A couple of years back, just around the time that we were mid wedding plans it occurred to me that a lot of what I do in my free time involves being alone, usually isolated and often in areas where mobile phone reception is sketchy, to say the least.
This realisation was given further weight through my membership of the local lifeboat / mountain rescue team, where I often attended shouts to those injured in remote areas. The first 60 minutes of any serious injury are vital, known as the 'Golden Hour' this is the time when the casualty living or dying is often determined.
Upon reaching an injured person, one of the first responsibilities, along with providing suitable medical assistance, is to gain an understanding of who they are, any relevant medical history, allergies and next of kin contact details so that medical treatment further down the line is correct in nature.
I became aware that I should really have some form of ID on me whilst running, biking or hiking. Investigating the options available I was initially taken with a dogtag system that was being targeted at motorbikers. Building on the bombproof technology of details stamped onto a metal disk, it contained a small usb stick that you could input details on.
A great idea, but I knew from experience that the average Jo wouldn't have his laptop handy upon discovering some mud caked bike laying face down in a puddle of snot, blood and forest mud. Neither would it occur to most that the fancy necklace lying in said pool may contain important medical information.
At this time I discovered a simple, U.S product. RoadID. Designed by a Mike and Edward Wimmer (a father and son team) back in the late 90's it came about from Mike being concerned at his sons exposure to pedestrian oblivious drivers, Mike urged Edward to carry ID with him whilst training for his first marathon. After a near miss (hit?) with a truck the idea of a simple effective worn ID system came back to Edward with a vengence.
The idea took off and the RoadID was born.
Scrolling through the multitude of grateful (if not unlucky) existing RoadID users, and how their ID tags had spoken for them when they were unable to speak for themselves I realised this was the product for me.
Looking at the options I quickly dismissed the fabric wristband. I knew from owning various canvas strapped watches they would soon become rather obnoxious once washing and sweat had worked their combined magic. I opted for the RoadID elite.
The options open to a purchaser are impressive, with RoadID offering a number of sports related images that can be added to the id plate, they also offered brain melting array of different sayings and text layouts. Much dithering followed but I filled in my details and placed the order.
Only a week or so later (lets face it, fantastic service considering they are in America and were shipping to the UK) my RoadID elite arrived, I trimmed down the bracelet to fit my stupidly thin wrists and put it on.. That was two years ago and it's been there ever since. Accompanying me on my 3 peaks weekend, numerous bike races, swims, runs and even to a wedding.
It's a bit scuffed now, but I think that adds to the look of it, besides, being loaded into an ambulance isn't a fashion show and as long as it remains legible, I see no reason to replace the info plate.
The site has grown and grown in popularity, with several big names adding their weight to the cause, they also sell rather nice clothing, they don't however, seem to have lost their approachable nature, with the Company owners replying to e-mails personally.. how many companies can you say that about these days?
My e-mail to ask about getting the banner you can see at the top of the page was answered, same day, by two people.. RoadID, I salute you...
If this feels like a sales pitch, well, ok.. maybe it is.. but I wouldn't lace up my trainers or swing a leg over a bike these days without knowing I've got my guardian strapped to my wrist