic switching off as needed. Turns out the hardest job wasn't having a girl as a passenger, it was being the passenger.

    Once we figured it out, we got better as we went along. Meanwhile a bike was ordered, and put on a Jackrabbit bus to a destination/meeting point for the next day.
    Nice solution. I can see where being the passenger would have been less than ideal.
    Last edited by bhchdh; 01-16-14 at 05:36 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    My AAA membership already includes bicycle roadside service/transportation as one of the 4(?) roadside service calls per year. So I suspect the real market for a bicycle-only service would be mostly limited to non-AAA members.
    I saw (from a link) that AAA in NJ includes bicycles.... but can't find where my Midwestern [Ohio] AAA membership includes bicycles. I wonder how many AAA nationally do include bikes... or if my AAA includes my bicycle when I am visiting areas that do include bicycles. I guess I need to call.

    Thanks! That looks interesting!

  15. #15
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    There have been threads on bike forums about wether you stop to help other cyclist with a problem. Most of us say we would, I always stop and ask. So for the most part we cyclist take care of our own on the trails.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    The difference between bikes and cars is that 99% of bicycle breakdowns on the road are field serviceable, and for most of those that aren't, the bike can be limped home. That leaves a rare few, wher a lift would be needed. But unlike a car, a bike can be carried home on a bus or train, or cab, of you can phone a friend or hitchhike. (over the last 40 years, I've used all of the options except calling a friend or family to fetch me).

    Once, when I was leading a tour someone's frame cracked. We divided the rider, her luggage, her frame and wheels amongst the group and made our way 30 miles to where we could get a replacement bike sent. Try that if your car breaks down miles from home.
    Bingo.

    So some tool buys this product and calls for each flat. Wash rinse repeat. It isn't long until this is priced for this type of rider, exorbitant for anyone who fixes their flats.

    Oh and to add to your point, bikes flat a lot compared to cars.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  17. #17
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    There have been threads on bike forums about wether you stop to help other cyclist with a problem. Most of us say we would, I always stop and ask. So for the most part we cyclist take care of our own on the trails.
    I almost always get asked by at least one person driving or cycling by if I need help while I am changing a flat. One time a pickup stopped and asked me directions while I was fixing a flat. I had to tell them I didn't know since I didn't live anywhere near where we were. They said "okay, thanks" and drove off. I found it odd that they didn't ask if I needed any help...

  18. #18
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    A year or two ago, someone was working on an app where people would subscribe and then agree to help if needed and be able to be helped if needed. If you broke down, it'd take your phone's GPS and notify the nearest other member. Don't know whatever happened with that.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  19. #19
    Seńior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Better World Club has been advertising roadside for bicycles on NPR for several years.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    My AAA membership already includes bicycle roadside service/transportation as one of the 4(?) roadside service calls per year.
    oregon/southern idaho aaa does as well. per, the other post, it does explicitly exempt flat tires. heh, sure that was learned the hard way.

  21. #21
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhchdh View Post
    Nice solution. I can see where being the passenger would have been less than ideal.
    Not necessarily, my daughter rides on the rack of my bike 'sidesaddle' to work every morning. She prefers it to riding her own bike.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    Not necessarily, my daughter rides on the rack of my bike 'sidesaddle' to work every morning. She prefers it to riding her own bike.
    Yep, up in Vermont we discovered that side saddle was better for the passenger, but it made handling harder, and keeping the legs out of the wheel was more of a challenge.

    Also, on any steep hill the passenger had to get off and walk.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    My AAA membership already includes bicycle roadside service/transportation as one of the 4(?) roadside service calls per year. So I suspect the real market for a bicycle-only service would be mostly limited to non-AAA members.
    +1 also available in my area through AAA.

    I would envision a bicycle towing/transportation service structured something like Onstar or Good Sam. That is for a yearly fee the company gives you an 800 number to call and then farms out the actual service work to subcontractors.

    Would i use this type of service? On tour yes. Unlikely for most of my other riding. Like most of us there are very few unsolvable breakdowns for me in the field. And while i might be out on a 40 mile ride, most likely i'm within a 10 mile radius of my home. I know i can push the bike home at 3 miles an hour because i've done that. So for me it would be calculating service call wait time versus walk of shame time.

    For more casual riders, IMO, they don't get far enough from home to warrant a service call. Who is going to wait an hour or more for a service tech when they could walk the bike back home in 15 minutes?
    Last edited by tom cotter; 01-17-14 at 07:30 AM.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I saw (from a link) that AAA in NJ includes bicycles.... but can't find where my Midwestern [Ohio] AAA membership includes bicycles. I wonder how many AAA nationally do include bikes... or if my AAA includes my bicycle when I am visiting areas that do include bicycles. I guess I need to call.



    Thanks! That looks interesting!
    +1 on Better World Club.

  25. #25
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I think that there would be more important benefits an organization could provide. Roadside or trip assistance could be useful when on an extended tour, but what about group rates for theft coverage or legal representation?

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