Journey along the Erie Canal with “Our Ability”

June 1st (that’s today!) is National Trails Day, the largest celebration of trails in the country. Thousands of activities are happening like hikes, biking, horseback rides, paddling trips, birdwatching, gear demonstrations and stewardship projects.

Later this month, I’ll on assignment along the Erie Canalway Corridor that stretches from Buffalo to Albany with “Our Ability.”

Friends John Robinson, a congenital quad-amputee and Doug Hamlin, a quadriplegic will be biking, boating and walking the 350 mile journey to raise funds for adaptive sports in New York State.

As a follow-up to the PBS documentary, Get Off Your Knees: The John Robinson Story, this doc will also be a series of inspiring stories collected on a waterway that has shaped the nation. Live recordings using several GoPro and aerial cameras will culminate into webisodes and video blogs along the way.

The team faces specific challenges that go above and beyond flat tires and tired limbs. Their bikes are specially designed to accommodate physical limitations and unless his bike can be modified further, Robinson will have to shift gears using a mouth piece. The team trains daily at an average speed of 7.4 miles per hour. Family and friends lend support and motivation.