Pork Belly Ventures, On the Brink of 2022!



January 1, 2022



Dear Friends,


The beginning of a new calendar year always brings a little moment of possibility. We find ourselves imagining...


What will this new year bring?


What will fill the pages of our calendars?


This time around, might we be a little truer to ourselves and our hearts' desires?


Allow us to be among the first to invite you to make space in your 2022 calendar for what you love--adventures by bicycle with like-minded companions.


Happy New Year, Friends! It would be our pleasure and privilege to be a part of your Cycling Season!




ABOVE: a playful PBV crew photo from a Katy Trail ride

a few years back


We thank you for your emails and phone calls, and Good Heavens, we are humbled and thrilled that a bunch of you plan to spend two, three, even four rides with PBV in 2022! Lots of you will join us for RAGBRAI. Many intend to repeat a trail ride--and bring friends. Others will jump into Birds & Bees or the Black Hills Hundred for the first time. In addition, we've taken note of these requests...


·     for a southern ride to start off the cycling season a little earlier,

·     for a longer experience and a favorable ratio of travel days to cycling days,

·     for bringing back a PBV-sponsored ride on the Katy Trail,

·     and, not least of all, for e-bike rentals!


Keep reading, please, for our responses to your requests!



PBV Bike Rentals

in 2022


As many of you know, PBV had a large fleet of rental bikes in 2019, but we sold many of them in 2020--a stay-afloat strategy! We are down to a handful of road bikes for rent. We're watching for ways to expand the fleet again, and we'll keep you posted.


But, thanks to our good friend Doug, we have just acquired five e-bikes that we can rent on any event. Don't hesitate to inquire! We think they will rent fast, so please reach out to pete@pkbelly.com.



Pork Belly Ventures




** On the calendar below, we will indicate which PBV Services are available on each ride. (Keep scrolling for specific inclusions on our PBV Trail Rides.) Note that on some rides, PBV has a smaller role, offering only showers, rental tents, and/or PHAT Rooms. When we say "all PBV services available," you can plan on fresh-brewed morning coffee, shade canopies and a social zone in the afternoon, phone charging, a hot and private shower every day, towel included, a friendly front desk, and often one or more bike mechanics and massage therapists. On our own rides, we typically arrange optional breakfasts each morning and provide a refreshment stop along the route on cycling days over 20 miles.






Big Muddy

on the Katy


Offered by PBV on the beautiful Katy Trail, which follows the Missouri River (Big Muddy), this five-day, east-to-west ride across Missouri rolls from Defiance to Clinton. Big Muddy riders are looking at 36 to 51 relatively flat rail-trail miles per day, with much of the distance sheltered by the canopy of trees over the Katy Trail, and a few tunnels! All PBV services, plus rental tents and PHAT Rooms are available.


Want to double your cycling days? Ride both the Katy and the Wabash--or as we call it, ride the KaBash! You can ride 5 days on Big Muddy, and then caravan with our crew three hours north to Iowa for 5 more days on Birds & Bees, which begins on the afternoon of the 19th! (We have a plan for a smooth transition, everything you need, including a hotel near the Birds & Bees starting point.) Further description below!


RIGHT: Wendy rented an e-bike for her Katy Trail Ride.




5/14, Lazy Horse Gravel Grind, in Ohiowa, Nebraska, PBV showers. This race/ride was half full an hour after registration opened on New Years Eve, so don't tarry! Learn more here:

Lazy Horse Gravel Grind on FB





Birds & Bees

Bike Ride

Offered by PBV, this ride entails pedaling the gradual inclines and declines of a rail-trail, namely the gorgeous green Wabash Trace Nature Trail in Southwest Iowa. We start and finish in Council Bluffs, pass through Mineola, Silver City, and Imogene, overnighting in Malvern and Shenandoah.

More info below!


ABOVE: Our campsite in Malvern offers bonfires for marshmallow roasting.


New this year, you can take the TRI-STATE CHALLENGE, touching Nebraska and Missouri, in addition to pedaling most of your miles in Iowa! Birds & Bees Riders are looking at 22 relatively flat rail-trail miles per day, with options to ride longer miles, up to 66 miles on Sunday. All PBV services provided, plus Entertainment in Camp! Rental tents and PHAT Rooms available.




