2022 Pork Belly Update #2-The Lowdown on All PBV Shuttles

 
February 6, 2021
(revised March 27)
 
 
Dear Porkers,
 
We've been gobsmacked by the response to our RAGBRAI Invitation Letter. This season is off and running at a full gallop, and we are doing our best to keep up. We hope we're managing to return your calls and answer your emails pretty promptly.
 
Though the main topic here is Shuttles--Everything You Need to Know, we will share a few other timely topics as well--importantly, our availability.
 
Please feel free to scan the headlines here and find what's important for you!
 
RAGBRAI REGISTRATION,
MARCH PRICE INCREASE
 
Do remember that on March 1, the weeklong registration for RAGBRAI will go from $175 to $190. If you have not registered for the ride itself at RAGBRAI.com, we hope you can do it before that increase takes effect.
 
PORK SERVICES &
AVAILABILITY
(This info, published on Feb 6, is no longer current.)
We do have room for you and your friends on our Weeklong Support--and we want you know that we welcome newbies and veterans alike! But this has been an unusual start to our season, and it may be wise to act soon if you plan to join us.
 
PBV Weeklong Support is almost full at this writing (on 2/6).
 
PBV Rental Tent Service is full, and we are keeping a waiting list.
 
The NEW post-RAGBRAI LaCrosse Regional Airport Shuttle is available now, details below. (We will not operate this shuttle before RAGBRAI--just after the ride ends.)
 
The Half Hog Shuttles of PBV will operate on Tuesday afternoon as usual, with a NEW EXIT SHUTTLE on Wednesday afternoon. See the details below.
 
All other PBV Shuttles are available and unlikely to sell out. See the details below.
 
(PHAT Rooms, of course, are full for RAGBRAI.)
 
Next, our main topic...
PBV RAGBRAI SHUTTLES:
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.
 
 
 
Here is the latest info on Pork Belly Ventures RAGBRAI shuttles, including details and departure times. You'll find a thorough summary of each shuttle. All shuttle prices include your seat on a comfortable, air-conditioned motor coach, and transport of your baggage and a bicycle.
 
Some of you are ready to buy airline tickets. Please bear in mind our shuttle departure times as you make your airline reservations.
 
(If you need help imagining the problems that arise from arriving too late or departing too early, call Tammy for some cautionary tales.) 
 
ABOUT AIRPORT SHUTTLES: Pork Belly Ventures has always served only International Airports. Sometimes a regional airport is a bit closer to the start town or to the end town, but since we can't be everywhere, and for many other reasons, we have continued to run our shuttles from and to the airports with the greatest capacity to serve the majority of our riders.
 
This year, because of the proximity to Lansing, Iowa, and due to the number of requests, we will run a post-RAGBRAI shuttle to a regional airport in LaCrosse, WI. Details below.
 
So there's no misunderstanding, friends, here's a list of airports PBV will NOT serve in 2022:
 
  • Sioux Falls International
  • Sioux City Regional
  • Cedar Rapids Regional
  • Dubuque Regional
  • For Chicago, see the section on Bicycle Illinois, below.
 
MAKING YOUR TRAVEL PLANS: No hurry! It's only February. Take the time to talk with your travel companions and firm up your plans. It's not unusual for folks to register for our support and/or rental tent service, but delay signing up for shuttles. Perfectly fine with us to login to your application later and add the shuttles you need. If registrations are high on a particular shuttle, we can usually add another coach. If anything changes, we'll let you know in an update.
 
Three PBV Shuttles Prior to RAGBRAI
 
We offer three shuttles to the start town before RAGBRAI:
  • from our side-by-side Omaha airport hotels,
  • from the end town on the east side of Iowa
  • from a Des Moines airport hotel parking lot
 
Omaha Airport to Sergeant Bluff, the start town
  • Price: $81 per person
  • About an hour and 15 minutes on the coach
  • Staggered departures throughout Saturday, 7/23, approximately 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
 
This is our most popular airport shuttle, on the west side of the state, the nearest major (international) airport to the start of RAGBRAI virtually every year. On Saturday, July 23, our motor coaches will depart at intervals throughout the day, beginning at about 8:00 am, with the last coach departing for Sergeant Bluff at 4:00 pm. All coaches will depart from the north parking lot of the Candlewood Suites hotel at the Omaha airport.
 
Summary: Omaha is a great jumping-off point for people who fly to Iowa or drive in from points west, south, or northwest. We return to Omaha after RAGBRAI (see Return to Omaha below). The Omaha International Airport is served by most domestic carriers. There's more information about this shuttle in our 2022 invitation letter (link below), including descriptions and phone numbers of our side-by-side airport hotels. 
 
