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RAGBRAI 2019      

June Letter

THE JUNE LETTER

OF PORK BELLY VENTURES

June 23, 2019

 

Dear Porkers,

 

Here is 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 wonder:  

 

 

Those answers and many more are here.

 

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.  Some of it may seem obvious.  We’ll try to help you avoid making silly mistakes.  We don’t mean to offend.  We’ve just seen a lot of silly mistakes over the years, and if you read your June Letter, you’ll avoid most of them.

 

Nobody needs to read every section of this long letter.  If you're not on the East/West Shuttle, for instance, skip that entire section. Table of Contents below.  The June Letter is mostly chronological, except for later sections. There’s a section about our Smartphone App at the end of this letter.  If you don’t have the App, you should get it today.

 

Scan and print the June Letter 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 19 and 20
  3. Finding Us in Council Bluffs, July 19 and 20
  4. Omaha to Council Bluffs, July 20 [Info on Omaha Parking and Airport Shuttle was new last year, so if you missed last year, read that carefully.]
  5. Des Moines to Council Bluffs, July 20
  6. The Week with PBV
  7. Our Half Hog Shuttles, July 23
  8. The Last Day of RAGBRAI, July 27
  9. Shipping Bikes to/from RAGBRAI—see our complete email from Sendmybike.com
  10. Between Now and RAGBRAI
  11. Preparing Your Bike for Truck Transport
  12. The PBV Smartphone App

 

Soon, your June Letter will be posted in plain text at www.pkbelly.com under "June Letter."

 

 

 

 

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 (it says “Click Here to Continue the Application) that will take you straight into your application, bypassing the login altogether.

 

[There is NO JUNE FORM TAB on the website.  You need to login.]

 

On your application, our web designer has created a green tab called June Form.  You’ll see it upon login.  It’s right across from your name.  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 don’t know your official RAGBRAI number, 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.  RAGBRAI wants us to be able to retrieve the registration numbers of our riders—help us, please.  (Note that you must be wearing your RAGBRAI wristband when you check-in for PBV Weeklong Support in Council Bluffs.)

 

Importantly, should you have an accident or should RAGBRAI take possession of your bike for any reason, Pork Belly Ventures cannot provide any assistance in retrieving your bike without your six-digit RAGBRAI wristband number.

 

If you are riding a partial week, you may enter the words “day passes” in the field for your official RAGBRAI wristband number.  Wear your wristbands to check-in with PBV.  We’ll check your day passes before providing you with the PBV bracelet. 

 

On the June Form, you may select an extra night in your rental tent (Friday 7/19).  The price is $40.  If you select this option, you can pay for it prior to RAGBRAI—put a check in the mail by July 4 or use your credit card online and incur a 3% fee. (This option is for those who are using the Friday E/W Shuttle or who are being dropped off in Council Bluffs.  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.  (Remember that most of our amenities will not be available till Saturday.)

 

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 Council Bluffs:

 

 

For the E/W Shuttle or the Omaha/Council Bluffs 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 letter.

 

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.

 

Last Chance to Make Sure Group Names Are Identical  We’ve hammered this message home over the course of the season.  (Sorry to those who do it right every time!)  We’ve had occasions where people check in for our support and learn that their tents are not together. On the Saturday when RAGBRAI is beginning, it will be too late to fix that situation.  If you want to be on the same coach with your group members, or if you want your rental tents to be near each other, you must have identical group names on your applications.

 

Dave asked me to mention that if one person types “Team George” in the group-name field, and another types “George’s Team,” we won’t catch that.  It will not sort properly.  These folks will not be assigned to the same coach or next to each other in Tent City.  So make sure to use identical group names on your applications, please.  This is (almost) the last time we’ll make this plea.

 

Payment Is Due Now  We asked for balances by May 15th, and we have sent reminders.   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 4, we welcome you to mail a check to avoid the credit card convenience fee.  After July 4, we ask you to pay by credit card.  

 

Availability of Services Our Weeklong Support and Partial-Week Support are both available.  We are sold out on Rental Tents, but we have already cleared people from the waiting list, and the list is short.  We expect to accommodate more people on that list.  We do have space on all of our shuttles and we don’t expect them to sell out.

 

 

EAST/WEST SHUTTLE,

Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20

 

Common Group Name

If you want to be on the same coach with your friends, please read this.

 

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.

 

Importantly, the website is our passenger-sorting, bus-departure-management software.  Tammy will have other helpers working on bus assignments, people who  don’t know who is friends with whom.  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 to change buses in order to accommodate late requests for those without a group name.  We can’t promise to do that this year.

 

Dave asked me to mention that if one person types “Team George” in the group-name field, and another types “George’s Team,” we won’t catch that.  Applications will not sort properly.  These folks will not be assigned to the same coach.  So make sure to use identical group names on your applications, please.

 

Crew

Crew Chiefs Rob Boes and George Dougherty will handle this shuttle, along with Bob Christiansen, Bart Dvorak, Martina Werner, Mary Spurlock, and several other Pork Crew Members.

