Feb 24, 2017 1054

My Ghurka Dispatch Rider

I didn't buy my first Ghurka...I stole it...from my father. It was the mid 1980's and I was just a few years out of college and in no position to afford a new Ghurka but I had been eying my dads No 2 Express bag and still had one last "Jewish Guilt Trip" left up my sleeve.  Persistent nagging and a bribe to wax his Lincoln finally netted me the object of my affection and I was now complete.  My Ghurka accompanied me on every flight, road trip, and weekend escape for the next thirty years during which time it aged right along with me, perhaps even a touch more gracefully.  The leather is now patina'd and supple beyond words and the canvas twill is now so soft that the bag will almost completely flatten when empty yet when packed full it looks bulletproof.  

   The only thing better than an aged vintage Express bag are two express bags, so when the opportunity arose to acquire a second No2 of similar age I jumped on it figuring my wife or daughter will use it.  That arrangement lasted exactly six months to when I was planning a motorcycle road trip with some buddies.  I had customized my BMW Boxer and in the process removed all mounting hardware for luggage so I was now faced with the prospect of only carrying a back pack which would not be enough storage for our planned trip.  Then it hit can I use my two Express bags.  I ran up to my closet and grabbed the two bags and headed for the garage.  It didn't take me more than a minute to realize that if I could link the two bags together they would sling over like a traditional motorcycle saddlebag and sure enough I was able to take one end of the shoulder strap from each bag and cross connect it to the opposite bag.  The fit was perfect and secure.  Pulling up to hotels or restaurants on my bike with two Ghurka bags is definitely a sight and I always get excited questions about the arrangement...perhaps Ghurka might get the hint!