OMAHA SIDE-BY-SIDE AIRPORT HOTELS: We have blocks of rooms at both hotels before and after RAGBRAI (Friday, July 22, and Saturday, July 30). Call the local numbers below, and mention Pork Belly Ventures to access our room blocks. Long-term parking is available nearby for $5 or $6 per day, depending on whether you choose a sheltered lot or an unsheltered lot. Valet parking from either hotel is free.
 
  • Candlewood Suites Hotel: 402-342-2500
  • Best Western Plus Hotel: 402-505-4900
 
Word to the wise... Arrive in Omaha early. Saturday in Sergeant Bluff is your induction day, a great part of the experience, and you don't want to arrive in the late afternoon, check in, do your chores, and miss the huge Bike Expo and start-town festivities. Many veterans have learned this lesson and will arrive in Omaha on Friday afternoon or evening.
 
For Saturday arrivers, the earlier you plan to fly into Omaha, the more likely you'll be able to pivot to Plan B if you have to deal with a delayed flight or lost luggage. When you plan to arrive at 3:00 p.m. for our last bus at 4:00 p.m., a delayed flight severely limits your Plan B options and our ability to help.
 
Feel free to call me with any questions about when to arrive in Omaha: Tammy, 808-375-8921 c.
 
Our East/West Shuttle, end to start town, Lansing to Sergeant Bluff
  • $175 per person
  • Approximately 5.5 hours across Iowa from the end-town to the start-town
  • One or more departure times on Friday afternoon, 7/22--tentatively 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
  • Three morning departure times on Saturday morning, 7/23--tentatively 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 a.m.
  • No airport shuttle here. This one tends to be used by those who drive to the end town and park a vehicle there.
 
If you plan to use our East/West Shuttle, give some thought to whether you'd like to travel across the state on Friday afternoon (extra night of camping in Sergeant Bluff) or on Saturday morning (one night of camping in Sergeant Bluff). Those who shuttle on Friday will get settled in our Sergeant Bluff campsite on Friday night, will check in for Weeklong Support on Friday night, and will have more time to spend at the huge RAGBRAI Bike Expo on Saturday. No need to tell us your departure preference now. In June, we'll be asking you for some information, including your preferred departure day and time on the East/West Shuttle.
 
Summary: The East/West Shuttle is a great option for those who drive to Iowa from points east (or from the south or north) and who want to park their vehicles at the end of the ride. (Stand by for the location of long-term parking in Lansing, please.) Our shuttle carries you to the ride start, and you'll spend your week pedaling back to your car.
Des Moines Airport Hotel to Sergeant Bluff, the start town
  • $160 per person
  • About 3.0 hours on the coach
  • Saturday morning, 7/23, 8:00 bike loading, 9:15 departure
 
On Saturday morning, 7/23, our coach and bike truck will stage at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Des Moines Airport AmericInn Hotel, just off Fleur Drive. We will load bikes and baggage, board the coach, and depart at about 9:15. Last time, we had two motor coaches on this shuttle, and we assume we'll have two again.
 
Summary: Des Moines' international airport on the southern edge of Des Moines is served by many domestic carriers, and it's a good jumping-off point for many Iowans and for those who find it convenient to fly or drive into Des Moines. It could be great for those who drive up from the Kansas City area. Des Moines is not near the beginning or the end of RAGBRAI. It's toward the center of the state. Remember that of the airports we serve, Omaha is closest to the start and Quad Cities is closest to the end. (For a short post-RAGBRAI shuttle, see our new LaCrosse, WI, option below, regional airport.) 
 
DES MOINES AIRPORT HOTEL: We have blocks of rooms reserved before and after RAGBRAI at the Des Moines AmericInn Hotel, at the airport, just off of Fleur Drive. To take advantage of our low rate, call (515) 285-5180 and mention Pork Belly Ventures for a reservation. The hotel may allow you to leave a vehicle in their lot for the week (low price, subject to availability), and you may need to spend at least one night at the hotel for this parking option. If you don’t plan a stay at the hotel, there’s an airport parking facility just down Fleur Drive for about $6 per day.
 
Four PBV Shuttles After RAGBRAI
 
On Feb 6, we noted that mileage would be subject to change, and Saturday's mileage did change. It is now 65 miles.
 
