Pork Belly Ventures Update #10: Beginning Again!

November 27, 2020

Dear Friends,
We sincerely hope that you and your families are safe and well. We and our families--our crew and their families--are all doing fine. There's nothing like a worldwide pandemic to put things in perspective. When our loved ones are healthy, regardless of everything else, life is good.
You all probably have your own favorite 2020 memes. Here's a screenshot of ours, the line graph of Relative Importance before and after Covid. Some versions of this meme have lines representing toilet paper and bra use, which really didn't change for us. From our perspective, this graph is missing the "bicycling" and the "gin-and-tonic" lines, which both made a sharp upturn in early April, and our "Know-What-To-Do-Next" line took a dive parallel to the yellow "shaving" line shown above.
In other words, our work-life almost ground to a halt. But we gleaned a few things during those quiet months. In the stillness of 2020, we questioned some of our assumptions and took a fresh look at our whole operation. Our perspective shifted. New possibilities took shape. That's what we have salvaged from this year, and in spite of the 2020 stillness--or maybe because of it--several new possibilities have grown in exciting new directions.

A BIG FIRST: Social Media
In our 28 years, despite many puzzled looks and questions ("You're not on Facebook?") we had never gotten with the social-media program. We weren't big users, didn't have time, didn't see a need. Until now.
We're novices, but we have great help. Together, we're brainstorming lots of ways to stay engaged with our riders on all kinds of fun topics through FB, Twitter, and more!
  • Please FIND us at the links below.
  • Please LIKE us.
  • FOLLOW us.
  • SHARE us with your cycling pals, and
  • ALLOW us to send you notifications.
Pork Belly Ventures is now on these platforms:
If you're green like us, you might like a short video about how to be sure you can receive notifications from Pork Belly Ventures:

Our most recent project is a thorough update and reorganization of our website. It's happening pretty quickly, and the end result will be compatible with all devices, offering easy navigation and exploration, new functionality, and a great new look! All in time for you to peruse and sign up for 2021 rides. Our plan is to send an update in a week--next Friday--directing you to our new site.

