In the fall of 1999, Edward Wimmer was a college student who was training for his first marathon. His father, Mike, worried about him and advised him to carry an ID in case of an accident.
“Like any good 21-year-old, I dismissed his concerns,” says Wimmer.
The following Saturday, while he was out running, Wimmer was almost hit by an oncoming truck. Fortunately, he was able to jump into a ditch to safety. As he recovered from what could have been a terrible accident, Wimmer recalled his father’s suggestion and realized that had he been hit and found without an ID, first responders would have no way of contacting his family and friends.
A few months later, after graduating from college, Wimmer and his father launched Road ID. The venture has always been more than a business for the pair, though, and their primary mission is to save lives. In addition to educating outdoor enthusiasts about the importance of wearing ID, Road ID aims to offer products that are innovative and aesthetically pleasing.
Road ID products come in various styles. Athletes and active folks can opt to wear their information on their wrist, shoe, ankle, or neck. Inspired by military dog tags, Road ID engraves whatever a customer wants (from vital statistics to personal mantras) on stainless steel tags attached to fabric or silicone bands or necklaces. An interactive version makes the wearer’s emergency information accessible via telephone or Internet. Oh, and there’s even a Road ID model for man’s best friend.
While originally designed as a form of ID, the product has evolved into a lifestyle statement thanks to its loyal customers.
Triathlon shop co-owner Michael Berger, who sells Road ID products in his store, says, “Every cyclist wears one of these. I wear mine all the time. It shows who you are. It is like you are saying, ‘I am a cyclist.’”