WNYT.com

Physically challenged man bikes length of Erie Canal

Posted at: 07/08/2013 4:42 PM
Updated at: 07/08/2013 7:02 PM
By: Bill Lambdin



John Robinson arrives at the Corning Preserve after biking for 17 days from Buffalo to Albany.
John Robinson arrives at the Corning Preserve after biking for 17 days from Buffalo to Albany.
Photo: WNYT

ALBANY - Life is a challenge, but probably a bigger challenge for John Robinson of Glenmont than most of us. He's a congenital quad amputee, born with very short arms and legs.

But Robinson has spent his life not accepting limits, but rather exploring all that he can accomplish.

Like traveling 17 days, 365 miles from outside Buffalo to Albany by bike, along the Erie Canal.

"This journey has been about showing others and showing ourselves, quite frankly, that we can do it," Robinson said to a crowd gathered to welcome him. "On Day 2 we rode 27 miles in the hot sun. I was about to pass out. I was tired and exhausted and we got to Albion, New York and there were 150, 200 people waiting on the front lawn of Albion with tears in their eyes and they inspired me to keep going."

Members of the disabled community, friends of Robinson and his business partner and top area officials gathered at the Corning Preserve to welcome the entourage.

"They weathered floods, storms, traversed washed out trails, navigated high winds," said Brian Stratton, director of the state Canal Corporation. "Repaired a broken gear. Slept on lumpy mattresses."

Assemblyman John McDonald, D-Cohoes said "because of your efforts, it proves very clearly anything is possible."