Pork Belly Update #2---Hotel Rooms, Massage Appointments, and More!

March 30, 2023

Dear Friends,


Try as we might, Pork Belly Ventures cannot make RAGBRAI easy.



However, it is our mission to distract you from hardship with some feel-good services during your Week in the Corn!



Right here in this update, for instance, we're offering One-Night-Refresher Hotel Stays and the opportunity to sign up for Miraculous Massage Appointments, too! Keep reading!


Do keep your eyes peeled for other important topics below:

  • the full and detailed route of RAGBRAI is out,
  • coming pretty soon... bike shipping and choosing your preferred shuttle departure time,
  • phone numbers and availability of airport hotel rooms in both Omaha and Des Moines before and after RAGBRAI
  • some fun scouting photos from February!

Full Route Is Out! Yeow!

At RAGBRAI.com, you'll find the full RAGBRAI route is published now, including the meeting town, pass-through towns, and mileages. Check it out! (This info has been available on the Pork Belly Mobile App! Get the app!)


PBV Souvenir Shirt Size:

With all the hoopla around our sell-out, things were done in haste. You (or we) may have skipped over the shirt size for one or more people on your application.


ABOVE: We don't know our 2023 shirt color yet, but you'll like mingling in Pork Camp and sporting your souvenir PBV shirt. Everybody gets one, but let's make sure we have your correct size, please!


We have a significant number of weeklong and partial-week riders with no shirt size recorded.


If you have at least 3 days of partial-week support or if you're on our Weeklong Support, login and scroll down to the lower left corner of the registration form and make sure your shirt size is correct.

Get A Room!


Hotel Stays During RAGBRAI:

Change Your Game with a Refresher Night!

This offer is for riders who are already signed up for the Weeklong Support or Partial-Week Support of PBV.


Nothing like a night of luxury in A/C to refresh you! Please review the explanation below, then look at the pricing for each night. Only when you're absolutely sure, write to Tammy@pkbelly.com with this information:


  • Your chosen night/s in a hotel room
  • Names of ALL room occupants (who will also need passenger seats on our coach. Remember, we have to be exact about this. If they're not on the rooming list, they won't have a seat on the coach.).
  • Please say whether you'd like to be on a waiting list. If your particular night is full, we'll make sure your place in line is recorded. It's not unusual for us to clear several people from our waiting lists.
  • If you don't provide complete info in your email, we may not be able to take your request in the order it is received.


In response to your email, our team will put the lodging nights and charges on your Pork Belly registration form/s--balances will be due on May 15th.

This Year’s Hotels

This year, we can offer stays at Holiday Inn Express, Cobblestone Inn, AmericInn, Radisson as well as two high-end, independent hotels at the end of our week (whose owner we met in February). We have worked with most of these hotels/managers in the past.



To arrive at our pricing, we total up the (sometimes inflated) room rate, the 12%-13.5% tax, and our fee for your transfer from camp to hotel and back on a luxury motor coach.


Please note the PER-PERSON PRICES. So if Jack and Jill Porker share a room, the per-person price goes on each of their registrations.



If you charge any incidentals to your room, you will pay for them separately.


Distance from Camp to Hotel

The distances vary and are included on our list of hotels below. We have one 30-mile trip. Four hotels are in the RAGBRAI overnight town, while others are 17-25 miles away.


Cancellation Policy

This service, like all other services of Pork Belly Ventures, is subject to our cancellation policy. In short, if you cancel prior to June 15th, you will receive a 90% refund on the services you have reserved with Pork Belly Ventures. If you cancel after June 15th, Pork Belly Ventures will make no refund. 


Exception: If you took our cancellation protection at the time of registration, you have extended your 90% refund deadline from June 15th to July 19th. If you have any questions about refunds or cancellation, please call for a fuller explanation.


Your Coach and Transfer Times

Your coach departs camp at 6:00 PM and it departs the hotel parking lot the following morning at 6:00 AM. It is your responsibility to make the coach. If you arrange another way to the hotel, please inform our Front Desk so we don’t delay the departure unnecessarily. Of course, out of courtesy to your fellow passengers, please be on time for the coach, in your seat and ready to roll by 6:00 PM or 6:00 AM.


A Pork Belly Crew Member will check you in for the departure from camp, checking your names off her list as you board the coach. (You are responsible for yourselves in the morning!)



We have a good track record of getting some kind of breakfast option early at each hotel—maybe cold items, maybe part of the usual menu, and possibly a full hot breakfast before 6:00 AM. At the Radisson on Friday, for instance, we can only arrange a little grab-and-go box breakfast on Saturday morning before 6:00 AM. It’s possible that we won’t persuade every hotel to offer the breakfast early for you. Please don’t base your decision about our weeklong hotel stays on breakfast being provided every morning.


Restaurants/Bars Near Hotels

We will try to provide this information for you later in the season. Hotel Grinnell on Thursday is near the Grinnell downtown bars and restaurants. Both the Radisson and the Highlander on Friday, 7/28 have a full bar and restaurant in the hotel. Again, more info on these topics later.



Bikes are locked in camp and do not go with you to the hotel. If you are entitled to dinner or if you bought an optional dinner from PBV, go to the front of the dinner line at around 5:45 PM (say “I’m on the hotel coach”) and the girls will be ready to give you a covered plate to take on the coach. 


In the morning when you return to camp after your one-night hotel stay, please take your bags to their normal location… to your rental tent or to the Stupidity trailer for transport to the next overnight town.


Evening Festivities in Camp

Our coach leaves camp for the hotels at 6:00 PM. Please be aware that we have live music during dinner every night, and unless you arrange your own transfers to and from camp, you will miss this part and maybe other aspects of the PBV experience. It’s the trade-off for hotel comforts.


Room Types

By all means mention the type of room you hope for, but at this point, we can't be too choosy.


By the way, on Wednesday, notice those two suites with three queen beds--a nice opportunity for a group of friends! 


Waiting Lists

If you're really interested in a room on a night when we're full, we are happy to put you on the wait list! If/when our waiting lists get long, we'll make an announcement.


What’s Next?

Everything regarding pricing and other details is below. Your questions are welcome, but do remember that these rooms will probably go fast. 


Note: If you’re not sure, please don’t accept. This is a very labor-intensive process for Pork Belly Ventures to provide, and we have a limited number of rooms each night. We just don’t have the man-power for changing these reservations, moving people in and then out again, while others have been turned away. 


Once you have accepted our offer, we will put the charges on your applications as quickly as possible. Your full balance will be due on May 15th. If you prefer to pay in full now, that’s fine too.

Hotel Stay Pricing

for Pork Belly Ventures,

including tax and transfer fee

Friday, 7/21, Sioux City (same property and price for Saturday, 7/22)

Sioux City, Holiday Inn Expressa few rooms left

This night is only for those using our Friday shuttle from end to start towns, or those who are being dropped off in our Sioux City campsite sometime on Friday before 8:00 PM. Our other shuttles from Omaha and Des Moines operate on Saturday.

Perhaps 15 minutes from camp

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $297.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $174.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:          $133.00 per person


Saturday, 7/22, Sioux City (same property and price for Friday, 7/21)

Sioux City, Holiday Inn Expressa few double queens available

Perhaps 15 minutes from camp

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $297.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $174.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:          $133.00 per person



Sunday, Storm Lake

Lake View, Cobblestone Inn (formerly Boulders), 24 rooms, write for a spot on the wait list.

30 miles from camp (the longest distance of the week)

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $217.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $134.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:          $106.00 per person



Monday, Carroll

Lake View, Cobblestone Inn (formerly Boulders), 24 rooms, write for a spot on the wait list.

20 miles from camp

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $217.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $134.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:          $106.00 per person



Tuesday, Ames

Boone, Cobblestone Inn, 23 rooms, write for a spot on the wait list.

17 miles from camp

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $230.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $140.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:           $110.00 per person


Wednesday, Des Moines

Des Moines airport AmericInn, 6 single queens, 1 king, many double queens, 1 king suite available-- and *2 triple-queens (see separate pricing).

9 minutes from camp

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $220.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $135.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:          $107.00 per person


Separate pricing for two *triple-queen rooms:

1 person using room, incl transfer:       $275

2 people using room, incl transfer:       $163.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:       $125.00 per person

4 people using room, incl transfer: $107.00 per person

5 people using room, incl transfer: $ 95.00 per person


Thursday, Tama/Toledo

Grinnell, Hotel Grinnell, Classic downtown hotel near bars and restaurants, One room remaining, and waitlist available

25 miles from camp

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $358

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $204.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:          $153.00 per person


Friday, Coralville

Coralville (technically Iowa City), The Highlandera few double queens left. This is a fun boutique hippie hotel (Peace.) with a cool '70s vibe, an on-site restaurant, and--can you believe it?-- a vinyl library. Lots of rooms on the pool! Few minutes from camp on the coach.


