Recently, we wrote about AAA’s bicycle roadside service. The well-known provider of automobile roadside service has extended its offering to cyclists (in some, but not all, regions and local areas; it’s an individual club’s decision, and the services offered vary, as well).
Now, USA Cycling, the governing body of the sport in the U.S., has rolled out its own version of roadside assistance as part of two levels of membership.
Here are some of the basics of the coverage, from USA Cycling:
Transportation Assistance – If the bicycle becomes inoperable, the bicycle and rider will be transported to the nearest qualified service facility or to any location requested by the insured up to 20 miles per occurrence. The cost for any additional transportation over this 20 mile benefit limit will be at the customer’s expense.
Extrication Assistance – Provides assistance with extricating the bicycle when stuck in a ditch, or other inaccessible area, in which such location is within 50 feet of a paved maintained road or highway.
Flat Tire Assistance – If the bicycle is rendered immobile as the result of a flat tire, a service provider will be dispatched with commonly available tools upon request, or have your bicycle transported. We do not deliver bicycle equipment (i.e. bicycle tires).
Locked-out Assistance – Due to the inability to verify ownership of the bicycle, we do not dispatch a service provider to free a locked bike. However, should you secure the service on your own to free your locked bicycle, you may submit a claim for reimbursement for up to $50.
RBR is giving away 1 free USA Cycling RIDE PLUS membership (and 5 20% off coupons for a MELD custom saddle. See my column NEXT WEEK for details. —J.M.
Alaska Airlines Drops Bike Carrying Fee to $25
In late July, Alaska Airlines announced that it had dropped the price for sporting equipment (including bicycles) that may exceed the airlines’ normal checked baggage weight and dimensions from $75 to $25 per flight.
The new lower fee also applies to Horizon Air and SkyWest-operated flights and will be added to Virgin America at a later date.
In addition, if you’re a member of one of the airlines’ various frequent flyer programs or use its affinity credit card, your bike can count as one of your free checked bags.
It’s too bad Alaska’s footprint is predominately in the western U.S., though it does serve select cities in other parts of the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba.