THE JUNE LETTER
OF PORK BELLY VENTURES
June 24, 2017
We call this letter your Pork Travel Guidebook. Please take a moment and decide how
you will save this letter, where you'll keep it for the future. In the coming month, you
may suddenly be seized with the need for a detail. "How much is it to park a car at the
Omaha airport?" "Do I need to box up my bike for transport on Pork trucks?" "Is it
necessary to lock my bike?" The answers are here.
Think of it as an encyclopedia. This reference document walks you through your week,
service by service, telling you what to do and what to expect. It's a lot of straight talk. It's
necessarily repetitive. As usual, we're going to warn you not to do stupid stuff. Please
don't be offended. We've just seen some stupid stuff over the years.
It’s long, and nobody needs to read it all. If you're not on the East/West Shuttle, for
instance, skip that entire section. Table of Contents below. A quick glance will show you
that it's mainly chronological, except for later sections. There’s a section about our
Smartphone App at the end of this letter.
Scan and print today. Tomorrow, pick up a highlighter and read a couple sections. Keep
scanning for what you need. Re-read as needed.
Table of Contents
1. Top Priorities Right Now
2. East/West Shuttle, Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22
3. Finding Us in Orange City, July 21 and 22
4. Omaha to Orange City, July 22
5. Des Moines to Orange City, July 22
6. The Week with PBV
7. Our Half Hog Shuttles, July 25
8. The Last Morning of RAGBRAI in Waukon, July 29
9. The Last Day of RAGBRAI, July 29
10. Shipping Bikes to/from RAGBRAI
11. Between Now and RAGBRAI
12. Preparing Your Bike for Truck Transport
13. The PBV Smartphone App
Soon, your June Letter will be posted in plain text at www.pkbelly.com under "June
TOP PRIORITIES RIGHT NOW
Login to Complete Your June Form
Everyone needs to login at pkbelly.com to complete the June Form. Please use our login
tab in the upper right corner of the home page. OR at the top of your confirmation email,
there’s a link that will take you straight into your application, bypassing the login
[There is NO JUNE FORM TAB on the website. You need to login.]
Our web designer has created a green tab called June Form. You’ll see it upon login.
Click on it, please, and fill in the blanks that are relevant to you.
On the June Form, everyone will enter a six-digit RAGBRAI wristband number. If
you’re waiting to purchase a wristband from your seller, it will be possible for you to skip
this field and complete the rest of your form. When you do have your wristband number
handy, login and enter it please. Pork Belly Ventures cannot provide support for anyone
who is not registered for RAGBRAI.
If you are riding a partial week, you may enter the words “day passes.” We’ll check your
day passes at check-in in Orange City.
On the June Form, you may select an extra night in your rental tent (Friday 7/21). The
price is $40. If you select this option, you can pay online or we are happy to collect the
fee when you check in in Orange City. (This option is for those who are using the Friday
E/W Shuttle or who are being dropped off in Orange City. None of our other shuttles
from Omaha or Des Moines run on Friday.)
If you’re using your own tent during RAGBRAI, of course, you don’t pay anything extra
for Friday night.
To plan for adequate truck space, we will need bicycle information (type of bike, boxed
or unboxed). Please be sure to give us this info on your June Form if you’re using one of
the following shuttles to Orange City:
• Our East/West Shuttle from Lansing to Orange City
• Our shuttle from Omaha to Orange City
• Our shuttle from Des Moines to Orange City
For the E/W Shuttle or the Omaha/Orange City shuttle, you will have the opportunity to
enter your arrival day/time and/or select your preferred departure day/time.
For more info on any of these shuttles, please scroll to the appropriate section of this
Remember, please, that completing your June Form early increases your chances of
getting the bus departure time that you prefer on the East/West Shuttle and the Omaha
shuttle. (There is only one departure time from Des Moines—9:15 am.)
That said, it’s surprising how often things just work out in the last weeks before the ride.
If you’re late completing the June Form, we will continue trying to provide your
preferred departure right up until the day of departure. Thank you for bearing with us.
Payment Is Due Now We asked for balances by May 15th. When you login in to
complete your June Form, please check to see if there’s a balance due. If so, please send
payment right away. You may pay by credit card or mail a check to PBV LLC, 412
Forest Glen Drive, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503.
Until July 7, we welcome you to mail a check to avoid the credit card convenience fee.
Availability of Services We are sold out on Rental Tents, Weeklong Support, and Partial
Week Support. (We can accept folks who want our support on the last four days of
RAGBRAI.) We are maintaining waiting lists for these services.
We do have space on all of our shuttles.
EAST/WEST SHUTTLE, Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22
Crew Chief Steve Swan will handle this shuttle, along with our Pork Truck Drivers, Bart
Dvorak, Martina Werner, Mary Spurlock, and several other Pork Crew Members.
Two Locations in Lansing
The long-term parking is on the edge of town, just off Hwy 9.
Our bus staging and bike loading area is at South 3rd and Dodge Streets, just blocks off
the downtown. This staging area is about two miles from long-term parking. Until the
PBV Lansing map is available, please go to lansingragbrai.com and click on “maps.”
You’ll see the STRUB lot where long-term parking is located and the “lumberyard”
where charters are staging.
We will publish a map of Lansing in July, showing the precise location where we will be
loading bikes and boarding buses on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, 7/21 and
You will be wise to expect some congestion in Lansing on Friday afternoon and
significant congestion on Saturday morning. Please plan for it. If you rush into town at
7:30 AM Saturday and expect to find us, get your bike loaded, drive out to long-term
parking, get in line to park your vehicle, catch the shuttle back to our load site, and board
your bus by 8:15—well, you may have a big glitch in your RAGBRAI. Budget your
time. Arrive early. Allow for delays. Give yourself a smooth start to your week.
Applications for Long-Term Parking
Long-term parking is arranged with the end town, not with charters.
Here is your link to the Lansing long-term parking application:
For those of you who have reserved parking already, good on you. If you haven’t done it,
click now and do it.
E/W Shuttle Choice of Departure Day/Time
You may choose one of five departures on this shuttle:
• Friday, 1:30PM
• Friday at 3:00 PM
• Saturday at 7:00 AM
• Saturday at 7:45 AM
• Saturday at 8:30 AM
As the June Forms roll in, we’ll begin making bus assignments. We’ll jump on this right
away—our bus company is allowing us some flexibility on the number of coaches for
each departure, but they will have to lock in a plan at some point. Complete your June
Form Early, please. Help us help you.
Preference trumps group name. We will give you your preferred departure time, even if
others in your group choose a different departure. It’s a good idea to confer with the
group if you want us to keep you all together on the same bus.
Do remember that we’ll publish rosters showing everyone’s bus assignments. Even after
we publish rosters, we’re open to making changes for you if we can. The question is
whether we’ll have that flexibility then.
Orange City on Friday Night
Those who take the 1:00 and 3:00 Friday shuttles from Lansing will arrive in our Orange
City campsite at about 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. respectively. Our hosts at Landsmere golf club
will be open for business, with cocktails and other beverages and a limited menu of
sandwich/salad type options. (We won’t have an outdoor food vendor in camp on Friday
evening.) After your chores are complete, you can enjoy the club’s hospitality, either in
the dining room or on their wide veranda overlooking the golf course. You will be able
to check-in for PBV Weeklong Support on Friday night, and our crew will direct folks to
their rental tents. Then our crew, who will have put in a long day, will go to bed and rest
up for a busy Saturday. On Friday night, there won’t be much else in the way of services
until morning. Our showers will be up and running Saturday morning.
Friday/Saturday Night Eats and Music
The Orange City downtown is about six blocks away, if you want to go looking for other
fun. That will be the location of the Bike Expo on Saturday.
Our Lansing Schedule and Crew
In Lansing on Friday, our E/W Shuttle crew, led by Steve "Swanny" Swan, will load
bikes continuously from approximately 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Friday. Regardless of
what departure you have chosen, you may load bikes before 7:00 on Friday. The crew
will supervise the departures of several Friday buses at 1:00 and 3:00 PM.
Bright and early on Saturday morning, the crew will return to the same spot at 6:00 AM
to continue bike loading and supervise the boarding of our Saturday buses departing at
7:00, 7:45, and 8:30 (several buses at each departure time). Buses will stage about 30
minutes prior to departure. We know you want to be right there for your bus, but please
stand back and let the earlier departures get loaded and boarded. When they roll, move on
up and get ready to place your bags in the compartments under the coach.
On Saturday, July 29, we will be located in the same location, South 3rd and Dodge
Streets, just blocks off the downtown and two miles from long-term parking. See later
sections of this letter for details about the last day of RAGBRAI.
Common Group Name
If two members of the same group request different departure days/times, we will grant
each person’s request, and you will not ride across the state together. If you wish to be
together on a bus with others who share your common group name, talk to each other
before completing your June Forms. We hope you’ve taken care of your common group
name already-- on all group members’ applications.
Once more with feeling… The website is our passenger-sorting, bus-departuremanagement
software. When we sort and fill coaches, we look at preferred departure
time first, and group name second. We will fill buses with groups first. If you’re a
group, please have a group name on all applications. It’s so easy to do this job when we
know who’s in a group. It’s much harder—when we’ve got other pressing work to do--
to take apart bus assignments and ask other people change buses in order to accommodate
tardy requests. We can’t promise to do that this year.
Bus Assignments and Rosters
In early July, we will send out bus rosters with bus assignments to make it easier and
quicker for you to board the right bus and sit with your friends. Watch your updates, and
by all means let us know if there’s a problem with your bus assignment.
One Bike Per Person on E/W Shuttle
As we plan for truck space, we assume one bike per person. For groups using PBV for
the week of RAGBRAI, we can make exceptions, and here’s how.
If a member of your group is using a different PBV shuttle, then you can bring his/her
bike to be transported on the E/W Shuttle, but we need to know about it now. We don’t
charge anything for transporting your fellow Weeklong Porkers’ bikes (so long as they
are using one of our other shuttles). If you will have more than one bike per person for
loading in Lansing on the 21st or 22nd, you must write to email@example.com. This will
help us make a plan for adequate truck space.
Otherwise, we typically charge $25 for transporting more than one bike per person.
Sleeping Options in Lansing on 7/22 Prior to RAGBRAI
Hotels near Lansing are probably full. You can Google hotels in the area and hope to find
one that has had cancellations. PBV does not make hotel recommendations on the east
side of the state.
