|G O O D B Y E . A L I . J A N U A R Y . 2 0 0 7
Ali Al-Salman just couldn't get enough of Portland's bicycle culture. He was known for holding the best record for attendance on MMRs. For a while, he stopped coming. We never found out why, but it still didn't knock him out of the number one slot. Dang, that guy was good. Ali was most famous for strumming, serenading and singing the night away, content to be background music or have an audience. He liked to sing falsetto, was enchanted by Bjork and did a pretty good rendition of Strawberry Fields.
Ali just recently released a CD. The song titles alone - Goodness to the World, I Love Everybody in this World, I'm Evolving I'm Learning - are a snapshot of the gentle addition Ali made to our bike community. Ali was more of a participant and an attendee than an organizer, and he was profusely grateful to the people who organized rides. After countless months of simply coming along for the ride, in September 2004 Ali was persuaded to lead his first ride. He took us to a eerily beautiful spot along I-205.
Ali passed away New Year's Day at 7:30 AM while in LA to attend a wedding with family. You can hear examples of Ali's music, including a Midnight Mystery Ride song, on his MySpace page. Our January ride is dedicated to Ali.
Ali, we will miss you - and your brownies and hot jasmine tea.