Pork Belly Update-Something for Everyone

April 18, 2024

Dear Friends,


Although PBV cannot exactly make your RAGBRAI easy, we have ways of distracting you from hardship with feel-good services! Some of those are offered in this update, and there'll be more coming at you during the season, leading up to Our Week in the Corn.


RIGHT: Thank you, Don, for sharing this photo, an amazing image of what Our Week in the Corn will be like, before everyone comes home to Pork Camp each day!


In this update, we're offering Miraculous Massage Appointments, One-Night-Refresher Hotel Stays (or you can grab a couple nights) and previews of good things to comeYou'll find these important topics and more, below:


  • Book Massage Appointments during RAGBRAI!
  • See the Full and Detailed Route of RAGBRAI!
  • Coming Soon, Early-Finish Shuttles from PBV
  • Hotel Stays--Need a midweek refresher?
  • Complete your travel plans by booking your shuttles to/from the start/end of RAGBRAI.
  • Burlington long-term parking AND indoor sleeping, coming soon!
  • May 15--a day of two deadlines
  • the PBV Cancellation Policy and Refund Deadline
  • We Got It Going On-- ON FACEBOOK!
  • The PBV Team Scrapbook!


Here we go...



Our Skillfull Team Will

Rub You the Right Way!


It may surprise you Newbies that eleven hardy massage therapists are willing to pack up and go on the road with Pork Belly Ventures, camping with us, moving each day, and working in the elements to provide massage therapy for our riders!


This offer/service is only for riders who are already signed up for the Weeklong Support or the Partial-Week Support of PBV. Massage therapy is available from about 1:00 to 10:00 PM daily, on Sunday through Friday of RAGBRAI. Julie, Pork Belly Ventures' massage team leader (pictured in the yellw PBV shirt below) is ready to take your appointments.




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

  • Complete a form for each person 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.
  • Answer all questions on the form.


Pricing for Massage Therapy on RAGBRAI 2024:

15 min. @ $20 / 30 min. @ $50

45 min. @ $70 / 60 min. @ $90


Prime times usually fill up first. (Please consider your daily mileage when making appointments; see next topic.) If massage is important for your RAGBRAI experience, we encourage you to make your appointments in advance.




Complete and submit this request form, which also appears on the Pork Belly Mobile App!


 Massage Request Form

The Full Route Is Out!

On the day it was announced, Becca put the full route up at our Facebook page. Katy put it on the PBV Mobile App. And you can find it at RAGBRAI.com, of course. This reveal includes the meeting towns, pass-through towns, mileages, etc.


It's not unusual for daily mileage to change slightly since the route's original announcement in late January, and see the numbers below. PBV-EFS denotes that PBV hopes to offer an Early-Finish Shuttle on these days (see next topic). Here are the mileage numbers for your week:


  • Sunday, 41.9 miles, 2435 feet of climb
  • Monday, 40.7 miles, 1702 feet of climb
  • Tuesday, 82 miles, 4519 feet of climb, PBV-EFS
  • Wednesday, 75 miles, 3041 feet of climb, PBV-EFS
  • Thursday, 62.9 miles, 2502 feet of climb
  • Friday, 84.8 miles, 3160 feet of climb, PBV-EFS
  • Saturday, 46.5 miles, 1016 feet of climb


Early-Finish Shuttles

on Three Days of RAGBRAI


Early-Finish Shuttles of Pork Belly Ventures allow riders to ride the first half of the day approximately, and then find our crew at a pre-arranged location on or near the route, where the bikes are loaded and air-conditioned coaches are waiting. We can't yet say when these plans will be complete, but we intend to offer these options on the three most challenging days of this year's route.


"I want to ride every mile!" you may be thinking. Good on you! That's wonderful, and we'll be in camp, waiting with an Attaboy! For those folks who would like a little insurance policy, though, here's what we hope to offer soon on a limited basis.


On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of RAGBRAI, we are working to find locations somewhere near the midpoint of your routes, perhaps a little past the midpoint. We plan on mid-afternoon departures from the midpoint to our PBV campsite in the overnight town. Those who use these shuttles will be in camp around 3:00 PM, in plenty of time for a shower before dinner.


We can't answer questions yet, but we thought you might like to know that these options are coming. Please stay tuned!

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 Bella@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 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 are offering a mix of the usual chain motels (Holiday Inn Express, Springhill Suites, Baymont Inn, AmericInn) as well as two independent hotels. We have worked with one of the independent hotels/managers in the past, and we have made a site visit to the second independent hotel.


Of note, our small-town hotel for Sunday night is clean and non-smoking throughout, however, it is quite simple. Upon visiting this hotel and inspecting several rooms, its cleanliness and proximity to Red Oak justify our decision to choose this hotel. 



To arrive at our pricing, we total up the (sometimes elevated) 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. 


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 17th. 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. 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.



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.


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!


