VENTURA, Calif. - Stephen Swift is back in the saddle and ready to finish his very last leg of his charity cancer ride, after having to postpone it following an attack at Emma Wood State Campground.
“A little over 20,000 miles, 43 states, 3 countries all by bicycle,” said Swift.
The two-time cancer survivor has had to deal with many road blocks along the way; including everything from a flat tire, to having his bike stolen and most recently being attacked while sleeping at Emma Wood State Campground back in April 2017.
“I was attacked at 3 o’clock in the morning when someone tried to steal my bike. I got out of my tent and I confronted the person not knowing that other people were there and I started getting beaten with a rock,” said Swift.
The attack left Swift with a broken shoulder and several stitches. Unable to ride he was forced to put his journey on pause. When NewsChannel 3’s Kelsey Gerckens interviewed Swift back in April he planned on returning to Ventura in the fall to finish his journey, but after a couple weeks at home, he could no longer wait.
Swift contacted Saint Joseph Church in Carpinteria, who had been storing his bike and belongings and told them he was ready to come back. The church bought him a one-way train ticket back to California and helped him get back to Emma Wood State Campground to start where he left off.
“I owe so many people so much, just for believing in me, you know, and it is really important for me to finish and I need to finish for myself too, and I keep telling people never give up, never give in and always go forward and if I don’t eat those words myself then the ride isn’t whole so I have to,” said Swift.
Swift plans to arrive at his final destination in Portland, Oregon in a couple weeks.