RIGHT: This was my view of the pool from my room when we stayed at the Highlander during our February scout.


About 4 miles from camp.

1 person using room, incl transfer:          $330.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:          $190.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:          $144.00 per person


Coralville, Radisson Hotel, booked yesterday.

This. Never. Happens. On the Friday night of RAGBRAI, we are camping in a fun entertainment district. The Coralville CVB folks have helped us book a generous block of double queen rooms nearby. Though the neighborhood is walkable, we caution you about walking to/from this hotel (your transfer is included). It's across the interstate, wide and busy streets, and there could be some road construction. Still, it's quite close, for a quick coach transfer back to camp on Saturday morning!

About a mile from camp.

1 person using room, incl transfer:       $253.00

2 people using room, incl transfer:       $152.00 per person

3 people using room, incl transfer:        $118.00 per person

Get A Massage!

Our Massage Team Will Rub You

the Right Way!

This offer is for riders who are already signed up for the Weeklong Support or the Partial-Week Support of PBV.

We don't normally offer massage appointments before June or July. Julie, the PBV massage team leader, is thinking ahead, though. Due to some challenges in her schedule, she would like to start taking appointments right now. Read on for the info to include in your email appointment request.

  • Number of Therapists in Pork Camp: 12 or 13 this year
  • Price of Massage Therapy: incremental pricing at $40 for 30 minutes, $80 for one hour, etc.
  • Hours of Operation: about 1:00 to 10:00 PM


Even with a massage team of a dozen strong, prime times can fill up fast. If massage is important for your RAGBRAI experience, we encourage you to make your appointments in advance.



What Julie Needs to Know!

Please make this an efficient process by including complete information when you write to Julie:

  • Include the first and last names of those for whom you are making appointments,
  • Include the preference of a male or female therapist,
  • Include your preferred times and duration of massage (people often forget the duration! How long is your massage?),
  • Do mention anything regarding the massage modality or style that you prefer.

Ready? Type your complete info. She will make appointments in the order in which she receives your requests at ...


"Wait for It!"

Here's a list of topics we're not ready to publish. YET. We know you'd love some answers, but hang on, please, while we and others get a few more ducks in a row.

  • Bike-Shipping: BikeFlights is working on this, folks, so please stand by for an April invitation to sign up for bike-shipping, pre-assembly, bike-packing after RAGBRAI, and more. PBV is the RAGBRAI bike-shipping ground game, and we'll write to you with complete info as soon as we can.


  • Choosing Your Preferred Departure on the E/W Shuttle. We have been to Davenport once. We'll head back as soon as we're invited. In April, we hope to offer a comprehensive update about the end town, long-term parking, perhaps indoor sleeping on Friday, 7/21, any meal offerings, AND your invitation to complete your Details Form and select your preferred departure on the E/W Shuttle. ***There are pros and cons on moving this process from June to April. The Pros include the fact that our E/W shuttle from Davenport to Sioux City is going to be larger than ever, so we need to know (early) how many riders will be planning on the Friday departures at 1:00 or at 3:00! Stand by for your Details Form next month! And please do not email us your preference now. Thank you.
  • Waiting List News. We don't have news yet for those on our waiting lists. We'll need to see some serious cancellations, which do not normally happen until late May, June, and July. No need to write to us about our waiting lists. If/when we can clear riders from these lists, we will be in touch. (And once again, we're sorry.)

Omaha and Des Moines Hotel Rooms,

Before and After RAGBRAI



Using our Omaha shuttles?


For the Best Western Plus hotel at the Omaha airport, ROOMS ARE STILL AVAILABLE, both on Friday, 7/21, the night before our shuttle, and on Saturday, 7/29, after RAGBRAI. To access these blocks, please call the local number and mention our name, Pork Belly Ventures.



Our blocks at the Omaha Airport Candlewood Suites Hotel are FULL on both Friday, 7/21 and Saturday, 7/29. You're welcome to check with them from time to time for cancellations. If you don't need your room, please do cancel. Call the local number and mention Pork Belly Ventures:



Our shuttle departs and returns to the Candlewood Suites hotel, which is right next door to the Best Western Plus. Find a fuller description of these shuttles in PBV Update #1, and expect complete instructions from us in June.



Using our Des Moines Shuttles?