 

Our Location in Keokuk

In Keokuk, Pork Belly Ventures will be located at the First Christian Church, 3476 Main St, Keokuk, IA 52632.  We will publish a map in July.

 

Sometimes our operation is spread out in the end town, but everything in Keokuk will be in the church parking lot--easy.  We will load bicycles and board the coaches all in the same area—which is also the area for long-term parking.

 

Upon arriving at the church, you’ll need to check in with FCC volunteers at their table.  You’ll sign a waiver and collect your pre-purchased parking pass, pre-purchased meal tickets, and so on.

 

You will be wise to expect a little congestion at FCC on Friday afternoon and probably more congestion on Saturday morning.   Please plan for it.  If you rush into town at 8:30 AM Saturday and expect to find us, get your bike loaded, get in line to park your vehicle, manage your baggage, and board your bus by 9:00—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

 

For anyone who wants to park vehicle in the end town, and who is planning to use our E/W Shuttle (or who wants to end the week at PBV Long-Term Parking), this is the parking option for you.

 

This year, for the first time, long-term parking is reserved through PBV—you can select it on your Pork Belly Ventures application.  Most of you did that back in April, when we created a category of service called “Keokuk Services” on our application form.

 

If you haven’t done it, please login now and add long-term parking.  The price went up from $60 to $70 on June 1.  On July 15th, we will suspend all long-term parking sales online.  You will still be able to pay $80 cash in person at Keokuk if you’re not pre-registered for parking.  

 

More Keokuk Services

For those planning to shuttle on Friday, you may select a box lunch prepared by the ladies of First Christian Church.

 

For those planning to shuttle on Saturday morning, you may select indoor sleeping at the church, a hot breakfast at the church, and/or a box brunch to take on board the coach.

 

These services are available to be reserved on the Pork Belly Ventures application form, under Keokuk Services.  By taking these services, you will support a very good cause, the Bed Ministry of FCC, providing beds for kids who don’t have a bed of their own. 

 

E/W Shuttle Choice of Departure Day/Time

 

You may choose one of five departures on this shuttle:

 

 

As the June Forms roll in, we’ll begin making bus assignments. We hope that our bus company can allow 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.

 

Our Keokuk Schedule and Crew

In Keokuk on Friday, our E/W Shuttle crew, led by Rob Boes, 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 FCC parking lot at 6:00 AM to continue bike loading.  They will also supervise the boarding of our Saturday buses departing at 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 (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 27, we will be located in the same location, the First Christian Church at 3476 Main St, Keokuk, IA 52632.  See later sections of this letter for details about the last day of RAGBRAI.

 

Bus Assignments and Rosters

In early July, we will send out updates with your bus rosters showing who is assigned to what coach.  This will 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 Keokuk on the 19th or 20th, you must write to tammypav@cox.net. 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 Keokuk on Friday, 7/19, Prior to RAGBRAI

Hotels in Keokuk or the surrounding area. You can Google hotels in the area and make your reservation. PBV does not make hotel recommendations on the east side of the state.

 

Indoor Sleeping, explained in PBV Update #5, is only $15 (a donation to First Christian Church.)  The church has many lovely carpeted areas with restroom facilities throughout the building.  If you select Indoor Sleeping and the Hot Breakfast on your PBV application, you will wake up and smell the coffee, French toast, sausage, egg casserole, and more.   

 

For those who prefer to set up tents, camping is at the YMCA/high school campus, about 1/2 mile from FCC.  Showers available there.  Campers can park their cars near the campground Friday night but must move them to long term parking Saturday morning at FCC.

 

No Rental Tents in Keokuk  Though PBV rental tents are available in Council Bluffs on Friday night (for an additional $40), they are not available in Keokuk.

 

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.]

 

If you have CARBON WHEELS, it’s your responsibility to let our loaders know at the time they are loading bike.  We don’t hang carbon wheels.

 

If you wish to buy food to take on board your coach, select the meals on your PBV Application.  If you didn’t buy in advance, you check with the ladies of FCC to see if they have extra.

 

It’s your job to place your bags in the compartments under your bus. The buses are not likely to stop on the way to Council Bluffs, 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 Council Bluffs, 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.

 

Council Bluffs on Friday Night

Those who take the 1:00 and 3:00 Friday shuttles from Keokuk will arrive in our Council Bluffs campsite at about 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. respectively. You will be able to check-in for PBV Weeklong Support on Friday night, and our crew will direct folks to their rental tents.  Some of you will set up your own tents after check-in.

 

If you’re hungry when you step off the coach, we’ll have one or two food trucks serving in Pork Camp on Friday night—likely to be an Italian food truck with pizzas and pasta, and a vegan taco truck.  Our Friday night vendors are called Pomodoro and Attack-A-Taco.  We are likely to have a pie vendor too, with exceptional pies!

 

Around 10:00 p.m., 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.  

 

Council Bluffs Saturday Festivities and Bike Expo

Dave will be brewing coffee on Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m.  (For the rest of the week, he brews coffee from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.)

 

On Saturday, the huge RAGBRAI Bike Expo is just blocks from our campsite.  It’s walkable, and you’ll see the location of festivities on our map of Council Bluffs, coming in July.

