Scotchtape, commuting or getting around town is when you need protective gear the most!! People who are commuting to work are the most pissed off folks in the world and have little regard for anyone but themselves. With the cell phone in one hand and a coffee in the other motorcyclists are very low on their list of what to watch out for. Listen to traffic reports during the day in Vancouver and you will invariably hear of motorcyclists being hit. I do feel your pain over the availability of gear in the Vancouver area though. I find that I just settle for stuff probably because I am too impatient to shop around or head south, where all the selection is.
Speaking of gear!! I went down on a bit of oil on the last lap of a track day in August '07. Not a big deal, going relatively slow around a tight corner. The guy with the attitude on a race bike (I was told this later) came around the corner and ran over my neck/upper back area. Broken neck in three places, broken left scapula, 5 broken ribs and a concussion. I was in full leathers with shoulder pads, elbow pads, fully padded leather pants, AlpineStar boots, Joe Rocket gloves, Shoei RF1000 full face helmet, and last but not least, a Dainese G2 spine protector, which I give full credit for keeping me OUT of a wheelchair.
I was up and riding by the following spring, on my '07 monsterS4R which suffered next to no damage due to all around frame and wheel sliders.
But my wife won't let me do anymore track days!!