Updated: Apr 6, 2020
By Mary Perkins
On the Napanee trip, I ran over something that cut my tire and called CAA. I discovered that my basic coverage (which I have had for years) now only allows for a 10 K ‘tow’ (couldn’t orient the dispatcher or driver to the fact that I wanted the bike carried, not towed). After that, it is $3 per kilometre plus tax. I have been a member for many years and not made much use of CAA at all but I am sure in the past that the tow was about 50 K. When I got my new car it came with roadside assistance and I would have dropped my CAA membership except for the cycling coverage. (They don’t have anything just for cycling.) Unless I am just riding around town my coverage isn’t very useful for a serious problem.
Rest of the story: Fortunately one of the group had a higher level of membership (thank you Elinor!) and as long as she was there when the truck arrived, I did not have to pay. I was able to get back to the motel with my bike. A trip into Kingston (Thank you Heather!) got me set up to ride the next day.
I can change a tube but if it is a tire problem that’s a whole new ball game.
You need to have a good idea of exactly where you are, where you need to be taken, and, how you will get back from there without a car.
Be sure to tell them it is a bike needing a ‘carry’ not a tow. In my case, the driver thought there was a typo as he had never had a bike call before. The firm only had a tow truck so the driver was sent home to get his own pick-up as they were not sure how they would attach the bike to the tow truck.
Have CAA Plus ($114, 200 K vs. $70, 10K) or better–or cycle with someone else who does.