Thursday, August 7, 2014

Identify Yourself!

When you are out enjoying the roads and the fellowship of riding on two wheels, there are a couple of things that you ought to have with you just in case. 

We discussed one of these a while back -- taking a coach's whistle in case you are so unfortunate as to run off the straight and narrow -- or off the twisties -- and into somewhere you can't be seen.  You might be able to give some blasts on the whistle and attract attention to your plight.  It could save your life, even. 

Another thing you should do is carry some identification.  Yes, you have to carry your license and some dinero to buy gas and lunch victuals, but I don't have room in my riding suit to carry my entire wallet.  It has too much other stuff in it -- and it is not all cash, by the way.  I do stuff the important items into a Ziploc® bag and put them into my breast pocket.

I have heard stories, though, where a rider who has met with disaster on the road has to be taken out of, or even cut out of his protective gear (you do ride in ATGATT, right?), and the gear gets separated from the rider.

That's bad.

The emergency people ask: Who is this unfortunate soul?  How do we know who to tell that we had to scoop him up and carry him off? 

So, it seems to me important to do two more things. 

This first of these is where my brilliant idea comes in: Carry a comprehensive identification tag around your neck.

Like this one: 

The tag is printed on both sides with the pertinent info, then laminated in plastic to keep my copious sweat from making it all soggy, and it is attached to a stretchy lanyard from an old pair of earplugs.  (You don't want to make the cord too substantial, lest it choke you if you get it caught on something.)  

The info on the tag should include, at minimum:

  • Your name and street address
  • Your wife's name, street address, and phone numbers
  • Your children's and/or parents' names and phone numbers
  • Your employer's name, address, and phone number
  • Your wife's employer's name, address, and phone number
  • Your medical insurance provider, identification numbers, and phone numbers
  • Your auto insurance provider, identification numbers, and phone numbers
  • Your personal physician's name and phone number
  • Your allergies
  • Your medication types and dosages
  • Your blood type
  • Any diseases or medical conditions you have
  • Names and phone numbers of emergency contacts, if different from above
Make the typeface small enough to fit all the vitals on, but make sure it is still legible.  The paper part on mine is 2-3/8" high by 2" wide.  You can buy self-stick lamination sheets if you don't have access to a heat laminator. 

The last very important thing is to make certain that the people who are listed as emergency contacts know to answer the phone, even if they don't recognize the number calling them.  I have been out on a ride where we needed to get in touch, but where the contact did not answer the unrecognized phone calling.

Also bad.  

If you ever need it, these things could save your bacon.  Make a tag today, and wear it whenever you go out riding, or do any other activity where somebody might need to have some essential information if you can't tell them yourself.  


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