Pretty good advice overall.
First, take everything I say in the context of a fool who didn’t train much at all before heading out on a massive tour. My training ended up being the beginning of the trip, and I don’t feel I was in shape until at least a month in. My first week was kind of terrible, so make sure you don’t do what I did!
note: sorry everything here is metric. divide by 1.6 to get distances in miles.
So training. The first month of my tour I did 40-60km each day with a rest day ever six or seven days, once taking two days off. The terrain was pretty flat for the first few days, and then mountains the rest of the month. This worked out great - I quickly got in shape and while I didn’t increase my distances much in the first month, the moment I broke out into the prairies I was able to do 100km every day. Note that while this worked out great for my muscles, my knees took a real beating on the downhills.
Clothing. Half the tour I wore underwear with cycling pants intended to go over top of cycling shorts, and the other half I rode mountain bike cycling shorts (cycling shorts with thin baggy shorts over top)… with underwear on. Just recently I found out you’re not supposed to wear underwear with cycling shorts. To think of the pain that could have saved me! My first week was very rough, to the point where at one point on one day I could only ride maybe 300m at a time without dismounting and walking a few steps. That said, I’m sure a lot of it was in my head and I should have pushed harder, but it wasn’t comfortable. I used some “Gold Bond” powder or something for a while but wasn’t sure if it was actually doing anything. Didn’t feel like it. My point: ride lots and for distances in the saddle, and if you use bike shorts make sure to wear them properly.
Otherwise, cotton socks and cotton t-shirts! ha, when it was hot I was soaked and my feet were always soaked. Definitely a bad call. I’m just starting to buy better clothing…
Handlebar: I would call a handlebar key. I just got mine before I left, and actually the whole trip was revolving around being able to get it, and if it hadn’t worked out I would have quit and gone home. I did another (short) tour a few years ago without one. It was not fun.
When I started with my T-7, it felt like I was giving up control in favour of comfort. Now I find it frustrating to ride a 36 at all without a handlebar. It’s different: I would definitely not call it giving up control now, it’s a change of how you can control the unicycle. You are much more securely on the thing with the two extra contact-points, and it can give a lot of extra leverage when you really need to dig into the pedal. I can also ride standing up while holding on the bars, great for uphills or just taking weight off the saddle. Also, if you get the T-7, make sure to get some handlebar extension things that you can attach to the ends that will stick down. I find the T-7 to be a terrible fit for me as-is. I just got the new KH T-Bar and I love it. Would definitely recommend it. Just need to figure out how to make it carry water…
Roads/Traffic. Get a mirror. They stick onto your helmet and you can see behind you without doing a shoulder check. Shoulder-checks and ears are great, but believe me, on the open road this is much much better. I don’t use mine around town but wouldn’t think about another tour without one.
And don’t race the whole time either. Take it easy, relax. Look around yourself and enjoy it!
Sorry this post ended up being a bit long. Hope some of it is useful anyway