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AAA billboard touts new bike assistance service

Posted by on September 2nd, 2009 at 12:42 pm

New AAA billboard on SE 7th between Alder and Washington.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Back in July, we reported that the American Automobile Association’s Oregon/Idaho chapter had decided to extend their roadside assistance service to bikes.

Now that the program has been rolled out and in service for a few months, it looks like AAA is putting some marketing muscle behind the program. This morning I spotted a new billboard on SE 7th between Washington and Alder that touts the new service (I also saw one of their roadside service trucks with a bike rack on it the other day downtown).

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Regardless of how you feel about AAA (they are a massive force in lobbying for interests that don’t always mesh with bike movement goals), it seems like this type of mainstream presence (and corporate acceptance) marks a crucial step in bikes becoming a viable and respected transportation option in the U.S..

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  • Wuss912 September 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    or at least in Oregon….
    more likely it was the other company that pioneered this service was eating into AAA’s membership

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  • andy September 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    AAA’s program still has some shortcomings, as my in-laws found out when they were visiting Portland in July. They rented a tandem and decided to take a ride out to Kelly Point Park one afternoon. On the way out there, though, they had a serious blow-out (shredded the side wall of the tire). They weren’t too concerned, though; they’d heard about AAA’s bike support program, and since they were AAA members (albeit in another state), they called AAA. Well, it turns out that AAA will only provide bike support if you are an AAA member in Oregon or Idaho. Pretty short-sighted, if you ask me – especially given the rising bike tourism here.

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  • Jacob September 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    @ #2

    it’s called a soft rollout, if it succeeds here they will have a hard rollout nationwide.

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  • KruckyBoy September 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    #2- It’s not short sighted- it’s not a full program yet. Most states I’ve lived in have different AAA benefits and costs.

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  • ScottG September 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I’m curious to hear if anyone on this site has used BWC’s bike services and how it works.

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  • andy September 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    #3,4: yes, I understand. Even so, I think not offering those services to out-of-staters as part of their soft rollout is a missed opportunity for AAA to promote the program, especially with regards to bicycle tourism in Oregon and Idaho.

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  • Jason September 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    So, the message from AAA is that the service they provide stops if you travel out of your home state/area. Way to go!

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  • KruckyBoy September 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    No Jason- it means if your not part of Oregon or Idaho AAA you’re not currently covered. Way to overreact!

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  • are September 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    “crucial step in bikes becoming a viable and respected transportation option”

    nope.

    the folks on the billboard with whom you, the potential AAA customer, are supposed to identify, are recreational riders who went on a “bike ride” unprepared and needed to be rescued by the insurance company that spends their premium dollars lobbying against higher fuel efficiency standards, public transit, etc.

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  • Rollie September 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    OK yeah anyway. This ad, and service, represents mainly that AAA has the sense that there’s money to be made. Which unless they’re crazy or haven’t done their proper research, probably means cycling in Oregon now represents a sizable enough market to warrant this. Which in turn may be an indicator of sorts that we are starting to have economic clout.

    Nonetheless we’re rightly suspicious of foes who suddenly become friends. For another example take the Hawthorne Fred Meyer’s “green” remodel. Wow, thanks for the bioswale, I totally forgot about your crappy labor practices and Kroger Inc.’s support for the Bush campaign!

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  • Michael September 3, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Cheapest bike backup plan? Trimet.

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  • BikingViking September 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Quick response to Rollie (#10)

    Just to be fair, Kroger donated to some local Dems as well, including Schrader and Baird.

    http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/committees/kroger-political-action-committee.asp?cycle=08

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  • Andrea September 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    To Bike Portland-
    When using an argument to persuade public opinion please be careful to avoid the lurking red herring or any other fallacies of logic.

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  • Carl September 4, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Better World Club thinks this hype is pretty funny:
    http://www.betterworldclub.com/news/aaa-bicycle-congratulations.cfm

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