So today I went for a ride up the Old Pac, I hadn't been riding at all in a few weeks and thought I'd take some well known roads to ease back into it. I was giving it a bit but well and truely off my normal riding pace, I wasn't in the mood to break the speed limit and wasn't feeling too crash hot already; a lack of sleep and wonderful headache the cause. Anyway, after doing the usual run and stop off at Warrior's, I left to make my way home. Three corners north of the Old Pac, and still not feeling fantastic, I lost concentration coming into a corner and started to run wide. I grabbed a whole bunch of front break, the rear cut loose and next thing I know I had low-sided across both lanes and into the dirt. The mistake was entirely my own, I am not externalising the events that occured in any way. What I would like to bring attention to is how INVALUABLE proper protective gear is. On my trek up the Old Pac I saw countless riders in less than appropriate gear, or none at all. I too have my moments, eg that ride up to the shops etc, but there was only one thing that stood between me and the road's gravel - it was my gear! I hit the road on the left side and tore straight through the outside of my textiles due to my knee being initially under the bike. What saved me however was the padding under the textile, which took a beating but did its job. My pants are Codura and a similar concept to Kevlar jeans, it makes me wonder how a pair of those would have stood up as they do not have protective inserts. The other places to also take a beating as I slid then rolled through the corner were my gloves and jacket - both full leather, the gloves have knuckles which shaved down a considerable amount and the jacket, a Dainese Delmar, has only mild abrasions across both arms. The heavy padding and titanium inserts in the shoulders worked amazingly, and have been worth the many months of "crab lookalike" comments. So ultimately what I'm trying to say is - please, for yourself if not those that love you, make sure you invest in proper gear. Don't cut corners, it really is the difference between getting up and dusting off versus being carried away on a stretcher then having a nurse dust the gravel out of your flesh with a metal wire brush. To put it another way - had I not been wearing protective clothing, leather, or even not have had padding and protective inserts in my pants, shoes, and jacket, then this would be the current damage: Skinned down and past the bone on the knee, textile torn straight through. Skinning on left shoulder blade, left and right arms and left ankle. Skinned knuckles and palms and had I been wearing an open face then possible skinned chin where the edge of my helmet would have grabbed the road, throwing my face into the gravel. If anyone's interested, my gear was: BMW Sport Integral Helmet Dainese Delmar leather jacket - with back protector BMW Sneaker 2 Shoes BMW Codura City Trousers with inserts Alpinestar Octane S-Moto Gloves This is the worst of the damage to my gear, there is a lot more across all my clothing but it is too hard to photograph. I just want to show where other types of 'protective' clothing would have failed, or not have prevented bruising or damage.