What is Weeklong Support?
What all is included in PBV's Weeklong Support in 2017?
Here's a general list of inclusions to tell you what we do for Weeklong Porkers (and for those who prorate the week with us). A few items like massage and laundry are optional, reasonably priced, and extremely convenient to have available right in your campsite; however, most of the features listed below are simply included at no additional cost to you. There's nothing basic about it, but here's what you can expect with Pork Belly's "basic" Weeklong Support:
- Baggage transport from host town to host town (standard with any charter)
- Excellent, well-appointed, spacious RESERVED campsites
- PBV Locations on a laminated card at check-in
- Team Shirt, poly-dri, design to be announced. Be sure to include your shirt size when you apply online at www.pkbelly.com.
- New in 2013, an improved Juice Thingy Trailer for charging electronic devices. This new trailer is under construction now, and will provide lockable compartments with electrical outlets inside. You'll be able to lock up your iPhone so that nobody can take it by mistake. We hope to have a few larger compartments for tablets, too. Charging is available 24 hours.
- New in 2012, our Royal Flush, the restroom trailer, with flushing toilets and urinals, sinks and soap-dispensers, mirrors and lights, so much better than a kybo!
- Your Daily Shower and Towel. Pork Belly Ventures provides hot, private showers in camp. The shower trailers are air-conditioned, and you'll find soap and shampoo dispensers in every stall. Your PBV wristband admits you to the shower, so yes, you may take more than one a day if you like!
- Old-fashioned, delicious Iowa root beer floats sometime during the week, probably more than once.
- Our Open-Air Living Rooms (huge shady circus tents) with chairs and a misting system to refresh you
- Our friendly Front Desk crew, ready to direct you to showers, kybos, and local amenities
- Hot Coffee We start brewing at 4:30 a.m., three gallons of Dunkin' Donuts every eight minutes. Help yourself! Hot chocolate and hot tea, too.
- Ice-cold beverages, some free and some cheap, about 90 cents each
- Three Delicious Suppers in Camp. We aim for nutritious and delicious menus provided by the best local caterers. After our May scouting trips, we'll give you this year's menus.
- Massage! Seven or eight therapists this year, strong and superb, working in camp (additional charge). No fluff-and-buff, here. Expect a deep-tissue, athletic massage.
- Professional Bike Mechanics, great guys and girls, set up in camp daily from 3:00 p.m. on to help you with minor repairs.
- PBV's Midweek Laundry Service (optional, extra charge) We'll take your stuff from wet and smelly to dry, fresh, and folded.
- Shower Thingy This table, plumbed with five spigots, is equipped with a mirror and a wringer for your bike shorts. Fill water bottles, shave, brush your teeth. This Thingy is available in the morning until 7:00 a.m.
- Pump Thingy, a special compressor and pressure regulator to make pumping your tires a breeze.
- Free weeklong storage of your hard-shell bike case or bike box-$20 value, free to weeklong Porkers.
- Luxury SAG Service Details below, additional charge.
- More than fifty friendly, able-bodied, can-do crew members (not including bike mechanics or massage therapists) to help, comfort, and revive you.
- Other Needs: come to the equipment truck and ask for a band-aid, a plastic cup, a hammer for your tent stakes, whatever. During the waking hours, there is always an available crew member or crew chief to answer your questions or help you. We always have three or more paramedics on our crew. If you don't know who to ask, start at the front desk.
- Around 30 informative email updates to help you plan and prepare
- PBV Host-Town Maps sent to you in PDF format, showing our campsites in relationship to other amenities, with GeoBike Elevation Statistics for each RAGBRAI day
- Prompt answers to your questions on email and by phone
- Our comprehensive June Letter with virtually all the info you need in one document
- New in 2012, the Pork Belly App for Smartphones, to help you learn more about our charter and RAGBRAI before the ride, with useful tools like route maps and host-town maps during the ride
- A compilation of Tips for First-Timers from our RAGBRAI Veterans
- An opportunity to ship your bike through SendMyBike.com to PBV in Iowa
- Several May scouting trips to host towns to reserve great campsites
- Upon arrival, mechanical assistance with uncrating your bike and getting it road ready
At the end of RAGBRAI:
- Packaging of your bike to ship home--just hand it over (additional charge, see below)
- A special FedEx receiving area right in our camp at the end town for shipped bikes
- A fond-farewell letter that recounts the week's highlights
- An audio-visual memento of our week together
- *Each town's host committee has the final say on shower venders. It's possible that a town may prefer that we use another vender. When we scout in early May, we'll make arrangements in each town, and in any case, every Porker will receive a daily shower from PBV.
Do I need that much support? Well, you might like it. Most of our clients have grown to appreciate more support. They want to focus on enjoying each day's ride. They depend on us for the lively little Pork village that they can call home within the throng of RAGBRAI. Our Weeklong Support could mean the difference between a complicated, exhausting bike trip and a carefree athletic adventure. This is your vacation after all, and we hope we don't seem immodest when we say that the extra $200 you spend for our Weeklong Support (as opposed to a typical baggage service) could be the best money you spend all week.
We have clients of all ages, but we're particularly proud of those in their late sixties and their seventies, who regularly make RAGBRAI a part of their summer. These folks appreciate our level of support, as do our clients who are dealing with some kind of medical challenge. We can refrigerate medication. We have three licensed paramedics on our crew. We provide a comfortable (and legal) option for sagging on any given day of RAGBRAI.
But maybe you actually don't need that much support, and hey, there are many great ways to do this ride. If price is the main consideration, you can find any number of good lower-priced options, though that will probably mean spending more of your afternoons and evenings scouting the overnight towns for things you need--your shower, a bike mechanic, a snack, a meal, a cold drink, a shady place to sit and meet other RAGBRAIers, an electrical outlet, a massage, perhaps some entertainment.