Lockport is the starting point for the third annual Journey Along The Erie Canal, a 12-day bicycle ride across upstate, via the Erie Canal Trailway, that brings attention to the strides made by people with disabilities.
The ride by John Robinson and his business partner, Doug Hamlin, will begin at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Canal Street gazebo. Mayor Anne McCaffrey, Brian Stratton, director of the New York State Canal Corporation, and representatives of Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara will help send them off.
Members of the public are invited to walk or ride the Trailway with Robinson and Hamlin, for as long as they’d like, as the cyclists head to Medina.
Robinson is a congenital amputee, born without full arms or legs. Hamlin is disabled as the result of an accident. Their organization, Our Ability, helps connect people with disabilities and potential employers.
Journey Along The Erie Canal is sponsored in part by Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. According to agency spokesman Roxane Albond-Buchner, this year’s Journey celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act — and aims to raise awareness of the work still to be done so that disabled people have access to employment and physical inclusion.
As Robinson and Hamlin make their way across upstate, numerous advocacy groups and organizations supporting the rights of people with disabilities will meet up with them and take part of the journey.
The journey is set to end July 10 at Jennings Landing / Albany Corning Preserve. For more information, visit http://www.ourability.com.