 

PBV Check-in in Council Bluffs 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 food trucks in camp, including Chicago Dawgs, Pomodoro (until 3:30 pm), Attack-A-Taco, and the Pie Guy.  There’ll be 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—wait to check in at our Front Desk until the line has gotten shorter.

 

Pork Rental Tents: Our rental tent service is a seven-night service, from Saturday night in Council Bluffs to Friday night in Burlington.  You can get an extra night in your rental tent, on Friday in Council Bluffs for just $40.

 

Rental tents will not be available in Keokuk.

 

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 Council Bluffs campsite (Springhill Suites hotel, 3216 Plaza View Dr, Council Bluffs, IA 51501), and you should unload your stuff there and claim your bikes. The general RAGBRAI camping area, depending on the route you take, is six or seven blocks from us, out in front of the Horseshoe Casino along 23rd Avenue.

 

If you’re with a different charter—not PBV—for the week, the charters are all within close proximity of one another, within a few blocks. 

 

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 Keokuk 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 Council Bluffs.  Also, to avoid the wait, ask if your weeklong charter can come and pick up your luggage.    

 

In July, we'll send you a host-town map of Council Bluffs, noting our campsite, in case your weeklong group can transport you to their site.

 

 

FINDING US IN COUNCIL BLUFFS,

Friday or Saturday, 7/19 and 7/20

 

If you are driving to our campsite in Council Bluffs, we will surround the south side of Springhill Suites Hotel, 3216 Plaza View Dr, Council Bluffs, IA 51501.

 

Pete Phillips and about half of the Pork Crew will be waiting for you in there. We will publish a map of Council Bluffs in July, showing our location in relation to the Expo and festivities.  It’s a matter of about 5 or 6 blocks.

 

Friends and family who drop off Porkers should not drive into the Springhill Suites parking lot.  Rather, unload in General Parking across the way and walk in.  To see the location of General Parking, look at the Council Bluffs map and the parking lot labeled GP, just east of Springhill Suites.  Here is the printer-friendly Council Bluffs map:

 

https://www.unleashcb.com/files/ragbrai_printable_map.pdf

 

Because we’ll have around 20 buses arriving throughout the day and needing space to unload and get out again, those arriving by private vehicles (dropped off by friends and family) must park across the street in General Parking, unload your things, and walk over.  Come to our front desk for check-in—just in front of the Springhill Suites entrance. Friends and family are more than welcome to buy lunch from our food trucks and pie vendor and hang out in Pork Camp to see what this corny bike event is like.  All we ask is that you park well away from the operation of PBV.

 

Long-term parking in Council Bluffs is at a parking garage near the pedestrian bridge, a considerable distance from the Mid-America Center and Pork Belly Ventures’ campsite.

 

Note to Those Staying in the Springhill Suites in Council Bluffs:  Your check-in time at Springhill Suites for Friday and/or Saturday is 3:00 p.m.

 

 

OMAHA to COUNCIL BLUFFS,

Saturday 7/20

 

 

[Same as last year, you’ll use STEWARTS AIRPORT PARKING SHUTTLE to either the CANDLEWOOD SUITES HOTEL or the BEST WESTERN PLUS HOTEL. After RAGBRAI, Pork Belly Ventures always returns to the Candlewood Suites hotel at the Omaha airport.  We advise you to use STEWARTS AIRPORT PARKING for the week.  This is the easiest option. Further detail below.]

 

Crew

Tammy and Mike Pavich, Chuck Jamieson, Sara and Nick Tangeman, Kristen Benes, and about a dozen other Pork Crew members will handle our most popular airport shuttle.

 

Omaha Airport Hotels

In Omaha on Saturday night, 7/20, you will be camping with PBV.

 

If you need a room near the Omaha airport on Friday, 7/19, or Saturday, 7/27, 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 in early July unclaimed rooms in our block will be released and our rate may no longer apply.

 

Best Western Plus (formerly the Holiday Inn Express)
402-505-4900

 

Candlewood Suites
402-342-2500

 

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 an Omaha 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 hotels.

 

All Pork Belly buses/shuttles 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 Stewart Airport Parking for $5.50 per day for outdoor parking day and about $6.50 per day for sheltered parking. The owner of Stewart Airport Parking may offer a special deal for us—please inquire at the front desk of your hotel.  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 Stewart lot nearby—valet parking is free. When you return to Omaha at week’s end, Stewart vans will take you to the nearby lot, and you can drive your car back to your hotel for loading.

 

Coach Boarding and Bike 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. Our 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.

 

Your shuttle to Council Bluffs from Omaha is brief—15 minutes or so.

 

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?  There are lots of Uber drivers in Omaha, and also cabs.

 

If you're using a Friday night hotel, do feel free to give me a preferred Saturday departure time on your June Form.  Whether you want to get on the earliest bus or want to sleep in, I'll do the best I can. I am usually able to meet all requests.

 

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 We’re providing step-by-step instructions for those who fly into Omaha, but first, here is how to summon the Stewarts shuttle from the airport to either the Candlewood Suites hotel or the Best Western Plus.

