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Messages - RangerTom

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Gear Talk / Tandem Roof Top Rack
« on: August 28, 2008, 05:36:44 pm »
I am starting to shop for a roof top tandem hauling rack that will fit on my existing Yakima crossbar system. In addition to the Yakima product, I'm considering the Thule, ATOC, and RockyMounts tandem racks. If anyone has any experience/suggestions/tips on these or other racks I'd appreciate hearing from you. The rack will be used on a Toyota Van (or occassionally a VW Bus).

Along the same lines, has anyone seen any kind of rack setup on the interior of a van for bike hauling? The Toyota van has the 3rd row seats that fold flat into floor, the second row tilt forward or remove.  I was considering attempting to build up some kind of system (removable)for single bikes or the tandem (The tandem actually can fit in the van standing up without removing the wheel by carefully squeezing it between the two 2nd row seats). I would consider a setup that requires removing front wheels and using the fork mounting brackets that are sold for applications such as pickup truck beds.

Thanks in advance for any ideas


Gear Talk / Search for new Rain Jacket
« on: August 28, 2008, 05:09:13 pm »
Thanks for all the responses. I ended up purchasing the Showers Pass Touring Jacket through Adventure Cycling. Looks like a very nice product - I'll report back on how it works out if we ever get rain again in our Sierra foothills region. Thanks Again

Gear Talk / Search for new Rain Jacket
« on: July 26, 2008, 12:51:14 am »
Hello Everyone,

I've been watching for a cycling rain jacket to replace my 30 year old Early Winters goretex jacket. I've had my eye on the Showers Pass jackets sold by ACA and wondered if anyone had any comments on these or any other jacket they really like. I'm partial to breathable fabrics after my good experience with the Early Winters used for a lot of cycling in addition to backpacking, skiing and general outdoor use.

Sounds like the Showers Elite version might be a bit more trim, I might prefer one with a little more room (sounds like the case with the Showers Touring). Also the Elite uses eVent fabric, the Touring uses Artex.  

Looking forwards to hearing any suggestions - I think ACA has a sale on their store items until the end of the month!  

Thanks - Tom

Routes / Wester Express Conditions?
« on: May 15, 2008, 05:21:41 pm »
Hi Scott. Called the local forest service office and was surprised to find that Mormon Emigrant Trail road is still closed.  Their phone number is 510-644-2324 for further updates. Sorry if my post was somewhat misleading, with the snow conditions that I had seen in the rest of the region I errantly was overly optimistic in what to expect for Mormon Emigrant.


Routes / Wester Express Conditions?
« on: May 14, 2008, 08:14:23 pm »
Scott, Just saw your post - was'nt sure if you are on the road yet or got the answers to your questions. I was in the Sierras around Lake Tahoe about five days ago - amazingly little snow for this time of year! Carson and Monitor Pass are open.

I live not far from Placerville and might be able to provide an overnight stop. Contact me at if you wish.

Have a great ride, Tom

General Discussion / Eating on Tour
« on: May 29, 2008, 03:10:26 pm »
Groundhog- thanks for getting this topic started.

We've typically carried a package of Ramen, small can stewed tomatoes, and small can shredded chicken as our standby meal if we miss hitting a grocer or restuarant for an evening meal. When we can add fresh veggies,cheese, fresh rolls or tortillas and butter then we've got a bonus meal. Pretty standard deal but good any time.

Now here's a good one. I awoke one morning during a short cool weather trip when I had a couple eggs, Maple/Brown sugar instant outmeal (the "always carry some/breakfast backup"), and leftover butter. Deciding I wanted to use it up, I fired up the SVEA stove, melted the butter and browned the outmeal. Then threw in the eggs and scrambled them in. YIKES!!!!  was that ever delicious. Its like dessert - really! It's now referred to as Dad's Camping Surprise.

Just thinking of doing this post got my mouth watering so I made a quick serving - still delicious. One egg with one package of instant oatmeal works well. We can buy 1/2 dozen eggs and a stick of butter to haul when temps are going to be cool.  Found that it's handy to carry one or two of those Glad or Ziplock type sealable sandwich sized boxes. They're real light and fit pretty well in a bag when the tops are off. There great for pulling out to haul anything you pickup and don't want to crush in transit such as a sandwich, that fresh pastry you come across that you want to save for a later treat, eggs, grapes, etc.  

So tourists, try out the Camping Surprise and lets see some more good road meal ideas!



General Discussion / Western Express -- When to leave?
« on: May 14, 2008, 07:50:48 pm »
Just came across your post, don't know if you're on the road yet. I live along your route near Placerville. I may be around to provide an overnight spot. If you care to contact me, e-mail at  Best wishes on the adventure!


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