Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

26 Jul

As I was watching the Tour de France last week I saw an interview with Edward Wimmer, one of the co-owners of Road ID (the most essential piece of cycling gear I own). During the interview Wimmer mentioned that Road ID had recently introduced a free iPhone app that would allow your friends or family to track you while you are out on a ride or going for a run. I downloaded the app this past Monday and it has quickly become one of the most important apps on my iPhone!

Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

Road ID iPhone App

The Road ID iPhone app is very simple to set up and even easier to use. Once you download the app from the iTunes Store you input your basic information (name, address and email address), then you can select up to five of your contacts who will receive either an email or a text message when you are ready to go ride or run. The contacts you selected with get a brief message telling them that you are going out—and in the message there is a link they can click that will allow them to see exactly where you are at any given moment while you are out (Road ID calls this an eCrumb—an electronic breadcrumb). They can watch you on any smart phone or web browser.

Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

Road ID iPhone App Stationary Alert

The Road ID iPhone app also allows you to turn on a stationary alert—if you don’t move for five minutes the app will send an email or text message to your selected contacts warning them that you are not moving. The message does not necessarily mean that you are lying face-down in a ditch somewhere—it just means that you have not moved more than 15 feet or so in the past five minutes. However, one minute before the text message or email goes out the app will sound a loud alarm to warn you so you can cancel the message (the alarm reminds me of a klaxon horn from a WWII battleship). At the moment this stationary alert cannot be adjusted to any other time-frame—it is either set at five minutes or it is turned off entirely. I wish this app offered the ability to change the amount of time before sending the stationary alert because five minutes is not a lot of time if you get stuck behind a few customers buying lottery tickets at the convenience store (personally, I think the lottery is just a tax on people who are really bad at math).

One of the biggest concerns most people are going to have about this app is the impact on the battery life of your iPhone. There is no question that it will drain your battery a bit, but for most people this is not going to be an issue. I’ve gone out for three rides of three hours each (including “standing around” time at stop lights, etc.) and each time I started with a battery that was 100% full. When I got home after three hours the battery had only gone down by 20%—but I was running another app, Abvio Cyclemeter, at the same time! One note: I always turn off the Wi-Fi on my iPhone when heading out for a ride to prolong battery life.

One other feature  the Road ID iPhone app offers is that it allows you to make a personalized Lock Screen—even if your phone is locked emergency responders can see any pertinent information they need and a list of people they can call in case of an emergency.

The Road ID iPhone app just hit the iTunes store on June 13, 2013 and it is still in version 1.0 as of this writing. According to the description on the iTunes store, this app is “compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), and iPad. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.”

As I said earlier, this is one of my favorite apps—I wish it had been available with my sons were teenagers (what parent wouldn’t want to be able to track their kids?).


Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Product Reviews


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77 responses to “Road ID iPhone App For Cyclists And Runners

  1. emmarossruns

    July 26, 2013 at 6:11 AM

    Wish I had an iPhone, that sounds amazing – such a great idea

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      Between the Road ID app and the Cyclemeter app you have enough reasons to buy an iPhone. By the way, you can also use the iPhone to make phone calls — but I rarely do. 🙂

      • emmarossruns

        July 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        use it for phone calls? what a crazy idea!!
        maybe when I’m back from travelling I’ll be tempted, but until then I have my little HTC and hope that someone will come find me when my legs fail me….

  2. Nancy L. Seibel

    July 26, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Thanks! This app sounds like a great idea. Maybe future updates will allow adjusting the length of time before it sends an alert. My boyfriend and I both have Road ID bracelets. They worked as intended when he had to go to the ER after a recent cycling accident. Happily, while he lost an impressive amount of blood ad some skin he was ok!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      OUCH! I’ve had several “unplanned dismounts” from my bike, but so far all that I’ve hurt has been my pride.

      • Nancy L. Seibel

        July 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Same here. I’ve been lucky and hope that continue!

  3. Nancy L. Seibel

    July 26, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    Reblogged this on Mid-Atlantic Bike Commuting and commented:
    Road ID is a great product. See John’s Wrecked! post where he mentions how useful it was in the ER. All Seasons Cyclist posted about the company’s new free app that lets you select others who can track your progress. You can set it to send a alert if you don’t move for 5 minutes. Great idea!

  4. tvjencook

    July 26, 2013 at 6:48 AM

    Just downloaded it!! Thanks – this is exactly what I was looking for while I’m out biking!!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Thanks! I’ve been waiting for a product like this for a long time myself.

  5. Charles Huss

    July 26, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Sounds like a great idea. Does it also record your workout? Currently I use Map My Ride to record my rides and Phone Tracker so my wife can find me if I don’t come home. Phone Tracker is always on and not really made for that specific reason but this app you found looks like a great alternative.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      This does not record the workout, which is why I had Cyclemeter running at the same time.

