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Journey Along the Erie Canal

People with disabilities are riding to show that people with disabilities can do anything.

The people riding in the second annual journey along the Erie Canal said they're riding to raise awareness and to show that people with disabilities can do anything.

 

John Robinson was born with congenital amputations of both arms and both legs.

 

Seeing the Paralympic games in London two years ago inspired him to learn how to ride a bike.

 

"I got on the hand cycle, brought it home and put it out in the road in front of our house and my two younger children were don either side of me teaching me how to ride a bicycle," said John.

 

He said that brought up a lot of emotions.

 

“When I got home crying and laughing all of that with my kids, realized that this is something we could do as a family,” said John,” my wife comes out and said, 'let’s take this little trip,' and I said, 'sure, let’s take a little strip on the bike,' and she said, 'great, what about the Erie Canal trip? Three hundred and fifty miles,' I said,' I don’t know about that.""

 

It’s now the second year of the ride along the canal.  Tuesday, John rode with people from the local ARC who also have disabilities.  They said they look up to John and love riding with him.

 

"It’s good being with my friends, and ride," said Jeramiah Cook.

 

“To see their faces excited about that, to ride along with him today really was just amazing.  It’s an amazing experience to see," said the CEO of the Oneida Lewis ARC Karen Korotzer.

 

John said he hopes the ride will start a new discussion about what people can do.

 

“We need to talk about ability, not disability,” said John. “Whatever it is that any of us can do, able bodied or not, we need to talk about achievement and ability and this bike trip is the vision of that.  We want to be able to talk about what we all can do, not what we can’t do."

 

The riders are showcasing their abilities Tuesday by traveling twenty eight miles.  The local riders from the ARC are just riding today as John will continue on to Albany, where he will arrive on July 11th.

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