Camping will be available on a grassy area near bus staging. Though PBV rental tents are
available in Orange City on Friday night (for an additional $40), they are not available in
Lansing. Sleeping in your vehicle is another option, and lots of people have done it. Or
see our next topic.
Air-Conditioned Indoor Sleeping in Lansing on Friday, 7/21
In response to our requests, the folks in Lansing have dedicated two places for indoor
sleeping in air-conditioning. They are very near each other. One is a social hall, which
has restrooms and which will be empty and ready for bedrolls on Friday afternoon, July
21. It's extremely convenient--right downtown near the bars and restaurants where you
may want to have dinner, close to the beautiful Mississippi River, and just blocks from
our staging area where we load bikes and board coaches on Saturday morning. It's $20
per person, cash at the door, to sleep here.
This social hall is nearly full. Soon we will move on to the other location within the
same block. The locations of indoor sleeping will be shown on our map of Lansing,
published in July, along with the locations of our staging area and long-term parking.
We expect to sell out this indoor sleeping option.
Those who reserve a spot will be expected to pay $20 cash at the door of the social hall
on Friday afternoon/evening. We will be back in touch about the time of day when you
can gain admittance. We can't have people checking in in the middle of the night, sorry.
Everyone who stays here implicitly agrees to enter quietly and not wake others. The only
appropriate beverage in the social hall is a bottle of water with a lid. It's extremely
important that we treat this building and our host with respect, leaving it as clean as we
find it--and treat other indoor sleepers with courtesy. If these terms are agreeable to you,
we welcome you to reserve a spot.
To reserve your spot, please write to Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will put your
name on a list, which will gain you admittance to the hall on the 21st of July. Be careful
about reserving for others--you will be expected to pay for the spots you reserve. Check
with your friends before you speak for them. Again, if your name is on the list, you will
pay $20 per person in cash at the door of the social hall on Friday afternoon/evening.
How The Shuttle Works Our guys are easy to spot---the semi-trailers are adorned with
Pork Slogans. It's a good idea to use the Friday bike-loading option if you're the least bit
concerned about running short of time on Saturday morning.
On both Friday night and Saturday morning, we'll provide handlebar tags and markers.
Please label your bike with your name before handing it over. Please don't leave your
bike unattended: wait patiently with it until one of our crew can take it from you. Please
don't climb into a truck, just hand your bike up. [See section at the end of this letter on
Protecting Your Bike for Truck Transport.]
It’s your job to place your bags in the compartments under your bus. The buses may not
stop on the way to Orange City, so it’s a good idea to have food and drink on the bus.
Our coaches are restroom-equipped and very comfortable.
On arrival in Orange City, when you step off the bus, remember to pull your bags out of
the bus compartments. Our crew will direct you to the bike trucks, so you can claim your
bike as it's being unloaded. Then, head for check-in at our Front Desk.
PBV Check-in in Orange City on Saturday: We will check you in for our Weeklong
Support as quickly as we can, but remember that you don’t necessarily have to get in line
for check-in first thing. When you arrive in camp on Saturday afternoon, there will be an
outdoor lunch vendor offering pizza, music on stage for a few hours, and a lot of fun stuff
going on. Please don’t leave camp without checking in and doing your chores; however,
you're free to go set up your tent, claim your bike, eat a bite, and check in when the line
has gotten shorter.
Pork Rental Tents: Our rental tent service is a seven-night service, from Saturday night
in Orange City to Friday night in Waukon. You can get an extra night in your rental tent,
on Friday in Orange City for just $40.
Rental tents will not be available in Lansing.
To non-Porkers on the E/W Shuttle
Thanks very much for using our shuttle, and we wish you a great RAGBRAI. We will
take you directly to our Orange City campsite, the Landsmere Golf Club, and you should
unload your stuff there and claim your bikes. The general RAGBRAI camping area is
next to the Bultman Center on the campus of Northwestern College.
We'll have a couple of four-wheelers and a pickup truck, and we'll try to give folks some
assistance getting your bags to your weeklong charter or to the RAGBRAI general
camping area. Your patience will be appreciated, as our crew is very busy while the
buses and bike trailers from Lansing are arriving. If we can help you, you may have a
little wait in our campsite. If you’re with another charter, do your research now and find
out exactly where they’ll be camping in Orange City.
We want to help, but also check with your weeklong charter and see if they are able to
help you get to them. In July, we'll send you a host-town map of Orange City, noting our
campsite, in case your weeklong group can transport you to their site.
FINDING US IN ORANGE CITY, Friday or Saturday, 7/21 and 7/22
If you are driving to our campsite in Orange City, we will be in the Landsmere Golf Club
at 902 7th St NE, Orange City, IA 51041.
Pete Phillips and about half of the Pork Crew will be waiting for you in Orange City.
We will publish a map of Orange City in July, showing our location in relation to the
Expo and festivities. We are thrilled to be the guests of Landsmere, just uphill from the
swimming pool and six blocks from the bike expo downtown.
Friends and family who drop off Porkers should not drive into the Landmere parking lot.
Crew members will block the lot, because we’ll have around 20 buses throughout the
day, needing to drive in, unload, and drive out. If you’re being dropped off, please park at
a distance and walk over. Come to our front desk for check-in in the parking lot. Friends
and family are more than welcome to buy lunch from our lunch vendor and hang out in
Pork Camp to see what this corny bike event is like. But please park well away from the
operation of PBV.
OMAHA to ORANGE CITY, Saturday 7/22
Tammy and Mike Pavich, Chuck Jamieson, Sara and Nick Tangeman, and about a dozen
other Pork Crew members will handle this shuttle.
Omaha Airport Hotels
In Orange City on Saturday night, 7/22, you will be camping with PBV.
If you need a room near the Omaha airport on Friday, 7/21, or Saturday, 7/29, here is a
brief summary of Pork Belly Ventures designated airport hotels which are right next door
to each other, literally across a parking lot. Please note that by the time the June Letter is
published, the unclaimed rooms in or block may have already been released and our rate
of $129 may no long apply.
Best Western Plus (formerly the Holiday Inn Express)
• Mention our name to reserve your king or double queen room for $129.
• Hot breakfast served here (Candlewood guests will walk over for breakfast)
• Swimming pool located here (Candlewood guests have access, too)
• Hospitality areas available to our guests before and after RAGBRAI.
• Triple-sheeting is the standard at this hotel.
• Across the street from a large convenience store and Subway sandwich shop.
• Reasonable weeklong airport parking and valet service provided by Budget (about
$5 per day)
• Free airport shuttle and Old Market shuttle provided by Budget. (Omaha's Old
Market is a great place for shopping, music, and dining on the Friday before
• Mention our name to reserve your king or double queen room for $129.
• The site of free laundry (Best Western Plus guests can do laundry here too.)
Hospitality areas available to our guests before and after RAGBRAI.
• Triple-sheeting is the standard at this hotel.
• Across the street from a large convenience store and Subway.
• Reasonable weeklong airport parking and valet service provided by Budget (about
$5 per day)
• Free airport shuttle and Old Market shuttle provided by Budget. (Omaha's Old
Market is a great place for shopping, music, and dining on the Friday before
• Breakfast served next door, but great little convenience store in the lobby with
If you are a guest of either hotel, we ask that you be considerate of the staff and respect
the furniture and linens that belong to the hotel. If you need to work on your bike, the
managers have said they can give you rags. Please don't use their bath towels. Do any
bike work outside, not on their carpet, please. We don't mean to insult you with these
reminders, but it has happened.
If you have reservations at a hotel other than Best Western Plus or Candlewood Suites,
we suggest that you check with your hotel about using their shuttles to and from
Candlewood Suites. This is important. We will not be able to pick up or drop off at other
All Pork Belly buses will depart from and return to the Omaha airport Candlewood
Suites, one-half block from Best Western Plus.
Airport Parking No need for an advance reservation for parking. Anyone staying at our
hotels or using our shuttles may use Budget (car rental and) Airport Parking for $5 per
day-less expensive than other airport parking options. You may drive straight to the
Candlewood Suites or Best Western Plus and make arrangements at their front desks for
your car to be valet parked at the Budget lot just blocks away. Budget operates a fenced,
patrolled, 24-hour parking facility. When you return to Omaha, Budget vans will take you
to the nearby lot, and you can drive your car back to your hotel for loading. Easy.
Bus and Truck Loading on Saturday Morning We'll be on the north side (the back
parking lot) of the Candlewood Suites hotel. All trucks and buses will load there. Shuttles
from the airport on Saturday will probably bring you right around back to our area, but if
for some reason they drop you out front, walk straight in the front door, through the
lobby, and out the back door to check in for your bus.
Departure Schedule and How Things Work I'll wait a little to see how our arrival
schedule is shaking out, and then I'll be able to give you firm (fairly firm) departure
times. First departure may be at about 7:30, and then we’ll have a bus departing every
hour or two until 4:00 p.m. when our last bus will roll. Your flight would probably need
to arrive by 3:00 for you to make our 4:00 coach.
As usual, I'll send out a schedule and bus rosters for the entire day and try to minimize
anyone having to wait around.
If you’re scheduled to arrive Omaha in the late afternoon, you may want to give some
thought to a plan B—what if your flight is delayed or a bag is lost? Perhaps check Uber
or Omaha car rentals.
If you're using a Friday night hotel, do feel free to give me a preferred Saturday departure
time on your June Form. If you want to get on the earliest bus, or if you want to sleep in,
just let me know and I'll try. I am usually able to meet all requests.
There's a large convenience store and a Subway sandwich shop right next door, in case
you have a little time to grab something to take on the coach. The trip is about two hours.
We'll use very comfortable coaches, restroom-equipped and air-conditioned. Your bags
will go into the compartments under the bus and your bike will be loaded on a truck. [See
section on Protecting Your Bike for Truck Transport, and see "Bike Transport" below.]
To Those Who Fly Into the Omaha Airport If you fly into Omaha on Friday (7/21),
walk out of the airport from baggage claim, and cross to the commercial lane. Get on the
next Budget van and tell them you're bound for Best Western Plus or Candlewood Suites.
It's a short ride, and it's free. Sleep well tonight! By about 6:30 Saturday morning, we'll
be set up outside on the north side of Candlewood Suites (the back parking lot). Come
and check in for your bus.
(We suggest a trip to Omaha's Old Market for dinner on Friday night. It's a fun place with
great food, drink, and music. Budget will shuttle guests of our hotels to the Market. Our
current favorite restaurant is Nicola's-Italian/Greek, very fresh. But we also like
Upstream Brewery an awful lot. Have heard good things about Hiro Sushi and Japanese
Cuisine. Have a great evening in Omaha.)
