Def try these before you decide.
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I think you are fretting too much about completing a set route when the value of the experience lies in the journey itself. Often getting to the end point is really anti-climactic, and the high points come in the most unexpected moments. While some people might stress the physical training part, I really think that an epic ride is much more of a mental thing. The road never really ends, you just decide when to stop. So my advice is prepare as best that you can, but learn to take it one day at a time after you start off, relax, enjoy, and get something out of it.