Our man Melling may have been reluctant to trade in his old kicks, but once he slipped on the Alpinestars Crew Shoes, he was hopelessly and irrevocably thrust into the 21st century.
An important part of staying employed at MCUSA is an employee’s annual performance review. This is a full 360 degree appraisal. The first 180 degrees of the 360 is easy. It comprises of telling Ken “Hutchy” Hutchinson, MCUSA’s Boss of All Bosses, how incredibly handsome, talented, proactive and good at replying to e-mails he is.
I then follow this act of obsequiance with a long grovel to our Managing Editor, Mr. B. Madson, and listen intently to his advice on how to avoid getting traffic tickets in the middle of an empty desert.
I normally scrape through with a D- but last year I was really given a hard time in terms of my lack of coolness. If you glance at MCUSA’s veritable galaxy of media superstars you will see that they are, without exception, so incredibly cool that they make -273.15 Celsius look like a campfire barbecue: they redefine absolute zero.
Then there is MCUSA’s token fat, bald, old wrinkly who still bums around paddocks in t-shirts scrounged from various unsuspecting race teams, jeans from a charity shop and footwear courtesy of the “Xiè Lián Yúdu Footwear Company”, #3, Underneath the Railway Arches, Shantou, The People’s Republic of China – and very fine shoes this company makes too, albeit still facing some challenges in getting the left and right feet in the same color of pastel pink.
In fact, it was the footwear which got me most heavily marked down and so I was instructed to contact the nice people at Alpinestars and obtain a pair of ultra-cool paddock shoes which would bring me, still blinking from the bright light of technology and high fashion, into the 21st century.
Alpinestars’ offering in the footwear stakes is about as cool as you can get without joining a group of Inuits in their annual test of manhood which, as you will know, involves skating naked between a pair of copulating Polar Bears on December 21st.
At $89.95, the Alpinestars Crew shoes will not be found on the bargain shelf of your local 99 cents store but their quality exudes from every high-tech microfiber. To be honest, I really haven’t got much idea of the shoes’ technical performance but they are super comfortable for all day wear – especially in hot weather when they breathe very well.
They are also very practical providing excellent support for a long drive – clearly only when towing a race trailer to an event – and their soles are non-slip. Being a classic racer, I went for the black and silver option since wearing white, black and red or, worse still, white and grey would lead me to being stoned to death by my compatriots within the classic racing world.
To my wholly untrained eye, they look very stylish. In this respect, my analysis is less than valueless but, critically, my daughter’s 19-year-old boyfriend also declares them to be worthy of consideration – although not for teenagers.
Clearly, the addition of a pair of Alpinestars Crew shoes is insufficient to turn me into an item of desire for MotoGP Umbrella Girls but, as my wife Carol says, I look less of a fashion disaster than normal and this can only be a good thing for motorcycling and the world at large.