First, thank you all for being so forthcoming with such sage advice as I've found many great tips and ideas by just perusing some stickies and random threads that catch my eye. OK, now that the niceties are out of the way, I need some opinions...
I've got alot of questions but I'll start with the most important issue first. I've got 2 bikes that I'm considering taking a short 2-3 day tour with (to try it out) followed by a longer week-long tour later. I'm trying to decide which is the better suited steed...
About me: I'm 27 yrs old, in good shape, and adventurous. I bike commute to work on the Trek carrying ~10 lbs. in a pannier about 4 days/week on not-too-hilly country roads.
About my intended touring locale: I plan to leave from and return to my doorstep just north of Austin, TX. I haven't planned anything yet but I'm thinking about heading down towards the Bastrop area for my short try-out tour and maybe around San Antonio-ish for my longer trek. I plan to stay on paved roads but sometimes GoogleMaps can be misleading.
Here are the candidates:
1) 1992 Trek 1420 Aluminum road bike
This is my regular commuter bike for an 18 mile round-trip commute w/ one pannier ~4 days/week
Frame is a little small for me but it works ok (frame is 56cm...I need 58cm)
Triple road chainrings and 7 speed cassette
Stock configuration plus a rear rack and SPD pedals
Currently running 700x23 Continental Gatorskin tires
2) early 90s GT Talera rigid chro-mo MTB
Recently picked it up on Craig's List and gave it a good clean/lube/tune
Currently using it as my "around town" bike
Frame is the right size for me (20")
Triple MTB chainrings and 7-speed cassette
Stock configuration plus a rear rack (have spare SPD pedals I can install)
Currently running 26x1.75 Kenda smooth-ish tires (I only see K-Shield on the sidewall, no model name)
Thank you for your thoughts!