If you're flying into Omaha on Saturday (7/22), our crew, wearing Pork Belly shirts and
carrying pig signs, will meet you at baggage claim. They will direct you to walk out of
the airport, cross to the commercial lane, and catch the first Budget van. Tell the driver
you're bound for Candlewood Suites. The drivers will probably carry you around back
to us. When you've checked in with us for your bus, you can hang out in the hotel lobby
(a/c and vending machines) until your departure. There's a big convenience store (with
beer) across the street from Candlewood, and also a Subway sandwich shop.
NOTE: If your plans change on Saturday, or if your flight is delayed, CALL ME.
Candlewood front desk is 402/342-2500 and my (Tammy's) cell phone number is
808/375-8921. If you don't show, the crew will be looking for you in the terminal. Please
do us the courtesy of calling. Thanks.
Bike Transport We'll have bike trucks running behind the buses, not with each bus. [See
Section entitled Protecting Your Bike for Truck Transport at the end of this letter.] We
will have adequate space for both boxed and unboxed bikes, but you may have a
little time in Orange City to set up your tent, check in, etc, before the bike truck rolls into
DES MOINES TO ORANGE CITY, Saturday 7/22
Pricing Round-trip Des Moines is $310 for both legs, $156 for Des Moines/Orange City
only, and $154 for Lansing to Des Moines at the end of the week.
Crew Doug Thompson will handle this shuttle with other Pork Crew members.
Schedule, Saturday, July 22 We'll have two motor coaches and a straight truck for
bikes at the AmericInn parking lot at 1920 Hackley Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315. We'll let
you know if anything changes, but right now it looks like we'll load bikes at 8:00 and
depart at 9:15 for Orange City. You’ll arrive in Orange City around 1:30 PM.
Des Moines Hotel Rooms and Parking You out-of-state folks may need rooms on
Friday, 7/21, or on Saturday, 7/29. If you wish to make a reservation at the AmericInn,
call 515-285-5180 and ask about Pork Belly Ventures room block. (Unused rooms may
have been released, and we’re not sure if our rate of $97.00 still applies, but no harm in
The hotel offers guests weeklong parking. Their Park-and-Fly rate is only $15 per week.
If you’re not staying at least one night at the hotel, you will need to check with them
about parking. They may suggest other nearby options for you.
Schedule, Saturday, July 29 At the end of the week, we'll have two buses designated for
our passengers bound for Des Moines. We drop off at the Airport AmericInn parking lot,
1920 Hackley Ave. We will depart Lansing by 2:30, or earlier if we have all passengers
on board. The trip is about four hours. More about the return to Des Moines under The
Last Day of RAGBRAI (keep reading).
THE WEEK WITH PBV
What Does PBV Expect of Porkers?
Be exceedingly courteous to our hard-working crew.
Be prepared for physical hardship. You have signed on for a week of biking and camping
in the elements. We'll give you extras, comforts, conveniences, and luxuries, but hey, you
won't always be 100% comfortable. Be ready to buck up.
Prepare to be patient. Take a breath and ask us for help. We can find a lost bag in a matter
of minutes, so let us know if something seems to be missing. RAGBRAI is defined as an
event where 10,000 people slow down, smell the roses, and stand in line for just about
everything. We'll do our best to keep things moving, but kybos? You're going to do a
We'll publish an entire update on the subject of COURTESY. In short, be a courteous and
responsible camper. Get your bags to our Stupidity trailers by 7:00 AM. Be out of your
rental tent by 7:00 a.m.
Please don’t make us come and ask you to leave Tent City in the morning. We have
rented you a tent with a mutual understanding. We have five hours to strike camp, move
the whole kit and caboodle down the road to the next site, and set up for your arrival.
Please don’t delay the crew by standing in Tent City putting on your helmet. Move out of
the tent area before 7:00 a.m. Then put on your helmet.
Pick up your own trash. I, Tammy, am a proud member of our morning trash crew, and
about five of us will circulate for two hours with huge trash bags, taking your rubbish as
you break camp. But it's not okay to leave a pile of trash where you took down your tent.
If you miss us when we sweep your area, do your part and place your trash in a
Be quiet after 10:00 and before 5:00 a.m. Never wake a napping PBV crew member.
They work hard for about 18 hours per day, and if they're sleeping, it's because they need
rest. Find someone who is awake to help you with a problem. Except for true health
emergencies, most problems that occur between 11:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. can wait.
Before RAGBRAI, read your updates and do what they say. Some updates are optional
reading just for fun, but some (like this one) are critical, so be an attentive reader and
know what you're doing.
No Personal Vehicles Every charter makes an annual promise to RAGBRAI: We
promise not to support anyone who has his/her own personal vehicle on RAGBRAI.
When people contact us and mention bringing their own personal vehicle on the ride,
regardless of whether they have a RAGBRAI vehicle pass, we let them know that all
charters are forbidden to provide support to people who have a personal vehicle on the
ride. We value our relationship with RAGBRAI, and we keep our word to them. Don’t
bring a personal vehicle if you’re on our support. You have to choose one or the other:
having your own car or availing yourself of our support.
The Check-In Process for Weeklong Porkers Check-in takes place at our Front Desk in
Orange City on Saturday, July 22, and we'll send you a whole separate update about it.
Please be prepared to show identification at the Front Desk on Saturday. One person
cannot check in for a whole group. Each individual must check in.
You must show your RAGBRAI wristband before you can put on a Pork Belly bracelet
or receive your baggage tags. Pork Belly Ventures does not provide services to
RAGBRAI bandits. You must be a registered RAGBRAI rider. (International Porkers, we
have a different arrangement for you. See "Check-in for International Porkers" below.)
To receive our services---to load bags, to partake of Pork beverages and Pork meals, to
use our massage therapists, to have our mechanics help you with your bike, to drink your
morning cup of coffee, and much more---you must be wearing a Pork Bracelet. At checkin
we will distribute special souvenir Pork Cups for Pork beverages. Please keep track of
your Pork Cup, as we will issue only one per Porker. We'll put some bleach over at the
Thingy, so you can give your cup a swish to get it RAGBRAI-clean.
Upon check-in, you will receive your cool new Pork team shirt. We hope you like it.
As you check in, you will have the opportunity to purchase PBV extras, like optional
evening meals, a beverage punch card, and our mid-week laundry service. You can also
pay for extras you have reserved, like an optional hotel stay, indoor sleeping, and maybe
other stuff. You'll need cash for these items, as we don't accept checks once the ride
Check-in for International Porkers If you live outside the U.S., RAGBRAI will not
mail your RAGBRAI wristband to you. But we're going to let you have your Pork
Wristband before you visit the RAGBRAI booth to pick up your RAGBRAI wristband.
Please write to email@example.com now, so that I can note your diplomatic immunity on
your check-in form. Thank you.
Tent City Baggage Tags If you are using one of our rental tents, you will get two PBV
baggage tags at check-in with your tent number in bold numbers on both sides of each
tag. Attach the tags securely to your two bags immediately. Place your bags inside your
tent on Saturday. We will be handling your bags throughout the week.
Baggage Tags for PBV Campers Using Their Own Tents If you are in the majority of
Porkers who are setting up your own tent in each Pork Campsite, you will be given two
business-card-sized tags at check-in with the Pork Belly logo on one side and a space for
your name and cell phone number on the other side. After check-in, go straight to our
Laminating Station nearby, complete the information on the tags, and get your tags
laminated by our crew. Attach these durable tags to your bags and you're all set. In case
your bag is lost (if you do a home stay, a hotel stay, or accidentally place your bags on
the truck of a neighboring charter), it will be apparent to the finder that you are with our
charter. The finder can call you immediately.
Your Own Baggage Tags It's always a good idea to put your contact info on all of your
bags. Make a point of putting tags with your name, address, and cell phone number on
them. We've seen every scenario you can imagine over the years. Suffice it to say that if
the bag is somehow in the wrong spot before our tags get attached or after our tags have
been removed, your own identifying tag will allow people to contact you without rifling
through the contents of your bag.
Extra Night in Your Rental Tent If you plan to reach Orange City on Friday and camp
that extra night, you can pay $40 for the use of your rental tent that night. (If you’re in
your own tent that night, no charge for arriving early. Some people have asked.) You can
reserve the night in your rental tent on your June Form. Everyone, please note that the
E/W Shuttle is the only shuttle that runs on Friday. If you are using an Omaha or Des
Moines shuttle, be sure you don’t pay $40 to use your rental tent on Friday.
Trucks Roll Daily at 7:00 Sharp For those who set up their own tents, your two bags
must be on our Stupidity Trailer by 7:00 a.m., when our first caravan rambles on to the
next host town. For those renting tents from us, you must leave your two bags packed up
inside your tent and be out by 7:00, because those tents are coming down. We don't wait.
Gotta get our work done in five short hours. We'll be sending an update especially for
Tent-Renters in July.
Pork Maps and Other Ways to Find Us Daily The amazing Pork Cartographer, Bob
Rebach, is at work on our Host Town Maps. They have to be approved by each town,
and sometimes that causes us to be delayed in getting them to you, but as early as we can
in July, we will publish all eight final host- town maps in PDF format. You can download
them, print, and laminate if you like. These maps will show you where our campsites are
in relation to the bike routes into and out of town and other attractions in the host town.
They will also give you the daily elevation profiles from Geobike.
You will receive a laminated card at check-in, with all Pork locations listed on it. Please
carry this laminated card on your person. Reach for it when you ride into town and ask
for directions to Kessel Park or wherever our campsite is that day. Don’t search. Ask a
local if you’re heading in the right direction. And follow our signs.
As ever, we will post our signs in each host town to direct you from the biking route to
our campsites. When you ride into each host town, follow the official RAGBRAI
campground signs until you start seeing PBV signs on your right hand side. We'll post
on telephone poles, stop signs, any handy place we can find, arrows pointing the way to
camp. Lots of Porkers also keep an eye out for our big red-and-white striped canopies or
for the big group of look-alike tents in Tent City.
YOUR BEST BET FOR FINDING US: use the PBV daily host town map or the
locations on your laminated card. As you bike into town, it's so simple to ask a local
volunteer, "Where is Washington School, please? Am I headed in the right direction?"
