Members of this forum helped me finding a Cyclocross bike for long distance touring on unpaved trails.
I got a Stevens CF bike with Ultegra components and have been biking on the intended trails for 2,000 miles in the last few months.
I am happy to report that the selection and purchase was a success. I am an older biker and searching for fitness and joy out of biking. This bike does that. It is awesome on rough trails and allows me to bike fast and far. My speed is probably not as fast as some of you racers but I am happy when I get 17 MPH average on a bumpy trail in Wisconsin.
We will be doing the Reedsburg to Trempealeau trails soon. That will be 2 x 100 miles in 2 days.
I do regularly the Sugar River Trail in Wisconsin and the Little Miami Trail in Ohio. That one is 130 miles round trip from Springfield to Cincinnati in one day.
The Stevens bike excels on very rough surfaces at high speed. Above 20 MPH. The bike feels very stable and the ceramic bearings, Mavic wheels, CF frame and Ultegra components come all together to make a fun ride.
Many thanks to "meanwhile", "pharding", billydon", and others who helped with this selection. Appreciated.