Pork Belly Update #11--Head Our Direction In 2021!

December 4, 2020

Dear Porkers,

Yesterday's Des Moines Register reported that 172,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine--for our front-line healthcare workers--will arrive in Iowa yet this month. We know that the national news will continue to get worse before it gets better and that the worries of 2020 haven't abated yet. But we have faith in better times ahead, and we're continuing our plans to welcome you to Pork Camp in 2021.

A Fresh Start

We've been working this fall, friends, to freshen things up at Pork Belly Ventures--top to bottom--as we enter the next decade and our 29th year in business. Our masthead, above, is new. Our artist friend, Dana, is busy creating ride logos, like one above. As of last week, you can follow us on Facebook and other social media platforms. And our website is all new, too--more below.

Our wonderful video producer, Pat Rainey, shot hours and hours of footage this summer and fall, and now he's in the editing room, doing his magic. Here's his latest...

2021 Calendar of Events
of Pork Belly Ventures

After 2020, as you can imagine, some rides are still a little in flux. Here, friends, we are listing only those rides that we've been able to confirm. We are still in discussion with several tour directors about their dates and plans for 2021. This is our calendar so far!

May 15th, *Lazy Horse Gravel Grind
Ohiowa, Nebraska
May 21-24
Birds & Bees Bike Ride on the Wabash Trace
Council Bluffs, Malvern, and Shenandoah, Iowa
Presented by Pork Belly Ventures
May 28-29,*Pedalers Jamboree (PedJam)
Jefferson City, Missouri
May 29-June 5, Oklahoma Freewheel
Vernon, Texas, to Arkansas City, Kansas
June 3-6, Garmin Unbound (formerly DK)
Emporia, Kansas
May 6-12, BRAN, Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska
Hemmingford to Wahoo, Nebraska
June 13-18, Big BAM
Poplar Bluff to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
July 5-13,
Micro-Ride on the Mickelson Trail,
western South Dakota
In Planning Stages, Presented by Pork Belly Ventures
(Limit of about 60 riders)
July 25-31
The 48th Annual RAGBRAI
starting in LeMars, Iowa
August 29 – September 8
The Missouri Double Cross on the Katy Trail
Clinton to Defiance, Missouri, and back again
Presented by Pork Belly Ventures
September 17-19
Tire Swing
Clover-leaf tour based at Carsten Farms in rural Shelby, Iowa
Gravel and Paved Routes Daily!
Presented by Pork Belly Ventures
October 18-22
Big BAM on the Katy, Defiance to Clinton, Missouri
--*PBV Showers-only rides marked with the asterisk.
--On our own rides, of course, all of our services
and amenities will be available.
--On RAGBRAI, all of our services and amenities
will be available.
--On other Midwestern Rides, you can visit each event page
and click "Info" to learn what PBV services and amenities we offer.

New Mobile-Friendly PBV Website:
Please click on the image above to check out our brand new site at pkbelly.com. Here are a few things you'll notice right away.
It's very easy to find information about our RAGBRAI charter at pkbelly.com, but now the site has more than one focus:
  • you can read about and register for our own PBV-sponsored rides,
  • you can explore everything related to our RAGBRAI Charter and sign up for our charter shuttles and services,
  • and you can check out the other Midwestern Bike Rides on which we offer showers, rental tents, PHAT rooms, phone-charging, and/or morning coffee.
  • Notice tabs across the top of the home page, with the year's update archive, a full calendar of events, and more.
  • If you scroll to the bottom of the home page, you'll find more tabs, including videos of our custom-built equipment.

Your Registration Is Intact!

If you have signed up earlier for RAGBRAI or Unbound or any 2021 ride, please don't worry about your registration or payment record. All of that info can be accessed when you login as usual. If you have any trouble accessing your account (forgot your login credentials), just write to tammy@pkbelly.com or to pete@pkbelly.com.

When To Sign Up

Right now, you can sign up for our RAGBRAI charter services! Regarding PBV-sponsored rides and our services on other Midwestern rides, we'll open up registration on January 1.

Watch Our Rides for More Info

We're aware that we owe you some details about these rides!

Birds & Bees Bike Ride

;Our new spring ride (May 21-24) on the beautiful Wabash Trace happens right here in our backyard. We have wonderful contacts in Malvern and Shenandoah, and we'll sort out the final details very soon. Plan on learning the entry fee, prices of rental tents and PHAT rooms, and a full list of inclusions soon!

More on Birds & Bees Bike Ride

Micro-Ride on the Mickelson Trail

This is a custom ride (July 5-13) we are developing for riders who requested it, and we'll be limited to about sixty riders total. From your saddle, you can see the Crazy Horse Monument in progress and many glorious views of the Black Hills. We're on the phone with overnight towns and the state park folks, and we'll be scouting as soon as we can. Then we'll create the webpage with entry fee, inclusions, amenities, etc. (We already have a good deal of interest!)

We'll keep you posted on the Mickelson Trail Ride.

The Missouri Double Cross

We're reprising this ride (August 29-September 8) on the beautiful Katy Trail a little later in the cycling season. You can ride across Missouri west to east, east to west, or both ways! We've done it. We know it. It's a blast. Expect the entry fee and more very soon.

More on the Missouri Double Cross

Tire Swing

At the historic Carsten Farms, high on a hilltop in Southwest Iowa, we're planning a 3-day party with bikes. This clover-leaf ride on your choice of gravel or paved roads (September 17-19) will be all-inclusive: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus beverages! There's a lot of info on our Tire Swing web page now, but stand by for the ride entry fee, RV camping fees, rental tent pricing, and a sweet price on PHAT rooms, too!

More on Tire Swing

Our Version of Luxury:
PHAT Rooms
For those of you who have the use of a PHAT Room on RAGBRAI, please stay tuned for an email from us, inquiring about your plans for RAGBRAI 2021. We'll get that out to you next week.
(We're sorry to say, Porkers, that we have a long waiting list for PHAT Rooms on RAGBRAI.)
PHAT Rooms are available on all of our own rides and on many other Midwestern Rides! You'll unpack one time and enjoy your mattresses, linens, pillows, switched lighting at the head of each bed, electrical outlets, convenient storage, knotty pine interiors with laminate flooring, and a little deck and couple of chairs for sitting out in the evening! These rooms are a real game-changer on any ride. We think 2 or 3 occupants is the optimum number, but as many as 5 may share a room and split the cost.
Please take a video tour right here:
Did You Miss It on Social?
(No worries.
Most people did.)
The first Wednesday of the month is
Where-You-Wore-It Wednesday.
This Pork Tradition came about over time. A few people sent us photos of themselves, wearing their pork shirts and jerseys at home and abroad. Of course, we published them in our updates, and before we knew it, Where-You-Wore-It turned into a game our tribe was playing. Whether you wore it on your local trail or to the top of Kilimanjaro, it's fun for the rest of us to see you represent!
So remember, the 6th of January is our next Where-You-Wore-It Wednesday. Pop in, won't you, and show us where you wore it?
RAGBRAI Registration Opens Monday!
Though many of you may have rolled your 2020 RAGBRAI registration to 2021, a lot of you are just waiting for Monday, December 7th! Our friends at RAGBRAI have been very busy, and their whole new registration system is all ready for you! Mark your calendar and sign up next week at RAGBRAI.com!
On any of the topics we've shared in this update, you are more than welcome to ask questions by phone or by email. We look forward to corresponding or visiting with you soon!
That's all for this time, friends. Like you, we are following community health guidelines and watching for good news, in hopes of spending carefree days with you in the fresh air of the 2021 cycling season! Take good care!
Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday,
Tammy and Pete