 

The Stewarts Shuttle is likely to be circling all day on both Friday and Saturday, from the airport to the hotels.  You should exit Door #2 at the airport (in the middle—not at the north end or south end) and cross over to the Commercial Lane.  The Stewarts van will be waiting or it will come along shortly.  You can also call the hotel phone numbers and ask them to send the shuttle:

            Candlewood: 402-342-2500

            Best Western Plus: 402-505-4900

 

 

If you fly into Omaha on Friday (7/19), walk out of the airport from baggage claim using Door #2, and cross to the commercial lane.  Board the next Stewarts van and tell them you're bound for Best Western Plus or Candlewood Suites, wherever you’re staying on Friday night. 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). About 30 minutes before your scheduled shuttle departure time, come out and check in for your coach.

 

(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. Our longtime favorite restaurant is Nicola's-Italian/Greek, very fresh, lovely outdoor patio. But we also like Upstream Brewery an awful lot. Have heard good things about Hiro Sushi and Japanese Cuisine. A lot of people love M’s Pub—a charming Old Market institution, rebuilt after a devastating fire, and exactly the same!  Usually, the Dubliner will have some great Irish music and Guinness on tap, but remember to get some sleep Friday night! For fine dining, you can try V Mertz in the Passageway. We hear that Warren Buffet dines at Omaha Prime, so you can probably get a pretty decent steak there.  Have a great evening in Omaha’s Old Market.)

 

If you're flying into Omaha on Saturday (7/20), 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 using Door #2, cross to the commercial lane, and catch the first Stewart 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 across the street from Candlewood, and also a Subway sandwich shop and a Perkins Restaurant if you have a longer wait for some reason.

 

NOTE: If your plans change on Saturday, or if your flight is delayed, CALL or TEXT 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.

 

(For much of the week, I will be unable to answer calls or texts, but I’ll be very attentive on Saturday.  If I don’t answer, please text or call back.)

 

Bike Transport We'll have bike trucks running pretty much with the buses.  Bikes should arrive pretty close to when your bus arrives at our Council Bluffs campsite. [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. It’s possible that you may have a little time in Council Bluffs to set up your tent, check in, etc, before the bike truck rolls into camp.

 

DES MOINES TO COUNCIL BLUFFS,

Saturday 7/20


Pricing Round-trip Des Moines is $255 for both legs, $115 for Des Moines/Council Bluffs only, and $140 for Keokuk to Des Moines at the end of the week.

 

Crew Doug Thompson will handle this shuttle with other Pork Crew members.

 

Schedule, Saturday, July 20  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. As usual, we'll load bikes at 8:00 and depart at 9:15 for Council Bluffs. You’ll arrive in Council Bluffs right about 11:00 am.

 

Des Moines Hotel Rooms and Parking You out-of-state folks may need rooms on Friday, 7/19, or on Saturday, 7/27. 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 asking.)

 

The hotel offers guests weeklong parking.  Their Park-and-Fly rate is only $20 for the 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 27 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 Keokuk by 3:30, or earlier if we have all passengers on board. The trip is about three 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?

 

Our most important expectation is that you be courteous to our hard-working crew.

 

We have promised to give you extras, comforts, conveniences, and luxuries, but hey, you just won't always be 100% comfortable when you’re living outdoors for seven days. Prepare yourself mentally for some physical hardship. You have signed on for a week of biking and camping in the elements.  Prepare to cope with it, deal with it, roll with it.

 

Things can feel like they are going wrong sometimes. 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 in the morning, unless you rise before the sun, you will wait in line for the kybo.

 

Each rider with PBV gets two bags, and you should be able to lift each of them above your head and count to three.

 

Folks who bring their own tents, please get your bags to our Stupidity trailers by 7:00 AM.  We can’t hold the baggage trailer.

 

Folks who rent our tents, please be out of your rental tent (and out of the rental tent area) 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 operation 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.  It’s just common sense, we know, and we’re sure you’ll be lovely and cooperative, but we speak from a few troublesome experiences.

 

Pick up your own trash. I, Tammy, am a proud member of our morning trash crew, and about five of us will circulate each morning 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 receptacle.

 

Be quiet after 10:00 pm 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 10:00 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.  Regardless of whether someone has a RAGBRAI vehicle pass, we and all charters are forbidden to provide support to people who have a personal vehicle on the ride.  You have to choose one or the other: having your own car OR availing yourself of our support.  Please keep your word to us on this matter.

 

ABOUT CHECK-IN FOR OUR SUPPORT…

 

The Check-In Process for Weeklong Porkers Check-in takes place at our Front Desk in Council Bluffs on Saturday, July 20, 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 have us carry your baggage, to partake of beverages and 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 check-in 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.

 

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'll need cash for these items, as we don't accept checks once the ride begins.

 

With very few exceptions, you should already have paid in full for other extras you have reserved, like an optional hotel stay, indoor sleeping, and perhaps other special services.

 

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 ameastman@cox.net now, so that Ann can note your diplomatic immunity on your check-in form. Thank you.

 

Rental Tent 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 handle 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 a space for your name and cell phone number. Complete the information on the tags, and then attach these durable tags to your bags. 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 Council Bluffs 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,)  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. 

