‘… a truly magical place, you’re on top of the world’
This week’s Voice of the City is Woodstock resident and local business-owner, Nils Hansen. Hansen founded the neighbourhood bike shop, Woodstock Cycleworks.
Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of the city differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city.
Question: What about Cape Town inspires you the most?
My friends and family whom work hard and creatively to empower themselves and their helpers (most people call them staff). I am lucky to be surrounded by friends and family that are entrepreneurs and business owners and this is good for the soul and inspires me to keep up the good fight and continue to push the boundaries of what people expect of me, I am a guy whom loves a challenge and often I choose to be different even if it is not always the correct path.
Q: Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?.
Without doubt my favourite place is Tafelberg road on Table Mountain, especially the closed-off section after the cable car. I try to ride there once a week and have done some time-trails on this stretch of road before. It’s truly a magical place and you feel like you’re on top of the world. The road is slowly being taken back by the mountain as more cracks develop and more plants begin to take root in the tar. It’s a great place to just ride, walk and be free.
Q: What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?
I don’t want to be vain, but we had a great party at our shop on the second edition of the late Thursdays, Woodstock edition. We had awesome food stands, great DJs playing from the boot of a car and amazing people that came and supported us. These Cape Town summer evenings with no wind are special and we need to appreciate them more. If you’re keen to join us next month, look out of the invites/posters floating around.
Q: What frustrates you about the city?
I’m just not sure everyone out there is always keen to get involved and make a change, don’t get me wrong, there still is a lot more positive than negative but I feel sometimes that certain groups are keen to exploit or just ride the wave until success or propriety arrives at their door step.
Living and working in Woodstock sometimes brings about a lot of frustration, as Woodstock advances the more I see big cracks starting to open. We have social, crime and development issues that are very unique and I wonder if Woodstock will ever really grow out of it. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe it’s not. We’ll have to see what happens.
Q: You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?
Muhammad Ali, I have never boxed, but always wanted to. I have done a lot of research and I would love to have met Muhammad Ali when he was in his prime. He was an extremely calculating boxer who gave 100 percent in preparation and in the ring.
Profile photograph by Rory Keohane