It's nice to see basic safety at the top of the list of threads, even though it has probably been rehashed many times on this and every other cycling related forum it is a subject that should never be forsaken. (I am sorry that one of you're recent references to safety was inspired by a nasty sounding crash, hope you're healing well )
Along with helmets, gloves and a razor blade (for shaving that leg hair ), one should never venture out without eye protection. It's no fun taking a UFO in the eye at 20+mph in traffic. A resulting crash would be even less fun.
Also a rear view mirror is very important if your on the road to keep an eye on traffic approaching from behind. We are just as responsible to yeild to cars as they are to yield to us.