Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Am Safety Man

"Safety Man"
It seems to me that I am hearing more and more about athletes becoming victims out on the roads. Are there more of us out there these days? Are we being too careless? Do most drivers even give a shit that we are out there? My answers are yes, probably and I think so but most of the time they just don't see us.

So here is my annual reminder to my fellow runners and cyclists alike. Let it be known that we are out there.  It is our job to do whatever we can to be seen because the fact is most drivers simply don't see us. Last year I posted a fairly detailed write up about my safety practices which you can see here 2011 Safety Tips and the prior year a brief acknowledgement that common sense is required 2010 Reflective Gear.

This year I thought I would share many of the safety products I use.  Please note that while Nathan Performance Gear has recently agreed to provide me with a product sponsorship I have been using many of their products for years (if I did not believe in it I would not use it, you can be certain of that).
  1. Headlamps: I use the Petzl Tikka and the Black Diamond Spot. Not only do these light the way for me but they make me more visible to oncoming traffic on the roads in the early morning hours.  I tend to prefer the Tikka because it's slightly lighter in weight, feels less bulky and is certainly bright enough on the roads. The Spot is however significantly brighter. Battery life is in favor of the Tikka on max power.
  2. L.E.D: I have been using the Nathan L.E.D. Safety Strobe for the last year or so. Previously I had used one meant for cycling but it was a little bulky. When I saw the Nathan on the rack at my local running store I had to have it.  It was more sleek, light weight and had a variety of flashing options. It also comes in 4 different colors. I like to attach this to the back of my headlamp strap so I am seen by cars coming from behind. Even though I run on the opposite side of the road I think its important to be seen from every direction.
  3. Reflective Vests:  My first vest of choice was the Nathan Streak. I just love the way it fits and it has plenty of reflection. Now that Nathan is providing me with a product sponsorship I will have the opportunity to try their other models as well. Although the fit of the Streak is ideal for me as it fits snugly, my new favorite from a visibility standpoint (safety) is the Photon L.E.D. Vest. I am wearing it in the photo above. With its reflection and flashing L.E.D. with multiple settings it's the most visible vest I have ever seen. It bounces a little bit, but I think it's worth it. I will be sure to report on the other versions as I have opportunity to try them although I will need to force myself away from the Photon. The new vests also have ID tabs for emergency information.
  4. On the subject of ID, I previously ran with a business card with my emergency information written on the back. Now I run with the Nathan's VITAband. This ID bracelet actually has multiple features. Emergency contact information right on the face, an individual ID number that first responders can connect with to access whatever personal information you feel is important to know (allergies, medical conditions etc) and lastly it has a Debit card you can prepay and use along your route to purchase additional supplies as needed (no more nasty wet money).
  5. Last are the Nathan Snap! Bands. I started using these last year after I saw my fellow crew member Chuck use them at Badwater. What I like about this product is it creates movement which I believe attracts more attention. You can put them on your ankles and wrists for example.
Have fun out there, be seen and be safe. Peace

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