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RAGBRAI 2018      

June Letter

THE JUNE LETTER

OF PORK BELLY VENTURES

June 26, 2018

 

Dear Porkers,

 

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 wake in the night, grasping for some 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.  Some of it may seem obvious.  We’ll warn you not to make silly mistakes, and we don’t mean to offend.  We’ve seen a lot of silly mistakes over the years, and if you read your June Letter, you’ll avoid them.

 

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 20 and 21
  3. Finding Us in Onawa, July 20 and 21
  4. Omaha to Onawa, July 21 [NEW Info on Omaha Parking and Airport Shuttle]
  5. Des Moines to Onawa, July 21
  6. The Week with PBV
  7. Our Half Hog Shuttles, July 24
  8. The Last Day of RAGBRAI, July 28
  9. Shipping Bikes to/from RAGBRAI
  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 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.]

 

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 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 Onawa.) 

 

If you are riding a partial week, you may enter the words “day passes.”  We’ll check your day passes at check-in in Onawa.

 

On the June Form, you may select an extra night in your rental tent (Friday 7/20).  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 Onawa. (This option is for those who are using the Friday E/W Shuttle or who are being dropped off in Onawa.  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 Onawa:

 

 

For the E/W Shuttle or the Omaha/Onawa 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.

 

 

Payment Is Due Now  We asked for balances by May 15th, but some of you have signed up since. 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 6, we welcome you to mail a check to avoid the credit card convenience fee.  After July 6, 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 quite a few people from the waiting 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 20 and 21

 

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 change buses in order to accommodate late requests for those without a group name.  We can’t promise to do that this year.

 

Crew

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

 

Our Locations in Davenport

In Davenport, Pork Belly Ventures will be located at St. Ambrose University, and we will publish a map with the detail of where bikes will be loaded and where we will board coaches.

 

We will load bicycles in the large parking lot of the Rogolski Center and the Lee Lohman Arena, just off of Lombard Street.  Four parking lots (for long-term parking) in this general area and to the west have been assigned to Pork Belly Ventures riders, so it will be convenient to pull into our loading area, see your bike loaded on a trailer, go off to park the car, and then get your baggage to the area for boarding coaches, which is along Gaines Street and which will also be noted on our map of Davenport.

 

The area for loading bikes will be the same on both Friday and Saturday morning, the parking lot of the Rogolski Center at St. Ambrose.

 

The areas for boarding coaches are these:

 

 

You will be wise to expect some congestion at St. Ambrose 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, get in line to park your vehicle, manage your baggage, 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 of Davenport, not with charters.

 

Here is your link to the Davenport long-term parking application:

 

https://www.davenportragbrai.com/long-term-parking/

 

For those of you who have reserved parking already, good on you.  If you haven’t done it, click now and do it.  Four lots have been reserved for Pork Belly Ventures, and we hope you can still get a spot there.

 

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 Davenport Schedule and Crew

In Davenport 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 about two blocks away.  

 

Bright and early on Saturday morning, the crew will return to the same spot (Rogolski Center parking lot at St. Ambrose) at 6:00 AM to continue bike loading.  They will also supervise the boarding of our Saturday buses departing at 7:00, 7:45, and 8:30 (several buses at each departure time) about two blocks away. 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 28, we will be located in the same location, the Rogolski Center parking lot at St. Ambrose University, just off of Lombard Street.  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 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 Davenport on the 20th or 21st, 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 Davenport on Friday, 7/20, Prior to RAGBRAI

Hotels in Davenport or the surrounding Quad Cities 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.

 

Camping will be at Centennial Park, and shuttles will run from St. Ambrose to the camping area.  Centennial Park camping areas are identified on this map: https://www.davenportragbrai.com/camping/

 

Please don’t plan to sleep in your vehicle.  We understand that St. Ambrose security will ask you to go to the camping area at Centennial Park on the river instead.   

 

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

 

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.]

 

We understand that on Saturday there will be a couple food trucks in the area where buses are departing, and you may wish to allow time to buy food to take on board your coach.

 

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 Onawa, 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 Onawa, 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.

 

Onawa on Friday Night

Those who take the 1:00 and 3:00 Friday shuttles from Davenport will arrive in our Onawa 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.

