So this morning I'm on my way into work, loving the ride (like every day!). I stop at the light at the end of the neighborhood and wonder which route I should take... there's the fast route (but uses a toll road) and the longer route (which has no toll).
The light was red so I unzipped my jacket and pulled out my iPhone from the one inner pocket on the jacket, just to see the time on it (since I don't wear a watch). Time was good... plenty of time to take the longer route... check. So I start putting the phone back into the pocket and it won't go in. My left hand is holding in the clutch and my right hand is trying to get the phone into the pocket.
So I glance down... and realize that is totally useless as I'm wearing my full-face helmet. DOH!
Then I glance up, and the light just turned green. Double-DOH!
I have a moment of panic and three options run through my brain in about 1/2 second: Option 1: let go with my left hand and use both hands to get the phone in. Option 2: just hold the phone in my right hand and try to negotiate the throttle with a hand full of phone. Option 3: drop the phone in the jacket (but not the pocket) and hope/pray it doesn't fall out onto the road.
Then I took a breath, calmed down, and realized that the cars behind me can just wait a few seconds. I thankfully didn't do option 1, as that could have just been bad all over. I skipped the other two as well and went for #4: to take my time and wait until I got the phone back in the pocket and the jacket zipped up. Then two hands on the bike and forward I went. Whew!
As I rode in, I thought about it and realized I had made a couple of really stupid errors... First, thinking that I could just "check something" unrelated to biking at a traffic light... like I used to do in the car. Second, forgetting that my full-face lid means I can't look down at the front of my jacket. At all! And third, not thinking that I could have at least anticipated and put it in neutral before pulling the phone out. That would have at least given me two hands.
My main take-away, though: if I need to check something like that again... even if it's just a quick check, I can always pull over to the side or a side street or something. Then I can focus fully on the phone until it's done, then refocus fully on the ride/road.