So I was riding to work this morning and was in a heavy stream of traffic that merged from 2 lanes to become one. Cruising in the outside lane, traffic was merging in a 1:1 fashion from the left. I was busy watching my left mirror at the car behind me merge about a 30cm from my tail. Next thing I look up and the row of cars had stopped in front of me. I had about 5 metres to stop, but was only going about 20km per hour. I had to brake heavily, but didnt need to panic. I gripped only the front brake pretty hard. Next thing I know, the front wheel is locked up and im falling to my right. The realisation came to me at about the 45 degree angle mark that I was hitting the bitumen. As I was going down the only thing I was worried about was how close the guy behind me was.. I throw out both hands and come to a fairly soft landing. I probably slide a metre, maybe two. Thankgod the car behind me has stopped and he asked me out of his window if I was ok. Of course I was ok, but completely embarassed. Hauled the bike up as quick as i could and wheeled it to the kerb. Waited till about 20 cars passed so that by the time I re-entered nobody would know I was the bike that fell. Luckily the bike started up immediately, albeit the column is a bit angled to the right now, but I was able to continue riding to work and then back home again in the afternoon. I now realise my left hand copped a heavy landing in the aftermath (of couse nothing hurts at the time), but I'm amazed how well the kevlar jeans work. If I was wearing my normal work trousers my knee would be banged up pretty bad. Can only imagine what would have happened with no gloves. A week off work at least. Reflecting on the event it happened so damn fast it's hard to remember exactly what happened. I dont think my bike was completely upright at the time of hard braking. I was probably buffering away from the guy behind me and had a lean on. I also wasn't paying as much attention, and not keeping a safe distance of the traffic in front of me, which caused me to hard brake. I also didnt set up and brake with both brakes. I got lazy thinking i could easily brake the required distance with only the front. Anyway thought i'd share, pretty glad to get my first off out of the way actually - and i'll treat this as a major learning experience.