Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Road ID

(photo courtesy of the Road ID website -

I'll confess to being a bit of a worrier in the "what if..." realms. I'm always thinking about what would happen if I got hurt. Or I got mugged. Or the generic "something bad" happened. Now that I'm starting (as of today) to take long walks outdoors, I have some concerns that don't apply at the gym.

I don't tend to have pockets in my workout gear and though I have a camelback, I don't want to carry any valuables in it because, well, what if I'm either mugged or (more likely) I spill things out somewhere and don't notice? I've had my wallet stolen before and the pain of having to get all new credit cards, insurance cards, etc. was Not Fun. I really don't want to have to do it again.

Since I knew I wouldn't be gym-bound forever, especially since my friends had persuaded me to agree to doing a 5K before the end of the year, I started doing some research several weeks ago on how to solve the problem of wanting first responders to be able to get information on who I am, emergency contacts and maybe some medical information but without carrying my wallet around. Medic-alert bracelets weren't really the answer either.

I know someone will tell me about programming "ICE" contacts in my cell phone but, even though my cell phone does go with me at all times, I keep it locked. Because I receive work information on it, it's a hard and fast requirement plus I really don't want to lose it and have someone calling Mars on my dime.

Luckily, in the course of reading about how barefoot runners are attaching timing chips, I stumbled across a reference to a Road ID anklet. A quick search and I found the website for Road ID  ( and looked through their products.

The basis of their product is that people should have some sort of ID on them when working out. They offer laser-etched stainless steel tags (with a lifetime guarantee) that can come attached to various attachment mechanisms to provide that ID. I was really pleased to see they actually offer two versions, one has your name and info printed directly on it, the other has your name and selected info but on the back has an id number and pin # for first responders to use to call Road ID to obtain your information. This information is updatable and they have great interest in making certain it's secure.

Now, I will point out that if someone has the tag with the two numbers, they can get your data. There's no verification that they really ARE emergency services or such. So if you choose the "interactive" version, you need to keep the tags safe. There is also a small yearly fee for the interactive version, though the first year is free with your purchase.

I hate having things around my neck and my wrists are pretty taken up with the Garmin on one side and I hate things on the other. So I ordered a black anklet. The order process was easy and straightforward and very smooth. I received a confirmation email and a second email that showed me how to set up my account and enter my information while I waited for the ID to arrive (so I would have the ID# and PIN#).

Setting up that profile and entering my information was quite straightforward and simple as well.

I got several status emails from RoadID while my id was being produced and then shipped. It showed up about a week after I ordered it and I registered the ID# and PIN# to my profile.

The anklet itself is very adjustable and the plate is attached to it with elastic so it doesn't flop around. There is a band of reflective tape around the anklet to help visibility. When I tried it on, the inner neoprene kept my ankle from being scratched and the velcro was plentiful and strong. It's light so after about five minutes, I hardly noticed it was there. It appears to be very size-adjustable as well.

Now I will worry a little less about "what if..." when I want to walk/run with just my Camelbak, my cell phone and car keys. It's not a guarantee but it's a good safety net. It may also come in handy in any races that need me to wear a timing chip that won't attach well to my VFF shoes - or if I ever go completely barefoot.

Check out the RoadID at There are lots of options, colors and sizes.

(Note: I bought the RoadID myself and this review expresses my personal opinions)

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