Overall, cycling in Britain is a relatively safe activity, but it’s always a good idea to plan for the unexpected & of course, it’s even more important to do so if you ever find yourself cycling alone.
No doubt, “falling off” in a remote area is one of the most obvious dangers that probably springs to mind… But what about simply finding yourself with a broken bike in a remote area on a freezing cold, winters day?
It might be easy to think “I’ll just call a family member or friend to come to the rescue”, but like us, you probably regularly find yourself in areas where phone signal is simply non-existent.
The good news is that that’s where Kitestring comes in.
Kitestring is an amazing “app” that we discovered a number of years ago & we cannot stress enough that it’s an absolute must-have for any cyclist that ever finds themselves riding alone.
In fact, to be honest, Kitestring is just an all-round must-have for everybody.
And we use the term “app” loosely because the best thing about Kitestring is that it can be used by anybody, regardless as to whether or not they have a smartphone.
Oh, and did we mention that it’s also completely free?
Which in short, means that there’s no excuse not to be using Kitestring.
So what it is? How does it work? And how can you get your hands on it?
Keep reading to find out.
Kitestring Review – What Is Kitestring & Why Do I Need It?
In short, Kitestring is a service (not an app) that checks up on you when you’re out & then alerts your friends or family entirely on your behalf if you don’t respond.
All you need to do is sign up, add the contacts that you’d like it to text on your behalf in the event of you not checking in, configure your automated message & save the number to your phone.
Then, when you head out on a ride, all you need to do is text Kitestring with the length of time that you expect to be out for.
So, as an example, you might tell Kitestring that you plan to head out for 45 minutes.
After that 45-minute window has passed, Kitestring will send you a text message back checking up on you, asking if you’re OK.
If you are, then you can simply reply back “yes” and everything will be OK. You’ve gone out, got home safe & Kitestring’s now deactivated, everything’s good.
Alternatively, you might be OK, but might be out for a little longer than expected so you can simply reply back with a message confirming that you’re OK and asking to check up again a little later.
But if you don’t respond, Kitestring will simply fire out your pre-written text message to your chosen contacts to let them know.
The great thing about this?
Because Kitestring is sending the text message on your behalf, it works anywhere – even in completely remote areas where you can’t pick up a signal whatsoever.
If you forget to text Kitestring to say that you’re OK, or if you’ve been out longer than expected & find yourself in a no-signal area when you need to check-in, your chosen contacts will get sent a message “inadvertently”.
But you can minimize the downside by setting up an appropriate pre-written message.
For example, if your pre-written message is set to “HELP I might have fallen off my bike in the middle of nowhere” and that gets sent out inadvertently, it’s probably going to cause some drama.
However, if you set it to something a little more sensible such as “Hey, I’ve gone out for a ride & I haven’t checked in to say I’m safe when I said I would… I might have just forgotten, but could you give me a call to check I’m OK?“… Then the downside is pretty much eradicated.
Why We Absolutely Love Kitestring
The main reason we love Kitestring is that it’s super simple, yet super effective.
And the other main reason we love it is that it’s literally completely free, and there’s nothing you need to do download (meaning there’s no need to have a smartphone).
However, there is one small caveat to the free version (isn’t there always) & that’s that you can only use Kitestring for 3 trips per month & can only add one emergency contact.
For most people, the free plan will be more than enough – but for the avid cyclist, chances are it won’t be.
The good news, though, is that at just £2/month the paid plan costs complete peanuts & it allows you to take unlimited trips & add unlimited emergency contacts.
Other Really Cool Features
Kitestring is great for cyclists that ride alone, for sure, but it also has many other great uses too.
For example, Kitestring comes with a feature that enables you to change the check-in message to make it seem “human-like” in case you’ve found yourself in a tricky situation.
So, as an example, you could set the check-in message to be as something as simple as “Hey, wanna grab a pizza?“.
And for such situations, you can also set a check-in passcode to prevent anybody else from checking in & saying that you’re OK when you’re actually not.
Plus, you can also use Kitestring to easily & quickly mass-message all of your designated emergency contacts in one go. So, if you do find yourself in an emergency, one quick text will be all it takes to notify all of your contacts.
Well, if you want to learn more about it or just dive-in & get started, you can visit the official Kitestring website right here.
We highly recommend it!
How do you keep safe when you’re out riding alone? Do you have a personal safety plan in place? If you do & know of any other cool tips to keep safe, be sure to share them in the comments below.