First things first. We know. We learned the lesson the hard way. It’s a painful lesson that won’t be soon forgotten. You’re right. This is why they tell you to be aware of your surroundings. You’re right. This is why they teach you to wear protective gear. You’re right. Okay? We get it.
The fact that flight control got this nasty burn on her leg is not the focus of this post. It’s the aftermath. First… The setup.
As I mentioned before, the kids were both gone so Flight Control and I decided to go for a ride. I needed to stop off and get some cash. The normal place I get money is just a few miles away so off we went. It was really nice out. Sunny and warm. The sky was a blue as can be.
We pulled into the gas station and dismounted. I went inside to get my money from the slot machine… Er…. ATM. My wife decided that she needed to fix her bandana. When I came out, she was standing there crying. She had walked around to the right side of the bike to use one of the mirrors to fix herself. She wasn’t paying attention and found her leg on the hot muffler. I don’t know how long it was resting on the scalding metal, but it was too long… Whatever it was. That’s how she got that nasty burn.
A friendly (but condescending) fellow came up to offer assistance. He cautioned us against using water on it. His recommended course of action was Neosporin and a bandage. It just so happens that I have a med-kit in the bike. We decided to go back home though. My wife was in no shape to be out riding after that. As we were leaving, the helpful guy gave a shout out “That’s why you should wear jeans!”
So… Now to the actual focus of this post. As I mentioned I carry a med-kit (among other things) in my saddlebags at all times. The other two main things I carry are an assortment of tools (as if I would know what to do with them if I needed to) and rain gear.
In my med-kit I have an assortment of things I think would be helpful. Unlike the prepackaged med-kits out there that have four band-AIDS, some Neosporin and some gauze, my med-kit (I would like to think) is actually helpful. Yes, I have band-aids and gauze and some neosporin, but I also have a decent amount of medical tape, a variety of sizes of bandages, ear plugs, ibuprofen, sunscreen, toothpaste (for some reason), insurance cards and a couple of plastic bags. Oh … And chop sticks.
The plastic bags and chopsticks are what surprise me the most about my preparedness kit. The chopsticks can be used as splints for broken fingers or they can be used to retrieve items that have gone somewhere that fingers won’t fit. Or they could be used for some other purpose. And plastic bags are always handy. They can protects against wind and rain or they can be used to carry lose items that you might not otherwise be able to carry around. My bags are from Harley Davidson stores. They’re thick and strong. Bags from Apple stores are terrific too. I also have three or four normal grocery bags.
I also carry a nice sharp knife. Probably the best tool to have (outside of a charged cell phone and a stack of $20 bills).
Of course I carry around a lot more than this. I should really inventory everything I have and do a refresh of my supplies. The sunscreen and ibuprofen could probably be tossed in favor of newer stuff. I carry all this because you never know what might happen to you. But also because you never know who you’ll come upon that needs help.
And one more time… You’re right, okay? We learned our lesson the hard way.
What do you carry with you at all times for those “just in case” moments?