Illawarra cyclists back roadside assistance plan

Werner Steyer believes NRMA assistance for cyclists in need of help would find favour with family groups of riders. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Werner Steyer believes NRMA assistance for cyclists in need of help would find favour with family groups of riders. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

An Illawarra cycling group has backed a proposal that the NRMA offer roadside assistance for cyclists.

Earlier this week it was reported the NRMA was considering offering roadside assistance to cyclists, in line with the service already offered to motorists.

The organisation says it is a long way from offering such a service but it is monitoring similar set-ups working successfully in other states.

One of them is Victoria's RACV Bike Assist, which offers membership options starting at $42 all the way up to $50.15 for "Gold Family".

The membership includes up to eight callouts a year and if they cannot fix the problem, a taxi ride to the value of $50 to get you and your bike home.

President of the Illawarra Bicycle Users Group Werner Steyer said the idea of roadside assistance for cyclists had merit.

"As far as the family-oriented riders, especially parents with kids, it would be a good idea and I expect there would be a reasonable uptake from that part of the community," Mr Steyer said.

However, he said the more serious riders would be more likely to fix the bike themselves or call a friend for a ride home.

"The average rider probably has about three or four flat tyres a year," Mr Steyer said.

"Other than that it's relatively rarely that those people have a breakdown on a bike that they need help for.

"Even something like a broken spoke - most serious cyclists will still be able to find their way home."

Offering callouts to cyclists is one of a number of options under consideration following a decline in the need for vehicle roadside assistance as cars become more reliable.

Roadside callouts from members fell by 7.3 per cent last year.

"We want to move beyond roadside and motoring into the broader lifestyle area," NRMA chief executive Tony Stuart said this week.

He said the NRMA business model needed eight or nine members out of 10 to remain each year.

The NRMA is considering diversifying into other areas such as giving members eight tradesmen callouts.

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