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Adopted 56-year old from Hebdon Bridge sold his body to science & is set to ride 3,500 miles for charity while trying to find his biological dad

Yorkshireman Nick Shields has sold his belongings and taken part in clinical drug trails in the name of charity as he prepares for an unsupported 3,500 mile bike ride to Iran to find his biological father.

About 15 years ago Mr Shields, who was adopted at a young age, met his biological mother and discovered that his father was from Iran. Equipped with a name and a vague idea of his location, the 56-year old tried - in vain - to find his father, but has decided his best chance of success is to head over to Iran to look for him.

The decision to make this journey 15 years after discovering that his father lives in Iran came after Shields was "chucked out" of his flat.

Over on the soon-to-be cycle nomad's Just Giving page where he is raising money for Doctors Without Borders, he explains where the motivation to undertake this adventure came from. 

"I was wondering why getting chucked out of my flat wasn’t causing the expected urgent push to rehouse myself, despite... the looming spectre of homelessness. I began to reject the idea of committing to another spell inside yet another private, money-sapping let but had no idea initially what the alternatives might be," Mr Shields wrote.

"Something was cooking in my brain though and I didn’t have to wait long before the timer went PING! And the idea popped out that I was going to cycle to Iran."

Cycling was an element of this equation that materialised some time before Iran did. Motivated by a friend to spruce up a hardtail mountain bike and start losing weight, Mr Shields embarked on a quest to get fit which resulted in him buying a Orange Clockwork Pro and riding thousands of miles on it.

>Three-time transcontinental bike race champ talks bikes and equipment 

Now, Mr Shields appears to be preparing for his journey aboard a Surly touring bike, and with some help from Cycling UK he is feeling prepared for the journey ahead. When asked about the dangers he's concerned about facing, it wasn't trouble in the middle east, or getting lost, or having his bike stolen that Mr Shields spoke about.

"Dogs worry me a little bit," Mr Shields eplained. "Packs of dogs; I've heard how viscous they can be. I've seen pictures of wounds on people."

Despite the dangers, Mr Shields is still going ahead, and isn't only relying on the kindness of others to raise money for charity. 

Mr Shields began his fundraising venture by selling his own belongings as well as his body to science.

"I've been selling my body for medical science, taking part in clinical drug studies," Mr Shields told ITV News.

"The largest part of the funding has come from taking part in a couple of these trials."

Every penny that Mr Shields raises is set to go to humanitarian aid charity Doctors Without Borders.

Somewhat ambitiously, Mr Shields has only planned his trip as far as Germany, at which point he says he will take advice from fellow travelers on the best routes to access the middle east.

He's unsure at this point how long the journey will take him, but he says he will stay in touch via his blog, Youtube channel, Twitter account, and Instagram page

Elliot joined team road.cc bright eyed, bushy tailed, and straight out of university.

Raised in front of cathode ray tube screens bearing the images of Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong, Elliot's always had cycling in his veins.
His balance was found on a Y-framed mountain bike around South London suburbs in the 90s, while his first taste of freedom came when he claimed his father's Giant hybrid as his own at age 16.

When Elliot's not writing for road.cc about two-wheeled sustainable transportation, he's focussing on business sustainability and the challenges facing our planet in the years to come.