Pork Belly Update#10-Indoor Sleeping

June 24, 2023

Dear Friends,

Heavens! We're a month away, and our days are on fast-forward. In this update, we invite you to reserve some important EXTRAS. Here's a quick TOC:


  • A few important topics up front, like how to look up your official RAGBRAI Wristband Number
  • Detail Forms for Every Rider
  • Limited options to Sleep in A/C, details below, to benefit our hosts!
  • Meet Pork Belly People!
  • Video on Packing for RAGBRAI!
  • Our Tips for First-Timers at the bottom.


Please read on!

Your PBV June Letter, Delayed

With new developments and continuing long days, we did not meet our goal of publishing the June Letter last week. But we will get there! Shooting for next week.

Detail Forms.

We're making bus assignments, and 20% of our riders on the Omaha shuttle have not completed their detail form, OR they have answered some questions but have not given us any idea when they want to depart.


LOTS of people have not answered the question about dietary restrictions, and our caterers are asking for numbers.


On the Detail Form, every rider needs to record the RAGBRAI registration number (which is the same as a "bib" number or a "wristband" number. (See below for how to look up your RAGBRAI registration number.)


Please login and find the green tab, Detail Form. Do it today.

RAGBRAI Credentials and Packets

All riders who are registered for RAGBRAI should have an official registration number now. If you didn't receive an email, here's how to look up your number (and type it into your Detail Form):


How to access your wristband number:

  1. Go to https://enmotive.com/users/login
  2. Click login in the upper right corner
  3. Scroll to Current and Upcoming Events
  4. Click the blue Actions dropdown
  5. Select View Registration
  6. Your wristband number will be listed under BIB in the system. 


RAGBRAI has begun to mail packets. Their team will do this in waves, until July 4th, when the last wave goes out. If there's any deviation from this schedule, they will publish it.


Teams: Team leaders receive the packets for the whole team. There was considerable confusion and alarm last year--unnecessarily. If you registered for RAGBRAI as a team, check with your team leader to see if he/she has received the packets for the whole team.


It goes without saying that Pork Belly Ventures only supports riders who are registered for RAGBRAI.


NO Snail Mail from PBV

We don't mail anything (except refund checks). You'll get everything from us at check-in in Sioux City.

BELOW: In the old days, our riders counted themselves lucky

to sleep on a church pew. Donations usually helped

to refurbish the church building.



Indoor Sleeping:

It Will Go Fast.

Sleeping inside for a good cause is a long tradition with Pork Belly Ventures. Thanks to many wonderful hosts, we have been arranging very quiet slumber parties for decades. Many of us can remember 2011 and 2012, truly hot RAGBRAIs. Some of us can remember overnight thunderstorms, too. We cross our fingers, of course, and so many times we’ve gotten lucky with the weather! But here’s a way to hedge against heat and overnight thunderstorms, by reserving shelter and air-conditioning in advance. And you'll be helping our hosts as well!


We define "indoor sleeping" as rolling out your bedroll in an air-conditioned space with restroom facilities, and always being respectful of our hosts and the facilities they offer us. This year, we can offer indoor sleeping on three nights of RAGBRAI.



Indoor sleeping involves a $25 donation to the school, church, or organization hosting our riders. Pork Belly Ventures collects the donation from each indoor sleeper. We keep none of it. One hundred percent goes to the organization hosting us on a given day.

BELOW: This is Hansen Ag, an Iowa State University facility

in Ames for teaching future farmers!

Indoor sleepers can use this venue again.

What about Baggage?

Due to our larger responsibilities this time, the PBV Crew will not move baggage to and from indoor sleeping venues.


The sleeping venues in Carroll and Coralville are on our site. The venue in Ames (which we have used before) is across a big parking lot and across the street. All of these locations will be pinpointed on our PBV Host Town Maps, coming to you in July. (The example above is part of our not-yet-final PBV overnight town map of Coralville, showing the location of plentiful indoor sleeping in both the Fieldhouse and the Arena.)


Riders who reserve indoor sleeping will need to walk their own baggage to and from the venue. In the morning, they'll need to bring bags back to their rental tents or to the baggage trailer.

Most of this is common sense, friends, but we have to say it.

You Must Be With PBV.

We can only offer these opportunities to people who are using Pork Belly Ventures Weeklong Support or Partial-Week Support.


Be Sure of Your Commitment.

Please read this description in full. By responding, you are committing to paying for these affordable opportunities. 