 

We will be located on the main road through Onawa, a straight shot, one mile from downtown.  Struble Agrononmy is a landmark on our campsite.  (2505 Iowa Ave N, Onawa, IA 51040)

 

If you’re hungry when you step off the coach, athletes and parents of the Platinum Gymnastics Academy will be offering maid-rite sandwiches, fresh veggies and produce from Amber’s garden, snacks, bars, cookies, and more.

 

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.  

 

Onawa Saturday Festivities and Bike Expo

On Saturday, shuttles will run from our campsite to the Onawa downtown, one mile east, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Downtown will be the location of the Bike Expo on Saturday and the Onawa festivities.

 

PBV Check-in in Onawa 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 rib-eye sandwiches, veggies, snacks and sweets.  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, 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 Onawa to Friday night in Iowa City.  You can get an extra night in your rental tent, on Friday in Onawa for just $40.

 

Rental tents will not be available in Davenport.

 

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 Onawa campsite (Struble Agronomy is a landmark, 2505 Iowa Ave N, Onawa, IA 51040), and you should unload your stuff there and claim your bikes. The general RAGBRAI camping area is over a mile east of us.

 

There will be a community effort, a couple of vans, to help folks get where they’re going, and if those vans are in our area when you arrive, our crew will direct you to those volunteers and vehicles.

 

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 Davenport 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 Onawa.  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 Onawa, noting our campsite, in case your weeklong group can transport you to their site.

 

 

FINDING US IN ONAWA,

Friday or Saturday, 7/20 and 7/21

 

If you are driving to our campsite in Onawa, we will surround Struble Agronomy (and other businesses), at 2505 Iowa Ave N, Onawa, IA 51040.

 

Pete Phillips and about half of the Pork Crew will be waiting for you in there. We will publish a map of Onawa in July, showing our location in relation to the Expo and festivities downtown.

 

Friends and family who drop off Porkers should not drive into the Struble 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 across the street and walk over.  Come to our front desk for check-in at the east end of the Struble front 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.

 

Long-term parking in Onawa is directly across the road from our campsite.

 

 

OMAHA to ONAWA,

Saturday 7/21

 

[THE FREE SHUTTLE YOU CAN USE FROM THE AIRPORT TO OUR HOTELS HAS CHANGED.  THE LONG-TERM PARKING FACILITY WE RECOMMEND HAS CHANGED.  YOU WILL USE STEWARTS AIRPORT PARKING SHUTTLE ALONG WITH THE SHUTTLE OF THE CANDLEWOOD SUITES HOTEL/BEST WESTERN PLUS HOTEL.  FOR LONG-TERM PARKING, WE WILL USE STEWARTS AIRPORT PARKING, WITH THE ADVANTAGE OF BOTH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR PARKING OPTIONS.  STEWARTS CAN OFFER SHELTERED PARKING FOR THE WEEK AT $5 PER DAY—TO BE ARRANGED AT OUR HOTEL FRONT DESKS ON THE DAY.  WE WILL NO LONGER USE BUDGET PARKING OR SHUTTLES. Further detail below.]

 

Crew

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

 

Omaha Airport Hotels

In Omaha on Saturday night, 7/21, you will be camping with PBV.

 

If you need a room near the Omaha airport on Friday, 7/20, or Saturday, 7/28, 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 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 hotels.

 

All Pork Belly buses will depart from and return to the Omaha airport Candlewood Suites, one-half block from Best Western Plus.

 

Airport Parking—NEW information for 2018  No need for an advance reservation for parking. Anyone staying at our hotels or using our shuttles may use Stewart Airport Parking for less than $5 per day for outdoor parking day and about $6 per day for sheltered parking. As of yesterday, the owner of Stewart Airport Parking invites you to ask for $5 per day parking in his sheltered lot, a special deal—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. 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. 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.

 

New Info:  A Perkins Restaurant has been built out in front of the Candlewood Suites Hotel, opening July 9th. There's also 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. Your trip to Onawa is one hour. 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 (7/20), walk out of the airport from baggage claim, and cross to the commercial lane. Get on the next Stewarts 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. 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. Have a great evening in Omaha.)

