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  • Susan Russell

Imagine! “Scoot Around June” An invitation to join the Climate Smart Communities initiative

By Jeannet DeJong, ACES Board Member

The word “Scoot” pulled me in. Born in the Netherlands, I realized I have been part of the “Scooters” club before I could walk or talk. At about 1 year old, I would “scoot” sitting, using one leg as a pivoting point, while my other leg projected me forward. It became a fast way of transportation, “scooting” me around the room, getting me from point A to point B in a hurry.

Later, a real Scooter became my transportation of choice. Usually the ride was shared with a sibling: one stepping, and one sitting in front like a pretzel, legs curled around the vertical scooter pole. Because little girls wore dresses, my mother chose sturdy black gym pants, now called joggers, for my bottom covering. These pants didn’t show dirt and stayed as mandatory wear.

In my country the person-powered “step” Scooter, with large air-filled tires, became very popular.

It was the transportation students used, making their way to school before bikes became affordable.

(A school bus system does not exist in the Netherlands.)

I love the idea of Scoot Around June! Then I looked up the real definition of the verb “Scoot.” I won’t repeat all the explanations, but it gave me enough understanding of modes of human-powered transportation I might expect around town this June.

In my country we have bike paths all over. The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have the highest density of biking infrastructure. When people suggest that flat terrain is the reason they have more bike paths, that statement is met with the constant, powerful NW wind that creates a backlash for making “easy” mileage.

Why do people still bike? It is said “the Dutch are born with almost 2 bikes in the crib”

It brings one most effectively from Point A to Point B, from door to door.

It is also a habit --and good exercise.

Most of all, it offers INDEPENDENCE to most everyone, from toddlers to seniors. My 89 year-old Aunt still rides her bike to the store. Her “green” e-bike, with a small electric charger, allows her to bike when she cannot walk too well anymore.

“Nations with the happiest children have been traced to Northern Europe, the Netherlands and Denmark,” according to the Unicef Mental Health, Economic World Forum 2018 Report. “To be in control of one’s own actions and decisions, all within certain parental boundaries, creates positive confident children, who grow into optimistic teens and adults.”

The Village of East Aurora is praised for its “walkability.” The 3 miles of the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail in the Town of Aurora is a good start for a future of more bike paths and safe spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. Let’s keep working on it!

Let’s all “Scoot Around June!” Sign up at:

BIKE/WALK to your destination; LOG YOUR MILES; WIN PRIZES!

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