We will put these charges on your PBV applications. Our cancellation policy applies. You will need to settle your balance before you come to Iowa. Do keep your word to us and to our hosts. At this point in our season, we do not have time for changes and switcheroos. 


BELOW: Many photos in this update show

our happy indoor sleepers of RAGBRAIs past.

Game-Day Decisions

Some people look at these opportunities as a kind of insurance. If it's nice outside, they'd rather camp. But in case of extreme heat or overnight thunderstorms, they have reserved an indoor spot. They figure it's a small donation to a good cause, whether or not they end up using it.


NO Late-Nighters!

IF YOU WANT TO GO TO STREET DANCES IN THESE OVERNIGHT TOWNS, PLEASE DON'T SIGN UP FOR INDOOR SLEEPING. You would wake your fellows when you come in late. These offers are for folks who hit the hay early (before 10:00 PM), can be quiet, and who clean up after themselves.


When You'll Have Access

We think indoor sleepers will be able to get into any of these spaces in the early afternoon--but we're still working on details. So below, we're saying access times are TBD.


NOTE: On Friday, we are using space alongside the Adaptive Sports Iowa team. We will clarify which spaces are ours to use. Please be good neighbors to the ASI team, who will be our guests for dinner on Friday night!



Bear in mind the importance of courtesy to our hosts and to your fellow Porkers who will be sleeping indoors. 

  • The only beverage that is appropriate in your sleeping room is a bottle of water with a lid. 


  • Bikes stay outside, locked in camp or near the venue.


  • Dispose of any trash--don't leave it where you slept.


  • It's lights-out by 10:00. After 10:00 PM (and if you get up in the night), make an effort to be quiet and not disturb others. 


  • Say thanks to our hosts-- the volunteers, school staff, whoever you meet in these nice buildings—for the privilege of sleeping inside. 


  • Don’t leave any mess in the restrooms—tidy up and use the trash barrels. 


  • If you're okay with that, we welcome you to write for a reservation.  

Our Indoor Sleeping Opportunities,

$25 donation per person per night

Monday, 7/24, A/C space in Fairview Elementary School Gymnasium

  • $25 per person
  • Located at the center of our campsite
  • One large gymnasium
  • Accessible by noon, we hope (TBD)
  • You move your own baggage to/from
  • Donations benefit the school!


Tuesday, 7/25, Ames, A/C space in Hansen Ag (educational facility for students of ag and animal husbandry)

  • $25 per person
  • Located across a large parking lot and across the street from camp
  • two large classrooms, a large foyer, and other areas
  • Accessible at a time to be announced--afternoon
  • Please remember, you will move your own baggage to/from
  • Donations benefit the Hansen Ag programs and facility


Friday, 7/28, Coralville, in the Fieldhouse and the Xtream Arena, two connected buildings.

  • $25 per person
  • NOTE ON LOCATION: Our shower trailers are located in a parking lot of Xtream Arena, and we will serve and eat dinner inside. The final night of entertainment will be INSIDE the Xtream Arena. And we're planning a Happy Hour in the arena, too! So indoor sleepers, you will have other reasons for and opportunities to hang out in this air-conditioned space!
  • Accessible in early afternoon, exact time TBD.
  • Riders move their own bags in and out.
  • Donations benefit the Xtream Arena.
  • NOTE: We will fill the Fieldhouse basketball courts first, but there are hallways and the arena itself, so we think we have virtually unlimited space here. However, if you're assigned to the arena, you may need to stash your stuff and wait until our meal and concert are over (around 8:15 PM) before you roll out your bedroll.

How to Reserve

Please read everything above before you write to request sleeping space. Only after you have read this information thoroughly and spoken with any friends, you can write to Anne with the nights you request and your name. You may give Anne the first/last name of a friend (who is on PBV Support), only if you’re sure of his or her plans. Then Kay will put the charges, your $25 donation for each night, on the application of your friend and yourself--so be certain before you write.


Having read this info and agreed to the terms, please feel free to write to Anne with the names of those for whom you would like to reserve space, and the night/s you want.




And now, our continuing series...

Meet Pork Belly People!

Meet Brently and Mary Beth

of BBB Adventures on



"Maybe it’s the lack of car traffic on the route. Maybe it’s the rider support ecosystem that has developed over the years, like the great services provided by Pork Belly Ventures.  Maybe it’s the generous, caring and thoughtful people of Iowa. Maybe it’s the miles and miles of corn. Maybe it’s the availability of great craft beer and homemade ice cream or the church ladies selling pie. It could be the contagious and positive energy emitted by the thousands of riders setting aside any difference and all joining in a common goal of crossing the state. Or perhaps it’s all of these things combined that makes this the best week of the year. For us, it means it’s a way of recharging ourselves, re-grounding our perspective and re-establishing our faith in the human race. It’s become so important to us, we can’t imagine not doing it.


