I started doing cycle tours in 2005 with a Trek mountain bike (even though I only went on roads or gravel trails). For years, I just wanted to cover ground and see the sights, I was not into performance. Gradually, thanks to some good cycling friends, I began to get more into performance. In 2008 I upped my game by buying a Trek FX 2 fitness bike with Shimano SPD. Then in 2011, a watershed year, I bought my first road bike, a Scattante r670.
Longest tour ever - 42 days, 2000 miles in France (and Germany from Mainz to the border) in April-May 2007.
Longest distance ever - 115 miles around Lake Geneva in June 2011 (I never would have tried without your suggestion, Marcel! - "you really should know what it's like to cycle 180km")