Pork Belly Host Town Maps are now a feature of the Pork Belly App for smartphones,
available to Android and iPhone users in App stores. Dave Kennedy and our App
Developer Katy Fletcher have spent a lot of time working on the map feature so that
regardless of cell-service availability, you'll have our maps. More on the app at the end of
A word about claiming other people’s baggage: It’s so nice to grab their stuff, but do
they know you’re doing it? When someone else claims bags, the owner of the bags may
engage our crew in a futile search for their “lost” belongings. Please be sure that your
friends and family know that you’re helping them by claiming their bags.
Our Half-Hog Shuttles You’ll find this section next, after The Week with PBV.
Pork Sites and Nights Details later, but our sites are generally around four to eight
blocks from the festivities. On Friday, we’re about a quarter mile outside of Waukon, but
there’s a shuttle running into the downtown. We are very optimistic that we’ll offer
breakfast vending beside our coffee trailer every morning and lunch vending near the
showers every afternoon. We’ll publish greater detail in a future update, Our Week in the
SUNDAY, Spencer: Spencer Golf and Country Club, 2200 West 18th Street
MONDAY, Algona: First Lutheran Church, 226 North Putnam
TUESDAY, Clear Lake: Soccer Fields, South 17th Street and 12th Ave South.
WEDNESDAY, Charles City: Washington Elementary School, 1406 N. Grand Ave.
THURSDAY, Cresco: Kessel Park, the whole park, 268 7th Ave West.
FRIDAY, Waukon: Green Valley Getaway, ¼ mile north of Waukon off Hwy 9
SATURDAY, Lansing: South 3rd and Dodge Streets, just blocks off the downtown
For greater detail on all of our campsites and amenities, stand by for Our Week in the
Corn, to be published soon. We’re planning great menus every night, heavy plates, and
we’ll reveal all of the live music we’ve booked. It’s a great week.
We will offer a vegetarian alternative entrée for all included dinners. It looks like we will
offer a vegetarian entrée for optional meals, too.
Food Vendors in Camp We are arranging for breakfast vendors to offer Grab-and-Go
breakfast items beside our coffee trailer every morning from 4:30 to at least 7:00 AM.
(The most common items will be yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, muffins or donuts, and
bananas. Possibly instant oatmeal and/or cheese sticks.)
We are arranging for lunch vendors to set up in camp, so you’ll find something to eat
when you ride in hungry from the road. The cost is not included in your Weeklong
Support, but it is convenient to have these options available right in your home base.
Check the Board First Thing When you ride into camp, make a habit of checking our
Announcement Boards at the Front Desk for answers to your questions, like where
showers, kybos, or bike mechanics are located and what's happening in camp tonight or
tomorrow night. Then, after you read the board, and if you still have a question or need
help with something, ask at our friendly front-desk.
Baggage Limit You get two bag tags, so plan on two duffels total, with tent and sleeping
bag enclosed inside. Don't strap a bunch of stuff to your bag. A bag is defined as the stuff
that fits inside the zipped bag. Rule of thumb: If you can't lift your bag above your head
and count to three, it's too heavy. Our driver/loader guys will handle those bags fourteen
times. Please be nice and pack like a pig. Those Rubbermaid tubs will not hold up to
RAGBRAI, and we've seen the handles tear right off of suitcases. A soft no- nonsense
duffel bag is your best bet, one for camping gear and the other for clothing and toiletries.
Remove any detachable straps.
The clever Porker will mark his/her bags somehow-with colorful tape or even paint to
make them easy to spot in our pile. It's fine to bring camp stools or chairs if you can get
one into your duffel and still lift it over your head. We'll have several hundred stackable
chairs out under our canopies, and we'll spread blankets on the grass when there's music.
So you certainly don't HAVE to bring your own chair or stool, but if you want to have
your own seat when and where you want it, bring one.
You'll find our Suggested Packing List under Details at pkbelly.com. You’ll also find a
little surprise there, a short film of suggestions from Porkers on what to pack:
No Good Stuff No fine jewelry, good luggage, good clothes, good anything. See
"Electricity" below regarding laptops and iPads, but do remember that this is a
humid place, not the best habitat for your valuable electronics. RAGBRAI beats the crap
out of stuff. If you like it, leave it home.
CPAP Machines We have asked anyone bringing a CPAP machine to let us know, and
we have sent each person a separate letter on the subject. If you are bringing one and
would like to read our letter about access to electricity, please write to
Massage Therapists in Camp
PBV will have 10 massage therapists working in camp. The massage tent is usually near
the shade canopies and the band stage, and after a tough day on the bike, our therapists
can really help you with sore muscles and joints, getting you ready for another day of
cycling. On Friday evening and all day Saturday in Orange City, you’ll find our massage
therapists in a convenient location near check-in, ready to take your appointments for the
following six days, Sunday to Friday.
If you would like to book appointments in advance (now), please write to Julie at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Prime time does fill up—3:00 to 8:00 p.m. Booking ahead
can get you the appointments you want. But please be certain that you’ll remember and
honor those appointments during your week in the corn.
Optional Tent Rental and Daily Set-Up This service has sold out for 2017. (The
waiting list is already long, and it’s not likely that we will be able to offer you a tent if
you’re not already on that list. Sorry.)
From 1:00 PM to 7:00 AM, enjoy your rental tent from Pork Belly Ventures. We'll
publish an email update soon with all the info on tent rental, but here are two or three
You may not enter Tent City until our crew is completely finished with their work. We
aim for 1:00, but inclement weather and traffic problems can put us a little behind---not
often, but it can happen. If you or your stuff get in the way of baggage delivery, you will
slow down us down, and that's not allowed.
Secondly, we must know the names of those who are using a tent. Just because the price
for one or two occupants is the same, don't assume that you can have a roommate without
informing us. Before we draw up the tent grid with permanent tent assignments, before
we print tent address cards, we must know who is using each tent and how many bags
will be in that tent.
Finally, you will find out your Tent City address when you reach Orange City Check-In.
Stay tuned for more on tent rental.
PHAT Rooms We have written to PHAT Room occupants about the details of your stay.
If you haven’t yet responded to our questions, please do so right away.
Your Daily Shower On all eight days, Saturday through Saturday, weeklong Porkers
wearing a Pork Bracelet are entitled to one or more showers. Our showers will be
adjacent to or within our campsites in every host town. You may take one fresh towel
from us (and pay for an extra towel if you like) and return it to us on your way out the
door. We provide liquid soap. The trailers are air-conditioned. You'll like this part of the
Just like last year, PBV will have 56 shower heads in camp, three trailers. Sometimes our
hosts ask that our showers be open to other RAGBRAIers outside PBV. Sometimes all
three showers are mostly used by Porkers. The third shower trailer has made a huge
difference, and wait-times were more-than-acceptable over the past two years.
Lines happen on RAGBRAI, and at busy times of the day you may wait a bit for a
shower. In some spots, you might be able to sit under our shade canopy and watch till the
line gets shorter. In some spots, you're better off jumping in and doing your waiting
Here's what you can do to help with the wait situation. DO NOT WASH YOUR
CLOTHING IN THE SHOWER OR IN THE SINKS AT THE SHOWERS. We have the
Thingy for that purpose, so rinse out clothes there after showering. Outside, we also have
mirrors, electrical outlets, and a hair-dryer or two to lend so you can primp a little, shave,
The PBV Sag Bus A 56-passenger luxury motorcoach will carry any Pork Non-Riders
and Pork Saggers from host town to host town, departing at 7:00 a.m. When possible, the
driver may make some kind of food stop on the way to our next Pork Camp. It's up to the
bus driver to scope out what's available on the town-to-town route. We can sometimes
make two runs with the SAG bus if there's a surprising demand (this has happened a few
times). Just place your bags---or just your shower bag and change of clothes---under the
SAG bus so you don't have to wait for them to be unloaded when you get to camp.
If during the week you want to sag, go to our front desk and ask about it. Bikes are hung
on the Pass the Corn trailer. Make every effort to get your bike loaded the night before
you sag. The price is $25 per day, and the motor coach will be available to board before
7:00. It rolls at 7:00.
You CAN reserve spots on the SAG now if you're already sure that you won't ride on a
given day. Write to email@example.com. We have already heard from riders about taking
a day off the bike.
If for some reason you don’t make your decision to sag until morning, get your bike to
Pass the Corn well before the 7:00 a.m. departure time. Our sag TRUCK makes only one
trip, even if the sag BUS makes two. So get your bike loaded well before 7:00 a.m. (By
morning, we may not have space on the coach.)
The rest of the day is yours for resting, recovering, getting a massage, aaahhhhh. Some
of our therapists will be set up by 11:00 or noon. Do remember that our crew will be
engaged in morning chores until noon. At noon, we serve a crew lunch, and then crew
members take turns at the showers. Most of our services, with the exception of showers,
are not available until noon.
If you sag, take your bags or your shower-necessaries on the coach with you, and claim
your bike immediately on arrival in our next campsite.
Ours is a morning sag only, from host town to host town. No midday pick-up.
Electricity Every year, we thank our Dad, the electrician. Dad will be 85 on July 28th.
For many years, he played a big role in building our Juice Thingys and other electrical
needs. We debuted our first charging trailer a few years ago, a walk-in trailer with 720
electrical outlets inside little lockers. It's Pete's design, and we are grateful to Dave, Mick,
and Bob for all their work on it too. Last year, the guys built a second charging trailer
that has compartments large enough to hold tablets and laptops. Again, Dave, Mick, and
Bob were the builders, and Bob was the carpenter who built the cabinets on the new
The two charging trailers will always be plugged into a generator. Charging can happen
for most of the hours of the day, except when we’re driving town to town. There are
places (not lockers) for charging larger things, too, like fans, lights, and the big CPAP
Be prepared to share your locker with someone else. There are two outlets inside each
locker. If you remove your devices from the trailer, take your padlock too. Please do not
lock an empty compartment.
Bring Padlock for Juice Thingy The little luggage kind of padlock will work or
something slightly larger. Big heavy ones for personal storage units are too big to fit.
We'll probably send out a video about this Thingy to help you understand how to use it.
We'll probably have a few padlocks for sale.
CPAP Machines If you’re thinking of bringing a CPAP machine on RAGBRAI, please
write to firstname.lastname@example.org right away.
Other Thingys The Pump Thingy, an air compressor with a manifold and pressure
regulator for inflating your bike tires, will always be right near the charging trailers. In
the morning, one of our mechanics will man the pump, so you can just walk by with your
valve stems unscrewed and get pumped up. Expect a pretty fast-moving line for this
service. Of course, the Shower Thingy, a Formica table with five spigots and a mirror
will also be available to you afternoons and mornings.