 

If you're flying into Omaha on Saturday (7/21), 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 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 (with beer) 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 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 Onawa to set up your tent, check in, etc, before the bike truck rolls into camp.

 

DES MOINES TO ONAWA,

Saturday 7/21


Pricing Round-trip Des Moines is $250 for both legs, $126 for Des Moines/Onawa

only, and $124 for Davenport to Des Moines at the end of the week.

 

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

 

Schedule, Saturday, July 21  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 Onawa. You’ll arrive in Onawa around noon.

 

Des Moines Hotel Rooms and Parking You out-of-state folks may need rooms on Friday, 7/20, or on Saturday, 7/28. 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 $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 28 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 Davenport by 3:00, or earlier if we have all passengers on board. The trip is about two and one-half 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 little waiting.

 

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 receptacle.

 

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 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 they have 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.

 

The Check-In Process for Weeklong Porkers Check-in takes place at our Front Desk in Onawa on Saturday, July 21, 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 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 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 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 begins.

 

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 tammypav@cox.net now, so that I 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 Onawa 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. 

 

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 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 Ames, you can ask a local person, “Where is Hanson Ag?”  When you’re looking for us in Newton, you and ask a local, “Where’s the Arboretum?”  Don’t search.  Refer to your Pork Locations card.  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 Mercer Park, 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 four to eight blocks from the festivities. In about half of the towns, we’re over a mile from the downtown festivities (and nobody camps right near downtown festivities), but there’s always a shuttle running to/from downtown. We’ll publish greater detail about our pretty campsites in a future update, Our Week in the Corn. 

 

SUN, Denison: Northside Recreation Complex near 710 North 16th Street

Ask a local:  Where is the Aquatic Center?

 

MON, Jefferson:  Little League Fields, 510 North Pinet Street.

Ask a local:  Where is the Little League in Head Park?

 

TUE, Ames:  Towers Recreation Field, 917 Welch Avenue

Ask a local:  Where is Hansen Ag Center?

 

WED, Newton: Agnes Peterson Park, 3000 North 4th Avenue E

Ask a local:  Where is the Arboretum?

 

THU, Sigourney: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 415 E Pleasant Valley St

Ask a local:  Where is St. Mary’s?

 

FRI, Iowa City:  Mercer Park, 2701 Bradford Drive

Ask a local:  Where is Mercer Park?

 

SAT, Davenport: St. Ambrose Univ., West High Street at Rogolski Center

Ask a local:  Where is the Rogo Center?

 

Pork Nights

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 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.)

 

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.  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 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.

 

Yoga in Pork Camp  Please watch for Our Week in the Corn, when we’ll tell you more about Kim Stackman, our yoga teacher for PBV during RAGBRAI. She will lead a group yoga session at 4:00 or 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 when and who is on stage each night.

 

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 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 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. 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 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

CPAP Users, please write to me again.  I know I missed a couple of you, and we will be writing to you soon about something rather important.

 

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 Onawa, 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 cleared our waiting list for this service and we can accommodate a few more people/tents.  If you want a rental tent, please write to tammypav@cox.net.

 

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.

 

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.   Your tent mate should be named on your PBV application.

 

Finally, you will find out your Tent City address when you reach Onawa 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 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 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:  The 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.  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 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 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 86 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.

 

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, 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-four 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 will be offering midweek hotel stays and several 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 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 the new 2018 line of Pork Apparel for you to order—a couple new jersey designs and several t-shirts to choose from.  You can order anything beforehand, but we’ll have limited inventory during RAGBRAI.  Watch for an update soon.

 

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 Iowa City. Join us!  

 

Midweek Laundry Service This is an extra for which you can sign up at check-in in Onawa, 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 Newton, 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!

We’re singing again.  The Pork Belly Creed of 2017/2018, our version of the Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah, has become the anthem of PBV.  At 8:00 on Friday night in Iowa City, at the conclusion of our Farewell Supper, the Ramblers will lead us again in the singing of our version of Hallelujah.  It was the bittersweet feel-good moment last year, and so how could we not do it again?

