AAA is now offering emergency roadside service for bicyclists in the Cincinnati area. Automobile club members can now call for assistance if they have a flat tire, broken chain, or any other bicycle problem.
Spokeswoman Cheryl Parker says AAA will send a vehicle to a stranded cyclist in the Ohio Valley region, pick up the bike, and give them a ride home or to a bicycle repair shop.
Parker says AAA has done this in other parts of the country. "It was offered in some other states like Washington State and Colorado and some places in the northeast, but we knew with the growing cycling community that it was important to begin offering this service."
Parker says AAA has been a longtime advocate for motorists, but also promotes overall road safety. "With an increasing number of people riding their bikes, that's their mode of transportation. We want to make sure that they have peace of mind as well. If they break down they deserve the opportunity to have someone rescue them as well," she says.
The roadside assistance extends to bike trails too, but with some limits. Cyclists who have a problem while on a trail will need to get to the nearest road to be picked up.
With longer trails like the Ohio to Erie Trail, which stretches from Cincinnati to Cleveland, she says there are pockets where service isn't available. That's because not all AAA services areas offer bicycle assistance.
"But I think because cycling is becoming so popular, really nationwide, I think we'll get to the point that it will be offered no matter where you are," Parker says.
Summer Jones, Transportation Alternative Coordinator for OKI, says there were 19 bicycle and pedestrian projects worth nearly $250,000,000 included in the transportation consortium's 2040 Long Range Plan. "That's just an indication right there that people want bike and ped(estrian) projects. They want a multi-model network," Jones says.