Shift Departure Pack
With the demise of our favorite backpack several months ago, it's been a steady turnover of bags, cases and packs as we try to find a new everyday hauler. This Departure Pack from Shift fits the bill nicely and has been in daily use for a few weeks now.
The pack features a 100 percent polyester construction and measures approximately 19x12x8.5 inches. There are multiple pockets to store various items, including a padded laptop slot in the main compartment, two smaller zippered pockets accessible from the top and back and two zippered pouches on each side of the bag. In addition, there are three mesh pockets on the outside of the pack and even more pockets and slots inside each compartment. We've found 14 places to stash items...so far. Extras include pen holders, a keychain clip and a grommet for headphone wires.
The main compartment of the Departure is just the right size; big enough to fit items as large as you'd want to carry on a motorcycle, but not too large that you're constantly fishing around inside. The bag has a thick, padded back area that makes it comfortable to wear for extended periods on a motorcycle, and comfort is also helped by nicely padded straps, a wide waist strap and an elasticized portion sewn into the chest cross strap. We were impressed with the backpack's construction, as well. The zippers and stitching all appear quite sturdy, and the material itself is thick and durable. We were surprised to find our papers and extra sweatshirt still dry after an hour's ride in a steady downpour, and, in fact, the bag still looks brand new after a few weeks of hard use. At $79.95 the Departure Pack is not cheap, but its design and durability make it well worth the price.Shiftwww.shiftracing.com(888) 744-3848
"What If I Had Never Tried It"-The Autobiography Of Valentino Rossi
With his numerous World Championships and total domination of motorcycle racing's premier class, Valentino Rossi has already cemented his legacy in motorcycling. But the young Italian's riding skill is only part of the reason for his incredible worldwide popularity-his lighthearted, seemingly carefree persona has only added to the charisma that has endeared him to millions of race fans everywhere. There have already been one or two biographies written about Rossi, but this book, "What If I Had Never Tried It," is an actual autobiography written by "The Doctor" himself (with assistance by Italian journalist Enrico Borghi). The book allows the reader to see a side of Rossi that is well hidden from the public eye.
In this autobiography, Rossi chronicles his meteoric rise to the pinnacle of World Championship motorcycle racing, from his early years riding scooters and causing playful mayhem with friends in his hometown of Tavullia, Italy, to his first forays into racing, to his entry into the World Championship Grand Prix and the many victories that soon followed. Fast-paced yet insightful, Rossi not only gives his viewpoint on subjects like his rivalry with Max Biaggi, his relationship with fans and the press and his loyal group of lifelong friends known as "The Tribe," but also reveals heretofore untold events that influenced such sensational actions like his defection from Honda to Yamaha, or his controversial pass of Sete Gibernau in the final corner of the '05 Jerez GP.
With his huge celebrity status, there have been the inevitable countless rumors and supposition on Rossi and what makes him tick. This autobiography basically allows you to cut through most of that and see all sides of him: the intense, ferociously-driven racer, the lighthearted practical joker and the thoughtful young person who desires to remain just an average guy outside of the racetrack. "What If I Had Never Tried It" is an entertaining read for any racing fan and is complemented with two full-color photo sections-containing many unreleased photos-in addition to Rossi's career summary (up to the end of '05) and year-by-year racing stats. Hardcover, 6x9, 282 pages, $24.95. Available in bookstores or by visiting www.motorbooks.com.