I've occasionally found myself clicking into this forum from a Google search on basic bike maintenance, but never considered joining until now. "Now" being the moment after my wife and I decided to bike across America this summer, and it became clear that we're woefully out of our depth in trying to pick appropriate gear.
I'm not quite a total novice - I bike to work virtually daily here in Washington, DC. But that's a short ride, and the longest I've gone was 80 miles door-to-door the day I tackled the Washington Area Bicycling Association's "50 States Ride", which covers all of DC's state-named streets. It's a great ride if you ever get the chance. For me, building on a previous longest-ride of barely 40 miles, it was grueling.
So that's that. I'm off to post a question about what seems to be a timeless feud between the Trek 520 and Surly LHT (among others). Any and all touring tips will be devoured and appreciated!