Our Restroom Thingy You’ll love our restroom trailer, with twelve flushing porcelain
fixtures, six toilet stalls and six urinals. Some people call it the Six-Pack and others call it
the Royal Flush. It is lighted at night with bulbs that don’t attract insects. This trailer also
features vent fans, hand-sanitizer in each stall, and the sinks up front. At times, a bank of
kybos may be closer and more convenient for you, but much of the time, you’ll enjoy the
use of this trailer.
Our Own Kybos—MORE THIS YEAR Again this year, PBV is contracting for kybos
during the week of RAGBRAI, about twenty in each campsite. There may be other
banks of kybos nearby, and there may also be fixed restroom facilities in a park.
Hand-santizing Stations Bob, Dave, and Mick have built new hand-sanitizing stations
to be placed near our kybos.
Nights Away from Camp Pork Belly Ventures will be offering midweek hotel stays and
three or four other inexpensive opportunities to sleep indoors, TBA. If you are renting our
tent, you can leave things in that tent overnight, while you are away from camp. If you
are using your own tent, then you may wish to load one of your duffel bags on our
baggage truck before you go off to your overnight location with a single duffel. Just
remember that you won’t have access to that bag when you return in the morning—it will
be buried under a mountain of Pork Baggage. Make sure you have your bedroll, jammies,
toothbrush, and tomorrow’s cycling stuff before we load that duffel.
Once We Load It, It’s Gone. To re-emphasize this point about baggage, please be sure
that you have everything you need for the day’s ride BEFORE you hand over your bags
for loading on the Stupidity trailer. In a matter of seconds, your bag will be buried under
a world of other bags. Before you hand over that bag to our strong loader-guys, do a
check of your body. Look at your feet. Wearing cyling shoes? Feel your head. Got
those sunglasses. Check your pockets. Got that wallet? Once we load it, it’s gone.
Lost Property and How Not to Lose It You are responsible for your property, handing
it to our truck-loaders, locking up your bikes overnight (see below), and keeping track of
your stuff. Do things ever get lost? They do, but it’s usually temporary, and often it
happens when somebody doesn't follow our instructions. One of our semi-trailers is
adorned with the words, "It's not so much the HEAT. It's the Stupidity." That's your
trailer for baggage in the morning if you're bringing your own tent. Don't make the
mistake of tossing your bags onto the truck of some neighboring charter. This leads to
head-scratching in the afternoon. In the morning on the Stupidity trailer, there will always
be several strong crew members, and you'll get to know them. If there's any doubt, look
for the word "Stupidity" and ask "Is this the Stupidity Trailer?" Be sure the bag you drag
into your tent is your own.
Please claim your bags daily. Don’t assume that someone will re-load your bags if you
don’t claim them. They won’t.
For lost items, try our lost-and-found box at the Front Desk. There is usually a separate
Tent City Lost and Found, for items left inside rental tents. You might check and see if
something has been turned in at the front desk, too. It may not be necessary to say this,
but please know that it's not acceptable to "go shopping" in the lost and found. We want
things to get back to their rightful owners.
Here's how to avoid losing stuff. If you sag, claim your bike immediately on arrival in
our next campsite. If you leave the ride midweek, do not leave a doggone thing with us.
If you spend the night elsewhere, make sure your bags are placed on a truck (or left inside
your rental tent) before you go off to spend the night in your hotel, host home, or
whatever. You are responsible for your property. We are not.
Bike Locks One cable lock will do for two or three bikes. Overnight, lock your bike to
something stationary, or lock a few bikes together. At the very least, lock the bike to
itself, running your cable through the frame and wheels so the bike is not ride-able. Don't
take our word for it, but many people tell us it is not necessary to carry your bike lock
during the day. We hear reports that you can lay your bike on the grass in a pass-through
town, go eat some pancakes, and find the bike waiting for you when you come back. If
you have a super expensive, high-end bike, you obviously need to think further about
Pork Wear Be a Proud Porker and wear Pork Apparel from this year or previous years.
Wear it anytime. FYI, we have some special days and apparel in Pork Camp.
NEW this year, Red-White-Blue Wednesday. This idea is new, and it came from our
crew. On Wednesday (once we get a shower), we will all be wearing the colors of the
USA. Join us!
Ugly Tie Thursday: On Thursday, many of our crew members will wear hideous
polyester ties. Bow ties, the full Windsor knot, or whatever: but it must be ugly. The
Thursday ugly-tie tradition has something to do with Tom McCoy.
Aloha Friday: Sad to say Aloha, but flowered shirts make everybody happy. Anything
tropical qualifies: grass skirts, loud shorts, coconut bras, sarongs, pareaus. We'll wear
Aloha Attire at our Farewell Supper on Friday in Waukon. Join us!
Midweek Laundry Service This is an extra for which you can sign up at check-in in
Orange City, and the price is $20. We’ll give you a tall kitchen trash bag with your name
on it. On Tuesday evening, turn over your dirty duds. We hire an auxiliary crew for this
big job. They will dominate some large laudromats, handle hundreds of loads of
astonishingly smelly clothes, fold it all, give it back clean and fragrant.
Please note that we'll wash everything on Cold, dry everything on Medium. The only
special request we can handle is "Don't Dry Lycra," in which case your bike shorts and
jerseys will be placed damp into a separate bag inside your clean laundry bag. With so
many loads to wash, we don't have time to go through your pockets. Your wallets, cash,
chapstick, and ball-point pens will be placed in your clean bag in a little ziplock.
Save your clothes from grease and stains. Empty those pockets, and enjoy the happiness
of clean, fresh, folded clothes on Wednesday afternoon.
Adaptive Sports Iowa A few years back, we formed a partnership with the most
inspiring team on RAGBRAI, Adaptive Sports Iowa. These guys and girls in blue are
riding RAGBRAI in spite of challenges like visual impairment, loss of a limb, or brain
injury. ASI provides athletes with volunteer co-pilots and some auxiliary services to
enable them to participate in RAGBRAI and other athletic events.
On Wednesday evening in Charles City, the entire Adaptive Sports Iowa team will be our
guests for dinner. We have wonderful music on stage that night, but during a break, we’ll
introduce the ASI team and ask them to say a few words about their mission and their
RAGBRAI experience. We encourage you to reach out and meet a member, visit with
him or her.
You will have the opportunity to make a donation to Adaptive Sports Iowa, but we are
also excited about other results of our partnership. On the road, when you see these guys
and girls in blue, give them a shout out from Pork Belly Ventures. And prepare to be
encouraged and inspired by their strength and their gratitude. They are our heroes, and
they’ll be yours, too.
Our Cell Phones During RAGBRAI, we use our cell phones to make calls. We'll call
caterers, city employees, our hosts, and our crew chiefs to make sure everything goes
right in our campsites. But we cannot keep up with incoming calls and texts during
RAGBRAI. Being focused on doing the job we've promised you means not being focused
on our phones. Please know in advance that we make no commitment to respond to
phone calls or texts (or emails) in a timely manner during the week of RAGBRAI. Our
inboxes will fill up and stay full.
Choir! Choir! Choir!
The Pork Belly Creed of 2017, our version of the Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah, has
elicited a lot of emails. As a result of these letters from many of you, we’re thinking
about a Friday night Choir! Choir! Choir! of our own, with everyone standing and
singing our own version of Hallelujah after our Farewell Supper. We’ll have a great band
on stage, so what the heck. Might be a great way to say Goodbye to RAGBRAI 2017.
If you don’t know what we’re talking about, please see Update #6.
And if you’re interested in participating in the PBV Choir! Choir! Choir! let us know and
stay tuned for future updates.
OUR HALF-HOG SHUTTLES
Riding Half of RAGBRAI with PBV If you can't do the Whole Hog this year, meaning
the full week of RAGBRAI, we have two Half Hog options to offer you. For years, we
have been prorating our Weeklong Support, and our day rate is $65 per day. On our
online application, you can choose "Partial Week Support" and simply click on the
(consecutive) days you will be with PBV.
For a few years, we’ve offered Half Hog transportation, a way to exit RAGBRAI early
and a way to enter the ride late. We can offer you mid-week transportation to or from the
Des Moines airport AmericInn Hotel. For those who fly or drive to Des Moines, we
already offer transportation from Des Moines to the ride start on Saturday, July 22, and a
return shuttle to Des Moines on Saturday, July 29. Here are two scenarios for you,
including the pricing, if you're considering riding the first half or the last half of
On Tuesday evening, 7/25, Pork Belly Ventures has a block of rooms reserved at the Des
Moines AmericInn Hotel, just off of Fleur Drive. To take advantage of our $97 rate, call
(515) 285-5180 and mention Pork Belly Ventures for a reservation.
Option 1: First-Half-Hog Package (for those riding Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
You may choose among our shuttles to the start town, but if you're parking a car, you
should park in Des Moines at our designated airport hotel and use our shuttle to the start
($156). Our prorated weeklong support is $65 per day, and three days is $195. (Please
note that partial-week support during the first half of RAGBRAI is sold out, but our
shuttles are available). To depart from our Tuesday overnight town of Clear Lake on
7/25, you may take our midweek exit shuttle at 5:15 p.m., arriving at our designated Des
Moines airport hotel at about 7:00 p.m. The exit shuttle is $70.
Hotel and long-term parking info below.
Option 2: Last-Half-Hog Package (for those riding Wednesday through Saturday)
To enter RAGBRAI on Tuesday afternoon, 7/25, you can take our shuttle from our
designated Des Moines airport hotel to the overnight town of Clear Lake, departing the
hotel parking lot at about 3:30 p.m. and arriving before 5:00 p.m. This Half Hog shuttle
is $71. Our prorated weeklong support is $65 per day, and four days is $260 (Please note
that partial-week support during the second half is still available, but contact us to reserve
it). You may choose among our shuttles at weeks end, but if you parked a vehicle in Des
Moines, you would use our shuttle from Lansing to the AmericInn Hotel at the Des
Moines airport ($154).
On Tuesday, July 25, by about 3:00 p.m., our coach will be available to board in the
parking lot of our designated Des Moines airport hotel. From there, we will depart for
our Tuesday night campsite in Clear Lake, where Half-Hoggers will check in right away
at our front desk (or set off to find your charter). You may spend four days with us,
pedaling into Lansing on Saturday, the 29th. From here, you can use our Lansing/Des
Moines Shuttle to return you to the Des Moines airport hotel by early evening. (In fact,
you can use any of our post-RAGBRAI shuttles.)
