I had a tour ruined by broken spokes once. I've been paranoid ever since.
On my current bike I decided to try my hand at building my own wheels. I followed the directions on Sheldon's Brown's website. I used 36-spoke Mavic 719 rims, LX hubs (I think), and double-butted spokes. I used a tensionmeter and bought a truing stand. Before my recent tour I took the rear wheel to my local mechanic for inspection. He said I had done pretty well, except that it was a tiny bit out of round. He pronounced it ready to tour. On my 500-mile tour with a big load I encountered some rough pavement, potholes, etc. and never broke a spoke. Yay!
But now I'm wondering about next year. My plans are to ride a 1000-mile portion of the Lewis and Clark route, including 29 miles on gravel over the Lemhi Pass. I'm wondering if I'd be pushing my luck to use the same wheel without any kind of rebuild first.
What would you do? All advice welcome. Thanks!