Not many people know how to prepare themselves in case they encounter a cycling emergency. This blog post has some useful tips and advice to assist you on what to carry and what to do in case you find yourself in a cycling emergency.
Handy Cycling Tools
Live Tracking Apps – These handy little apps capture your location, so people know where you are. Map My Tracks is an effective app that tracks cycling, sailing, running, canoeing, walking and much more! Best of all, it’s free to download.
ID Bands, Interactive ID Bands and Interactive Stickers – A standard ID Band is worn on your wrist and engraved with basic information like your name, drug allergies, and an emergency contact to help assist/identify you if you cannot speak for yourself.
Interactive ID Bands and Stickers go a step further. A unique code allows the first responder to access a detailed profile by web, text, or voice call. Interactive IDs usually require a membership/RoadID that has deep roots in cycling.
In addition, some helmets like the POC Octal and Bell Super 2R include ICEdot stickers and a limited premium membership. While most useful in more populated areas, obviously these IDs cannot dial out a call for help in sparse rural areas.
ICEdot Crash Sensor – This is a small, round shock sensor that is attached to a helmet and paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth. If a large-enough shock is detected by the sensor, the smartphone will set off an alarm. If the user does not clear the alarm in a set amount of time, an alert with the location is sent out to pre-assigned contacts.
***Note: In order to work, ICEdot requires a charged crash sensor, a charged mobile phone, a successful pairing between phone and sensor, and a cell signal.***
Personal Locator Beacons – Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) and satellite messengers (often called SEND – Satellite Emergency Notification Device) connect to satellite networks and can be used to send out an SOS with location. Most PLBs, when activated, send an SOS with the location, which is relayed to the closest search-and-rescue organisation.
PLBs communicate with a multi-national military satellite network to transmit the emergency signal, so they have nearly global coverage. It's important to remember that they only send an SOS and a location. They are not two-way communicators, they do not track movements before activation, and do not automatically activate if the user is unconscious and alone.
Satellite Messengers – Satellite Messengers connect to commercial satellite networks. In addition to SOS alerts, Satellite Messengers provide non-emergency communication (two-way in some cases) and live tracking. Like a PLB, satellite messengers work worldwide (though coverage is not as complete as a PLB) and where cell phones do not. An up-to-date subscription is required, or they do not function.
Emergency Derailleur Hanger
Emergency Derailleur Hanger – Carrying one of these bad boys will help you on your way back home if your original derailleur hanger snaps. This universal mech hanger is handy, as it fits any bike, but it is only a temporary fix. You do not need any bolts to fit this onto your bike, which makes it extra convenient if you stumble and come across a broken mech hanger.
You can shop emergency derailleur hangers on the BETD website: