Cycling to Iran to find my family

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Nick Shields, a 56-year-old cycling enthusiast from Hebden Bridge, is raising funds for an epic ride to Iran in the hope to find his family.

Mr Shields was put up for adoption as a baby and raised by his adopted parents, of whom he doesn’t have contact with anymore.

His real father, Hamid Hamidi, was born and grew up in Persia and was in London when he met Mr Shields’ mother.

His father soon became out of the picture when Mr Shields’ mother became pregnant.

Mr Shields, began his plan to cycle to Iran by selling his business and moving out of his home to pursue the idea of finding his birth father’s family.

He said: “I’ve always had a very rebellious streak and a curiousity to find out where I hailed from.

“When I visited Israel once I felt a sense of belonging and the idea to cycle to Iran just came out of a ridiculous motion, but my friends were all very supportive and thought it was a great idea.

“My father would most likely be deceased as he would be in his 90s by now but I know I would have a large family and I think they’d be pleased to here from me.”

Mr Shields is also undertaking the journey to keep active and lose weight after being seriously overweight in previous years.

He said: “Two to three years ago I was heading down hill massively and my friends were very concerned.

“I’m now a lot healthier than I was, I cycle sometimes everyday and people even say I look younger!”

As well raising money to fund the journey Mr Shields will be raising money for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) helping people worldwide delivering emergency aid.

“I have to make sure the money I have lasts the journey there and back and people have been astonishingly supportive.

“There’s people I’ve met on Facebook from Iran I want to meet and places I want to see.”

The cycle to Iran is approximately 3614 miles, Mr Shields said: “I don’t have any great expectations I’m just staying real about it, but I dont want people to think I’ll never do it.

“It’s a lot of pressure.”

Mr Shields will begin his journey at the end of June.