Road ID

Around the beginning of this year, I began training for my first triathlon (I posted my race report earlier.) This training involved quite a bit of cycling and jogging on the streets around Mountain View. While not a particularly busy or congested city, I must say that Mountain View drivers aren’t always the most aware of their surroundings.

I was always a bit worried about what would happen if I was hit by a car while training. Particularly present in my mind has been the memory of Alan Liu. Alan was the head coach at Mountain View Masters, the swim team I practice with. He was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike on Easter Sunday in April 2004. His fiancee, Jill, was severely injured. I never had the privilege of meeting Alan – I joined the team in May 04 – but I have friends on the team who respected and admired him very much. His loss to the team can still be felt today. While there was nothing the paramedics could do to save Alan, I realized that much of my riding was done without any form of identification with me at all. If I was hit while riding in the hills of Los Altos, how would the paramedics know anything about me? How would they contact my family?

I started carrying my driver’s license with me, which within days had managed to magically leap from my pocket onto Foothill Expressway. One trip to the DMV to replace my license was all I needed to convince me that I needed a better solution. (Side note: A good samaritan returned my license to me 3 months later, via mail. Thank you, whoever you are!)

While reading a triathlon website, I came across the perfect answer: Road ID. These guys have a great product – a laser engraved, stainless steel dogtag that can be worn in a variety of ways. You get 6 lines of text, and they have excellent recommendations as to the type of information a paramedic would want (e.g. drug allergies, blood type, etc.)

Mine arrived a few weeks ago and I wear it whenever I’m out on the road. For anyone that does much running or cycling and doesn’t regularly carry identification, I would highly recommend it.

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~ by Nathan on June 23, 2005.

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