The bike is currently being converted so the Rohloff hub works with a heavy duty chain as apposed to the Gates carbon belt. It is with Cyclesense in Leeds at this time who are carrying out all the work, and who are also including service, tyres and tubes, bottom bracket and other things, and it will be ready for collection shortly. I will then be giving it some working in before I return to France at the end of Feb and hopefully at the end of the worst of the winter weather.
I have arranged car hire from here in Liverpool to Dover, then a ferry across the channel and a night in Calais before picking up another car and driving across France to Marseille where I have another night in digs. I might even try to see if I can get those nights with Warmshowers hosts, I will have to look into that as that would be really interested, having never done that before.
I continue my tour from the point I left off before the bike problems. It will then be a couple of short days cycling over a few hills to Toulon where my ferry will take me over to Alghero in Sardinia on March 4th.
I was going to fly from Liverpool to Marseille, but as I'm not in that much of a rush I want my bike to arrive in one piece for its first return to the tour. I am aware that at some point I will have to send the bike by air, but while I don't have to, I won't.
I was originally planning to follow the coast around from Marseille to Livorno, but after doing a little investigating, I would love to visit Sardinia and Corsica in March when the spring flowers start to appear. I am told it is beautiful and will make for some great photographs.
I will cycle across Sardinia to Olbia and up to Santa Teresa Gallura. Then its a short ferry ride to Bonifacio in the south of Corsica, followed by a good few days cycling up to Bastia in the north, before getting a ferry to Livorno and mainland Italy. A total of around 420 km's through Sardinia and Corsica, and if weather permits it should be wonderful.
From Livorno its over to Pisa, before following the coast down through Rome and Naples. I will likely have some time to chill in Rome for a week or so maybe. Remember, I reserve the right to change anything at any time :)