Man bikes from South America to Houston

September 23, 2010 5:05:16 AM PDT
A local man is telling his family about his amazing adventure that started last year and ended just Wednesday afternoon. He rode his bicycle from the southern tip of Argentina all the way up to his home in Kingwood. Eyewitness News talked to him just as he arrived, and it's a story you'll see only on ABC13.

Cyclist Patrick Swift finished an amazing journey with his family and friends cheering him on as he returned home.

"I had problems. I'm shaking," he said. "But I had problems with the tire. I knew I was gonna get a flat."

Eleven months ago, Patrick started riding his bike, named Lucille, from the southern tip of Argentina to Kingwood.

"When he said he was going to Argentina to become fluent, I was like, 'Do you have rocks in your head?'" said his mother, Connie Swift.

Connie said her son could never pass Spanish so he wanted to go to South America to learn how to speak the language. The Swifts said Patrick shows tenacity for achieving any goal he sets.

"I said to go for it," said his brother, Terry Swift, who's a teacher. "I said I would never do it because I would be too scared, but Pat is the very adventurous type and I knew that he would be fine."

Patrick told us it was a great adventure and that he met a lot of great people during his trip.

"People wanting to hand me waters, handing me something to eat or something like that or inviting me down 'cause they wanted to talk to me later that night and have me meet all their family," he said.

Patrick said he never felt he was in any danger, but his mother was a nervous wreck during the days he was riding across Mexico.

"I was thinking he could have been kidnapped by drug lords, by gangs. He could have been beheaded," she said. "All sorts of horrible things were going through my mind."

But her son made it home safe and is happy to finish up the life changing ride.

"Great experience, just a great adventure that I've been on for a long, long time," Patrick Swift said.

Patrick Swift said his bike Lucille is in such bad shape he may never ride her again. He also said he most looked forward to having a glass of ice water and relaxing in his air-conditioned house.


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