About a week ago, my fiancee came home, walked the dog, and headed out for a bike ride. After she was riding for about an hour, she started to, for lack of a better word, “bonk”. It was hotter than she thought, she didn’t bring a snack, and she was almost out of water. Luckily she was able to call me to pick her up at the trailhead, but the incident worried me. What if she hadn’t stopped herself and started walking, or the heat snuck up on her more and she’d passed out? The next day, I went online and ordered us both RoadIDs.
RoadID was invented by someone who had a similar “what if that hadn’t ended safely” experience. Mike and Edward Wimmer share their inspiration on the company site:
The inspiration for Road ID was born in the fall of 1999. For my father, the inspiration was his concern for me as I trained for my first marathon. For me, the inspiration was a black, King Kong size pick-up truck that I nearly came face to face with on a long Saturday run.
Earlier that fall, I began training for my first marathon. My father worried about me logging all those miles and would often tell me to “be safe.” One day, he suggested that I carry an ID so that he could be notified if I had an accident while training. Of course, I dismissed that suggestion. I thought: “What could possibly happen to me while running?”
So, there I was, in a ditch, on the side of the road, having nearly been hit by the aforementioned pick-up truck. From that ditch, my father’s suggestion to carry ID started to make a tremendous amount of sense.
Luckily I was OK. But, what if the truck had hit me? I would have been rushed to the local hospital as “John Doe.” Without proper ID, family members and friends could NOT be contacted. Likewise, my Medical records could NOT be accessed at the hospital. How long would I lay there unidentified? This freaked me out.
RoadIDs fall into the “I need to have it but hope I never use it” category, much like most insurance policies. They give you space to engrave your name and year of birth, two contact names, numbers, and your relationship to them, and any known allergies. You can also add a catchphrase if you have one you like that motivates you. I hope no one ever has to check my wrist for it, but if they do they’ll see my fiancee’s number, my father’s cell phone number, and that I’m allergic to penicillin. All helpful pieces of information to have if I get run over by someone rushing to work who’s not watching the road.
Style-wise, RoadID gives you several options. There’s the RoadID sport, which is a mesh and velcro band, or the RoadID elite, which has a rubber band and looks more like a traditional sports watch design. If you hate having something on your wrists, you can opt for an ankle band, a shoe tag or even a combination tag/pouch to stash your housekeys. And if you’re more of a dogtag type they make those as well. Aside from the dogtags, all of their engraved tags can be interchanged with other bands and shoe tags, and there is an option on the site to order multiple wristbands, etc. So if you MUST color coordinate your band to your outfit, or you want to flip between shoe and wrist, you can do it easily.
There are two kinds of RoadIDs, traditional and interactive. Traditional is what I opted for; it gives all your information on the tag itself. Interactive lists a number and a website for first responders, letting you create an online Emergency Response Profile (ERP). It’s a great concept, but since it includes an ongoing cost, plus I had room on the traditional tag to list my important information (the penicillin allergy), I decided it wasn’t necessary at this time.
I wore my RoadID out for this morning’s run, and once I got past the initial odd feeling from wearing a band on my right wrist, it was very comfortable. The velcro is adjustable, so it can be as loose or tight as you prefer. Each band also comes in three sizes (S, M, L) so you can ballpark the correct size for your wrist. I found it to be light and stylish, and won’t be embarrassed to wear it out when running and biking. The band is woven with a reflective thread, presumably to make it stick out a bit more. I don’t think I would count on the thread being enough to notify a driver in the dark that I was running along, but it would make the bracelet stand out if a first responder were to reach me in the dark.
You could create something similar to a RoadID on your own. For example, you could hit your local Petsmart and make a tag with the same information for 1/4 of the cost. But I like supporting companies that sponsor running events and bring a great deal of support to the community like RoadID. When you purchase anything through them, RoadID donates a portion of the proceeds to one of several charities. In addition to a wrist, ankle or shoe ID, RoadID also offers flashing lights, reflective ankle and wrist bands and other safety options. Overall, they’re a company that takes their mission and product very seriously.
The original WristID sport can be purchased directly from RoadID.
What I Liked: Gives you some peace of mind while out alone running, biking, etc.; Offers first responders important medical information; Comfortable and stylish designs.
What Needs Improvement: First time I ever purchased gear hoping fervently that I will never, ever, have to use it.