Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Yorkshireman set to cycle to Iran to find his father after selling his body for charity

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

Add new comment


HarrogateSpa | 7 years ago
1 like

What are those drug trails then, do you get on your mountain bike, and pick up paracetomol from the side of the path as you go? But don't stop for too long when you're collecting pharmaceutical products, otherwise the viscous dogs will get you.

Cycle To Iran | 7 years ago
1 like

It's like wading through viscous dogs.

Gozzy | 7 years ago
1 like

Hebden, not Hebdon.

pockstone replied to Gozzy | 7 years ago

Gozzy wrote:

Hebden, not Hebdon.

...where the dogs really are viscous.

Latest Comments