We will offer four shuttles from the end town after RAGBRAI, all on the afternoon of Saturday, July 30:
  • to the Quad Cities International Airport (Moline, IL) on the east side of Iowa
  • to our side-by-side Omaha airport hotels,
  • to our Des Moines airport hotel parking lot,
  • to the LaCrosse, WI, Regional Airport
 
NOTE: Pork Belly Ventures does not make stops along the way to drop off riders going to different destinations. We also do not return to long-term parking in the start town.
 
End town to nearest International Airport, Quad Cities International Airport in Moline, Illinois (MLI)
  • $140 per person
  • 3 hours on the coach, barring traffic congestion, which can happen with a two-lane highway out of Lansing.
  • 65 miles of cycling on the last day of RAGBRAI (subject to change)
  • Departures from Pork Belly staging area at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., with one possible departure in between, Saturday, 7/30. It is also possible that we will have two coaches departing at 3:00 p.m.
 
***Please heed our warnings about padding your schedule when booking flights out of Iowa. We cannot make the bus go faster in congested traffic.
 
The cycling route on the final day of RAGBRAI is 65 miles, updated since Feb 6. On Saturday, July 30, our coaches will depart at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., with a third coach to depart between the two. (We can't announce the time of this in-between departure. It will depart when we have a sufficient number of passengers on board, so that we know the last coach can accommodate the rest. Given the change in mileage, we may have two coaches departing at 3:00 p.m.)
 
***When booking your airline reservation, be sure to pad your schedule, as traffic is unpredictable on the last day of RAGBRAI. It is perhaps less predictable than last year, friends, because Lansing is more remote, and there's just a two-lane highway out of town. Our shuttle will carry you directly from our mustering area in Lansing to the Departures area of the Quad Cities International Airport. From there, you may go to car rentals, you may catch a free shuttle to any number of airport hotels, or you may go directly to the gates to catch your flight.
 
We don't have relationships with any particular hotels on the east side of Iowa. But you will have no trouble reserving a room in advance near this airport. Simply google hotels near MLI.
 
Summary: A round trip into and out of one airport used to be the most economical way to fly. Now it is not necessarily cost prohibitive to fly into one airport and out of another. Some folks who fly into Omaha on the west prefer to fly out of the Quad Cities, the closest international airport to the end town and served by PBV on the east side of Iowa.
 
[Note: we don't shuttle from the Quad Cities airport before RAGBRAI.]
 
End town, returning to Omaha International Airport Hotels
  • $189 per person
  • Approximately 6 hours, barring traffic congestion, which can happen with a two-lane highway out of Lansing.
  • Updated to 65 miles of cycling on the last day of RAGBRAI (subject to change) 
  • Several departures between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, 7/30
 
The cycling route on the final day of RAGBRAI is now 65 miles. Our shuttle will carry you directly from our mustering area in Lansing to our side-by-side Omaha airport hotels.
 
On Saturday, July 30, our first coach will depart at 1:00 or when all seats are filled. After that, we will release coaches as they fill, with the last coach departing at 3:00 p.m. All coaches will return to the Candlewood Suites hotel at the Omaha airport, next door to the Best Western Plus. From there, a free shuttle can carry you to the long-term parking facility to retrieve your vehicle. On Sunday morning, a free shuttle can carry you to the airport to catch your flight home.
 
End town, returning to Des Moines International Airport Hotel
  • $170 per person
  • Approximately 4 hours on the coach, barring traffic congestion, which can happen with a two-lane highway out of Lansing.
  • Updated to 65 miles of cycling on the last day of RAGBRAI (subject to change) 
  • on the last day of RAGBRAI (subject to change)  
  • One or two coaches departing pretty close to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, 7/30.
 
The cycling route on the final day of RAGBRAI is now 65 miles (subject to change). On Saturday, July 30, these two coaches will depart together in the mid-afternoon, at about 3:00 p.m., and return our passengers to the AmericInn Hotel, just off of Fleur Drive. Subject to availability, the hotel may be able to offer you weeklong parking in the hotel lot--check with them. A free shuttle can take you to the airport on Sunday morning. 
 
Hotel Stays: We have blocks of rooms reserved before and after RAGBRAI at the Des Moines AmericInn Hotel, just off of Fleur Drive. To take advantage of our low rate, call 515-285-5180 and mention Pork Belly Ventures for a reservation. You may want to ask for Priscilla.
 
NEW! End town, to Regional Airport in LaCrosse, WI
  • $60 per person
  • Approximately 45 minutes on the coach
  • Updated to 65 miles of cycling on the last day of RAGBRAI (subject to change) 
  • One or two coaches departing promptly at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, 7/30.
 
