“There is no additional charge,” says Nadia Matos, spokeswoman for CAA of South Central Ontario.
“It is a permanent benefit for existing members.”
So, even if you don’t drive a car, you’d still have access to all the regular suite of CAA services, from maps to hotel “and partner” discounts.
The program began in 2013.
Matos said at one point the CAA realized that many of their members just don’t drive only cars.
“Our Members are drivers and cyclists,” she said.
“So no matter how they get around we want to keep them safe on the roads.”
Bike Assist works in the same way as the regular auto membership, the major aspect of which is roadside assistance.
“Should a rider run into a problem that cannot be fixed on the spot, CAA will transport the cyclists and bicycle to wherever they need to be,” Matos said.
“The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, as part of CAA membership.”
The CAA is also taking a proactive – or mediating - stance with the program.
It’s getting the message out that drivers aren’t only people who get behind an internal combustion engine.
“Cycling is everyone’s responsibility so in addition to offering BikeAssist we remind all motorists, cyclists and pedestrians on a regular basis to share the road and keep important safety tips top of mind,” the spokeswoman said.
The CAA even distributes Watch for Bikes stickers (photo above) to motorists to stick on their rear view mirrors “to remind passengers exiting cars to look for cyclists and reduce dooring.”
The CAA was ahead of its time.
Just this year the Michigan AAA began a similar bike service.
The CAA’s Matos said general membership has not been declining because of the increased popularity of cycling.
“Our membership has been growing year over year, initiatives like Bike Assist don't take away from membership but instead add value.”