First-Time Creative Videos. Lots of Them.
Our good friend, Pat Rainey, is teaching us the virtues of video. It's a quick, easy, and entertaining way of communicating with our friends. It's been our pleasure to have Pat and his cameras and drones on the Katy Trail rides, out at Pork World Headquarters, and on our beautiful Wabash Trace, right here in our backyard. It was Pat's idea to animate our PBV Logo. We're all contributing ideas for pithy videos in the future! Take a look at this one:
Creating Our Own Rides
For 27 years, PBV has made life easier and more fun for cyclists on bike rides across the Midwest. But we didn't host our own ride until this year, when about 80 riders joined us for the Missouri Double Cross. Eureka! We've had ourselves an epiphany, and plans are in the works for four PBV-Sponsored rides in 2021:
  • May 21-24, Birds & Bees Bike Ride on the Wabash Trace
  • July 6-13, we're working on a north/south double-cross trail ride--a micro-ride, limited to 60 people or so--on the gorgeous Mickelson Trail in South Dakota
  • August 29-Sept 8, a reprise of The Missouri Double Cross on the Katy Trail
  • September 17-19, Tire Swing, a three-day clover-leaf tour with both gravel and paved options. Our home base is a beautiful historic farm in Southwest Iowa.
And of course, on each of these rides, the Pork Infrastructure and our wonderful Pork Crew will create the comfort, convenience, and right-at-home vibe that you've come to expect from PBV. More coming soon on all of our events.
PBV on Midwestern Bike Tours
Some of you are accustomed to joining us on long-established rides in Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, and other Midwestern states. With the blessing of each tour director, we offer a variety of services--hot showers, morning coffee, phone-charging, rental tents, our mobile bunkhouses (PHAT Rooms) and more. We're in the process now of putting together our 2021 calendar of events. Please watch for it in a week.
(it goes without saying) RAGBRAI,
July 25-31, 2021!
Most of you know that Pork Belly Ventures grew up on RAGBRAI, the granddaddy of all state bike rides, right here in our home state. But did you know that long before we ever dreamed of something called Pork Belly Ventures, we rode RAGBRAI, river to river, starting in (gulp) 1984. For me, Tammy, that is 36 RAGBRAIs in a row, eleven on a bicycle and the rest with Pork Belly Ventures, every July for half my life, without missing one.
Well, we really missed it this year, friends. The spectacle, the camaraderie, the accomplishment of it, and the cornball humor. But we're in touch with our friends at RAGBRAI. In fact, they accepted our invitation, traveled to southwest Iowa, and rode the lovely Wabash Trace with us early this month.
BELOW Left to Right: Dave Kennedy of PBV, RAGBRAI Ride Director Dieter Drake, RAGBRAI Marketing Director Anne Lawrie, Dillon Klabunde of PBV, Tammy Pavich of PBV, video producer Pat Rainey, and Pete Phillips of PBV.
Best. Day. Ever.
On a warm November Friday, we mixed work and play, exploring the Wabash Trace with Dieter, Anne, and Pat.
First thing, we met up in Minden--at Pork World Headquarters. It's unusual to set-up our trailers in November, but George and the guys did a great job, so that we could take a tour of Pork Equipment. The rest of the day, we devoted to our little group ride on the Trace, with support from Dave and Dillon. We had lunch al fresco from the Classic Cafe in Malvern, our southern turn-around point. Malvern's slogan is "Artfully Growing," and public art is everywhere--in tree sculptures, bicycle art, murals, and even a new art gallery in a charming old church building.
Anne and I rode shorter miles, so we met the guys back at the trailhead parking lot with a few beers and snacks. We ended our day with great conversation over dinner in Council Bluffs.
We can tell you that Dieter and Anne are moving full-steam ahead with their work on RAGBRAI 2021. The overnight towns are eager to host the ride, and given recent news about vaccinations coming in the spring, all of us are resuming where we left off with our planning for the best week of the year.
ABOVE and BELOW: Dillon ordered a very tall burger from the Classic Cafe in Malvern. Pat interviewed Dieter and Anne in front of a Malvern mural.
ABOVE: Riding the Wabash has been great therapy in the year 2020! This mural can be found in beautiful downtown Malvern, Iowa, along the Wabash Trace Nature Trail. The bike-tree sculpture and other tree sculptures line the streets of this arty little town.
We're grateful to our friends for coming quite a distance to spend a carefree day with us on the Wabash Trace.
Coming Friday, Dec, 4: A Calendar of 2021 Events
Our immediate purpose today is to let you know about our social media plunge and to catch up with you in general. But we understand the you may have questions about RAGBRAI, our new rides, and our whole calendar of events.
Pete has been talking with ride directors, and before long, we'll have every ride we serve on a calendar, and we'll share it with you in our next update, Friday, December 4.
Of course, we're building informational pages at our new site on each and every ride. And in the meantime, friends, your questions are welcome. Shoot us an email: tammy@pkbelly.com and pete@pkbelly.com.
The extremely good news about several successful vaccines sure does lift our spirits, as we're sure it lifts yours. For the safety of our elderly parents, to ease the anxiety that's in the air, and of course, in hopes of a whole spring/summer/fall season of bicycle adventures with all of you, we pray for a swift end to this crisis.
This holiday season, we wish you health and happiness, friends, and we hope it won't be long until we can welcome you to Pork Camp again. Until next time, we remain,
Your friends,
Tammy and Pete
And the PBV Team
Questions? Contact us:
Pete: pete@pkbelly.com, 402-681-2613 c
Tammy: tammy@pkbelly.com, 808-375-8921 c
Fond Memories of the Katy Trail,
It's our custom to include a little scrapbook at the end of an update,
and we invite you to look back at the Katy Trail with us.
ABOVE: This group of girlfriends shared some great pics of their week! Thanks, Ralyn and all!
RIGHT: Alicia, aka Trumpet Chick, joined us during Big BAM on the Katy in September/October. We loved her reveille in the morning, taps at sundown, and other fun tunes! Thanks, Alicia!
ABOVE: We appreciated our generous beer sponsor on BBK!
RIGHT: Neat Jersey!
ABOVE: Oven-fired pizza right in camp at Sedalia. Donna never stopped helping us all week! And Dillon is always among the heavy lifters of PBV.
ABOVE: Mike on the Front Desk--that's Greg beside him. Greg was cold and wore his balaclava all day!
RIGHT: Dougie having a Laugh-In moment.
BELOW: Christo and Alicia struck a pose for me outside our breakfast spot in Boonville, right next to camp.
RIGHT: You don't need fat tires on the Katy, but they sure look cool. In the background, that's the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce helping riders in camp.
BELOW: Boonville was still in bloom in October.
ABOVE: Tents in beautiful Boonville
BELOW: Wendy and Laurie rode BBK for some sibling time together.
ABOVE: Tammy on burrito duty in Jeff City. We love working with La Chica Loca--almost a hundred hot burritos, with a choice of four delicious kinds. The most popular was Three Little Pigs with sausage, bacon, and ham, followed closely by spinach and swiss.
RIGHT: Boonville decorated for us. That's Sue just in from the trail.
RIGHT: Ashley offered massage all week and was as busy as she was on any day of RAGBRAI. She's really good! Our crew so appreciated Ashley's help in the mornings.
BELOW: David Lee of the Clinton Chamber presented every rider with a souvenir t-shirt as they finished their ride.
BELOW: We were missing Pete, but we did get a quick pic of our BBK crew. Left to right in the back row, it's Mick, Dave, Mike, Donna, George, and Doug. Down in front, Colin and Dillon (the twins), Tammy, and Alicia.