Whenever I talk to my parents about the routes that I cycle as part of my training, I always hear “make sure you’re safe” or “that seems very dangerous”. I don’t normally think about how dangerous riding and even running the roads can be. Usually I am more interested in getting my training time in then dwelling on the fact that I was cut off by another car. However, I’ve recently read about a number of cyclist vs. automobile accidents that got me thinking about how dangerous sharing the road can be. With Ottawa finally starting to defrost from a particularly intense winter, I’ve been out on my bike and am amazed at the lack of respect some drivers give cyclists. Being cut off by people turning left, people passing super close and people passing me only to slam on their breaks two seconds later, are all things I experienced on one ride this past weekend. While I strive to be a safe and considerate cyclist, stopping at stop signs, signalling turns, biking on the right side of the road, I’ve been thinking of what other precautions I can take. One of the things I think about is what I carry with me on my ride. Normally I’ve got my cell phone (password protected), a little bit of food, a spare kit and some food. None of this would really do me any good if I am ever involved in an accident. So I invested in a new Road ID. I used to have a Road ID and wore it all the time but through the process of moving I seemed to have lost it.
Road ID is a kind of like a MedicAlert bracelet, it can provide first responders with some of your basic medical information and with contact information for people who can provide even more information. The difference between a MedicAlert bracelet and a Road ID is thatRoad ID is for anyone and I think it looks a lot cooler! They have a whole bunch of options for the style of your Id, you can get everything from a bracelet to dog tags, there is an option for everyone and your dog! (Seriously, they make the Scout ID for the furry friend in your life!) I got the wrist Road ID Elite, which is a silicon band with watch-style buckle. It’s a little more expensive then some of the other styles but I really liked the silicon band. With all of the swimming, running, cycling and sweating I do, I figured it would stay dry and comfortable. All of your information is displayed on a replaceable stainless steel badge. You get 6 lines to choose what information you want to display. When ordering your Road ID, the website shows you what your badge will look and gives you suggestions on what to add. Mine has my name, my city, 2 contact names and phone numbers, a brief medical overview and a funny quote. You can also add cool badges to your bracelet, there are tons of options, and I got one that has 70.3 on it. It’s a fun way to add a little more flair to your bracelet.
Road ID had also come out with an app for iPhone. The Road ID lets you send an eCrumb to friends or family. This lets those notified follow your progress on your journey, it can also let them know when you’ve been stationary for a set amount of time. It’s a pretty neat tool to use, I know my girlfriend likes to check in on me when I am out for a longer ride. The app also lets you set up your lock screen with the same basic information as your Road ID bracelet. This is a great app to download and use if you already take your phone with you when you’re out training. Plus it’s free!
I think that having some sort of identification, like a Road ID, is something everyone who is out training on the roads should have. Not only does it give you piece of mind, it gives your friends and family piece of mind. As an added bonus you look cool wearing one!