Pork Belly Update #8---A Pork Miscellany with Deadline Reminders

June 13, 2023

Dear Friends,


You newbies will not believe this, but in a normal season, we send only one, maybe two, updates per month, at least until June. This year, we may have sent more updates than in the last two years combined. (For many reasons, this has been necessary.) We hope you're keeping up! We can actually help you with Our Index of Important PBV Updates, BELOW!


Or, get the Pork Belly Mobile App, which keeps track of the updates for you!


ABOVE: Later in this update, meet Janice and John,

and other great Pork Belly People

who love RAGBRAI.????


The hits are gonna keep on coming, friends. We have several hefty updates to send yet this month, including the June Letter, which I hope will be in your hands before week's end. It's a good idea to find a place to keep these OR get our App, which includes an archive of the 2023 updates. Here's what else you'll find in this meaty update...

In This Update:

  • Your Refund Deadline of June 15th and More Important Dates to Remember


  • An Index of Useful Updates You May Have Missed


  • RAGBRAI Wristband Numbers--Record Yours on Your Detail Form!


  • Last Chance on the Detail Form: Choose Your Shuttle Departure!
  • Get A Group Name, Baby--It's a Song! Sing It With Us (and Do It)!


  • E-Bikes: We Need to Know If You're Charging Batteries.


  • More Extras To Come


  • Get A Room! Hotel Rooms Available (due to Cancellations)


  • Meet Pork Belly People!

Refund Deadline, June 15th.

There's no fine print with PBV. If you cancel before Thursday of this week, June 15th, you can get a 90% refund. (The first 10% is not refundable.). After June 15th, we will make no refunds, unless you have our cancellation protection.


If you have our cancellation protection, you have extended your refund deadline to July 19th at 10:00 PM.

Dates to Remember

Sorry to be repetitive. For those who missed it...

  • May 15--this is when your final payment to PBV was due. Now (after May 15th), if you add services or if you sign up for a shuttle, you must pay in full right away. We have to cancel unpaid applications (apps with only the initial 10% deposit), so that we know our numbers.
  • June 15, this Thursday--this is your last day to cancel and get your 90% refund. If you don't have our cancellation protection and you cancel after June 15, we make no refund.
  • June 21--this is your last date to order shipping labels from BikeFlights for your bike or for your duffel.
  • July 19--on this Wednesday before RAGBRAI, those who have our cancellation protection may cancel by email until 10:00 PM and receive their 90% refund. After 10:00 PM on Wednesday, July 19th, we will make no refunds.
  • Find more on our cancellation policy and refund deadlines here: PBV Cancellation

ABOVE: Here's Tom Rosskopf, after completing RAGBRAI 2022!


Useful Index of

Important 2023 PBV Updates


As you read through this update,

you're going to see references to earlier updates.

Use this index to reference them!

Remember that some of the extra services in these updates, particularly Update #2, could be sold out.

(We're only including updates that are still relevant.)

PBV Update #1,

February, Details on All PBV Shuttles



PBV Update #2,

March, Booking Hotel Stays and Massage Therapy in Camp. Some info may be out of date and some services, days, times may be sold out.



PBV Update on Bike Shipping,

April, Find your link to BikeFlights here, and remember the 6/21 deadline for ordering labels!



PBV Update #4,

Completing Your Detail Form



PBV Update #5,

Long-Term Parking in Davenport



PBV Update #7,

The Pork Belly Mobile App

Use the QR Code in This Update to GET OUR APP!



PBV Update #8,

Clearing Up Misunderstandings

This was our most recent update.



Just For Fun,

the Pork Belly Glossary of Terms


Several Topics on

Recording Important Info

on Your Application or Your Detail Form

Your Detail Form

If you have not yet logged in to complete your Detail Form, it's time. You should each be receiving your official six-digit RAGBRAI registration numbers, and your unique number must be recorded on your form. We collect other info on the form, too: dietary restrictions, bike info for those on pre-RAGBRAI shuttles, and your choice of departure on our E/W Shuttle and on our Omaha Airport Shuttle prior to RAGBRAI. Click on the link for Update #4 above for how to find and complete your Detail Form. Every rider needs to do it.

Dietary Restrictions

The Detail Form for each weeklong rider is what allows us to create two lists for those who have dietary restrictions. If your name is not on the list, we won't be able to accommodate your restriction at our included dinners. Just one more reason to be sure that you complete that Detail Form for every rider!


We do not want to over-promise on this. Keep your expectations low. In a very limited way, PBV can accommodate two restrictions on our included dinners: meatless entree and gluten-free. We will do better on some meals than others. We'll try (but probably not fully succeed this year) to accommodate these restrictions on the optional dinners, too, and if your diet is restricted, you'll need to read those menus carefully before deciding whether to buy an optional dinner. (Hang on for our menus.)


Certainly for those without dietary restrictions (and for everyone, really), we hope you'll love ALL of our dinners this year. We have some old favorite menus and some new twists! Stay tuned!