 

CONTINUING WITH YOUR WEEK WITH PBV…

 

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  One of the unsung heroes of PBV is Pork Cartographer, Bob Rebach.  Bob is hard 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 ride statistics.

 

Remember this!  You will receive the PBV Locations Card at check-in, with all Pork locations listed on it, complete with addresses.  Please carry this laminated card on your person or zip-tie it to your bike.  Glance at before you ride into town.  If you’re looking for us in Indianola, you can ask a local person, “Where is YMCA?”  When you’re looking for us in Centerville, you and ask a local, “Where’s the city pool?”  Don’t search.  Refer to your Pork Locations card.  Ask a local whether you’re headed 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.   (We shared a photo of our sign in the email update that included this letter.)

 

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 are the fairgrounds, 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 Free PBV Smartphone App at the end of this letter.

 

“Lost” Baggage

A word about claiming other people’s baggage:  It’s so nice of you 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 Details later, but our sites are generally around six to eight blocks from the festivities. In Burlington, it’s further (and nobody camps right near downtown Burlington), but a shuttle will run to/from downtown. We’ll publish greater detail about our campsites in a future update, Our Week in the Corn. 

 

2019 PBV Campsite Locations

 

Council Bluffs

Springhill Suites, 3216 Plaza View Dr, Council Bluffs, IA 51501

 

Atlantic

Cass County Community Center, 805 W 10th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

Ask a local:  Where are the Fairgrounds?

 

Winterset

Soccer Fields, E Court Ave, Winterset, IA 50273

Ask a local:  Where are the soccer fields?

 

Indianola

YMCA, 306 E Scenic Valley Ave, Indianola, IA 50125

Ask a local:  Where’s the Indy Y?

 

Centerville

City Pool, 712 W Lane St, Centerville, IA 52544

Ask a local:  Where’s the city swimming pool?

 

Fairfield

OB Nelson Park, 1000 W Burlington Ave, Fairfield, IA 52556

Ask a local:  Where’s OB Nelson Park?

 

Burlington

Edward Stone Middle School, 3000 Mason Rd, Burlington, IA 52601

Ask a local:  Where’s Ed Stone Middle School?

 

Keokuk

First Christian Church, 3476 Main St, Keokuk, IA 52632

Ask a local:  Where is First Christian Church? Or where is Walmart?

 

Pork Nights

We’re planning great menus every night, and soon we’ll reveal all of the live music we’ve booked.  It’s shaping up to be a wonderful week.

 

We will offer a vegetarian alternative entrée for all included dinners. It looks like we will offer a vegetarian entrée for the 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.  In many cases, the vendor will have chocolate milk.  Possibly instant oatmeal and/or cheese sticks.  In one or two cases, we may have hot breakfast items, too.

 

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 of breakfast and lunch is not included in your Weeklong Support, but it is very convenient to have these options available right at your home base.  In some cases, our vendors will have sandwiches, salads, sweets and snacks.  When possible they will continue vending through dinner and into the evening.

 

Check the Board First Thing When you ride into camp, make a habit of checking our Announcement Boards at the Front Desk for 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.

 

NEW Our Campground Orientation Board  When an event moves every day, it can be a challenge to get oriented in each new campsite.  Until this year, folks would come to the Front Desk to either read the boards or ask where things are.  This year, we have created the Campground Orientation Board.  We’ll place it under a canopy near our Front Desk.  On a large diagram/map of our campsite, we’ll use moveable magnetic pieces to show you where to find showers, kybos, vending, phone-charging, massage, catering, bike mechanics and everything else that PBV offers in camp each day.  So by all means, come to the Front Desk for a cold drink or to ask other questions.  But to find what you need in camp, you can go straight to our Orientation Board.  Snap a photo of it!

 

Yoga in Pork Camp  Please watch for Our Week in the Corn, when we’ll tell you more about Traci DeLand, our yoga teacher for PBV during RAGBRAI. She will lead a group yoga session at 5:00 each day. Relax your mind and take advantage of the benefits of yoga. Stretch those tired muscles.  Avoid injury.  Commune with fellow Porkers.  Watch updates, watch the daily announcement board of PBV (near our front desk), and watch our notifications via the Pork Belly App.  We’ll let you know when and where yoga will be happening each day.

 

Entertainment on Stage  Please watch updates, watch the daily announcement board of PBV (near our front desk), and watch our notifications via the Pork Belly App.  We’ll let you know who is on stage each night.  We’re planning entertainment on seven nights, starting on Saturday in Council Bluffs.

 

Baggage Limit You get two bag tags, so plan on two duffels per person total, with tent and sleeping bag enclosed inside. A bag is defined as the stuff that fits inside the zipped bag.

 

Don't strap a bunch of stuff to your bag—your stuff will come unstrapped.

 

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 sensibly.

 

Those Rubbermaid tubs will not hold up to RAGBRAI, and we've seen the handles tear right off of suitcases. A soft no-nonsense canvas duffel bag is your best bet, one for camping gear and the other for clothing and toiletries. Remove any detachable straps.

