My first few days in Nice have been great. Spent the first day getting set up with a French SIM card, some food for the apartment and re-building my bike after the flight, before heading out for a ride along the coast to Juan-les-Pins, where Sean’s wedding will be held. All went well until I reached Juan-les-Pins, at which point my rear derailleur stopped working. It was stuck in the hardest gear too and kept trying to shift completely off the cog. Not what you want when you’re 25km from home in a foreign country where you don’t know anyone. A guy in a car garage saw me messing around with it and offered to help, at which point my schoolboy French let me down. I assumed the cable had come loose, but I had no idea what pliers was in French, so when I tried to ask him if he had any pliers I was in fact asking him if he had folded himself??!! We managed to figure things out in the end though and at least lock the derailleur in an easier gear so I could ride home.
Once back in Nice, a quick trip to the bike shop revealed that the shifter mechanism was broken (dodgy baggage handling!) and needed replacement. Of course, no bike shop in Nice stocks SRAM, so I had to go with a new Shimano shifter, then, because Shimano and SRAM aren’t compatible, I had to pay for a new Shinamo rear derailleur as well. Given that there’s no way I was cycling in the Alps with only two gears, I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, so €210 later and the bike was good to go, though looking a bit unsightly due to the Shimano cables exiting out the side of the lever instead of being routed under the handlebar tape like SRAM.