My bike got a little knocked around on the flight from Melbourne to Nice.
Nothing too serious, one of the gear / brake levers was broken. Easy to fix, you just need the parts.
Surely in a cycling obsessed country this is a minor problem. You wish.
Sunday was out – nearly every shop is closed, and anyway I went to Grasse to watch the TdF.
Yesterday morning after a quick google, I found a cycle shop in nearby Cannes, put the bike in the car, fired up the GPS and off we went.
Except it was a MOTORcycle shop, and the only BIcycle shop he knew of was closed on Mondays. We found another shop in his yellow pages and headed off. 45 minutes later and 5 km up the road (have I mentioned the traffic yet?) we arrived to find it was closed on Mondays.
Later in the day I tracked down an open bike shop, near Grasse, maybe 10 km away. Off I went. They were open (I'd checked first), but they only stock Shimano parts and I ride Campagnolo.
They suggested another place, 15 minutes away in Pegomas who should be able to help, but they were – wait for it – closed on Mondays (and why not, I'd like to have Mondays off).
So Monday repairs were out of the question.
We headed off first thing this morning – well, the on holidays in France version of first thing, about 9:45 – to the shop in Pegomas. He was happy to fix it, but it would take a week as he didn't have the parts and would have to get them from the distributor. He suggested a shop in Cannes that might be able to help (it was the one we'd driven past yesterday that was closed) and off we went.
Same story, happy to help, but didn't have the parts. And very kindly called a shop in Le Cannet (5 km, 25 mins away) who – wonderful – had the parts!!!
This was the shop the motorcycle shop had suggested.
We arrived, and yes they were very happy to help. It will be ready tomorrow afternoon. No chance of today? I was given the Gallic version of "sorry mate, we're flat out" along with a shrug for good measure.
So I'll pick it up tomorrow after lunch.
And I'll be adding a gear / brake lever set to my travel kit.
Yes, I think Inspector Clouseau would be pleased.