      • Sandra

        July 30, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Do you like that app better than endomondo?

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          July 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM

          Sandra, I’ve not used Endomondo so I can’t really compare them. However, I have used Cyclemeter on every single ride I’ve taken in the past four years (well over 20,000 miles) and it is so good I am not even willing to try another cycling app!

        • Sandra

          July 30, 2013 at 3:34 PM

          That is great to hear!

  6. Charles Huss

    July 26, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    Another thought just occured to me. If an email does go out after five minutes and you start moving again after six, does it send an updated email?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      No. But if your contacts look at the map they will see that you are moving again (but you might be in an ambulance).

      • Charles Huss

        July 27, 2013 at 4:31 AM

        I suppose if you are suddenly traveling at 60 mph that might be a clue that there is a problem.

  7. Joboo

    July 26, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    Interesting concept; the roadID on “the juice” so to speak!! Lol
    I can see the purpose for such an app in an urban setting; but when I get out in “BFE” with no signal…. I’ll still rely on myself, map and compass, and GPSr.
    My roadID is not on my person as much as it should be, but where I go no one will find me anyway!!
    Ha Ha
    Has technology made us soft??
    Have a great weekend!!
    Pedal On!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Joboo, what you need is the “SPOT Personal Tracker” — you can find it on for about $125 — it uses satellite signals, but phone towers to fix your position and can send your GPS coordinates to your contacts. This device is used by the folks in Alaska and those in the “Ride the Divide” race.

  8. Jeff Katzer

    July 26, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    See what I miss when I automatically jab the mute button to silence the same 6 advertisements that play 2 billion times during the TdF. Thanks for the in depth review, the app sounds pretty cool.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Jeff, it does make me wonder if I missed anything during the first two hours of the time trials since I fast-forward through them like you do!

  9. sevencyclist

    July 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Nice idea for the app. Only thing is if you are at a coffee shop, and you leave your phone at your bike outside, and you are inside … oops. Battery life would be a little concern, especially if you are out for a long distance ride, like a double century, or something like that.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      My iPhone is usually in my back jersey pocket anyway (for better reception). And since I live in the Chicago area if I left the iPhone on my bike when I went into a store neither the bike nor the iPhone would be there when I got back (in fact, you’d better not even slow down).

      • Richard Masoner (@cyclelicious)

        July 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        I was gonna say, man… who leaves their phone outside on their bike??

        I imagine battery impact is the same as any other app that makes use of GPS. I assume you can log your tracks to Strava, Plus 3, etc at the same time Road ID app is running?

        For those with Android, apps like GPS Track from Locimobile give equivalent functionality.

  10. JennyO

    July 26, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    WOW okay I’m so getting this for my run. Starting the download now on my iPhone, living on my own in GA one of my worries is that no one knows where I am when I’m off on a trail. Sharing your post in a reblog if you don’t mind… 🙂 safe travels!!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Sounds like this app would be perfect for you — especially on the trails (providing you still have cell phone coverage). Feel free to reblog!

  11. d2

    July 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    This is brilliant! I downloaded the app immediately after reading your post and will use on today’s ride. Thanks for the heads up!

  12. aphoneswp

    July 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Reblogged this on Better android apps and commented:
    Don’t forget Max Battery Booster:

  13. Lisa

    July 26, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    We were just discussing this app in a cycling google group I belong to. Sounds like a great idea for anyone who spends time out alone.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      I am a distance cyclist and I am alone on about 90% of my rides. My wife likes being able to see where I am at since I am often 50 miles or more away from home.

  14. natjtan

    July 26, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    This is a great idea for lone female bikers and runners, especially running at night. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Frank Burns

    July 26, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Is there and equivalent Android App?

  16. tlsylvan

    July 26, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Love this! I wear my RoadID all of the time and I use Life360 app to have my family track me during long runs, but this is cooler!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      Not only will you feel better knowing that your friends or family can find you, but they will feel better knowing that you are still on the move! Run safely!

  17. brendaintheboro

    July 27, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Thanks for the alert on this one. Wish therewas an android version. BTW you areso right about lotteries. Insiious taxing.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 27, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      Let’s hope they hurry up with the Android version — and yes, I am no fan of the lottery (it hurts to poor and uneducated the most).

  18. JennyO

    July 27, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Reblogged this on JennyO's Weblog and commented:
    I downloaded this app to my iPhone, living on my own going off for runs and being able to let my family know when I leave and when I get back is a huge relief.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 27, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      I’d really like to know how you liked the app after your first run with it!

      • JennyO

        July 28, 2013 at 7:44 AM

        Will do … I have it all set up = now I’m searching out trails in the new area I live in. Might just try it on post for a local run there.

  19. Sandra

    July 27, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Oh that is really cool!!

