John Robinson, CEO of Our Ability, Inc, will complete his seventh Journey Along the Erie Canal from July 1 through July 10.
A congenital amputee born without full arms and legs, Robinson will use a handcycle to ride all 360 miles from Buffalo to Albany to raise awareness of the needs of people with disabilities. Along the way, he and his team are inviting people with disabilities and their families and friends to join them for the 1st Mile Challenge, as part of the Canalway Challenge.
The CanalwayChallenge is a new initiative from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor that invites people to trace history while tracking miles walking, running, cycling or paddling on the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail. The free program includes a range of mileage options — 15 miles, 90 miles, 180 miles, and 360 miles — so that people of all ages and abilities can participate.
“We are challenging people with disabilities, people with mobility issues, or anyone who has never been out on the Canalway Trail to just do 1 mile,” says Robinson. “We understand that if you do one mile, you’ll do 15, and you will end up achieving more than you ever thought you could.”
“John and his team have paved the way for others with disabilities and mobility issues to use the Canalway Trail for recreation. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with him and invite people to get out and try their 1st mile,” said Bob Radliff, executive director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
Several locations along the Erie Canal offer handicap accessible kayak launches and paved sections of the Canalway Trail are accessible for wheelchairs and hand cycles.
• July 1 — Canalside, Buffalo to Medina (51 miles)
• July 2 — Medina Propect Ave. Lift Bridge to Fairport (56 miles)
• July 3 — Fairport Lift Bridge to Clyde (39 miles)
• July 4 — Clyde to Camillus Erie Canal Park (31 miles)
• July 7 — Camillus Erie Canal Park to Durhamville Fire Department (51 miles)
• July 8 — Durhamville Fire Department to Little Falls Canal Harbor (51 miles)
• July 9 — Little Falls Canal Harbor to Port Jackson, Amsterdam (40 miles)
• July 11 — Liberty ARC, 43 Liberty Drive, Schenectady to Jennings Landing, Albany (46 miles)