 

Several Porkers have offered tips for packing—they suggest putting each day’s clothes into plastic bags (freezer bags or ziplock storage bags) inside your duffel.  Dew on the grass can make your duffel damp, and packing clothing in ziplock bags keeps clean clothes nice and fresh.

 

The clever Porker will mark his/her bags somehow-with colorful tape or even paint to make them easy to spot in our pile.   Can you imagine how many black duffels we’ll have?  How many blue duffels?  How many army-green duffels.  Mark your bag.

 

It's fine to bring a camp stool or chair if you can get one into your duffel and still lift it over your head. (We have several hundred stacking chairs, but some folks prefer to bring one so they always have their own.)

 

Chairs and Camp Stools

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.

 

PBV Suggested Packing List

You'll find our Suggested Packing List under Details at pkbelly.com.

 

https://pkbelly.com/content/detail/suggested_packing_list

 

No Good Stuff  No fine jewelry, good luggage, good clothes, good anything. See "Electricity" below regarding laptops and iPads, but do remember that Iowa is a warm and humid place in the summer, not the best habitat for your valuable electronics. RAGBRAI beats the crap out of stuff. If you like it, leave it home.

 

CPAP Machines

CPAP Users, if you wrote to me once, I have you on my list. 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 tammypav@cox.net.

 

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 Council Bluffs, 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 massage@pkbelly.com.  She will want to know the days, the time of day, and the duration of the massage you request (15 minutes/30 minutes/60 minutes).  Most of our therapists are women, but let her know if you have a preference, male or female. 

 

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  We have a fairly short waiting list for this service.  If you want a rental tent, please write to tammypav@cox.net.  We can add you to the list.

 

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 important points.

 

This part is critical, Tent-Renters.  Our Crew has asked that we emphasize this more than usual this year.  In spite of our frequent written reminders, the work of the tent crew was made more difficult last year, and it took longer, because folks were not willing to abide by the agreement we make with tent-renters.  Here’s the agreement:

 

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 bike 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, please 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.   Your tent mate should be named on your PBV application and on your tent address card.  The address card includes the number of bags that belong in the tent.  If you have trouble logging in to add your tent mate’s name, write to tammy@pkbelly.com.

 

Finally, you will find out your Tent City address when you reach Council Bluffs Check-In.  Stay tuned for more on tent rental.

 

PHAT Rooms We will write separately to our PHAT Room occupants about the details of their stay.

 

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 Pork Infrastructure.

 

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 shower trailers are mostly used by Porkers.  The third shower trailer has made a huge difference, and wait times were more-than-acceptable over the past three 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 standing up.

 

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.  New info:  Our guys have installed laundry sinks at the back of one of our shower trailers.  This is the perfect spot for rinsing out your garments. 

 

Outside our shower trailers, we have sinks for brushing teeth, shaving, and so on, we also have mirrors, electrical outlets, and a hair-dryer or two to lend.

 

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 am.  It rolls at 7:00 am.

 

You CAN reserve spots on the SAG now if you're already sure that you won't ride on a given day. Write to tammypav@cox.net. 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 soon 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 87 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.  A while back, 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 charging trailer.   

 

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 batteries.

 

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.  You may use a compartment each day, but you can’t reserve a particular one for your use all week.  Empty the compartment when you’re done charging, please.

 

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.

 

Charging E-Bike Batteries

E-Bike Battery Charging is located at the front desk.  Please make sure your name is on your battery and charger.  A crew member will take your battery and charger to charge it  in a secure spot in the front desk trailer, "Roll With It."  Obviously, your battery needs to be removed from the bike for charging. You should get the battery to us as soon as you get in from your ride to give your battery time to charge.  Please don’t climb on board the trailer yourself.  The best plan is to claim your battery by 9:00 PM for your ride the next day.  (Please don’t disturb the Roll With It crew members between 9:00 pm and 5:00 a.m.  The morning time can be quite busy and it may be difficult to get a crew member to retrieve your battery in the morning.)

 

Please avoid using the phone-charging trailers for charging e-bike batteries.

 

CPAP Machines  If you’re thinking of bringing a CPAP machine on RAGBRAI, please write to tammypav@cox.net 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 or Water 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  Again this year, PBV is contracting for kybos during the week of RAGBRAI, about twenty-eight 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 hand-sanitizing stations to be placed near our kybos.

 

Nights Away from Camp Pork Belly Ventures has offered hotel stays and will soon offer several inexpensive opportunities to sleep indoors. 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. IMPORTANT:  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 and around the Stupidity trailer, there will always be about eight 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.  When you shower, check the hooks in your dressing area and the little shelves in the shower stall before you disembark from the shower trailer. 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 this.

 

Pork Wear Be a Proud Porker and wear Pork Apparel from this year or previous years. Wear it anytime.  In fact, we will soon publish a few new items of Pork Apparel for you to order.  You can order anything beforehand, but we’ll have limited inventory during RAGBRAI.  Watch for an update soon.

 

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.  You’re welcome to bring an ugly tie of your own and wear it on Thursday.

 

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 Burlington. Join us!  

