The Santa Ponza or Torremolinos Bag
I'm not hugely into style. I'll rephrase that. I don't care about style. I prefer function. I've owned many bicycles in my time, certainly more than 30, but I've never bought hugely expensive stylish bikes for the sake of style. On the other hand, I'm keen on function. I've bought all sorts of cycling clothes, all types of shoes, all kinds of gloves and of course all kinds of bags.
When I started serious cycling first, about 30 years ago, it wasn't long before I realised the usefulness of a bag. Now the chaps I cycled with at the time were mostly bike racers or triathletes and they used to carry stuff in their back pockets, as required, but I found, especially in winter, that this approach was a bit limiting. I used to use a bike with mudguards in the winter and a carrier, or a rack as people say in Amerukun. It soon enough occurred to me that carrying a bag with a bit of spare capacity was very useful in that not only could you carry spare clothing, but more importantly, if it got unexpectedly hot you could "peel off the half-coat" and cool down, while your pals were dripping sweat like dodgy dynamite and turning their blood into black pudding. You could also carry extra nosh, more spares, a camera or even a camel if you wanted to have a surprise Arab feast for your friends while you were out.
So, I started to buy such bags. I had one made by Agu which was a carrier-top bag. It was okay but like all such bags it faded with time. Then I had a couple of Carradice bags made of Cotton Duck. These don't fade. I've one made by Altura at the moment, a bad design, a Carradice Carrier-top bag, two Carradice saddlebags and of course Ortlieb panniers and all of that.
A former cycling friend of mine, Christy O'Driscoll who's a bit of a character indirectly christened the first bag by saying "I often went to Torremolinos with less". On another occasion Santa Ponza was alluded to, so my bags since then have been referred to in this irreverential manner.
I can remember one occasion about 15 years ago we did a 100 miler and the lads ran out of gas. They began to look longingly at the Torremolinos bag like small boys at a sweet factory. Eventually I said.. "oh, lads, would you like something to eat?" Lots of gulping and shame that they would have to eat from this shameful bag, but by and by, they all got winter bags. Torremolinos reigns supreme in the Irish winter.
As you can see, I always carry a handlebar bag as well for my camera(s)