Your welcome for the correction. ;-)
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This is necessary not only for building your leg strength, but also for building endurance in your butt, back, neck, triceps, etc.
The Ortlieb website specificly says not to use their cable system with fiber bars.
You really do not need to carry more for a tour that length than for a shorter one.
Good shorts help prevent chafing
You're better off with more spokes. If one of the 24 spokes breaks, the wheel will be unusable. It will rub the brake pads. And it likely takes special spoke wrenches so regular DT ones won't work. And it will be about impossible to find a replacement spoke. The wheels are a liability.