6/2-6/5, Garmin Unbound Gravel Race, Emporia, Kansas, many PBV services provided at the fairgrounds (coffee, phone charging, showers) plus rental tents and PHAT Rooms available. Lodging is tight in Emporia. When the dorm fills up, you can still rent a PHAT Room while they last! Learn more about "the World's Premier Gravel Event" right here:







6/3-6/11, BRAN, the classic Nebraska ride! BRAN riders can stop for lunch at small-town diners, cafes, and taverns across the state, as pictured above. 2022 is the 40th Anniversary Bike Ride Across Nebraska! Showers and virtually all PBV Services plus rental tents and PHAT Rooms available. (We're still working out a few details with the BRAN director.)




6/5-6/11, Oklahoma Freewheel, Stillwater, Oklahoma, PHAT Rooms only, more info here: https://www.nodroptours.com/the-tour



NEW! 6/11-6/18, Biking Across Kansas, which has been rolling since 1975, but is new to Pork Belly Ventures. The BAK non-profit's goal is to provide a safe, fun, and memorable adventure for everyone who undertakes the challenge of biking across the beautiful state of Kansas. Please note that the only PBV services offered on BAK will be rental tents and PHAT Rooms. The BAK route will be announced on 1/28, after which our tents and PHAT Rooms will be available to reserve. Learn more about the ride here:




6/12-6/18, Big BAM will roll across Missouri from Joplin to Eureka, following the popular Route 66! Registration is open, with a discount for early birds. Virtually all PBV services are available on Big BAM (including PBV showers, pictured at right), plus rental tents and PHAT Rooms. The link below shows you the complete route, but by all means click around for more!




6/26-6/30, the

Black Hills Hundred, offered by PBV on the incredibly scenic Mickelson Trail, Deadwood to Edgemont, South Dakota. All PBV services are provided, plus afternoon excursions to see the Great Faces and Great Places of South Dakota. Rental tents, and PHAT Rooms are available.


ABOVE RIGHT: That's the profile of George Washington at the top of this photo--a sideways view of Mt. Rushmore. On the short cycling days of the Black Hills Hundred, we board a train or a coach in the afternoon to explore the history and beauty of South Dakota.





Except for a few small non-cycling outdoor events, Pork Belly Ventures keeps the decks clear in July for RAGBRAI preparation. RAGBRAI is the biggest and the corniest of all state bike rides--and it takes everything and everyone we've got!


7/23-7/30, the 49th Annual RAGBRAI


Pedal across our home state of Iowa, where PBV began nearly 30 years ago. On RAGBRAI, the PBV crew, over 100 strong, will provide all of the amenities we offer on other rides, and then some.


RIGHT: From the PBV archives, a train of bathtubs--one of many ways our overnight towns creatively rise to the challenge of hosting this corny event!



PBV has been a sanctioned RAGBRAI charter since 1994. We were first-time riders in 1984 and 1986! RAGBRAI has been the centerpiece of our summer for darn near 40 years.


Pork Belly Ventures embraces the heat and the stupidity of RAGBRAI! Do you regularly exercise your legs, lungs, and your sense of humor? Then we're the charter for you!


Nearly every year, we add some new perk or amenity for our RAGBRAI riders. We would love to have you join us--veterans and first-timers alike!


Please note that PHAT Rooms are all spoken for on RAGBRAI (sorry) with a long waiting list.


Also bear in mind that our tent service and our weeklong support have typically sold out sometime between April and June--and the sell-out happened earlier last year.


Here's a link to the 2021 PBV RAGBRAI Invitation Letter with descriptions of services and last year's pricing. The letter will will give you a sense of what it's like to spend the week of RAGBRAI with PBV:


PBV RAGBRAI Invitation of 2021




ABOVE: The tent service of PBV includes set-up and take-down of your rental tent, plus moving your baggage to and from the tent each day. We expect this service to sell out first, and possibly early in the season.


BELOW: We include three evening meals with your Weeklong Support on RAGBRAI, and we offer three optional dinners in case you'd like to dine with us in camp on more nights! Always live entertainment during dinner in Pork Camp!





TENTATIVELY... Black Hills Hundred, offered by PBV, possible late summer encore if demand is there. A four-day ride from Deadwood to Edgemont, South Dakota, all services and PHAT Rooms would be available.



9/10, Pony Express 120 Gravel Dash, Maryville, Kansas, PBV showers only on this one-day event. Registration is not yet open, but gravel-dashers can watch the FB page:

Pony Express on FB



9/24, MS150, Lawrence, Kansas. We're all familiar with these wonderful one-day charity rides. PBV provides showers only.




10/9-10/14, Big BAM on the Katy, five days across Missouri on the Katy Trail, from Clinton to Defiance. PBV has long had a role on this well-loved fall ride. Virtually all PBV services in camp, plus rental tents and PHAT Rooms Available.


