Man born without full arms and legs will again ride bike along canal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2014 at 12:00 am

John Robinson will stop in Albion on Tuesday morning

File photos by Tom Rivers – John Robinson of Albion leads caravan of bike riders to a reception last June outside the former Albion Grammar School, which is now used for senior apartments and services for The Arc of Orleans County and senior citizens.

ALBION – A year ago John Robinson inspired communities along the Erie Canal by riding an adaptive bicycle more than 350 miles.

Robinson will begin the 12-day trip again on Monday in Tonawanda and will be stopping in Albion at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. He will visit consumers of the Arc of Orleans County at the former Albion Grammar School on East Academy Street. The Arc runs the Meals on Wheels and Nutri-Fair program from the former school, which also has apartments for senior citizens.

Robinson was born without full arms and legs. He founded an organization, Our Ability, with his friend Doug Hamlin, a 28-year veteran of the software industry who is a quadriplegic as a result of an accident. Our Ability tries to inspire people with disabilities through positive video stories. Robinson mentors, connects and inspires people with disabilities toward education and employment.

John Robinson addresses about 50 people at a reception organized by The Arc of Orleans County. Robinson last year was presented proclamations by Orleans County Legislator Bill Eick, a representative for State Sen. George Maziarz and State Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

The state Canal Corporation is partnering with Robinson and Our Ability for the journey along the canal.

“Last year, the message of inclusion and inner strength that is at the heart of this great trek was met with an outpouring of support at each stop along the historic Erie Canal,” said Brian U. Stratton, State Canal Corp. director. “Through our partnership with Our Ability, NYSARC and our other sponsors, we will ensure 2014’s Journey will be even larger and its message is spread even further.”

Other partners for the canal trip include the Disability Education Forum of New York, Inc., the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID), and NYSARC, Inc.

The Journey will conclude on July 11 at the Capitol steps in Albany coinciding with NYSARC’s 65th anniversary celebration.

For more information about Our Ability, click here.