Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Roadside Assistance

It is rather ironic that an automobile club offers roadside assistance to cyclists.  Expending all that gas to rescue a vehicle that doesn't use any outside energy source strikes me as being a bit odd.

I can imagine cycling along my favourite river valley trail and getting a flat.  Having forgotten my pump, it doesn't matter that I have patches and glue to fix the puncture.  Consulting the auto club sticker on my bike, I call the repair line and the conversation might go like this:

You've reached the AAA bike rescue hot line.  What is the problem and where are you located?
I have a flat and don't have a pump.  I'm not sure exactly where I am - I can see squirrels and chipmunks running around.
Sir, that doesn't tell us where you are!
Blah blah blah....

So what kind of vehicle comes to your rescue?  In my mind's eye, I can spot the flashing yellow light bar on top of a huge vehicle as it churns its way through the dense forest.  Squirrels and chipmunks scatter before the huge knobby tires can roll over them and Magpies squawk in consternation.

Or a repairman shows up riding one of those Dutch cargo bikes that are becoming more and more popular.  It has only taken the bike mechanic an hour and a half to reach me and by that time I could have walked the bike out of the river valley and to a service station.  But as they say, "Membership has its priviledges."  Besides, the hour and a half wait gave me the chance to ask a number of passing cyclists if they could lend me a pump.  Since no one was prepared to help, I was glad I had my AAA membership and matching frame sticker.
Speedy Gonzales


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