This is a story of high drama, nail biting tension, shattering disappointment, knowing your place in the world and then, finally, realizing that being a peasant is actually not too bad! Roll the movie!
First, I have a need – a real need – for a big gear bag because I go racing. This is not the “real need” in the sense of I really, really, really need a titanium paddock stand for our Norton. “No you don’t,” says my wife Carol, “And sitting in the corner sucking your thumb and sulking won’t change anything!”
No, this real need is based on the fact that if I can’t put all the gear, clothing, and accessories, I require for racing in one single bag then disaster will ensue. Examples of such ripples on the surface of life’s tranquil waters come in manifold forms: Two left-hand gloves was mildly annoying, as was a lack of towel on the hottest day for the last 300 years in England.
Bigger problems have been leaving my helmet at home, and needing a 57-mile round trip, to rectify the error. In short, I must have a kit bag.
And a kit bag I did have. In fact, Carol was sympathetic to my angst and actually bought, with her own money, a very lovely holdall which was perfect – except that the zips were rubbish and in three months they had all broken.
Enough is enough. I needed a final solution, so I picked up an Alpinestars 140 Holdall gear bag.
The Holdall is huge – absolutely immense. That’s why it carries the adjective 140 – a whopping 140 liter or 37 US gallons. With dimensions of 15” x 18” x 32” you could virtually fit a mini-bike inside.
There is a cavernous main compartment and then two separate end areas, one of which will take a pair of road or road racing boots. Dirt riding boots could probably be persuaded to live there but they would have to be squashed in.
At the other end is a much smaller pocket which will take documents, spare toe sliders and my ear plugs.
The latest version, on sale now, has a couple of internal compartments which make the bag even more practical.
In typical Alpinestars’ style, the carrying handles and straps are immense and, although I hate to use this word, almost certainly unbreakable. Critically, the top zip is probably the same as that used for securing fighter jets on an aircraft carrier and has never given a moment’s trouble.
All this means that I have actually become rather fond of my poor person’s bag. It might not be posh, and have sexy addenda, but it does have an immense capacity and is cheerfully reliable – and what more could one ask for at $129.95?
Alpinestars 140 Holdall Gear Bag
Warranty: 12-month limited