Teuns the Kloofer

On Friday I had the opportunity to meet with Teuns Kok, a transportation planner in the Non-Motorised Transport department of Cape Town. I was able to ask him questions and he provided me with valuable resources regarding bicycling statistics in Cape Town that I can use to get a baseline of where the city stands in terms of its level of bicycle-friendliness. My role while working with BEN is to advocate for safer roads for bicyclists and research how the city can become more bicycle-friendly by gathering data from successful cities that have incorporated bicycling into their infrastructure. While getting some background data on Teuns through a simple Google Search, the first link to pop up was a Wall Street Journal article written by someone who had Teuns as his professional guide during a kloofing trip. Hold up. Is this the same Teuns I spoke with on Friday? The one in business attire? Indeed it was. I got a kick out of reading this because I did not picture Teuns, this geeky guy with a strong Afrikaans accent, as a professional “kloofer.” In the article I also learned more about the sport of kloofing. I didn’t realize it involves rappelling or “abseiling” down canyons and over waterfalls with ropes and harnesses. Now that I’ve got this connection with Teuns, perhaps I can ask him to take me on a kloofin’ trip! Oh, and kloof means “canyon” in Afrikaans.

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