Sunday, 9 June 2013

Deadly Pocket Fluff?

What do we carry in our pockets while riding? I recently had a good think about that, brought about due to a post on the Shadow Riders Australia Forums that was a direct result of one of my comments on there. What did I say? .... Quote:- " I'm going to get a fender rack and bags eventually but till the finances stretched for that I was thinking a tank bag would be sufficient for carrying round my important stuff that doesn't fit in my pockets."

And what was the post that it triggered? ... Carrying "stuff" while riding.   

It really made me think. If you don't feel like going over there and reading the post, here's a bit of a summary ... basically the bloke was trying to point out the dangers of carrying 'stuff' in your pockets while riding. His observations were that in the case of an accident the things that are on your person become 'a potential source of major injury'. He described accidents where fractured ribs have been in the shape of the mobile phone that was in a pocket and a punctured thigh was caused by house keys (fortunately missing the femoral artery). These were sobering thoughts for me.

If I'm just heading down to the local cafe for lunch then I often carry house keys, hard cigarette case, lighter and mobile phone as well as a credit card purse, in my jacket pockets. Oh yeah he also mentioned how if you hit a lighter with enough force it will blow up .. yep add burns to fractures and punctures.

I responded that I'd thought long and hard and now everything I want to carry will be going into my tank bag, even if I hadn't already bought one I would now be convinced that I needed one and have ordered it straight away. But I thought that I'd still want to carry my phone on me, my reasoning being that if I had an accident then I'd like the phone to be handy to me so that I could call for help. I did say that I was happy if anyone could tell me why I shouldn't carry my phone in my pocket.

Yep he had an answer for that too, and one I've taken on board. If you come off your bike the chances that your mobile phone will be rendered useless if it's in your pocket are increased, if it's in a bag on the bike then it's more likely to still be working, all ya gotta do is manage to crawl to it then you can call for help if you need to. Makes sense to me and I've already found the perfect pocket for my phone in my tank bag.

I've taken it all on board, the thought that the little things that I've been happily carrying round in my pockets may in fact be weapons that will cause more damage to me if the worst happens has been very sobering to me. As always I'm ready to take any advice from others about safety while riding, and my next ride will have everything in the tank bag, the only thing I'm keeping in my jackets is the armour.

Now all I need to do is get out on the bike, it's been a long weekend here and the roads are too dangerous at the moment, there have been quite a few fatal accidents in the last week. That just scares me, so here's hoping next weekend will have perfect weather for a good ride. Til then I'm going to endeavour to get the bike out to take to work .... as long as it's not too cold we had a lovely fog Saturday morning!

Oh and I worked out what was wrong with my blinkers, it's the switch sticking, I sprayed a bit of WD40 in it and it's now working like a charm again, yay I fixed a thing all by myself !! (Well Terry was there handing me tools ... oh well he did mention some stuff that helped, he told me where the screw was so I could check the bulb on the front blinker, even though that wasn't the problem it helped to narrow it down :-)


  1. But if you don't carry your cell phone in your pocket then what will stop the bullet if you're involved in a shoot out like in the movies?
    I understand the reasoning behind his theory, but he should also consider the yard sale that occurs when a bike crashes and the chance of your phone being with your bike is slim to none. Cell phones are pretty small and I will accept the risk to carry mine on me in case of a crash. I also carry a small whistle on a zipper tab as well as a SPOT locator in my panniers if my phone does fail.

    1. Heh I'll just use my sheriffs badge to stop bullets .. or is that one horses?

      Yeah that was always my thoughts .. my gear is gonna get scattered if I come off the bike.

      I really think there are always other ways to think about these things and you cant really plan for every eventuality.

      I reckon the SPOT locator is probably the real life saver there.

  2. Good point actually. When I am on my Harley, everything in my pockets (well almost everything) wanders into the tank bag. When I am on my scooter, There is enough storage in the glove box, under the seat and in the top case. However I carry cellphone, purse and registration paper plus some little knickknacks such as tissue or lip balm always in my pockets.

    1. I guess the good thing about the tank bag I just got is that it has a handy handle and pockets, I can just take it off when I get off the bike and use it like a handbag. So I shouldn't need to carry any of that stuff in my pockets. Though like you I'll still carry my tissues and glasses cleaner in my pockets.

  3. I can understand where he is coming from, but considering how small and compact most phones are I think the risk of carrying one in a pocket and causing you serious harm is a little small. Each rider must evaluate there own risks. Was he american? That would be funny considering a lot of them dont even ride with a helmet!

    1. That's it isn't it Roger, while the bloke has good points every riders must evaluate their own risks for themselves. I understand his points and have to say to me they make perfect sense, nothing is ever going to be perfect in an accident but if I can reduce the risks of injury to myself I'm always going to go that way.

      Nope he was Aussie .. yeah would be funny coming from someone who doesnt take all the precutions themselves but this guy does .. he's always looking at safety aspects actually :)

  4. Thats an interesting subject. I stopped wearing a backpak years ago, because I thought if I came off the with the packpak on it would throw me round like a ragdoll, so I stopped that.

    I carry mwallet on the inside of my leather jacket and you can see that it sticks out. I guess in an off if you landed on that it could do some serious damage.

    Remember Waynes World when garth fell over and he said "owww.....I fell on my keys" Yel well it does hurt and thats at walking pace. Imagine falling on your keys at 100kmh. Ouch

    1. I'm with you bout the backpack, bought one and used it maybe twice then rethought it cause it's just a distraction more than anything .. but hey it could be an awsome heavy missile and if it's attached to you ... scary.

      Yeah I remember that now in waynes world now that you mention it .. eeek that would hurt eh!

  5. Death by lip balm in my pocket - that'd be my luck.

    I always carry my cell phone, tissues, lip balm, ear plug case in my jacket pockets and the pants pockets have the wallet, more tissues and sometimes the camera.

    One thing we do that most don't is attach a whistle to our jacket zippers. If you end up off road and down an embankment and you can't reach your phone or have no cell service, it takes less effort (especially with broken ribs or the like) to blow on a whistle to alert someone to your location than it does to try and yell. REI or other outdoor stores usually sell rescue whistles at a good price.

    1. I thought you had a bag now Brandy?

      I have seen that you guys where a whistle and it's never been anything I thought of doing, mainly because if I was in the situation where I'd need it then I dont think I'd be anywhere that would have people close enough to actually hear it, plus I hate things that might flap around and annoy me. Now I'm also looking at it as a missile out to kill me or something tucked away waiting to break me.

      But in a busy place I can see the wisdom of it.

  6. Hi Brenda

    Just found your blog - White Shadow - caught my eye. I bought a white VT400 three years ago when I resumed riding after a 35 year break. At the time I bought it because it was Honda, a cruiser and learner legal. Eventually as my confidence grew I bought a BMW Adventure Bike thinking I would probably sell the White Shadow. After a few weeks though I realised that while I loved the Beemer I couldn't bear to part with the Honda. Each bike provides a great but different experience and the Honda is so easy to ride that I suspect the day will come that with advancing age (I turn 69 this week) it will become the only bike I can ride. I have also joined Shadow Riders of Australia and look forward to the AGM in Bright next year. You can see pictures of both my bikes on


    1. Hi Theo,

      I'm glad you found me, it's always nice to meet people who like the things you like eh ;)

      I can understand both your love for your Shadow and your yearning for more adventure with the BMW.

      Great that you joined SRA, they really are a nice bunch of people, I had a ball at the last AGM and can't wait til I get to meet up with more people at Bright. Looking forward to seeing you there too.

      I'll check out your blog tonight when I get the computer on.