First Stittsville ‘Bike Kid of the Year’ award presented to 10-year old Lillian Kamel

Since start-up in 2019 by Jeff Tindall and Rochelle Buenviaje, Let’s Bike Stittsville has grown to a group of enthusiastic cyclists promoting safety, the environmental benefits of cycling and the importance of a solid infrastructure for all. This year, they wanted to recognize a youth from our community who is an avid cyclist. The idea of an award for kids who cycle everywhere became top of mind for Let’s Bike Stittsville and the Stittsville Bike Kid of the Year award was introduced.

Jeff says of introducing the Stittsville Bike Kid of the Year award, “I wanted to start to recognize some of the amazing kids in our community who embrace the idea of using a bike to get around or just engage with their community. It’s a sustainable mode of transportation, it builds their confidence, benefits their mental and physical health and that is something we don’t appreciate or recognize enough. I’m hoping this award will not only recognize the amazing kids that do this, but also promote other kids to get outside and hop on a bike!“.

The first recipient of the Stittsville Kid on a Bike award is 10-year old Lillian Kamel.

Jeff told Stittsville Central why Lillian was chosen. “This is the first year of the Stittsville Bike Kid award. I kept it pretty low key for the most part because I wasn’t really sure how to best roll it out. Since it was the first year, I selected the recipient based on continuously hearing and seeing what Lillian has done this year. It’s clear to me she embodies the spirit of biking and clearly enjoys it. It’s not only a form of recreation for her, but it’s also a means to get to places like summer camp, instead of being driven by her parents. I believe one of Lillian’s longest trips this year was to her grandparents, a 40km trip if I recall correctly“.

Lillian attends Saint Jean Paul II and when she is not in school you can usually find her on two wheels with her family out on the trails, but she doesn’t just ride around the neighbourhood – she proves that you don’t have to be an adult to go far on a bike. Lillian regularly rides around Ottawa with common trips of 20km or more.

Jeff said of dropping off the inaugural ‘Bike Kid of the Year’ award, “We went to Lillian’s to drop off a Let’s Bike Stittsville t-shirt and sticker for her, but as expected, she was out on a bike ride. We should have known!”

“The plan for next year is that we will be seeking nominations and not only select another award winner, but also share some of the amazing stories of the nominees,” added Jeff.

Congratulations Lillian on setting a standard that all youth can emulate.

Jeff would like to see people take those short trips to the bank or local shop on a bike. As he says, “you are not stuck in traffic, you are the traffic!”

To learn more about Let’s Bike Stittsville and their upcoming activities, follow the group on Twitter –@StittsvilleBike, or on Facebook at Let’s Bike, Stittsville.


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