For those on the E/W Shuttle, and for those on our Omaha Airport Shuttle, we have been at work on rosters! Those who have already given us their preferred departure times have the early-bird advantage over those who have not! Update #4 in the index above will walk you right through finding and completing your unique detail form. There is no tab at the website. Login!


[This isn't really your last chance. We're just desperately trying to get your attention. Do it, will ya?]

The Group-Name Song--

Sing It With Me!

It's a snappy tune, but in June, I always get sick of singing the "Group Name" song. We're getting ready to work on the tent grid, though, and we're already working on bus rosters. Our application has a group-name field. Any two or more people who want to be together need a common group name on both or all applications. So hey, I'll sing it for you once more. Won't you join in?


THE Group-Name Song


Now you NEED to know that your location

DePENDS on your Pork Belly Application.

Yeah, you wanna be with your friends?

Login before your thing ends,

And get a group name, baby.


Baby, baby, oh baby!


WISE UP now and login!

Spell it just like your friends!

And Get a Group Name!


Baby, baby, oh baby!

Get a Group Naaaame!

E-Bike Battery Charging

Some folks have decided to switch to an e-bike--which is fine with us. If you've decided to bring an e-bike, and if you have not ticked the box for e-bike battery charging on your PBV application, please login and do that. We need to know who's charging. More in our June Letter.


Even though your payment deadline has passed, we will be inviting you to sign up for more extras soon. Some things take a while to arrange. Be prepared.



We LOVE it, and we hope you do. It will be more and more useful to you as the weeks go by, and valuable essential during RAGBRAI!


Don't have it yet? Please see Update #7 above, and use the QR Code in that update!


Android users, we're sorry that Google will not do away with the old version of our app, which no longer functions. (What the heck?) You're looking for the version for which Pork Belly Ventures is the developer.


The APP! The APP! The APP! Don't ride without the Pork Belly Mobile APP!

"The Inbox Still Runs Deep."


(That could also be a great song... alas, for another time.)


Forgive us for getting slower on email as time goes by. Know that if we can just write and edit during some of our emailing time, we will get answers to questions into EVERYONE'S hands, with our June Letter. Stand by!

Get A Room!

Hotel Stays with PBV


Due to cancellations....


  • We have one or two rooms in Sioux City on Friday/Saturday, 7/21 and 7/22.
  • We have a couple rooms on Wednesday in Des Moines.
  • We have a few rooms on Friday, 7/28, within walking distance of camp in Coralville (The Raddison).
  • And most people do it for the bathroom, really.


See Update #2 in the Index above, and be sure to review the terms and prices of Pork Belly Ventures hotel stays. We'll give up all of our unclaimed rooms pretty soon.

And now for our series...

Meet Pork Belly People!

Installation #2!


This time we have veterans whom we've known for a long time. Here's what they love about RAGBRAI and why they keep coming back to ride, year after year.



Meet Tom and Tammy!


"Our first RAGBRAI we only knew one other couple at the start. By the end of the week however, we had a dozen new friends. Each RAGBRAI since, another batch of friends gets added to our network. It’s amazing how easy it is to strike up conversations with others while you’re rolling down the road, relaxing at a rest stop along the way, or enjoying some entertainment at the end of the day. It’s an incredible experience of camaraderie among tens of thousands of riders. Now we look forward to seeing all those friendly faces again every July. 


"RAGBRAI also provides an opportunity to give support to communities and organizations that may be dear to your heart. One of the most remembered for us was a small church in an overnight town that was hosting a dinner including our favorite Iowa dessert…rhubarb pie! I grew up in Minnesota, but live in Oklahoma now and we don’t have rhubarb in Oklahoma so this is usually our only opportunity to get some. The church was raising funds to support the local Special Olympics team, which being the parents of a Special Olympics athlete ourselves, made us feel so glad to support their efforts. There are so many opportunities like this along the ride, it gives you that great feeling of having given something back to the community all week long. It’s obvious that RAGBRAI riders are some of the most generous and caring people. 


"Lastly, RAGBRAI gives us an opportunity to indulge in some favorite food and drinks for an entire week. If we get separated, how about we just meet up at The Farm Boys Tent for breakfast? Is that smoke alongside the road ahead? Yes….it’s Mr Pork Chop! How much farther did you say it was to the Iowa Craft Beer Tent? I’m halfway to earning my Back Pocket Brewery t-shirt! Let’s meet up at the Iowa Beer Bus this afternoon. Oh, is that the chug chug of homemade Beekman’s Ice Cream I’m hearing? Race you there!"

Meet John and Janice!


"Ever since I rode my first RAGBRAI in 2009, every year I look forward to the last full week in July and my week in the corn. It's like summer camp for adults! There are three things that make RAGBRAI so special and keep me coming back year after year. First and foremost, the people. No one is a stranger; everyone is a friend. There is so much camaraderie among the cyclists and hospitality from the people of Iowa. You cannot help but smile when you ride into a town and are welcomed by everyone--from its youngest residents to its oldest. And not just the towns--along the route people welcome you into their yards with slip and slides, ponds, and shade trees.


