Regardless of weather conditions, there are a few items no rider should be without: A helmet, gloves, jacket and boots. Laura Douglas, a paramedic with the Enloe Hospital Flight Care in Northern California, sees the evidence every day. "Of the accidents we go to there are a lot of leg, facial and jaw injuries," says Douglas. "And most of the facial trauma is a result of not wearing a full-face helmet. And of course road rash, which can be very painful. Road rash is basically a skin burn, and when you have a large amount of fluid loss and exposure, you're susceptible to the same infections that a burn victim would be at risk for. The difference we see between riders who wear protective gear and those who don't is drastic." We won't go into the myriad products available on the market, but here are a few points to take into consideration when purchasing gear.