Archive for 2010 年 07 月

My new Limar 747 helmet

I had a poll here sometime ago to ask for opinions on which is the nicest helmet to get. I was really bent on getting the red/white design for 737, and when the bike shop Chapter 2 Cycle informed me that stocks have arrived, i didn’t want to wait another day before rushing down.

But it was weird. I was there but something else caught my eye. It is the 747 in red/black design. I am kinda inclined towards this color combination since i am in the process of placing an order for similar color themed messenger bag. Suddenly, in the shop, the red/white of 737 didn’t appeal to me so much. Where did all the excitement go?

I gave in to my impulse, asked if it was alright for me to change my mind and paid for the 747. It cost me $130, which is more expensive than my current helmet, Met Testagrossa at $95. I am really broke now, i thought as i was paying.

Once home, i took the helmet out of its box and played around with it. The weight and rigidity of the helmet are impressive but it isn’t the case with the straps. Compared that to the more sophisticated one on the Met.

Simple plastic piece to hold the straps together on the Limar.

The one on Met can be locked to prevent accidental pulling of the straps.

The fitting on both helmets are good, using different mechanisms; the Met using two adjustable buckles (can i call them buckles?) to tighten the helmet, while the Limar uses a round knob to do the same job so i don’t have to worry about the helmet too tight on any one side.

The Met tightening device. Need to press and slide the two buckles towards each other.

A better design from Limar.

The chin-strap from Limar is also of a better quality, featuring a sponge pad around the strap for absorption of sweat.

There are also more paddings inside the helmet, giving the helmet a really snug fit on my rather big-sized head.

As you may have noticed, there are wire mesh (gauze) at the front vents of the helmet. The main purpose of these is to prevent insects from getting into my hair and possibly distracting me.

Some more pictures of the new and not-so-old helmet.

Without visor.

With visor in front (i didn’t attach it).

My Met.

Didn’t quite like the rear design of this helmet. Totally prevent any airflow from getting out of the helmet, thus ventilation is not very good inside.

Which one looks better?

Red mushroom.


The not-so-pretty side of World Cup 2010

The quarter finals have just ended and soccer fans like you and me can’t wait for the matchup between Holland vs Uruguay and Germany vs Spain. We are all to pre-occupied with the goals, the flukes, the sublime skills that are all to be seen on the pitch. Yet how many of us actually do wonder, the World Cup, the most widely viewed sports event of the world, still retains the sporting essence behind?

The FIFA World Cup, took the current host nation South Africa 6 years in planning and preparation. Upgrading five of the existing stadiums, building five more from scratch, improving the basic infrastructure in all cost the South Africa government an estimated US$ 3.7 bil. It should be noted, despite that South Africa is relatively richer than its neighbours, vast population of its people are still rural poor. The development of the country has not spread beyond the economic zones, poverty and unemployment are still widespread.

The construction of the stadiums and amenities has created jobs for the locals but for only a short time. After July, when the fanfare of the world cup has died, the South Africa government and its people are left with several stadiums without much further use for them, not to mention the cost of upkeeping the stadiums.

And thoughts of the government cashing in on the ticketing for the matches did not materialize too. Unofficial sources quoted only 10% of the ticket sales goes to the government, the rest pocketed by FIFA. Take for instance, the new Cape Town stadium with a seating capacity of 64,100. Taking into consideration of the building cost of US$ 600 mil and the average ticket cost of US$ 139, assuming the turnout is 64,000 for the 8 matches held there, the ticketing revenue generated is a measly US$ 7.1 mil for the South Africa government.

And for the locals who hoped of cashing in on the riches that the football fans brought to their land, many were disappointed. FIFA has indicated that all F&B and merchandise to be sold with 500m from the stadiums have to come from the official sponsors. This means that local traders and food vendors on their push-carts can only stare and sigh from a distance. And to add on this, the production rights of the official mascot did not go to any local company, ended up somewhere in China instead.

The reward for winning the World Cup is US$ 30 mil and for those teams that exit during the group stages, each is given US$ 8 mil. The total reward given to all the teams is US$ 420 mil. Pretty mind-boggling figures.

Not quite.

Sponsorship provided FIFA with an unofficial estimate of US$ 1 bil. Media rights added another US$ 2 bil. Add in the ticketing and merchandise sales and you will get a truly mind boggling figure. Suddenly the prize money seems small and insignificant.

The World Cup has brought nations together to a contest of soccer skills and team tactics. The sporting spirit binds the players, coaches and fans alike, although the drive from FIFA to host the event seems doubtful in my eyes when so much monetary gains go to them instead of the ones that really matters.