Check the Big BAM site for info as it becomes available!


We think this calendar is pretty much complete!

(But it would not be unusual for us to add an event or two

as the season progresses.)




ABOVE: Pete visits with Ann Lawrie, the RAGBRAI marketing director... who does SO much more than marketing! We love partnering with our RAGBRAI officials!






ABOVE: Ride Director and avid cyclist, Dieter Drake, with Pete, riding the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, November 2020.





Register for RAGBRAI Itself Anytime Now!

RAGBRAI opened up its 2022 registrations on November 15th, and probably because of the new first-come-first-served policy, the numbers of fall registrations went way up. In case you missed this announcement, there's no more lottery, no more waiting until May to see whether or not you're in. Register and you're guaranteed a wristband number and entry!


Everyone who spends the week with PBV (or with any RAGBRAI charter) must sign up for the ride itself! If you're sure you'll be riding, then sign up anytime at RAGBRAI.com.


Registration for PBV Services on RAGBRAI

Begins on January 29th.

Lots of charters open up in the late fall, but we have always waited for the route. On the evening of January 28th, all of us will learn the names of eight Iowa towns that will roll out their red carpets for the biggest multi-day bike ride in the world.


ABOVE RIGHT: PBV books live entertainment all seven days of RAGBRAI.


We'll be in Des Moines for the fabulous Route Announcement Party! And late that night, we'll send you our invitation letter and activate RAGBRAI registration at our site.


So the date for your calendar is January 29--we welcome you to sign up for PBV support on RAGBRAI!


We are more than happy to answer questions and talk through your logistics any time between now and January 29th.


Bicycle Illinois--the Chicago/RAGBRAI Connection

Just another reminder about Rob at Bicycle Illinois, with whom we partnered for the first time last year. RAGBRAI riders who call Chicagoland home might look into transportation to Iowa with Rob, including bike, bags, and your seat on a coach.





More on

The PBV Trail Rides

of 2022



In 2021, PBV launched two new rides, both of which we will reprise this year. Below, you'll find a little retread from our November update, PLUS NEW DETAILS! And here's our new one on the Katy Trail beginning on May 13th in Defiance, Missouri, where spring comes early!






Whether or not you've ridden the famous Katy trail, here's a chance to see it in the lush spring season. Like all rail-trails, the Katy Trail features gentle inclines and declines, and this trail is mostly sheltered by trees. It's on every trail-rider's bucket list! Ride 36 to 51 miles a day, to one welcoming Missouri town after another.


"Big Muddy" is the nickname of the Missouri River. The Katy Trail offers spectacular views of Big Muddy most of the way across the state.


**You can combine this 5-day ride with Birds & Bees, below, for 10 straight cycling days and an average of 33 miles a day on the Katy Trail in Missouri and the Wabash Trace in Southwest Iowa! What a way to get a jump on the season!


Big Muddy

Amenities Include...


·     All trail-user fees and camping fees in our pretty reserved campsites

·     5 days cycling with baggage transport daily

·     Hot private shower and towel in camp

·     Fresh-brewed morning coffee

·     Daily refreshment stop on the trail

·     Charging for phones and devices

·     E-bikes welcome, charging provided

·     Limited e-bike rental (optional)

·     Bike Mechanic/s on route and in camp

·     Free and cheap cold beverages in camp

·     Daily town/route maps

·     Souvenir Big Muddy T-Shirt

·     Optional tent service

·     Optional PHAT Rooms (mobile hotel rooms on semi-trailers)

·     Optional Breakfasts in camp


Our detailed invitation will come to you soon,

and registration for Big Muddy will open later this week!



Big Muddy on the Katy Trail

May 13 to 18, 2022

on the beautiful Katy Trail

Starts in Defiance, Missouri, and

Overnights in Hermann, Jefferson City, Boonville,

and Sedalia, finishing in Clinton!

E-Bikes Welcome!

E-Bike Rentals Available.


Rider Registration Fee:

$365 per person


Big Muddy Invitation,

Including All Pricing,


along with your registration link!











By late May, the birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and the Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a cycling paradise.


At a minimum, you'll ride 22 gentle rail-trail-mile each day of Birds & Bees. If that's not enough, take the new Tri-State Challenge. Here's how:


·     We'll drop you across the river in Nebraska on Thursday, the 19th, so you can pedal back across the glorious pedestrian bridge and along the levee trail to the Wabash Trace trailhead. Here you can begin the famous Taco Ride to/from the tiny town of Mineola! Starting in Nebraska adds about 10 miles to the 20-mile Taco Ride.


