Sammer is a (relatively speaking) newbie. Started biking 4 years ago out of necessity/curiosity when we became a 1-car family, kids all growed up and gone bye-bye.
On a whim, went to city bike auction, picked up a Sears Special from $65 (the Cast-Iron Express). Started with occasional commutes, good weather only. Then was in Calgary AB one day with a bike-fanatic type buddy, next thing you know, I own bike gloves. The bug bit slowly, but never let go. New helmet, shorts, saddle, computer, suspension seatpost and stem, lights, fenders all followed with ever-increasing frequency.
My first year did maybe 400-500K, now averaging 2000-2500K without any touring. DId my first MS150 2 years ago, what a blast. Will do MS150s this year with any luck. Also did my first season of winter biking this year. First day was -35C plus windchill = -49C.
Picked up a Bicycle mag. Asked around about touring, someone sent me to the Adventure Cycling site. Butter my forehead, I'm toast! Read all I could find about frames, components, pedals etc etc.
As indicated in my posts, ready to buy, TREK520 is #1 on my list. Spent a morning in United Cycle in Edmonton AB with a shop rat named Sid. Great guy, great shop, great advice. Thanks for your patience Sid. I may go back there to buy.
Not sure what first big ride will be, maybe the Golden triangle? Not here on prairies, too boring. Shakedown tour could be to Whiteshell and back, 400K. Am a senior guy at work, have already booked all of June and September off. hoo hoo
Scotland in September sounds super.