How To Reserve Half Hog Options
On your PBV online application, you can select the First-Half Hog (exit shuttle) or Last-
Half Hog (enter shuttle) to or from Clear Lake. You can also select partial-week support
and choose the days you will spend with PBV.
Des Moines Hotel and Parking for Half Hoggers
On Tuesday, July 25, we have reserved a block of rooms at the Des Moines airport
AmericInn Hotel just off of Fleur Drive. To take advantage of our $97 rate, call (515)
285-5180 and mention Pork Belly Ventures for a reservation on Tuesday night, July 25.
(Please note that our rate and our room block may have expired. Mention our name and
give it a try, though.) If you’re staying at least one night at the hotel, you may be able to
use an inexpensive parking option at the hotel, depending on availability. The weeklong
parking, if available, is only $15. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the Des Moines
THE LAST MORNING OF RAGBRAI IN WAUKON
Because of the location of long-term parking in Lansing, we will be solving problems in
Waukon, before we even take off to Lansing, the end town.
If you are catching one of our shuttles after RAGBRAI, you have nothing to worry about
except getting to us in Lansing at our staging area just blocks from downtown. You'll
check with us at the front desk, deal with your bike (loading it where it needs to be
loaded), locate your bags, get your shower and maybe a snack, and then board your coach
on time. All coaches depart between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. We'll publish more on every
part of this process in our June Letter.
Be advised that if you’re on the last bus to Des Moines or to Omaha, the last one can
sometimes be delayed due to circumstances beyond our control.
Those of you who plan to park cars for the week in Lansing, however, will want to avoid
a scenario of riding your bike to long-term parking, loading your bike, and then fighting
traffic to get to our staging area to pick up your baggage. A two-lane highway runs
through tiny Lansing, and there aren’t alternate routes.
We can solve this problem in Waukon, as we load trailers on Saturday morning. Before
you begin your last day's ride to Lansing, you will have a choice.
Again, this solution is for those who parked a vehicle in Lansing prior to
Whether you are bringing your own tent, whether you're using one of our rental tents, or
whether you are sleeping in a PHAT room, you can take matters into your own hands so
that your baggage goes directly to Long-Term Parking in Lansing. Actually, you will
take your baggage into your own hands.
Pork Belly Ventures will identify a trailer that will go directly to long-term parking on
the edge of Lansing. On Saturday morning in Waukon, you will bring your baggage to
that trailer. At 7:00 a.m., that trailer rolls on to Lansing long-term parking and is
unloaded. One or more PBV crew members will stay with the luggage pile at long-term
parking. Now here's what your last day will be like...
It might be a good idea to bring a change of clothes on your bike today-- or at least a
clean shirt and underoos. You ride 45 miles from Waukon to Lansing. Having been to
our staging area at the beginning of the week, you'll know where to find us at the end of
the week in Lansing. And you'll have our map. You are welcome to pedal directly to us
for your shower (towel, soap, shampoo included) and/or a snack (we'll have a food
vendor in our staging area). Then you can pedal another couple of miles to your car, load
the bike, and claim bags right at long-term parking. The earlier you do these things, the
less traffic there will be. Based on previous experience, we think the congestion will be
impressive from about 1:00 p.m. on.
Remember, everyone. If you parked a vehicle in Lansing, think about changing your
normal routine for baggage loading on Saturday morning in Waukon...
• Those in their own tents--either bring your bags to the Stupidity trailer as usual
OR take them to another trailer we will identify for delivery to long-term parking
• Those in our rental tents--either leave bags inside your tent as usual to be
transported to our staging area OR take them to the trailer we will identify for
delivery to long-term parking in Lansing.
• Those in our PHAT rooms--either leave bags on your deck to be transported to the
staging area OR take them to the trailer we will identify for delivery to long-term
parking in Lansing.
On Friday afternoon in Waukon, I, Tammy, and Pete and several other Pork Crew
Members will be at our Front Desk to talk with you about what you should do on
Saturday morning. Come on over and we'll talk you through it.
We want to give you a smooth RAGBRAI experience, right on through to that last
afternoon. So give some thought to this advice, and watch for a similar explanation in
our June Letter.
LAST DAY OF RAGBRAI
[For those who will ship bikes to and from RAGBRAI, you'll find some info in this
section and more in the next section entitled "Shipping Bikes to/from RAGBRAI."]
FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO TALK THROUGH SATURDAY—WHAT TO DO
AND WHAT THE SCHEDULE IS---WE WILL BE AT OUR FRONT DESK ON
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, FROM ABOUT 2:00 UNTIL DINNER, TO CHAT WITH
Where We'll Be and How This Day Goes Our bus staging and bike loading area is at
South 3rd and Dodge Streets, just blocks off the downtown. This staging area is about
two miles from long-term parking. You’ll have our map of Lansing in July, showing the
precise location where we will be loading bikes and boarding buses on Saturday, 7/29.
All of our shuttles will depart between 12:30 and 2:30 PM.
You will be routed past the site where you can dip your front tire in the Mississippi River
and then ride to us. Because so many of the dip sites are small, there will be many
opportunities to dip your tire along the last stretch of river road between Harper’s Ferry
and Lansing. Don’t wait till you reach Lansing (there’s a narrow place there for river
access—and lines will form for dipping in Lansing).
PLAN THIS DAY. You have 45 miles to ride today, with 3200 feet of climb. Barring
inclement weather, this final day will be doable if you keep your schedule in mind as you
ride. On the last day, everyone has a schedule to keep, so you’ll be wise to depart early
from camp, stay steady on the bike, make shorter stops for hydration and food, and get
into camp in time for chores—get the bike loaded where it belongs, shower, grab some
food for the coach, load up your bags, and climb aboard.
We operate airport shuttles to the Cedar Rapids International Airport (two hours on a
good day), the Des Moines International Airport (four hours on a good day), and the
Omaha International Airport (six hours on a good day).
Shuttle Departure Times
The Cedar Rapids shuttles are scheduled to depart at 12:30 and 2:30, and on your
application, you have selected one of these departure times. We may have room for 2:30
people to go earlier if they arrive early. We think that we will also have space for 12:30
people to go later. Regardless of the departure you selected, you’re welcome to an open
seat on a coach if we have one. This trip is about two hours on a normal day, but given
the congestion we expect in Lansing, all bets are off.
Several Omaha-bound buses of Pork Belly Ventures will depart at intervals between
12:30 and 2:30 PM (barring end-town traffic problems). We’ll send a bus when it’s full.
All of them will depart by 2:30. This trip is 6 hours on a normal day—but it could take a
while to get clear of Lansing congestion.
Two Des Moines-bound buses will depart at 2:30 or shortly thereafter. The first one can
go when it’s full. This trip is 4 hours—could take a while to get clear of Lansing
Process for Bus Departure Sign-up
Most of you will have chores to do when you reach us. You’re looking at 45 miles with
some climbing. Don't get lost in the post-ride party at the river and miss out on bikeshipping,
showers, or miss your bus. Watch your time.
Bike-shipping containers (and your smaller shipping boxes) will be available to claim in
Lansing. One or more Pork Belly crew members will help you find YOUR shipping
container—do not take someone else’s. We'll have extra bike boxes for you, if you need
one. Our crew members will ask your name to ensure that each person claims his own
container. Two options for bike shipping are described below.
By all means come to the front desk and let us know you have arrived and ask for
direction. We’ll point out where things are and to which bike truck you should take your
bike. For our Des Moines and Omaha buses, you’ll need to get your chores done (ship
bike, shower, etc) before you can sign up for the next available bus. You can only sign up
for yourself. You may not sign up for your friends who are not yet in from the road.
Once you reach PBV camp, come to the front desk for direction and do these things:
• claim your shipping label and shipping container and prepare your bike for our
Omaha trucks or for shipping;
• see your bike loaded on our truck or take it to our FedEx shipping area in our
camp (see special section on Bike Shipping to and from RAGBRAI);
• if you're so inclined, drop a tip in the special coffee can or pickle jar designated
for crew appreciation;
• shower, eat, celebrate;
• check in or sign in at our Front Desk for the next available bus;
• board your bus.
If you’re running late for one of our shuttles, come straight to the front desk and ask us
As you leave Waukon on Saturday morning, remember that this to-do list is waiting for
you in Lansing. Plan this day.
Shipping Bikes Home If you have ordered your shipping label online at
Sendmybike.com, we will have it for you in Lansing. Don’t count on purchasing labels
from sendmybike.com during the week. Internet connections are very unreliable. A
FedEx trailer will stage in or near our Lansing campsite to receive boxed bikes and other
parcels that are ready to ship on the day. As ever, we will have your flattened bike boxes,
many extra cardboard bike boxes for the taking, and your hard-shell bike cases in camp at
Lansing on the 30th. We'll have tape, extra cardboard boxes, and markers.
Here are the TWO OPTIONS FOR SHIPPING BIKES HOME:
The first option for shipping your bike home is to box it yourself in Lansing, affix
your shipping label, and hand the package over to our crew to load onto a FedEx trailer
immediately. Our bike mechanics will have some tools that you may borrow. This option
requires no additional payment and includes very little assistance from our bike
mechanics, but it is a great option for those who are accustomed to working on their own
The second option for shipping your bike home allows you to turn your bike, your
shipping container, and your return-shipping label over to our crew. These items will be
transported safely to an Omaha bike shop, where our mechanics will package your bike
for shipping. This option costs an additional $55 (or $65 for quicker shipping), payable in
advance. You can select this option when you purchase your outbound shipping at
sendmybike.com, or you can write to us and send payment for it between now and
RAGBRAI. You can expect your parcel to enter the FedEx system after RAGBRAI, by
Friday, August 4 (unless you paid extra for quicker shipping).
If it happens that your cardboard bike box was damaged in transit to Iowa, our guys will
provide a nice undamaged one for you, no additional charge.
For a small number of people who need assistance and must package their bikes for
airline travel from Omaha or Cedar Rapids airports, our mechanics will be able to help.
Write to email@example.com now and order this service. The price is $65. Remember
to avail yourself of this service well before 2:00 p.m.
Please see the next section entitled "Shipping Bikes to and from RAGBRAI/PBV." Note
that we assume that anyone who intends to ship a bike from our campsite will be using
Sendmybike.com or will expect to pay the $50 fee for handling your bike.
