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Without going back to the sites I looked at, I know one thing I thought about was maintenence -- I'll be taking a bike maintenance class at my local shop, but I'll be starting from almost zero knowledge
If you start with a bike in good condition, everything adjusted and tuned to perfection, then you can almost forget about working on the bike during a summer long trip.
I certaintly like the looks of the Space Horse better, but I'm not fond of the build kit on the complete bike. I'll probably ride both, along with a Vaya, and see which I like better. I'm not sure if I'll love or hate the disc brakes. I do wish the Vaya had a triple with bar ends instead of the double with Apex brifters. I'm not crazy about the rest of the parts spec on the Vaya 3 (Sora triple crank, Microshift bar ends, lower-end wheels), or I'd just get it.
I'll check it out...definitely burning some extra miles going to the parkway, but it's also a beautiful ride I'd like to do, as well.
Any recommendations on training? I'm going to be very busy this fall, but this winter, I'll bring the bike inside, get a stand and try to do an hour a day 3-4 times a week. Anyone have ideas on what training should look like. I didn't train much for the AT, which wasn't a problem because there were plenty of stumps to stop and take a breath on while hiking. I'm thinking I probably need to be in better shape for the TA.
I have thought that a light weight road bike would serve me better on my daily rides (I have an old aluminum Raleigh hybrid....but average only 14-16 mph on my 40-55 mile rides and see many people with true road bikes going quite a bit faster and thought I would need a better bike to get involved with group rides and week long tours.
The LHT is just too heavy for me, considering maybe 10% of my miles will be lightly loading touring.