That is the question. With the obvious and not so obvious amount of information on each of us, that the government and other interested parties maintain, legally or otherwise, why would you consider adding a tracking program to your own repertoire? Primarily I speak of those systems that are cell phone driven.
Do you transit through unsavory areas on your way to and from work? Do you like to 'play', out in the county on rural roads or trails, hiking or biking, or riding horses? Do you have a plan or two, just in case something bad happens?
As someone who bikes the rural roads of North Texas, as does DH, we have opted to make use of a couple of Android tracking programs, Glympse and Real Time Tracker 1 and 2. They operate differently, and each has its own advantages. For cycling we tend to use Glympse the most. DH sends me a text with a Glympse URL in it, which connects me to their server. This allows me to see where he is, on his commute home, or county ride, especially helpful if he is calling for a pick up. With Glympse, the sender chooses who can see the track, and how long the system will track you. This allows you a lot of control over your info.
When I do a tailwind ride, I usually send him a Glympse when I am about a hour from being done. That gives him time to head out from home, and chase me up the road until he catches up, then we load the bike and head home. When I got run off the road last year, I had Real Time Tracker 1 running. Though I was able to call DH and tell him where I had crashed, had I been unable to call, he would have been able to find me via RTT1.
Which brings me to this week and why I choose to use the tracking programs I do. Tuesday, DH was riding home from work, on his evening commute. He always sends me a Glympse when he leaves work, so I can follow his ride home, and to better time when I make a protein smoothie for him. We've done this so often that I know when he should be at a certain point, and how fast he should normally be moving. So Tuesday, as he sprinted through a narrow construction zone, to allow the cars behind to pass safely, his cleat pulled free of the pedal, causing him to crash at a speed of about 23mph. No cars were involved. But what I saw was his icon come to an abrupt stop in the middle of a high traffic intersection. I knew immediately something was not right. His speed did not pick back up. The icon didn't move. Before he even had time to call me, I was heading out the door to the point of the crash. Then he called, giving me some tension relief, as I knew he was still amongst the living!
The crash resulted in a trip to the doc-in-a-box e-care that we drive by all the time. There, they were able to clean out the deeper wounds (can you say chainring imbedded in your leg anyone?), bandage him up, and administer a tetanus shot too. For those of you who want to see the gory post-wreck photos, you can go to DH's blog, and read all about it.
Fast forward to Friday, when I was at the hospital for a test. DH had gone out on the recumbent for a nice easy ride, staying fairly close to home. Suddenly my phone chimes, with another Glympse link. Yeah, a second crash, this one caused by an expansion crack in the pavement, which trapped the wheels on the bike and threw DH to the ground. More lost skin, more bike damage, and what we were afraid might be a cracked pelvis or hip. Eventually, xrays were used to rule out any fractures, and DH's regular doc gave him the cheery news that a deep bone bruise like he sustained would probably take longer to heal than had he actually fractured a bone...(assuming no surgery). So DH is at home this weekend, trying to get healed up enough to go back to work tomorrow. Wish him a speedy recovery, via his blog, if you would please? He could use all the support he can get.