A 70-Year-Old Legend In Dubai Teaches Us How To Live Life To The Fullest As He Passes Away Doing What He Loved Most
On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Dubai lost an inspiring man who lived every day to the fullest and passed away to a better place doing what he loved most, cycling. After feeling a shortness of breath on his last ride, he stopped and parked his cycle on the side, sat down and breathed his last breath on the Al Qudra cycling track.
70-year-old Abdulhamid Karim became a cycling legend here in Dubai and was a beloved member of Dubai’s cycling community, where he partook in several challenges and accomplished a number of awards during his last couple of years.
His Dubai journey started 48 years ago, in 1972 where he came to this delightful city to make a life for himself and his family. As the city grew, so did Abdulhamid’s family in Dubai after marrying his wife, Raziya Abdulhamid and raising a family of five.
His son Irfaan Abdulhamid Kasimali shared stories of his late father with us and we couldn’t help but wish we had the chance to meet the jovial and full of life Abdulhamid!
The story of a man who against all odds started competitive cycling at the age of 65:
“My dad would always tell me about his adventures here.
My mother had been diagnosed in 2012 with cancer and he had been by her bedside for 2 years, responding to her every need. After she passed away he had a big void in his life. This is where cycling replaced his void. At the youthful age of 65 years old, he started cycling. On that note, he also encouraged me and a number of my family and friends to take up the sport.
My close friend Abbas Fazal, added a technical aspect to the sport and all of a sudden we used to meet up on weekly rides with 20 to 30 family and friends joining.”
“But he mostly liked to enjoy cycling alone. Going hours and hours by himself reaching different milestones and appreciating the beauty of the desert.”
He had seen Dubai change from a small community of Bur Dubai, Deira and Jumeirah to now, where Dubai ends at the Abu Dhabi border. But the desert never changes, and his favourite rides were in Qudra thru the different tracks.
We had moved to Townsquare and he became good friends with our neighbour Andy Fordham a legend in the cycling/ triathlon scene in Dubai. Al Qudra cycling track was a 5-minute ride from Townsquare.
“He built his stamina well and at the age of 69/70, he became his strongest.”
The year 2019/2020 was his strongest year. And he joined Bespoke Ride for training sessions under the guidance of Coach Bojan and Coach Joao. His accomplishments at 69+ include:
Townsquare 5kms run – 2nd place in his Age Group
Completed Spinneys Build-up ride
Unity 50kms Cycling Challenge – 50 km
Solo 100kms ride in Al Qudra Cycling Track
Encouraged and trained his granddaughter to compete and she came third @ the Spinneys 92 youth race, even though she was the youngest.
Abdulhamid with his granddaughter who got a podium at the Spinneys92 Youth Race back in 2019
Completing a Spinney’s build-up ride!
“My last memory of him is of him walking out of the door for his last ride”
“On the ride, he felt pain in his heart and stopped on the side. He passed away on the Al Qudra cycling track doing what he loved and where he felt most alive.”
My sincere thanks to all my friends, family especially my Aunt Rehana, and the cycling community for the outpouring of grief which has made is easier for our family to adjust.
The vivacious 70-year-old cyclist’s journey is one that’s truly inspiring and a lesson to all that age is just a number and you’re never too old to become the best version of yourself.
Here’s wishing Abdulhamid Karim peace and his family all the love; your father was a brilliant man.