 

Midweek Laundry Service This is an extra for which you can sign up at check-in in Council Bluffs, 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 Tuesday evening in Indianola, the entire Adaptive Sports Iowa team will be our guests for dinner.  (They’re sharing our campsite too—sleeping inside the YMCA.)   We have wonderful music on stage that night, and 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) during the week of RAGBRAI. Our inboxes will fill up and stay full.

 

 

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 20, and a return shuttle to Des Moines on Saturday, July 27.  Here are two scenarios for you, including the pricing, if you're considering riding the first half or the last half of RAGBRAI 2019.    

 

On Tuesday evening, 7/23, 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.  (We checked recently and this room block was full. But they might honor the rate anyway… worth a try.) 

 

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 ($115). Our prorated weeklong support is $65 per day, and three days is $195. To depart from our Tuesday overnight town of Indianola on 7/23, you may take our midweek exit shuttle at 5:00 p.m., arriving at our designated Des Moines airport hotel well before 6:00 p.m.  The exit shuttle is $42. 

 

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, 7/23, you can take our shuttle from our designated Des Moines airport hotel to the overnight town of Indianola, departing the hotel parking lot at about 3:30 p.m. and arriving before 4:30 p.m.  This Half Hog shuttle is $41.  Our prorated weeklong support is $65 per day, and four days is $260.  You may choose among our shuttles at week’s end, but if you parked a vehicle in Des Moines, you would use our shuttle from Keokuk to the AmericInn Hotel at the Des Moines airport ($140).

 

On Tuesday, July 23, 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 Indianola, 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 Keokuk on Saturday, the 27th.  From here, you can use our Keokuk/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 Indianola.  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 23, 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 23.  (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 $20.  The hotel offers a free shuttle to the Des Moines airport.

 

LAST DAY OF RAGBRAI

 

[For those who will ship bikes to and from RAGBRAI, we have sent you an email update that fully covers that subject.  You won’t find every little detail about bike shipping here, but you will find everything else about the last day of 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 IN BURLINGTON, FROM ABOUT 1:00 UNTIL DINNER, TO CHAT WITH YOU.

 

Where We'll Be and How This Day Goes  Our bus staging and bike loading area is at First Christian Church, 3476 Main St, Keokuk, IA 52632.  The staging area is right near long-term parking. You’ll have our map of Keokuk in July, showing the precise location where we will be loading bikes and boarding buses on Saturday, 7/27.

 

All of our shuttles will depart between 12:30 and 3:30 PM. 

 

You will be routed past the site where you can dip your front tire in the Mississippi River and then ride on to us.

 

PLAN THIS DAY. You have 62 miles to ride today.  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-than-usual 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 Quad Cities International Airport (2 hours away on a good day), the Des Moines International Airport (3 hours on a good day), and the Omaha International Airport (5 hours on a good day).

 

Shuttle Departure Times

The Quad Cities shuttles are scheduled to depart at 12:30 and 3:30, and on your application, you have selected one of these departure times. We may have room for 3:30 people to go earlier if they arrive early. We do not know that 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, and of course we could have some congestion getting out of town.  But it’s a four-lane and we think traffic will move pretty quickly.

 

Several Omaha-bound buses of Pork Belly Ventures will depart at intervals between 12:30 and 3:30 PM (barring end-town traffic slow-downs). We’ll send a bus when it’s full. All of them will depart by 3:30.  This trip is 5 hours on a normal day—but we could see a little Keokuk congestion.

 

Two Des Moines-bound buses will depart at 3:00 or 3:30. The first one can go when it’s full. This trip is 3 hours—could take a while to get clear of Keokuk congestion.

 

Process for Bus Departure Sign-up

Most of you will have chores to do when you reach us.  You’re looking at 62 miles with a little climbing.  Please keep your schedule in mind and don't get lost in the post-ride party at the river and miss out on bike-shipping, showers, or miss your bus. Watch your time.

 

Bike-shipping containers (and your smaller shipping boxes) will be available to claim in Keokuk at First Christian Church.  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:

 

 

If you’re running late for one of our shuttles, come straight to the front desk and ask us for help.

 

As you leave Burlington on Saturday morning, remember that this to-do list is waiting for you in Keokuk. Plan this day.

 

Shipping Bikes Home If you have ordered your shipping label online at Sendmybike.com, we will have it for you in Keokuk. Don’t count on purchasing labels from sendmybike.com during the week. Internet connections are very unreliable. A UPS trailer will stage in or near our Keokuk 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 Keokuk on the 27th. 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 Keokuk, affix your shipping label, and hand the package over to our crew to load onto a UPS 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 bikes.

 

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 UPS system after RAGBRAI, by Friday, August 2 (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 Quad Cities airports, our mechanics will be able to help. Write to dave.kennedy@cox.net 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 emails we have sent from Sendmybike.come for information, instructions, explanations about Shipping Bikes to and from RAGBRAI/PBV.  Note that we assume that anyone who intends to ship a bike from our campsite in Keokuk will be using Sendmybike.com or will expect to pay a fee for handling your bike. 

 

For anyone who ships bikes to/from Iowa by some means other than sendmybike.com, we charge a $76 fee for providing the “ground game” at RAGBRAI.  That’s $36 each way.