"We think the world would be a better place if everyone could ride RAGBRAI which is why it’s one of the key focus areas of our YouTube channel BBB Adventures. Our primary goal for BBB Adventures is to inspire others to get on a bike and have their own adventures. And why not make RAGBRAI one of those adventures? Last year we included RAGBRAI on our bike ride across North America called The Apollo Mission. You can check it the entire journey on BBB Adventures."


We thank Brently and Marybeth for their "public service" video below. Since they created this one, they've welcomed us to publish it each year. It's useful for Pork Belly-supported riders and for everyone on the ride!

Help for RAGBRAI Packers!

We can tell by the questions we're hearing that all across the country, duffel bags are open and contents are being assembled. If you're not yet packing, we hope you're planning. To help you, we include two things...



Brently and Marybeth Cooper's How-To Video

on Packing for RAGBRAI!



Our Tips for First Timers below

and in this document link!


Do you have our Pork Belly Mobile App?

Remember, it provides you with an archive of PBV Updates, RAGBRAI maps and PBV maps (coming soon), tips and timely information during RAGBRAI, and more! Get the latest update of our APP! Don't ride without it!

It's coming fast! Please stand by for your comprehensive June Letter!


Until next time,

best wishes!



Tammy and Pete


How To Prepare For RAGBRAI

Pork Belly Ventures Tips for First Timers


The Riding Part- A lot of people ask us, "What do I have to do to get in shape for this thing?" There is no other way to train for a long-distance bike ride than to ride long distances. You can't really prepare for RAGBRAI by riding a stationary bike or by walking or running, although these activities will contribute to a higher level of fitness. You need to come as close as you can to simulating the ride, which means riding hills, riding against the wind, riding long miles day after day. Not many people go on a training ride in the rain, but it would help you know how you and your bike will perform. We suggest that you try riding 20-30 miles three nights a week, and 50-60 miles on weekend days. Take some time around the 4th of July to do longer miles three or four days in a row. This will let you know whether you can recover for the next day's ride. Don't over-train, though. Come to Iowa rested.


Comfort on the bike is critical. Make sure that your bike is adjusted correctly for your body. Don't change anything about your bike or your gear just before the ride. Make sure that your shoes, gloves, saddle and all other gear is broken in. Make sure your helmet rests securely on your head. Don't make any drastic adjustment to your saddle or handlebar height just before the ride. If you are thinking of changing to clipless pedals or adding attachments to your handlebars, do it now, not just before the ride.


Everybody has his own idea of what he needs to carry on the bike. Some riders don't feel prepared unless they are carrying a few clothing items, food items, a first aid kit, etc. We suggest that you carry only what you absolutely need -- a tube and patch kit, money, i.d., sunscreen, protection for your lips, a rain jacket if the forecast calls for rain. (Today’s cycling rain jackets are vented, and they have extra long sleeves to cover your arms as you're reaching for the bars, and usually a shirttail that covers your behind.  Rain pants are optional and often too hot for RAGBRAI.) Although food and drink can be found virtually every couple of miles along the route, you may want to have two bottle cages on your bike for two large water bottles on hot afternoons. If you plan to get on your bike before sunrise (neither is recommended), or to be riding it after sunset, you will need a headlight. There are small handlebar mounted lights that can be clipped on when you need them; others mount on your helmet. A rear light makes you more visible to others before dawn. Carry sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen -- we have seen a lot of perfectly fit people become miserable because of sunburned skin or blistering lips.


Watch out for the other guy. You're going to encounter people who are not in very good shape and who are not very skilled riders. They are going to swerve erratically on steep hills. They are going to try to draft you. They are going to pedal furiously one minute, and then coast along in exhaustion. They are going to cut clumsily across the road in front of you in a desperate dive for the Dove Bar stand. Our first tip is this: 1) Don't be one of these people. Always look back over your shoulder before changing lanes or getting off the road. Don't draft anybody you don't usually ride with. Pedal smoothly, maintaining an even speed. Whether you are coasting down a long hill, or climbing a steep one, "hold your line," which means don't weave around. Ride like you drive. If you're fatigued, get off the road and rest a bit. And secondly, 2) Be considerate of these people. Use the RAGBRAI road lingo to signal your intentions to other riders. As you pass another rider, say "On your left" or "On your right." Say it pleasantly: don't shout at them as if you expect them to get out of your way. It's customary to holler "Stopping" or "Braking" when you do. Be safe. Be predictable. Be defensive. Be kind. The stronger, more capable rider should always defer to those who are struggling.


