Stay Safe: Carry ID
Mountain Biking can be a dangerous pastime. Most of the time we go out, ride our bikes and get back home in one piece, without incident. However, there’s always that one time…
You might not know that I have Type 1 Diabetes, which is a mostly-invisible condition when I ride my mountain bike. However, it can have a potentially huge impact if I take a spill while out riding, or if my blood sugar drops too quickly while I ride. If you have any condition like diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, or anything which you manage and is not visible to a casual onlooker, you can benefit from the peace of mind that carrying ID gives.
When I’m out with friends or any group, I’ll drop my diabetes into the conversation so people know what to do if I need help. I always test my blood sugar before riding and I try to eat plenty of carbs so I can enjoy the ride without incident, but it’s always a good idea to plan for the worst. This is where carrying ID comes in!
What ID Do I Use?
I carry ID products made by You-ID-me. I have a small plastic card attached via a karabiner to my saddle, plus a natty little card which attaches to my riding shoes by a strip of velcro*. (It’s not really velcro, it’s a similar product which is even better, but the brand name is easier to convey what it does)
What’s So Special About You-ID.me?
The tags I use are ideal for anyone who rides alone, or who has a medical condition. They contain two important things:
(1) a unique code leading to information about the wearer’s medical condition or special needs, and
(2) an NFC Chip, which gives even easier, faster access to the information.
As well as these things, there’s a VERY cool feature of these ID products: If anyone accesses the profile, by scanning the NFC Chip in the tag or by entering the code into the the You-ID.me website, a notification is AUTOMATICALLY sent to my nominated person to let them know. They receive a text which tells them that the profile has been accessed, so perhaps they should phone the wearer. When they call, either the wearer or their rescuer can talk directly to the wearer’s chosen contact.
What Actually Happens?
So, if I take a tumble or collapse and somebody finds me, they will see one of my ID tags either dangling from my bike or prominently on my foot. They will follow the instructions and either scan the tag, or input the code straight into the You-ID.me website. My wife then gets a text suggesting that she calls my phone, which my rescuer can then answer and talk directly to her to bring her up to speed. At the same time, my rescuer has access to information about me including that I have diabetes and that there is much-needed glucose in a gel in my saddlebag. Information like this at a time of need could be the difference between a 15 minute recovery and a diabetic coma.
Should You Buy One?
If you ride alone and worry what will happen if you fall, or if you live with any illness or condition that you don’t want to have to keep written down on a card on your person every time you ride, I’d strongly suggest that you take a look at these handy little tags. I certainly feel a lot more secure riding my MTB knowing that people can help me easily if I do come a cropper. If you fancy something other than the tag idea, there is a wide choice of other ID products available from the same great people, too.
Think about it, for you own peace of mind. If you get one, tell ’em Phill sent you! 😉