"Second, the food. We love experiencing all the local specialties and flavors. And of course, the pie. Our goal each year is to have a different flavor pie each day.


"And lastly, the experiences. We try to see and do as much as possible in each of the towns. In 2010, the route took us through Dyersville, home to the Field of Dreams, where we played in a pick-up baseball game in our cycling gear, running the bases in our bike shoes. In 2013, the overnight town of Fairfield decided to try to set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing false moustaches. It was all well planned and organized. At the designated hour, we assembled at the downtown square in corrals. At the specified time, we all donned our mustaches. It was tremendously funny and fun to be a part of. Our overnight stay in Clear Lake in 2017 holds numerous memories. We rode into town, dismounted our bikes, and jumped into the lake--so cool and refreshing after the day's riding. And there was a band playing tunes on the beach. It doesn't get any better than that (actually it did). Once we got out of the water and dried off, we took a tour of the Surf Ballroom, the location for the final concert of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. On the way out of town the next morning, we took a slight detour from the route and visited the crash site/memorial. When we overnighted in Ottumwa in 2016, they opened up their waterpark, free of charge, to all the cyclists. Before locating our campgrounds with PBV, we rode straight to the waterpark and sat in the wave pool all afternoon in our cycling clothes (with occasional trips down the water slides).


"So take advantage of all the opportunities and partake in all the activities. I can't wait to see what adventures await and what memories are made this year!"

Meet Siblings...

Mark, Mary, and Ed!

What Mark loves about RAGBRAI:


"Riding car-free roads and a week with Mary and Ed."


RIGHT: My selfie with Mark at the January Expo in Des Moines.

What Mary loves about RAGBRAI:


"I love everything about the ride. Every time you say it’s going to be blistering hot and it’s cold. A dog drinking from Katie’s water bottle. Finding Ryan sleeping in a library and telling us about the Ragbrai-o-sphere. Susan riding with us and going so fast we couldn’t keep up! Judy riding with us, and after a lovely lunch we turn and there’s a big hill out of town. Astronaut suits and riding a cart to get there! Mayors in hot dog suits. Kader riding in Chicago and following our route. Little mermaid pillow. The amazing way we leave before Mark and always seem to meet up. Tomato sandwiches. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Lucy ('doing great at 88'). Having Wilson and Susan join us at our place after the ride and celebrating birthdays. The shower ladies at the end of the ride each day." 

What Ed loves about RAGBRAI:


"I get to spend a week with my sister and brother. They are two good people in my life that I wish I could see more often.


"I get to ride my bike and not worry about cars. Keeping an eye out for corn bears. Playing Ragbrai Bingo, which connects my friends back home to the ride. Mary and I sharing desserts. Mark enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich. There are so many things to see and do and laugh about and re-tell the stories to people back home who want to come along but never will.


"Some adversity makes things sweeter, better. 


"So Mary and I were standing in line at the grocery store and the man in front of us had a big bottle of vodka, chips and a box of powdered donuts. His wife came by and said, 'I thought we were going to eat heathy tonight. Put the donuts back.'


"Where can you dress up like a fireman and squirt the hose at a keg hanging in the air against the assistant fire chief? Go to a hobo museum? Get a funnel cake, then go to another vendor to get a scoop of ice cream on it and not feel any guilt? Rumble strips aren’t that bad. Seeing all the corn and beans. Doing things that you can’t do back home-- ride a fireman’s ladder, throw a toilet and laugh with the farmers, hold a pig, ride a bull, stop to share a piece of birthday cake with a young boy or girl.


"RAGBRAI is what you want it to be, but you have to take it in. I’ve always felt it is the best week of the year."

ABOVE: Left to right, Character, Character, Ed, Character, Mary, Character. And that's Mark's shadow as he took the photo.


Isn't it funny how people of few words and people who are more gregarious and expressive can still share their love of this huge and corny ride?


All of our newbies are going to love RAGBRAI for their own special reasons. For all of us, it combines play and accomplishment, hardship and pleasure, deprivation and abundance, a brief bummer sometime during the week, followed immediately by a boatload of gratitude. And a whole lotta laughs. Friendship and camaraderie wait for all of us on the banks of the Missouri River.

May We Meet You?

We can't exactly promise to publish them all, but feel free to share a photo of yourself and why you love RAGBRAI or why you've decided to ride your first one. We'll do our best to include you in our "Meet Pork Belly People" Series!

Desperate Measures

Now, notice please, folks, as you review the topics in this update, that we have begun to beg and cajole. We're using pretty colors to catch your eye. We're doing a song and dance routine in this update, because we need a few things from you. It's time to tune in and ensure your happy trip to Iowa! If one of the topics above resonates with your to-do list--well, do it!


More fun stuff to come!


Tammy and Pete  

P.S. No fine print. Remember that we make no refunds after June 15th, which is Thursday of this week, the day after tomorrow. (Unless you took our cancellation protection.)

Pork Belly Ventures LLC 

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

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