When a car is approaching in the oncoming lane or from behind you, warn other riders by shouting "Car Up" or "Car Back." If you come across an accident, shout "Rider Down." You will pick up the lingo on your first day as other riders shout "Bump!" "Gravel!" or "Rumble!" (for a rough strip announcing an upcoming stop sign). You can also help the rider behind you by simply pointing to a patch of gravel or a pothole. Remember to hold your line on a turn. Remember to cross railroad tracks at a right angle. Watch for treacherous cracks and grooves in the road. Your narrow tire can drop into a crack and send you end over end. One last thing... RIDE RIGHT! Stay right of the center line.


The Packing Part- Bring layers. You'll probably start out in long sleeves in the morning and remove them by 10:00 a.m. Bring a hand towel and four days worth of clothes. Pork Belly offers a midweek laundry service (small extra charge, which you can reserve at check-in in Sioux City), a great morale boost that gives you fresh towels and a chance to wear your clothes a second time. In the evening, it's shorts and t-shirts, but one pair of long pants and a sweatshirt will prepare you for cool evenings. (Watch the forecast, but things can change quickly on the prairie.) A few items you might not think of: baby powder and/or anti-chafing products like Butt Butter, a few shop rags, a pocket mirror, one of those miner's headlights (for use in the dark tent), earplugs, extra socks, a high-tech wringable towel, whatever you take for aches and pains, and antibacterial handwash. Get sample sizes of some things—toothpaste, lotion, handwash, shampoo—to save on space. You'll find a dozen uses for a fistful of ziplock bags. If the forecast is hot, you may be tempted to leave that sleeping bag behind. Don't do it. Iowa weather can change in a heartbeat, and you don't want to shiver all night. On the other hand, lots of folks pack a small, battery-operated fan for warm nights in the tent. (Ice in a ziplock helps too.) Many people do a trial-pack and then take out half. And remember, if you can lift your bag above your head, then our drivers can, too. Keep their spines in mind as you pack.


The Camping Part- Put your tent up and take it down so you know how it's done. If your tent is new, don't assume that it's water-tight. You may need to seal the seams yourself. Bring a ground cloth and rain fly. With the distant sound of the street dance, the whispers and giggles from tents around you, and of course a chorus of snorers... light sleepers would be wise to bring earplugs to help them doze off. Heavy sleepers may need to set an alarm. Having snacks like fruit and power bars in your tent will keep your blood sugar on an even keel. The sinks and facilities are so crowded in the morning that some people just make do with their toothbrush, water bottle, a wet washcloth in a ziplock bag or alcohol wipes to hold them over until their afternoon shower.


The Eating Part- This is not the time to diet. Eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty, and rest before you are tired. Many food vendors have caught on to the idea that RAGBRAIers want healthy food, but veggies and whole grain stuff may not always be readily available. Pancakes and homemade cinnamon rolls abound. Tender Toms makes a great turkey sandwich. Iowa sweet corn is a real treat. You can always get fresh fruit and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Espresso drinks are sometimes available on the route. Pasta is everywhere, usually with meat. Church dinners offer huge portions and homemade desserts. Along the route, RAGBRAI is giving special attention to the availability of water and food—but get it when you see it. The Pork Belly Mobile App will let you know each day what foods are waiting for you in Pork Camp. Don't worry about calories or pounds this week. Have a Dove Bar. Have an Iowa Chop. Eat for pleasure and for fuel.


The Money Part- Figure out what you may spend for food, and then add money for things like massages ($40 for 30 minutes), souvenir shirts, bike parts and accessories. Showers (if you’re buying showers) are usually $8, and towel rental (when available) is about a buck. The towns charge a little something for their shuttle buses. Everything's a bargain.


The KEY- What's the key to RAGBRAI? Not training. Not gear. Not money. The key to a successful RAGBRAI is attitude. Lower your expectations, dust off your sense of humor, and roll with it. Things will go right and things will go wrong. You're going to have a great time.


Pork Belly Ventures LLC 

Tammy: 712.328.0161 h, 808-375-8921 c, tammy@pkbelly.com

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