The cycling route on the final day of RAGBRAI is now 65 miles. On Saturday, July 30, our new shuttle will depart promptly at 1:00 p.m. and go directly to the departures area of the LaCrosse Regional Airport in LaCrosse, WI. (We will not deliver folks to a hotel.) 
 
A few people--just a few--who signed up for this shuttle have asked to be shuttled at the original departure time of noon. We will be prepared to run a noon shuttle only for those who...
  • ... were already signed up for the shuttle prior to the mileage change.
  • ... write to tammy@pkbelly.com with the number of people and bikes to be transported at noon.
 
Hotel Stays: We don't have relationships with any particular hotels on the east side of Iowa. But you will have no trouble reserving a room in advance near this airport. Simply google hotels near LSE.
 
Half Hog Options (Midweek)
with Departure Times 
 
Some folks can't go Whole Hog this year, and here are your options of going Half Hog, riding the first several days or last several days of RAGBRAI with Pork Belly Ventures.
 
If you don't need our transportation to and from the RAGBRAI route, please select our Partial-Week Support and choose your (consecutive) cycling days. It's $75 per day to join us for a partial week. If you do need transportation, our shuttles are described here.
 
You can ride the first three days and jump out on Tuesday afternoon at Emmetsburg, or you can jump in on Tuesday at Emmetsburg and ride the last four days.
 
And NEW this year, at the end of Day 4 in Mason City, you can exit RAGBRAI in the late afternoon, after riding Sunday to Wednesday.
 
Hotel Stays: On Tuesday afternoon/evening, 7/26, Pork Belly Ventures has a block of rooms reserved at the Des Moines Airport AmericInn Hotel, just off of Fleur Drive. To take advantage of our low rate, call (515) 285-5180 and mention Pork Belly Ventures for a reservation. (You may want to ask for Priscilla.) We'll try to get a block of rooms on Wednesday, too, and same low rate.
 
Tuesday Exit Shuttle, Emmetsburg to Des Moines Airport Hotel 
(for those riding Sunday to Tuesday)  
 
You may choose among our shuttles to the start town, but if you're parking a car, you should park in Des Moines at or near our designated airport hotel and use our shuttle to the start ($160). Our prorated weeklong support is $75 per day, and three days is $225. To depart from our Tuesday overnight town of Emmetsburg on 7/26, you may take our Tuesday exit shuttle at about 5:00 p.m., arriving at our designated Des Moines airport hotel at about 7:45 p.m. The exit shuttle is $111 per person, bike and baggage included.
 
Hotel and long-term parking info above, with our Des Moines Shuttle information.
 
Wednesday Exit Shuttle from Mason City to Des Moines Airport Hotel 
(for those riding Sunday to Wednesday)  
 
You may choose among our shuttles to the start town, but if you're parking a car, you should park in Des Moines at or near our designated airport hotel and use our shuttle to the start ($160). Our prorated weeklong support is $75 per day, and four days is $300. To depart from our Wednesday overnight town of Mason City on 7/27, you may take our Wednesday exit shuttle at about 6:00 p.m., arriving at our designated Des Moines airport hotel at about 8:00 p.m. The exit shuttle is $112 per person, bike and baggage included.
 
Hotel and long-term parking info above, with our Des Moines Shuttle information.
 
Tuesday Enter Shuttle, Des Moines Airport Hotel to Emmetsburg Campsite 
(for those riding Wednesday through Saturday)
 
To enter RAGBRAI on Tuesday afternoon, 7/26, you can take our shuttle from our designated Des Moines airport hotel to the overnight town of Emmetsburg, departing the hotel parking lot at about 1:30 p.m. and arriving in camp at about 4:30 p.m. This Half Hog shuttle is $110, including the transport of bike and baggage. Our prorated weeklong support is $75 per day, and four days is $300. You may choose among our shuttles at week’s end, but if you parked a vehicle in Des Moines, you would use our shuttle from Lansing to the AmericInn Hotel at the Des Moines airport ($170).
 
On Tuesday, July 27, around 1:00, our coach will be available to board in the parking lot of our designated Des Moines airport hotel, AmericInn. From there, we will depart for our Tuesday night campsite in Emmetsburg, where Half-Hoggers will check in right away at our front desk (or set off to find your charter). You may spend four days with us, pedaling into Lansing on Saturday, the 30th. From here, you can use our Lansing/Des Moines Shuttle to return you to the Des Moines airport hotel by early evening. (In fact, you can use any of our post-RAGBRAI shuttles--to Quad Cities, Omaha, to Des Moines, or to LaCrosse.)
 
