I am almost finished with the semester, and am getting ready to start my ride. Thanks so much again for all your help.
After weighing your advice, I have decided I'll be taking my carbon bike on the tour, brifters and all. I will, however, be putting on new wheels. I'm having a pair of 36-spokers built from scratch. And: road tires. After 2000 miles my CX tires are bald as slicks anyway; time I took the hint
I've still got a few decisions to make. OMM v Thule, as far as racks; whether I want to swap in a new saddle, or just pad the one I'm wearing; stick with MTB clips, or go three-prong. Also I'm waiting until the last minute to buy a sleeping-bag, so I can see what sort of whether to expect. (Still snow on the ground here in Portland, Maine. Yeesh.)
But everything, really, is falling into place.
I'll be blogging the ride at daxelaudax.wordpress.com. I've also been blogging the decisions I've made about Stuff - which tent I picked, which multitool, all that fun stuff. If yer interested.
I swear that this ride - prepping for it, dreaming of it - is the only thing that's gotten me through my first year of law school. Best decision I've ever made.
-david axel kurtz