BCAA's famous roadside assistance now available for cyclists


    BURNABY, BC, May 14 /CNW/ - Cyclists won't need to fret over flat tires,
broken chains or other mechanical woes with the introduction of BCAA's new
"Bike Assist" service. If you use your bike to commute, run errands or just to
get around, BCAA's "Bike Assist" program offers the same peace of mind
provided by BCAA's reliable Road Assist service - breakdown assistance 24
hours a day, 7 days a week.
    BCAA members with Road Assist coverage will be eligible to use the
service as of June 1, 2009. And during Bike to Work Week (May 11 to May 17)
and the Commuter Challenge (June 1 to June 5), all participating cyclists -
member or not - will be able to take advantage of the program.
    BCAA is proud to be the first Automobile Association in North America to
provide this service as a permanent fixture of membership, explains BCAA's
Membership Assistant Product Manger, Marina Tungland.
    "BCAA recognizes that people are choosing to commute in different ways,
and we want to be able to support our members, regardless of how they choose
to get from A to B," she says.
    "What's more, many people avoid cycling because they feel unsafe and
vulnerable on our roads," adds Tungland. "Knowing there's help available in
case of a breakdown, BCAA hopes more people will be encouraged to try
cycling."
    BCAA's "Bike Assist" program is also in keeping with BCAA's other
sustainability projects such as converting parts of BCAA's Road Assist fleet
to run on alternative fuels, such as bio-diesel.
    BCAA is also working with organizations such as Better Environmentally
Sound Transportation (BEST) by sponsoring the 2009 Commuter Challenge and the
Bicycle Valet service, and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) by
supporting Bike To Work Week. And as a way of promoting BCAA "Bike Assist",
BCAA has dispatched a street squad to attend cycling and community events
through the summer months.How BCAA "Bike Assist" works:

    -   The cyclist must have experienced a mechanical breakdown, which
        includes any issue that makes the bike inoperable during a rider's
        commute, such as a broken chain or flat tire. No assistance will be
        provided to cyclists looking to avoid challenging terrain or
        inclement weather.
    -   Service technicians will do their best to get the cyclist on the go,
        but if the repair cannot be made at the site of the breakdown, the
        technician will transport the cyclist and their bicycle to their
        destination, home or nearest bike shop. The kilometer allotment will
        be consistent with the member's current level of membership (e.g. a
        basic member is entitled to a five kilometre tow).
    -   Only two cyclists can be accommodated at a time.
    -   BCAA cannot break bike locks, as bike ownership cannot be easily
        identified.Vehicles serving Bikes and Bikes serving Vehicles

    During the summer, a small number of BCAA service technicians will be
providing emergency roadside assistance on bikes, equipped with basic tools.
These technicians will be stationed in downtown Vancouver or in other core
areas during special events.
    The service is available to both motorists and cyclists, if the repair
can be made at the roadside. By using bikes instead of service vehicles, BCAA
can lower its impact on the environment and promote cycling as a healthy and
sustainable means of transportation.

    How to get assistance?

    Cyclists needing help can call BCAA Road Assist at 604-293-2222 (Lower
Mainland), 1-800-222-4357 (rest of B.C.) or (*)222 by cell phone anywhere in
B.C.
    For more information on BCAA "Bike Assist" or road safety tips for
cyclists and motorists, refer to www.bcaa.com/bikeassist or email
bikeassist@bcaa.com.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 793,000 members and
$130 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. For the past
three years, BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by
international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report
on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member
advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

    Editor notes:
    Photos are available at: ftp://ftp.bcaa.com/media/BCAA_Bike_Assist/




For further information: or to request an interview or photos please
contact: Jennifer Timm, BCAA Media Relations Advisor, Tel: (604) 268-5342,
Cell: (778) 228-8859, Email: jennifer.timm@bcaa.com; Marina Tungland, BCAA
Assistant Product Manger, Membership, Tel: (604) 268-5405, Email:
marina.tungland@bcaa.com