Bike Shipping Outside PBV
For those who are shipping bikes with sendmybike.com but are not using the services of
Pork Belly Ventures, shipping containers and services will be right at our PBV staging
location in Lansing. Everything is located very close together (which is unusual and
Shuttle to Cedar Rapids Airport Here are a few things of special note regarding the
Cedar Rapids airport shuttle. Bus departures on the last day of RAGBRAI always depend
on end-town traffic, and traffic is the only reason we won't roll on time.
We hope that traffic will flow normally, once our coach gets a little distance from
Lansing. Still, you’ll be wise to allow time in your travel planning for slow-downs (even
gridlock). Don’t try to make very close connections at the airport, folks. We hope the
trip from Lansing to the Cedar Rapids airport will take just a little over the normal two
Our Cedar Rapids coaches will let all passengers off in the same place, the middle of the
Departures area at the airport. From there, we trust that you can make your own way to a
car rental agency, to your airport hotel, or to your departure gate.
We will make every effort to roll on time. If a 12:30 person is slower on the bike or if
you stop longer than planned, please don't assume that we'll have space for you on the
next departure. If we do, you are welcome to it, but limited seats will go to those who
reserved them first. (Right now, we have plenty of space, but there are weeks to go.)
Trucking Bikes to Omaha We'll have truck space for boxed and unboxed bikes going
back to Omaha.
Return Bus to Omaha Buses will roll in and stage, one or two at a time. Pork Belly
Crew Members will be checking people off the list as they board. Place your bags under
your bus and claim a seat. You're encouraged to bring snacks and drinks on the bus. The
trip is six hours, and buses will arrive in Omaha at Candlewood Suites between 6:30 and
9:00 p.m. approximately. Most of our crew will be driving trucks and vans across the
state, but we will be at Candlewood to say goodbye. If you are staying at another hotel
besides Candlewood or Holiday Inn Express, you should arrange your own transfer from
All bags and bikes will be unloaded outside the Candlewood Suites hotel on the evening
of the 29th. Claim all of your possessions that night.
The arrival of our bike trucks will depend, of course, on when they depart from Lansing.
They will depart when they are full. The departure and arrival times of bike
trucks/trailers will not necessarily coincide with the departure and arrival times of our
buses. Plan to watch for the arrival of bike trucks/trailers in the parking lot of the
Candlewood Suites hotel. Bikes must be claimed on Saturday night, the 29th.
By the way, our hotel managers at Candlewood and Best Western Plus are okay with
some congregating and celebrating in the hotels' hospitality areas on the night of our
return. You can get beer at the convenience store right there, and then enjoy a little post-
RAGBRAI celebration in air-conditioned comfort. But of course, we'll expect you to be
good guests, keep the noise down, and clean up after yourselves.
Return to Des Moines Our two Des Moines buses will depart at 2:30 or very close to
that time, and you have a bus ride of about four hours. We will designate one truck for
your bikes. We will take you straight to the AmericInn Hotel at the Des Moines
International Airport. Thanks for using our Des Moines shuttle.
If we're saying farewell in Lansing, remember to claim your bags before we clear out of
town at 2:30 or shortly thereafter. Otherwise, your duffels will be placed in a likely area
of the parking lot, perhaps on the grass beside the lot. (This is what RAGBRAI does with
unclaimed baggage.) Before we depart town, we will call all cell phone numbers on the
baggage tags of bags left in our area. If you have any trouble finding them, check your
SHIPPING BIKES TO AND FROM RAGBRAI/PBV
Particularly for those who fly to and from Iowa, shipping bikes and luggage has become
an important part of RAGBRAI. SendMyBike.com is tailor-made to help the folks with
Pork Belly Ventures ship bikes and luggage directly to the first PBV campsite in Orange
City and ship home from PBV at the end of the ride in Lansing. You'll have the
convenience of ordering shipping labels online and paying by credit card; however,
weeklong clients of Pork Belly Ventures will receive additional value for that FedEx
retail price, like free storage of your shipping container during the week of RAGBRAI
and/or free mechanical assistance from our mechanics. Here's the info you need to get
ready to ship.
Riders who are not using the services of Pork Belly Ventures are most welcome to use
sendmybike.com. Your shipped bike can be claimed at the downtown Bike Expo in
Orange City, and you can do return shipping from our location in Lansing.
Click here to visit Sendmybike.com. Most of those who ship a bike to RAGBRAI will
also ship it home from RAGBRAI, and by clicking "Ship both to and from RAGBRAI"
you'll be able to order both of your shipping labels at once. You can order your shipping
labels anytime between now and July 1st. For the two weeks prior to RAGBRAI, we will
suspend online sales, but you will be able to purchase return shipping labels during the
week of RAGBRAI at the Pork Belly Ventures front desk, though internet service can be
We hope you find it easy to scroll through the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at
sendmybike.com and find the information you need. But here's a basic explanation. You
are welcome to write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions.
Shipping To Iowa Regardless of when you order your inbound shipping label (to Iowa),
FedEx rules won't allow us to mail the label to you until approximately nine days prior to
your shipping date. So your label will be sent to you in the early days of July, unless you
let us know you intend to ship earlier.
On or before the 13th of July, you'll pack your bike into your box or case, affix your
Sendmybike.com label, and drop off your package at the nearest FedEx Ground location.
Your package will be delivered to a FedEx Ground facility near us, where we will claim
it for you and deliver it to the first Pork Belly Ventures campsite in Orange City (or to the
high school for those who are not with PBV). When you arrive, you'll claim your bike.
For those with PBV, our professional bike mechanics will be working all day to provide
assistance to you. Their main focus on Saturday, the 22nd of July, is to help those Porkers
who shipped bikes to RAGBRAI (or who flew with their bikes). You may tip the
mechanics if you like, but there is no charge for their assistance on the first Saturday of
Shipping from Iowa There are two options for shipping your bike home from
RAGBRAI, explained here. In both cases, if you have ordered a return shipping label
from SendMyBike.com, it will not be mailed to you. It will be available for you to claim
in Lansing on July 29th at the Pork Belly Ventures campsite (or at the river, if you are not
with PBV). If you have asked SendMyBike.com to store a box or case, you will be able
to claim it at PBV as well. Extra bike boxes will also be available for your use.
The first option for shipping your bike home is to box it yourself in Lansing, affix your
shipping label, and hand the package over to our crew to load onto a FedEx trailer
immediately. Our bike mechanics will have some tools to lend. This option requires no
additional payment and includes very little assistance from our bike mechanics, but it is a
great option for those who are accustomed to working on their own bikes.
The second option allows you to turn your bike, your shipping container, and your
return-shipping label over to our crew. These items will be transported safely to a bike
shop, where our mechanics will package your bike for shipping. This option costs an
additional $55 (or if you need your bike sooner, for $65 it will ship three days earlier). If
it happens that your cardboard bike box was damaged in transit to Iowa, our guys will
provide a nice undamaged one for you, no additional charge. You can expect your parcel
to enter the FedEx system the week after RAGBRAI. For the $55 price, it will ship by
Friday, August 4. For the $65 price, it will ship by Tuesday, August 1.
Note that we assume that anyone who intends to ship a bike from our campsite will be
using Sendmybike.com or will expect to pay the $50 fee for handling your bike.
Go to sendmybike.com now, enter your zip code, and within a few clicks you'll have your
Questions about Bike Shipping At sendmybike.com, please click on FAQs for answers
to many questions about shipping a bike to us or return shipping from Lansing. We'll
include a few FAQs here for your convenience:
By when does my bike need to arrive in Iowa?
Whether you use FedEx Ground or Express, you need to ship far enough ahead that the
bike will arrive on or before Thursday, July 20th.
How long will it take my bike to reach Iowa by Ground? The good news is that Iowa
is in the middle of the country, so even if you're far away, the typical delivery time is
three to four days. Whether you use Ground or Express, don't cut it close. It's better to let
go of your bike early and miss a couple days of training than to ship too late and miss a
couple days of RAGBRAI. For Ground shippers, we suggest allowing a full seven days
for your bike to arrive, which means that you would ship by Thursday, July 13th, or
Friday, July 14th.
How do I make sure my shipment is on time?
Follow the suggested timeline above, use your FedEx tracking number to check on your
shipment, and watch email for our notices of any shipping delays and for our notice of
delivery when the bike has been received.
Are there ways to avoid shipping delays?
Remember that most shipping problems occur when a shipping label falls off a package.
(That'll cause a problem, all right.) Make sure your label is securely affixed to your bike
box or luggage, and be sure to read our tips page at sendmybike.com. It's a good idea to
actually write your name, phone number and tracking number on the box (if you're using
cardboard), or tape a separate label with your name, phone number, and tracking number
on your hard case. We have seen this tip rescue a package from late delivery. If your
package is delayed, FedEx will notify you via email, IF you entered your email address
when you ordered shipping. If you have allowed our recommended two- or three-day
buffer, there is an excellent chance that your package will still arrive on time.
What happens to my bike when it reaches Iowa?
Your bike will be held at a FedEx facility until Thursday, July 20th, when it will be
claimed and transported to the Pork Belly Ventures campsite in Orange City or to the
Bike Expo. PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL CARE THAT YOUR NAME IS CLEARLY
LEGIBLE ON THE BOX. AGAIN, PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL CARE THAT YOUR
NAME IS CLEARLY LEGIBLE ON THE BOX.
Packing Your Bike for Its Trip to Iowa Whether you're flying the bike on a plane or
shipping it in advance, careful packing can save your bike, particularly for those of you
using cardboard shipping boxes. Keep bike parts from poking through the box by giving
special attention to these areas--pad or reinforce the bottom of the box where forks can
puncture it, and the sides where parts could punch through. Pad other vulnerable areas
(brake levers sometimes poke through), and if there are no slots for handling the box, cut
some so the FedEx handlers can grab your box. Often, we receive boxes torn open for
lack of a place to grab. (Follow these directions if you're flying the bike with you.)
Cost of Flying My Bike At sendmybike.com, you can find out what your airline charges
for bringing a bike on the plane.
Claims Claims can be made directly with FedEx claims department.
Weeklong Storage of Bike Containers For anybody using sendmybike.com, we'll store
your bike container for the week at no additional charge. (If it happens that your
cardboard bike box was damaged in transit to Iowa, we can provide a nice undamaged
one for you, no additional charge.) Bike boxes will have to be flattened, Porkers, to pack
stuff tighter. Any pipe insulation or packing materials should be stored in your duffel
bags or in hard-shell bike cases.
