It's never too late for a venerable business to take a new direction -- just look at Hosni Mubarak, who after 30 years in the graft trade is considering an even more lucrative game: writing self-help books about depression. For a venerable enterprise now finally looking beyond the saddle, Brooks England.
Spending the majority of their 145 years equipping bicycles with world-renowned saddles & accessories, the leather specialists at Brooks have now unleashed their full line of vintage-look versatile bags that, although designed for the cyclist, represent their first stab at gear that doesn't actually require a bike, unless your first name is Boris, and your last name is not Yeltsin, Becker, or Karloff. A few choice picks
The Barbican With hard saddle leather giving it a shiny, almost enameled look, this black/brown messenger features a detachable interior pocket and a pair of waterproof cotton straps to sling over the shoulder, or be fastened across the waist like a seatbelt, except fastening them won't make you feel like a total wanker
The Islington The sole rucksack has straps secured by chunky metal clamps that can be worn either traditionally, or across the chest for a snugger fit; its soft, distressed leather comes only in black, but like Miley Cyrus, it claims it's still an Angel
The Hampstead The Hampstead forgoes the zip in favour of an extendable sleeve-like opening you roll up and strap down. The thing's meant to be slung across the back or shoulder, but through removable straps can also be secured to the rear of your bike -- just choose your words carefully when your Raleigh asks "does this Hampstead make my ass look fat?
As change can be scary, the line also features a selection of pedal-necessary sacks, including the Brick Lane roll-up pannier (double bags that fit over the rear tyre), and the Cornwall handlebar bag, which was first produced in 1890, around the last time the Cornish believed they could take a new direction, and not just become a cure for English depression.