  20. Still a Runner

    July 28, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Reblogged this on Still a Runner and commented:
    I’m sharing a post from All Seasons Cyclist where he reviews the recently introduced Road ID iphone app. This looks like a great safety tool for runners and cyclists or anyone who does solo getaways to the outdoors. It’s still in beta, so input from users will be helpful as they do the fine tuning.

  21. Yvie Sismee

    July 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Thank you for stopping by my blog :^)

  22. cyclingsaveslives

    July 29, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Reblogged this on Cycling Saves Lives.

  23. isaac976

    July 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    This is worth a mention. Gonna reblogged this on my blog if you dont mind David.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 29, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      You are more than welcome to do so! By the way, my wife is really happy I got this app as well — she used to worry about me when I was riding on busy roads at rush hour.

  24. Sandra

    July 30, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    It is a great option if you don’t want to spend $150 for the spot AND pay the yearly fee for Internet access (if not purchase, it is rather pointless to buy).

    I downloaded it immediately and used it on my trip to visit West Lafayette, IN. I have a garmin 910xt–which i love–but the map function isn’t its purpose. I set my workout to 40 minutes and headed out for my run (knowing I could quickly used the app’s map to get back). It sent my husband an updated location every minute–so he and his daughter watched my run!


    I was gone longer than 40 minutes. Needless to say when the app’s map said “activity stopped”, my husband came looking for me.

    So–either overestimate your time or immediately start a new activity notifying the same people or a search party you may find. 🙂

    that being said–I love the app!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 30, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      I sent a friend of mine a link so he would “watch” one of my rides — he said it was pretty neat to see it in real time — he also said he was watching to see how many liquor stores I passed on the way (I don’t drink at all). Maybe we ought to hook one of these devices up to our representatives in Congress!

      • Sandra

        July 30, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Now THAT is a great idea.

  25. Celia

    July 31, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I just downloaded this a few days ago. I’ve gone out on a run already since then, and forgot I had it!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 31, 2013 at 11:32 PM

      This app really filled a need for those of us who can’t stand the thought of exercising indoors!

  26. barrentoblessed

    August 1, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    My husband and I were just talking about “tracking me” if necessary on our phones while I’m out riding or running! Thanks for sharing. I’ll give it a try!

  27. thewindykitchen

    August 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    this sounds awesome. my friend and I have been searching for a way we could get tracked during our urban races…do you think this would work for running as well? does it drain your battery fast? (we would need it to lasts 2-3 hrs) and have you tried it in crowded places, let’s say downtown Chicago?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      August 7, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      If you turn your WiFi off you should get at least 5 or six hours of use on an iPhone. Please let me know how it works for you!

  28. fitbellies

    August 11, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Does not seem to be available in Australia! Ridiculous. Have tried many variations, but to no avail.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      August 11, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      That is a real shame!!! I can’t think of any reason it wouldn’t work there — except for the outback where I imagine you probably don’t have a lot of cell phone towers.

      • fitbellies

        August 12, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        Not only can we not buy some apps, but there are some songs we can not get also. Added to that we generally pay double to the US. Kind of a sore point with a lot of us!

  29. Rubia

    August 12, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Thanks for this! I had no idea it existed. I go out on runs and rides by myself all the time and always wonder if they would even notice if I was gone too long. Going to give it a go tonight.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      August 12, 2013 at 7:22 PM

      Please let me know how it worked for you! My wife likes this app when I am out on really long rides (sometimes she starts wondering if I had run-in with a car).

  30. rantsrulesandrecipes

    August 17, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Such a valuable tool! Thx for sharing!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      August 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      My wife feels a lot more comfortable when I use it on long rides — for some reason she actually wants me to survive!

  31. tractionbikeblog

    August 26, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    This is great – and something that will stop my partner worrying every time I head off for a ride in the city. Am downloading this as I type! Thanks 🙂

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      August 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      I hope you love this app as much as I do! You sure can’t beat the price!

  32. klosam

    September 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Just downloaded and will give it a try today!

  33. allrounder

    July 7, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    Good review – I use cyclometer as well but it wouldn’t start after I started the ecrumb…any advice on what I’m doing wrong or how to fix it?

  34. garymodine

    August 24, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Has anybody tried a distance ride (8+ hours) while using both Strava and E-Crumb on an iPhone6? If so, how did the battery do?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      August 28, 2015 at 12:52 PM

      I record every ride of mine on Cyclemeter (far better than Strava), and I use the Road ID program as well so my wife will always know where I am. I can’t tall ANY difference in battery drain while using both programs. On my fully charged iPhone 6 I can ride a Century (100 miles) and still have 60% of my battery life left even though I am using both programs at the same time. By the way, once I click “Done” with Cyclemeter, it automatically send the ride to Strava.

  35. garymodine

    August 28, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    Thanks boss. I’ll check into Cyclemeter to discover why it your preferred app.


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