·     On Sunday morning, you'll have the option of taking off from our Shenandoah campsite and heading south on the Wabash Trace to the Missouri State Line. Turn around and ride north to Malvern--that's an extra 44 miles, or 66 miles total on Sunday!


·     Those who take both the Nebraska and Missouri options will win the distinction of Tri-Staters!


·     If you ride the KABASH, Katy Trail plus the Wabash Trace, you've already hit Missouri, and the Tri-Stater goal is easily within your grasp!




Amenities Include...


·     All trail-user fees and camping fees in our pretty reserved campsites

·     Five days cycling with baggage transport daily

·     Hot private shower and towel in camp

·     Fresh-brewed morning coffee

·     Daily refreshment stop on the trail

·     Charging trailer for phones and devices

·     E-bikes welcome, charging provided

·     Bike Mechanics on route and in camp

·     Free and cheap cold beverages in camp

·     Live music on Pork Stage!

·     Daily town/route maps

·     Souvenir Birds & Bees T-Shirt

·     Optional tent service

·     Optional PHAT Rooms (mobile hotel rooms

·     on semi-trailers)

·     Optional Breakfasts in camp



Birds & Bees Bike Ride

May 19 to 23, 2022

Wabash Trace Nature Trail

Starts in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Overnights in Malvern and Shenandoah,

and includes

the infamous Taco Ride to Mineola!

E-Bikes Welcome!

E-Bike Rentals Available.


Rider Registration Fee:

$225 per person



Find pricing and much more in our


Birds & Bees Invitation


Birds & Bees

Registration will

be ready

later this week!




Black Hills Hundred,

By all accounts, the Mickelson Trail of South Dakota is one of the nation's top five scenic trails. Not only will you ride this phenomenal trail, but you'll enjoy our afternoon excursions by coach and by train to see the sites that no South Dakota visitor should miss! The June ride was so popular last year that we opened up an encore ride in August. Registration for the June 2022 Black Hills Hundred is open today, January 1!


(And, if June sells out again, and if the demand is there, we would try to offer this ride again later in 2022.)




Amenities Include...


·     All trail-user fees and camping fees in our lovely reserved campsites right on the Mickelson Trail

·     Four days cycling and baggage transport daily

·     Hot private shower and towel in camp

·     Fresh-brewed morning coffee

·     Refreshment stop on the trail (three of four days)

·     Charging trailer for phones and devices

·     E-bikes welcome, charging provided

·     Bike Mechanic on route and in camp

·     Free and cheap cold beverages in camp

·     All three meals at Carsten Cottages: lunch, supper, and breakfast

·     Lunch on the 1880 Train

·     Afternoon excursion on the 1880 Train through the Black Hills

·     Afternoon motor-coach excursion to see the Great Faces and Great Places of South Dakota!

·     Daily town/route maps

·     Souvenir Black Hills Hundred T-Shirt

·     Optional tent service

·     Optional PHAT Rooms (mobile hotel rooms

·     on semi-trailers)

·     Optional Breakfasts in camp 



Black Hills Hundred

June 26-30, 2022

The Mickelson Trail

Starts in Deadwood, South Dakota

Overnights are Deadwood, Carsten Cottages,

Hill City, and Custer,

with afternoon excursions by train and coach included!

See the Great Faces and Great Places of South Dakota,

and ride the gorgeous Mickelson Trail!

E-Bikes Welcome!

Bike Rentals Available!


Rider Registration Fee:

$535 per person



Find complete pricing and much more

in our Black Hills Hundred Invitation:


The Black Hills Hundred Invitation,

June '22


Sign up now for the Black Hills Hundred:






When to Register


Today, January 1,

PBV Registration Is Open

For most events offered by Pork Belly Ventures and/or served by PBV, registration is now open at pkbelly.com.


(The Big Muddy invitation and registration are coming soon!)


January 29, Registration for

PBV Services on RAGBRAI

The 2022 route is announced on Friday night, and we'll be on your screens with an invitation to register by early Saturday morning, January 29th!




CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Pete and Kay, Mike and Tammy,

Dave, and George... wishing you a Happy New Year!


Got questions? We're here on stand-by, friends, ready to answer by email or by phone. In the coming year, may we all find the time for the people we love and the things we enjoy, and at some point, may we find ourselves together again!


Happy New Year!


Tammy and Pete






Pork Belly Ventures LLC 

Tammy: 808-375-8921 c, tammy@pkbelly.com

Pete: 402-681-2613 c, pete@pkbelly.com