How To Reserve Half Hog Options 
On your PBV online application, you can select the Tuesday Exit Half Hog Shuttle, the Wednesday Exit Half Hog Shuttle, or Tuesday Enter Half Hog. You can also select partial-week support and choose the days you will spend with PBV. (Sorry, we cannot pro-rate the rental tent service.)
 
Des Moines Hotel and Parking for Half Hoggers
On Tuesday ad Wednesday, July 26 and 27, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Des Moines airport AmericInn Hotel just off of Fleur Drive. To take advantage of our low rate, call 515-285-5180 and mention Pork Belly Ventures for a reservation. (You may ask for Priscilla.) It may be possible to use an inexpensive parking option at the hotel, Park and Fly, depending on availability. Other inexpensive airport parking is available nearby. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the Des Moines airport just down the road.
 
Got Questions, Need Answers.
That's what we're here for, friends, so please call or write to either of us anytime. We enjoy visiting with you, and we'll reply to emails as quickly as possible:
 
712-328-0161 h, 808-375-8921 c
402-681-2613 c
 
AGAIN THIS YEAR...
PORK BELLY VENTURES PARTNERS WITH
BICYCLE ILLINOIS
 
Are you traveling to RAGBRAI from Chicago, or do you need a lift back to Chicago after RAGBRAI? Check it out!
 
"The transportation service of Bicycle Illinois will transport you, your bike, and your baggage from downtown Chicago to the start of RAGBRAI and from the end of RAGBRAI back to downtown Chicago. One-way transportation is also available, as well as transportation for just you and your baggage if you will be shipping your bike instead.
 
"All of our locations in downtown Chicago are centrally located and extremely convenient. They are also easily accessible by all types of public transportation (airlines, trains, and busses) whether you live in the city or suburbs or across the country or world! In fact if you travel by public transportation you may be able to enjoy your RAGBRAI vacation truly car-free - no driving or parking at all!"
 
Rob is accepting deposits now! Learn more right here!
 
 
Overnight Towns and Miles
of RAGBRAI 2022
 
RAGBRAI riders, make note of your daily distances below. Please note that all mileage numbers are subject to change. And remember that the detailed daily route maps will be published by RAGBRAI in mid-March! Can't wait for those!
 
[The daily mileage numbers below have been updated since Feb 6.]
 
 
  • Gather on Friday or Saturday, 7/22-7/23, in Sergeant Bluff
  • 53.2 miles to Ida Grove on Day 1, Sunday, 7/24
  • 71.2 miles to Pocahontas on Day 2, Monday, 7/25
  • 56.4 miles to Emmetsburg on Day 3, Tuesday, 7/26 (Half-Hoggers can jump out on Tuesday, 7/26, or jump in to ride the last four days.)
  • Like to ride Gravel?? The Gravel Option mileage on Day 3 was published at 68.9 miles--it may have changed.
 
  • 105 miles to Mason City on Day 4, Wednesday, 7/27 (PBV will offer a second Half-Hog Exit shuttle later on Wednesday)
  • 49.9 miles to Charles City on Day 5, Thursday, 7/28
  • 63 miles to West Union on Day 6, Friday, 7/29
  • 65.4 miles into Lansing on Day 7, our last Saturday, 7/30! Find our post-RAGBRAI shuttle info above.
 
Once Again,
the PBV RAGBRAI Invitation
is full of info
for those who are
already signed up!
Here it is again, the whole dang thing,
price list up front,
followed by descriptions of our services and
answers to frequently asked questions!
 
 
How to Sign UP?
 
Pork Belly Ventures is sold out
on Weeklong Support,
Partial Week Support,
and the Rental Tent Service.
You can still sign up for our shuttles, though!
 
Click the link below,
Click "RAGBRAI,"
And then "Register!"
 
 
This season has taken us by surprise.
Let us know if we can recommend
other charters,
and we wish you
a safe and happy RAGBRAI!
 
 
Oh Porkers, we're daydreaming of heat and humidity, joy and stupidity. Thank you to everyone who is planning to join us in July!
 
We and our trusty crew look forward to your good company during the last full week in July!
 
Until next time, we remain...
 
Your friends,
 
Tammy and Pete
 
Pork Belly Ventures LLC 
Tammy: 712.328.0161 h, 808-375-8921 c, tammy@pkbelly.com
Pete: 402-681-2613 c, pete@pkbelly.com
 www.pkbelly.com