In 2005 I was training for my first Ironman, and got hit by a car while out for a ride. I was in aero position, going about 28 mph on a gradual downhill in the bike lane, and a guy in an opposite left hand turn lane decided to gun it and try to beat me across. He misjudged. Before I could even come out of aero position to make a grab for my brakes, I t-boned his passenger door and flew, bike still attached, over the top of his car. It was a rather spectacular-looking crash (according to the horrified onlookers). I was wearing a Road ID, and when the ambulance came, I didn’t have to scour my dazed brain for a phone number. My husband was called and I got carted off for x-rays.
Three months later, when my body had healed and my new bike had arrived, I went out again. I was admittedly white-knuckled, but had to get back in the saddle, literally. I told my husband I would stay close to home and do laps in a low-traffic area with a very wide bike lane. It was mid-day on a Sunday, and I was wearing a yellow jersey with a ridiculous blinking light on the back…talk about paranoid. But sure enough, I was hit again, this time from behind, by a drunk driver who fled the scene (thankfully witnesses got the license plate number). The police officer said I was so visible I actually attracted the drunk driver, since they tend to drive toward what they are looking at. Back in the ambulance, once again relying on my Road ID.
Needless to say, my Road ID is as normal a part of getting dressed as my shoes are. I never leave home without it. If you think you don’t need one because you are always cautious in your activities, let my experiences be a lesson. It has little to do with you and your level of personal safety – you simply cannot control the external factors.
I got my first Road ID, a wrist Sport version, about nine years ago. It had my name, emergency contact info, and allergies on it. I wore it running, biking, swimming, camping – basically it went wherever I went. It is a comfortable mesh fabric with a Velcro closure and a stainless steel info plate. It is indestructible - you would think the fabric or Velcro would fail at some point, but it never wore out. I replaced it only because Road ID kept coming up with great, new product.
My current Road ID is the wrist Elite, which has a thinner, rubberized band, and a clasp much like a watch. I tend to wear this sleeker one daily, regardless of whether I’m heading out for groceries or a 20 mile run.
I happen to prefer the wrist ID, but they offer shoe, ankle, and military-dog-tag styles as well.
For me, the most significant development for Road ID since I’ve owned it is the Interactive option. This allows you to put your basic info on the plate, and manage an entire medical and contact profile on a website that can be accessed by emergency personnel. When this option was introduced, I enrolled immediately (it costs a mere $10 per year). By wearing this small wristband, I am actually carrying around multiple emergency contacts, my bloodtype, medical history, physicians, treatment preferences, even info about my son in case I’m in a car accident with him. And I can update it anytime I want, as often as I need to.
Everybody should own a Road ID because it’s just smart. In fact, if I were a race director, I would make the Road ID mandatory for participants.
Lastly, I love the personal aspect of the Company. As a Road ID customer, you get communication straight from the owners, Ed and Mike Wimmer, a father and son team who founded the company because they genuinely care about the safety of other outdoor enthusiasts. I try to spend my limited funds with companies that have heart, and this one certainly does.
The Wrist ID Sport is $19.99, and the Wrist ID Elite is $29.99. This is a no-brainer, folks.