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Motorcycle Diaries

Hamish and his LAt_56 RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

Hamish Hickey is a solicitor on a motorbike, cruising between the English courts, giving legal advice and participating in legal proceedings. Having recently purchased the Red Eye Garment Bag to aid his travels, we asked him to keep a diary and take note of how the bag performed.

Hamish has two Suzuki motorcycles, an SV650 and a GSX-R 1000 Super Sports Bike. Due to poor weather conditions, he used mainly his SV650, although on the final day of this diary he got to test out the LAT_56 Red Eye on his Sports Bike.

As a solicitor travelling around the courts, there are numerous challenges Hamish faces from weaving through narrow traffic to last-minute court hearings to crowded robing rooms to security checks at each court. Here are his motorcycle diaries.

Hamish's RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

12/05

“It fit perfectly”

Distance: 122 miles

Destination: Watford -> Slough -> Bedford -> Watford via M25 and M1

Weather conditions: Light rain; winds 15 mph

Today was the first time using my new Red Eye Garment Bag on my Suzuki SV650. It fit perfectly onto the Rentec Luggage Rack with the combination of a ratchet tie-down strap and cargo net to keep it in place. Despite winds of 15 mph with occasional stronger gales and the added wind speed travelling 75-80 mph on motorways, the bag didn’t affect the bikes ability to filter through traffic – which is important for a mid-sized bike. This was the first time I’ve been able to ride with a bag positioned this way due to its convenient size. It’s definitely passed its first test!

 

Hamish's RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

14/05

“Not a drop”

Distance: 54 miles

Destination: Watford -> High Wycombe

Weather conditions: damp on first 25 miles, heavy rain on return 25 miles; winds 12 mph

Today was a real test of wind and rain with a total ride time of 45 minutes in adverse conditions. I put a lot of faith in this bag to keep my expensive kit dry, including my iPad Air 2, new designer suit and shoes, cufflinks, plus all my work documents (which don’t have any waterproof covering). The Red Eye performed admirably: not a drop of water entered the bag even upon opening!

 

Hamish's RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

21/05

“I could easily retrieve everything I needed”

Distance: 48 miles via A41

Destination: Watford -> Aylesbury

Weather conditions: Overcast; winds 10 mph

As a solicitor, you often have to share a robing room with other solicitors and barristers when you arrive to court. This is where you change into your robes and get all your court materials ready. Today I had to share a small room with four other barristers but the Red Eye allowed me to quickly and easily unpack in this crowded room where space was a privilege. I could easily retrieve everything I needed, which included my trial bundle, iPad, robes, and Civil Procedure Rules. On this occasion, I packed an extra pair of summer riding gloves, which fit snugly inside the bag. Delighted to find the bag so easy to pack and unpack!

 

Hamish's RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

26/05

“No issues filtering through traffic”

Distance: 42 miles

Destination: Hayes -> Watford on Local roads

Weather conditions: Partly cloudy

Today I used the Red Eye on suburban roads to get to court for the first time. I had no issues filtering through narrow traffic with the Red Eye strapped on. Love knowing the bag doesn’t compromise my ability to weave between cars and get to court on time.

For the bikers reading: today was also the first time I used ROK Straps to hold down the bag instead of the ratchet tie-down strap and cargo net. The carrying handle and strap rings provide natural points at which the strap can be threaded through and around the bag to attach to the luggage rack. It took two straps to hold the bag securely onto the bike and the clips allow for easy removal. Plus, it looks awesome!

 

Hamish's RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

27/05

“The practicality of this bag can’t be overstated”

Distance: 55 miles

Destination: Hayes -> Luton -> Watford via local roads, M25 & M1

Weather conditions: Partly sunny, winds 3 mph

At the last minute today I was informed that I had to get from the fringes of West London to the deep Luton area. Due to the short notice, I didn’t have any of the documents on me and instead had to download them for a working lunch. This meant getting to a café, accessing my iPad and notebook for a quick prep before bolting for the meeting. The Red Eye was unassuming in the café and allowed me to easily get to my iPad and notebook without having to unpack all my contents and creating a scene. Because the bag is so compact, I could open it on the table and get what I needed without hassle. The practicality of this bag cannot be overrated. It’s difficult to walk anywhere in busy town centres holding motorcycle luggage, not least because it’s usually too heavy or bulky. That I could sprint to a café, prep for and then hightail it to my meeting so easily was simply ace.

 

Hamish's RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

01/06

“They fit AND I was able to zip up the bag!”

Distance: 48 miles

Destination: Watford -> Edmonton County Court -> Royal Court of Justice

Weather conditions: Sunny

While I’ve been impressed with how much I can fit into my Red Eye, I knew that my bulky armoured textile motorcycle jacket and trousers wouldn’t fit. But today I was proved wrong.

I arrived at Edmonton County Court in north London this morning only to be informed by the office that I should press on into London to appear in the Royal Court of Justice to deal with an Appeal as it was a more complex case. Now, this is an extremely old Appeals Court, which is always on television due to the high profile cases it deals with daily. This is pretty cool, and the building is gorgeous. But because it’s a very old court, there’s also no robing room at all. This is why I never travel by motorcycle. I tried it once and you end up carrying all your gear behind you in a mess into the courtroom. Not neat at all. But today I had no choice.

So I pressed on and upon arriving to court, the security offers retained my crash lid so that I was left with the bike gear I was wearing and my Red Eye. However, when I managed to find somewhere to change into my suit, I was told I couldn’t leave my gear anywhere as this would be a security risk! At this point I decided I had to try and fit my bike jacket and trousers into the Red Eye.

To my astonishment, they fit AND I was able to zip the bag up! The only thing I had to carry was my boots, which I did easily in a simple cloth tote bag I had with me. It was such a relief to have a neat way of carrying my bike gear over my shoulder with my iPad and notebook in my hand. I can now return to the Court of Appeal without ever having to worry about shuffling about with my motorcycle gear.

Hamish and his LAt_56 RE_01 Red Eye Garment Bag

 

07/06

“I couldn’t be happier”

Distance: 11 miles

Destination: Watford -> Harrow

Weather conditions: Rainy

Finally a little reprieve from work and a chance to test out the Red Eye on my Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Sports Bike. This weekend I took a trip to visit my parents and have to say the Red Eye was so fantastic to use! I carried everything from my clothing, toiletries, iPad, notebook to a spare pair of trainers and waterproof gloves. I couldn’t be happier. Although I was packing for a weekend, I had the capacity to pack for a week and if I had been going straight to work from my parents’, I’m sure I could’ve fit my suit in as well. The best part is that now I can use my sports bike for trips with luggage without worrying about the paintwork getting scratched. A truly versatile bag!

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