Purchase Hard-Shell Bike Cases from PBV Call Pete at 402-681-2613 to see if we can
still fill your order in time.
BETWEEN NOW AND RAGBRAI
June Form Please login and complete your June Form. It must be completed for each
rider. Instructions appear at the beginning of this letter.
June/July Contact with PBV It's a good idea to email both of us:
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. We check email quite a bit, but we can
get behind on phone messages. Tammy's home phone is 712/328-0161 and cell is 808-
375-8921. Pete is at 712/328-6836 (home) and 402-681-2613 (cell).
Pork Belly Ventures Cancellation Policy Before June 15th, you could cancel part or all
of your PBV services and receive a 90% refund. To date, we have included our written
cancellation policy in the majority of our email updates. The entire policy is always
posted at the website under "Cancellation." On or after the 15th of June, we make no
refunds. See Cancellation Protection below.
Pork Belly Ventures Cancellation Protection If you took this option when you
registered for our services, then you have extended your 90% refund period from June
15th through July 19that 10:00 p.m. You can click on "Cancellation" at pkbelly.com to
Cancel by Email from Now On If you cancel, please notify us by time-stamped email.
Please don’t leave a phone message.
The Pork Belly Smartphone App Go to your app store and use search words "Pork
Belly" to receive our FREE app. The App has become one of the best ways of keeping
current on PBV information, thanks to the diligent work of Katy Fletcher and the able
assistance of Dave Kennedy. On the app, you can access all PBV email updates of the
2017 season. Rider route maps and PBV Host town maps are also useful features. The
app is available to any RAGBRAI rider. For more on the Pork Belly Smartphone App,
Katy has written a whole section of this letter, included at the end.
Questions Things are going very well, Porkers. Call with questions now, because we
really want to help you, even late in the season. However, we will only get busier over
the coming weeks. RAGBRAI itself is invigorating and wonderful, but as we often say,
we'd rather dig a ditch than go through the weeks prior to RAGBRAI. Our To-Do lists
are long, and it can become tough to respond to your questions. Read your June Letter
first, and then call or email Tammy with any questions—sooner is better. We’ll do our
best. (Questions about bike shipping should go to Pete.)
SEND PAYMENT Full payment is due now, and thanks very much if you’ve taken care
of it. Some folks have written to ask for special arrangements, and that's fine. But if
you’ve overlooked our deadline, please get it handled. Login from our hompage at
pkbelly.com to check your balance due. You can pay by credit card, or avoid the
convenience fee to the credit-card people by sending your check to our mailing address:
PBV LLC, 412 Forest Glen Drive, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503. After July 6th, don’t mail
a check. Bring cash to check-in in Orange City instead.
Massage For some people, massage is a very important part of RAGBRAI. It can be a
game-changer after a long day on the bike. It’s a great way to get ready for sleep. And
during a week of relative hardship, it’s a delicious way to fill an hour in camp. You pay
your therapist directly, $40 for 30 minutes, or $80 for an hour. We have ten therapists on
our team, and if you’d like to book appointments early, please write to Julie at
email@example.com . She is managing the appointment book for our ten therapists.
Do take these appointments seriously. Remember them, and keep your appointments
with our therapists. If you’re sure you can do that, book away!
Email Updates From here on in, it's getting more important that you receive and read
some of these updates. Delete what does not apply to you. We have sent out only nine so
far, but the frequency is going to increase.
If you realize that you're not getting our updates, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com to get on our distribution list. Spam filters make it darn near
impossible for some people to get them, and if you’ve unsubscribed, it can be really
challenging to get back on (we can’t put you back on, obviously).
Especially in July, updates will include the host town maps showing our campsite
locations, bus assignments and departure times, and other important Pork info.
PREPARING/PROTECTING YOUR BIKE
FOR TRUCK TRANSPORT
This info is available at our website, but we want the June Letter to be your complete
guide to PBV. Here it is again.
NOTE: PORK BELLY VENTURES DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR
DAMAGE TO BIKES THAT ARE NOT FULLY BOXED.
When transporting bikes on trucks, we've had only two mishaps in over 20 years--truck
contents shifted and gouged the top tube of a beautiful, completely unprotected bike.
Somehow, another nice bike got scratched in transit. Since then, we have recommended
that all Porkers fully box bikes for truck transport. Keep reading.
ALSO NOTE: CARBON OR COMPOSITE WHEELS CAN BE DAMAGED BY
HANGING AN UNBOXED BIKE FOR TRANSPORT. If you have composite wheels,
it's your responsibility to see that it’s loaded properly by doing these things:
• Contact Dave Kennedy now at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know about
• Prepare a large handlebar tag for your bike that says “DON’T HANG THIS
BIKE.” Present the bike for loading with your tag on the bars.
• Remind us again at the time of bike-loading so that we will load your bike
without hanging it.
Hanging System for Unboxed Bikes If for some reason fully boxing isn't possible for
you, then here are some suggestions. At any hardware store, you can buy cheap pipe
insulation to protect your frame's tubing. Tape it on the main triangle---top tube, down
tube, and seat tube, forks, and chainstays. Cover your rear derailleur and other fragile
components. Remove the computer or other accessories from your handlebars and frame.
Experience tells us that, in spite of our recommendation and because of limited car space,
those of you on the East/West Shuttle will bring unboxed bikes to Lansing for transport
on our trucks. Consequently, our semis (the big 18-wheeler trailers) will be outfitted to
hang unboxed bikes in rows--they're hung by a wheel, with the opposite wheel secured to
a D-ring in the truck floor by bungee cord. STILL, take the above precautions to protect
your frame and components. We'll have space for boxed bikes, tandems, recumbents, too,
but we need to know if you're expecting us to transport one. There's a place to note this
on your June Form.
If you fly your bike to Omaha, please do not take it out of the box until we've trucked it
to Orange City. If you drive your bike to Omaha, you may not have car space for carrying
boxed bikes. In Omaha, we'll have buses and trucks (not always semis) departing
throughout the day. Though these trucks will not be outfitted to hang unboxed bikes, our
crew will carefully load both boxed and unboxed bikes. We urge you to take the above
precautions, protecting your frame and components, if you plan to give us an
For our return to Omaha at the end of RAGBRAI, we'll have a semi outfitted to hang
unboxed bikes, and other trailers for boxed ones, tandems, and recumbents.
Bottom line, we'll load your bike in whatever condition you like, but if it's not in a box,
we assume no responsibility for damage.
Finally, if you take our advice and use pipe insulation or other packing material, plan to
store it either in your hard shell bike case or in your duffel. We can't store it loose on our
trucks. All bike boxes should be flattened for weeklong storage.
PBV MOBILE APP
Here is the latest on our app from our developer, Katy Fletcher of Doxieworks:
Pork Belly Ventures app is available for free on iOS and Android devices. The app is
also available in html format for Windows and Blackberry. At last count, we had 6173
users of the Pork Belly Mobile App.
Be sure you have the latest app version – and always refresh the app to ensure you can
access the latest content … which we add on a regular basis.
Action to Take Now
Check to make sure you have the latest app version:
Apple Version 1.4
Android Version 1.01
Each phone is different and one sure way to update the app is simply find the app in the
app stores and you’ll be guided how to update the app. It’s easy.
If you haven’t yet downloaded our free app, we encourage you to do so. Just search the
Apple or Google Play app stores by typing in “Pork Belly Ventures.”
What Our App Provides
Our PBV app provides a wide range of functionality to help you learn more about our
charter and RAGBRAI before the ride, with useful tools like route maps and host-town
maps during the ride, and a fun after the ride “wrap-up” of riding RAGBRAI with Pork
Specific Tabs Designed to Assist You Now and During the Ride
June 2017 Letter – This letter presents a comprehensive review of everything you need to
know as a Pork Belly rider and support team.
Updates and Messages - You can easily access our important “Updates” which give you
needed information as a Pork Belly rider/participant. You’ll receive a “post notification”
reminding you to take a look at the latest “Update”! These posts are found under
the “Messages” tab.
PBV Maps – Providing you a precise map to locate the PBV campsite in the Host Towns.
Download these maps to your smartphone/tablet prior to the ride. Our maps will be
available in July. This includes driver maps as well. Keep reading for more information
about why/how to download.
NOTE: There are two tabs to access these maps:
PBV Maps – PDF
PBV Maps - URL
See more detail immediately below.
Download Maps to Phone – This tab gives you detailed information on how and why to
download the maps to your smartphone devices. This way you are not fully dependent
upon the Internet to access this important information.
We have posted the PBV Maps on our App in two different formats, two different tabs.
You can view the maps on our App via the URL link to our website OR as a PDF on the
App. Each format allows you to download the maps. One format may be preferable
depending on your phone. Again, we recommend you do this prior to the beginning of
Ride Maps – These are the official maps from RAGBRAI. We recommend you download
to your smartphone/tablet prior to the ride.
’17 Host Towns & Stats – Click on the map “pins” to find key information (i.e. quick
summary of entertainment, links to town mobile website for lots more detail) about the
Weather – We’ve linked to NOAA’s weather map so you can find much detail on all
weather details during the ride.
Pork Camp Orientation – A complete orientation to the vehicles and equipment available
to you as our PBV rider. Get to know our lively little village before you leave for
1st Timers – Important tips on various parts of the PBV experience: Riding Part, Packing
Part, Camping Part, Eating Part, Money Part and The Key.
Pork Crew – See mug shots and read bios of our men and women who serve you.
Newbies will want to read this before you leave for RAGBRAI.
Share Our App – Easy sharing of the app with others who want to see what you’re up to.
You can also use this tab to send a text, email or post on social media.
Pork Cam – Take photos on the spot and submit them for possible inclusion in our Pork
Pork Gallery – View photos our riders have submitted to PBV.
RAGBRAI RSS Feeds – View the up-to-the minute news feed from RAGBRAI.
RAGBRAI Training Blog – includes 2017 Training Plan and more!
Contact Us – You can reach PBV easily via phone, email or website. But during
RAGBRAI, remember that we are focused on fulfilling our promises to you. We are
focused on providing service. We are not phone-focused during the week of RAGBRAI.
There’s more for you to check out including these Tabs:
Suggested Packing Tips
Other PBV Supported Events
We hope you find our PBV App helpful, and we welcome your comments and
Thanks for hanging on to your June Letter, Porkers, and referring to it over the coming
weeks. We're really rolling downhill now, toward our Week in the Corn.
Until next time, we remain,
Tammy and Pete