 

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, staff, and services will be at a different location in Keokuk—Trinity Methodist Church, 2330 Plank Rd, Keokuk, IA 52632.  We will put this location on our map of Keokuk and send to all bike-shippers.

  

Tire Dipping in Keokuk

As you probably know, we have had widespread flooding on both coasts of Iowa.  You’ll be able to dip the rear tire in the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, and the location will appear on our map.  But things have changed in Keokuk…

 

Riders will finish the ride in Rand Park, where there’s a pond for tire-dipping.  The railroad has announced that the railroad crossing near the river will not be cleaned up by the end of July—so tire dipping in the Mississippi River will not happen this year.  Our contacts tell us that Rand Park is a lovely place for a celebration.  You can ride straight to us from there, by following our signs or using our map.

 

Shuttle to Quad Cities Airport Here are a few things of special note regarding the Quad Cities airport shuttle. Bus departures on the last day of RAGBRAI always depend on end-town traffic, but we hope traffic won’t be much of a factor.

 

Our Quad Cities 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.)

 

Bike Transport Bike Transport is included with all post-RAGBRAI shuttles.  Ask at our Front Desk which truck is going to Quad Cities, to Des Moines, and to Omaha.  You’ll take your bike to the appropriate truck and our crew will load it.

 

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 five hours, and buses will arrive in Omaha at Candlewood Suites between 6:00 and 8:00 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 Best Western Plus, you should arrange your own transfer from Candlewood.

 

Pork Belly Ventures has never returned to the start town after RAGBRAI, but this year, it may be easy to Uber from Candlewood Suites to Council Bluffs long-term parking.  (We do not know the location of long-term parking in CB.)  

 

All bags and bikes will be unloaded outside the Candlewood Suites hotel on the evening of the 27th.  Claim all of your possessions that night.  We will unload bikes on a field out behind the Best Western Plus hotel, also very close to Candlewood.

 

The arrival of our bike trucks will depend, of course, on when they depart from Keokuk.  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 field behind Best Western Plus.  We will unload safely, as fast as we can.  Bikes must be claimed on Saturday night, the 27th.

 

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 about 3:00 or 3:30, and you have a bus ride of about 3 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 Keokuk, remember to claim your bags before we clear out of town at 3:30 or shortly thereafter. Otherwise, your duffels will be placed in a likely area of the church parking lot.  (This is what RAGBRAI does with unclaimed baggage.) Before we depart town, we will call cell phone numbers on the baggage tags of bags left in our area. If you have any trouble finding them, check your phone messages, please.

 

SHIPPING BIKES TO AND FROM RAGBRAI/PBV

 

We have sent separate emails under the name of Sendmybike.com which fully explain bike shipping to and from Iowa.  Please look to those email updates for bike shipping information.

 

 

BETWEEN NOW AND RAGBRAI

 

June Form Please login and complete your June Form. It must be completed for each rider.  Instructions appear at the top of this letter.

 

June/July Contact with PBV It's a good idea to email both of us: tammy@pkbelly.com and pete@pkbelly.com going forward. 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 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 17 at 10:00 p.m. You can click on "Cancellation" at pkbelly.com to read more.

 

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 download our FREE app.  The App has become one of the BEST ways of keeping current on RAGBRAI info, PBV information, and host-town info-- thanks to the diligent work of Katy Fletcher, our app developer.  On the app, you can access all PBV email updates of the 2019 season.  RAGBRAI announcements are accessible.  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 payment 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 4th, don’t mail a check.

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  massage@pkbelly.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 ten RAGBRAI-related updates so far, plus two Sendmybike updates…  but the frequency is going to increase.

 

If you realize that you're not getting our updates, write to petephillips@cox.net or tammypav@cox.net to get on our distribution list. Spam filters make it tough sometimes.

 

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 carbon wheels, it's your responsibility to see that it’s loaded properly by doing these things:

 

 

 

 

Hanging System and Other Methods for Transporting 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 Keokuk for transport on our trucks. Consequently, our semi trailers will be outfitted to transport bikes in various ways:

 

Please take the above precautions to protect your frame and components. On your June Form, there's a place to note the type of bike we will be transporting for you, and whether it will be boxed or unboxed.

 

If you fly your bike to Omaha, please do not take it out of the box until we've trucked it to Council Bluffs. 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

unboxed bike.

 

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

 

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 as a web app for Windows and Blackberry.  At last count, we have over 6200 users of the Pork Belly Mobile App.

 

Action to Take Now

Be sure you have the latest app version – and always refresh the app to ensure you can access the most recent content … which we add regularly.

 

Each phone is different, and one sure way to update the app is to find the app in the app stores, and you’ll be guided on 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 Belly Ventures.

 

Specific Tabs Designed to Assist You Now and During the Ride

June 2019 Letter – This letter presents a comprehensive review of everything you need to know as a Pork Belly rider and support team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s more for you to check out including these Tabs:

 

We hope you find our PBV App helpful, and we welcome your comments and suggestions.

 

 

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,

Your friends,

Tammy and Pete