At the AmericInn Hotel near the Des Moines airport, we have a lot of room blocks, friends. This info on availability is useful to those who are using our Des Moines shuttles before or after RAGBRAI, or our midweek exit shuttles on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.


On Friday, 7/21, the night before our shuttle operates out of this hotel parking lot, we have many room types available. Call the local number and mention Pork Belly Ventures to book your room. Shuttle departs at 9:00 AM Saturday morning.


On Tuesday, 7/25, our Tuesday midweek exit shuttle returns to this hotel parking lot. We still have several room types available. Call the local number and mention Pork Belly Ventures to book your room.


On Wednesday, 7/26, our Wednesday midweek exit shuttle returns to this hotel parking lot. We DON'T HAVE A BLOCK FOR SHUTTLE FOLKS AT THE MOMENT, but we'll be working on this in the weeks to come. Please write to tammy@pkbelly.com if you will exit RAGBRAI on Wednesday and need a room at the Des Moines airport.


On Saturday, 7/29, our post-RAGBRAI Des Moines airport shuttle returns to this hotel parking lot. We still have several room types available. Call the local number and mention Pork Belly Ventures to book your room.



AmericInn Hotel, Des Moines Airport


Find a fuller description of these shuttles in PBV Update #1, and expect complete instructions from us in June.

Well, this is quite enough for one update, but in case you're up for some fun, have a look at our 2023 scrapbook below on winter scouting with our friends at RAGBRAI!


Take good care, friends, and use this spring weather (intermittent, maybe?) to get a jump on your training. We will be on your screens again soon, and until then we remain,


Your friends,

Tammy and Pete  

Pork Belly Ventures

Scouting Scrapbook,

February 20-24, 2023


It looks balmy for February

in Sioux City, but it turned colder

as the day went on.

We and our friends at RAGBRAI, along with our fellow charter operator Bob Brancel and

Hannah Lundeen of Adaptive Sports Iowa, looked at lots of gorgeous parks in Sioux City.

BELOW, your photographer (I) was too cold (and wimpy) to get out of the car for a better photo of Storm Lake, all iced over!

This scene will be

very different in July.

RIGHT: A pub supper and a good debrief

in Carroll at the end

of a long first day.

That's Anne Lawrie, Director of the Cycling Division, at left, then Bob Brancel, Pete, Ryan Hansen (under the TV) RAGBRAI Logistics, and Ride Director Matt Phippen.

ABOVE LEFT: Matt at RAGBRAI HQ in Des Moines, and ABOVE RIGHT, Ryan too. The new home base of RAGBRAI is so darn cool. The team has moved out of their fifth floor office space and into this awesome industrial space in an up-and-coming neighborhood near the Capitol. In their new digs, they have a suite of offices, hospitality and pop-up event spaces, and cycling merch for RAGBRAI and other events on display. Here is where packets will be assembled and mailed to riders. And most exciting, it's a place for the Dream Team to gather for their rides and team-building!


In the middle of our scouting week, we had an ice storm, so we spent an extra night in Des Moines.


ABOVE LEFT and LEFT: Due to weather, our meeting with the Des Moines RAGBRAI Committee was held indoors at RAGBRAI HQ. We toured campsites later.


BELOW: Pete and Bob decided to merge--so watch for the announcement of a new charter, Brancel Bellies. (Just joshing around.)

ABOVE: Some of you will remember that we conducted a sort of fund drive

to help erect this monument to the founders of RAGBRAI,

the late John Karras and Donald Kaul.

In fact, lots of groups and individuals made this happen,

and many of you contributed--thanks!

We saw it in person for the first time this trip. Very cool.


BELOW: Dinner with the RAGBRAI team.

(We got to see Andrea Parrott, far left, on this night!)

ABOVE: Early arrival for our Tama-Toledo meeting, just hanging out.


BELOW: Kendall and Kathryn ran us all over town in a mini-coach to see all of their great campsites! Tama-Toledo is way ahead on their planning!

And a week later, BELOW, we headed to Des Moines again to meet

with a lot of our fellow charter operators at RAGBRAI's all-day

Overnight Town Meeting, with informative talks and presentations.

We were there to talk with campground chairs

about how to use their space wisely when RAGBRAI comes to town.

Matt gave a great welcome to the groups from every town.

BELOW: A few charters gathered for a photo in Des Moines.

That's Stile and Lynn Haeffner of Out of Staters at left,

Craig Cooper of Bikes to You left of center,

and Bob Brancel on the right.

Pork Belly Ventures LLC 

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

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