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 Pricing

for Pork Belly Ventures,

including tax and transfer fee

Friday, 7/19, Glenwood- SOLD OUT

*can email for spot on waitlist*

25 miles from camp- Springhill Suites in Council Bluffs

1 person using room, incl transfer:     $197.84

2 people using room, incl transfer:     $123.92 per psn

3 people using room, incl transfer:    $99.28 per psn


Saturday, 7/20, Glenwood

25 miles from camp- Springhill Suites in Council Bluffs


1 person using room, incl transfer:     $197.84

2 people using room, incl transfer:     $123.92 per psn

3 people using room, incl transfer:    $99.28 per psn


Sunday, 7/21, Red Oak

28 miles from camp- Hotel Arthur in Glenwood


1 person using room, incl transfer:   $218.00  

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

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


Monday, 7/22, Atlantic

 26 miles from camp- Blue Grass Inn and Suites in Audubon


1 person using room, incl transfer:     $195.60

2 people using room, incl transfer:     $122.80 per psn

3 people using room, incl transfer:     $98.53 per psn


Tuesday, 7/23, Winterset

28 miles from camp- Springhill Suites in West Des Moines


1 person using room, incl transfer:     $194.48

2 people using room, incl transfer:     $122.24 per psn

3 people using room, incl transfer:     $98.16 per psn


Wednesday, 7/24, Knoxville

14 miles from camp- Baymont Inn in Pella


1 person using room, incl transfer:     $228.08

2 people using room, incl transfer:     $139.04 per psn

3 people using room, incl transfer:     $109.36 per psn


Thursday, 7/25, Ottumwa 

few minutes from camp- Holiday Inn Express in town


1 person using room, incl transfer:    $284.08

2 people using room, incl transfer:     $167.04 per psn

3 people using room, incl transfer:    $128.03 per psn


Friday, Mt Pleasant- SOLD OUT

*can email for spot on waitlist*

 23 miles from camp- AmericInn by Windham in Fairfield


1 person using room, incl transfer: $237.04

2 people using room, incl transfer:    $143.52 per psn

3 people using room, incl transfer:    $112.35 per psn






Please write to


to reserve or ask questions

about a hotel stay with PBV!



This year, Pork Belly Ventures opened up our Weeklong Services before the route was announced (December 20th). We did not open our shuttles until AFTER the route was announced (January 28th). Consequently, lots of folks have not yet signed up for shuttles.


If you're one of many who haven't yet thought about getting to the start or getting home from the end, this link will help you connect your travel dots...



Our shuttles are available to any RAGBRAI rider, whether or not they are spending their week with PBV.

Two Deadlines,

One Date,

May 15th



RAGBRAI will close registration on the Ides of May. If you have friends who have not signed up yet, let them know that the deadline is coming in a little less than a month.


(Pork Belly Ventures and all charters accept ONLY registered riders.)



PBV asks for full payment of all balances by May 15th. When we look at applications after May 15th, seeing a fully paid balance is the only way that we know that you're planning on joining us. So please settle up by then. (At some point after the deadline, we'll need to cancel unpaid applications.)


We will have more extras for you--the ones that take time to plan with our hosts and partners-- even after May 15th. ????

News from Burlington


Long-Term Parking

We're in touch with the hard-working Burlington Committee, and soon, we'll be able to link you to long-term parking at our location there. Please stand by!


We WILL be able to offer air-conditioned indoor sleeping on Friday, July 19th, at our staging area in Burlington. Each indoor sleeper can make a $25 donation to our hosts. There are restaurants near our staging location--so it will be possible to arrive and load your bike on Friday, grab some dinner, sleep on site, and wake up right were you belong on Saturday morning. Pack up your bedroll and walk outside to where your shuttle is staging.


And we WILL offer you box lunches to take on board the coach, too--another fundraiser for our hosts.


Please hang on for more on this topic soon!

PBV Cancellation Policy



During the season, we take several opportunities to publish reminders of our Cancellation Policy. See our home page for more, but here's the gist of it...


Before June 15th, you can still cancel part or all of your PBV services and receive a 90% refund on the amount of services reserved (10% is non-refundable). You can drop services or cancel entirely by phone or email, and we'll send you a refund check quickly. On or after the 15th of June, we will make no refund.


Those who have taken our Cancellation Protection at the time they initially registered have extended their 90% refund deadline to the Wednesday prior to RAGBRAI, July 17. If you took our protection, and if you cancel prior to 10:00 PM on July 17, you're entitled to a 90% refund.


Non-Refundable Fees

The first ten percent (10%) must be paid by credit card, and is non-refundable as stated in our cancellation policy.

The five-percent (5%) charge for our optional cancellation protection extends the 90% refund deadline from June 15 to July 17th. It. too, is non-refundable.

Social Media: It's Official. We No Longer Suck.

For years, our Facebook Page just sat there with months-old posts, evoking the songs of crickets and a layer of virtual dust. We're old school, and it's no secret that we've been slow to get a grip on modern ways of communicating with our riders. But now, we're moving and shaking to beat the band. (There's probably a younger way to say that: Our page is becoming dope!)


On the PBV FB Page, expect more Words of the Week, breaking Pork News, and a series of fun and instructional videos beginning yet this month. And maybe even a live event before July.


This is not our doing, of course. We have help from people who aren't on Medicare, and we thank them!



In Conclusion ????


We don't like to steal our own thunder, and we will publish all our good news in our favorite update, "Our Week in the Corn," coming in June. But suffice it to say, friends, that planning for this RAGBRAI has been downright fun. Our yearround team is sharing the load, and our new members are reliable partners and fountains of good ideas.


ABOVE RIGHT: Becca at right, planning with a local food vendor, discussing what to offer Pork Belly riders!


BELOW: our April team meeting early this week.

We will be on your screens again soon, and until then we remain,


Your friends,

Tammy and Pete

and our team,

Dave, George, Mick, Wes, Bart, and Becca  

From the Pork Belly Ventures

Team Scrapbook

March/April, 2024

RIGHT: With eight of us, we need a big rented van to do our scouting.

Love Bart's smile!

LEFT: Pete only had one cookie.


BELOW: An enormous indoor sleeping venue in Mt. Pleasant!

ABOVE LEFT: The guys, making a plan in Ottumwa.

ABOVE: Dan and Mick, sweeping out trailers just today.

It's chilly!


BELOW: Wes and Bart on a quick trip to a metal fabrication place,

then back to Pork World HQ!

Thanks, guys, for interrupting your work to

snap photos for the Pork Scrapbook!


Find our Ride the Rockies scouting photos and much more at


Pork Belly Ventures LLC 

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

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