Last year I decided that since I live in Moab, I should try this Mountain Biking thing and bought myself a Windsor Cliff29er Pro (see specs herehttp://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cliff29pro.htm ). I'm a pretty big guy at about 300lbs (working on getting skinnier, hence the bike), so I opted for a hardtail, hoping that the front suspension and larger tires would help smooth out the ride enought to keep me interested while still being fairly efficient, and it seems to be a good setup for me.
However, I'm finding that I'm not so much interested in the technical mtn. biking, and more interested in touring, and while I'd eventually like to buy a dedicated road touring rig, I'd like to start taking some trips on the local backroads. I could really use some advice on how to setup my bike for those kind of trips. I'm sure most of my miles on the bike will end up being pavement, but I'd like a tire that will work decently off-road, too. I also have a problem with flats, both pinch-flats and thorns!
So I guess what I'm asking is, what would you recommend as far as tubes/tires, racks, and panniers, for a fat guy on a budget How would you set up a bike, and why? Can I even set up a bike to carry me, some overnight supplies, and a gallon or two of water and expect to make it 50 miles down a road (dirt or otherwise), without messing stuff up?
Thanks a ton