 

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 21, and a return shuttle to Des Moines on Saturday, July 28.  Here are two scenarios for you, including the pricing, if you're considering riding the first half or the last half of RAGBRAI 2018.    

 

On Tuesday evening, 7/24, 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 ($126). Our prorated weeklong support is $65 per day, and three days is $195. To depart from our Tuesday overnight town of Ames on 7/24, you may take our midweek exit shuttle at 5:00 p.m., arriving at our designated Des Moines airport hotel at about 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, 7/24, you can take our shuttle from our designated Des Moines airport hotel to the overnight town of Ames, 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 Davenport to the AmericInn Hotel at the Des Moines airport ($124).

 

On Tuesday, July 24, 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 Ames, 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 Davenport on Saturday, the 28th.  From here, you can use our Davenport/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 Ames.  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 24f, 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 24.  (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 airport.

 

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 YOU.

 

Where We'll Be and How This Day Goes  Our bus staging and bike loading area is at St. Ambrose University, near the Rogolski Center on West High Street, just off of Lombard.  This staging area is right near long-term parking. You’ll have our map of Davenport in July, showing the precise location where we will be loading bikes and boarding buses on Saturday, 7/28.

 

All of our shuttles will depart between 1:00 and 3:00 PM. 

 

You will be routed past the site where you can dip your front tire in the Mississippi River and then ride to us.  From there, you will have a couple more miles to St. Ambrose University.

 

PLAN THIS DAY. You have 69 miles to ride today, with 1585 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-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 (20 minutes away on a good day), the Des Moines International Airport (2.5 hours on a good day), and the Omaha International Airport (4+ hours on a good day).

 

Shuttle Departure Times

The Quad Cities shuttles are scheduled to depart at 1:00 and 3:00, and on your application, you have selected one of these departure times. We may have room for 3:00 people to go earlier if they arrive early. We do not know that will also have space for 1:00 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 20 minutes on a normal day, but given the congestion we expect in Davenport, it could be longer.

 

Several Omaha-bound buses of Pork Belly Ventures will depart at intervals between 1:00 and 3:00 PM (barring end-town traffic problems). We’ll send a bus when it’s full. All of them will depart by 3:00.  This trip is 4+ hours on a normal day—but we might see a little Davenport congestion.

 

Two Des Moines-bound buses will depart at 3:00 or shortly thereafter. The first one can go when it’s full. This trip is 2.5 hours—could take a while to get clear of Davenport congestion.

 

Process for Bus Departure Sign-up

Most of you will have chores to do when you reach us.  You’re looking at 69 miles with some 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 Davenport. 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 Iowa City on Saturday morning, remember that this to-do list is waiting for you in Davenport. Plan this day.

 

Shipping Bikes Home If you have ordered your shipping label online at Sendmybike.com, we will have it for you in Davenport. 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 Davenport 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 Davenport on the 28th. 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 Davenport, 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 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 FedEx system after RAGBRAI, by Friday, August 3 (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 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, staff, and services will be at our river location in Davenport—Le Claire Park.  Dip your tire, and continue on the rider route to find us!

 

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 in the Quad Cities.

 

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 1:00 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 6:00 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.

 

All bags and bikes will be unloaded outside the Candlewood Suites hotel on the evening of the 28th.  Claim all of your possessions that night.  They built a Perkins restaurant on the field that we normally use for bike unloading—but we’ll use a field out behind the Best Western Plus instead.

 

The arrival of our bike trucks will depend, of course, on when they depart from Davenport.  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 28th.

 

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 3:00 or very close to that time, and you have a bus ride of about 2.5 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 Davenport, remember to claim your bags before we clear out of town at 3:00 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 phone messages.

 

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 Onawa and ship home from PBV at the end of the ride in Davenport. 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 Gaukel Park, about six blocks north of the Bike Expo in Onawa, and you can do return shipping from our river location at Le Claire Park in Davenport. 

 

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 5th.  From the 5th until 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 unreliable.

 

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 petephillips@cox.net 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 12th 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 Onawa (or to Gaukel Park six blocks north of the expo 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, July 21, 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 RAGBRAI.

 

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 Davenport on July 28th at the Pork Belly Ventures campsite (or at Le Claire Park on 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 Davenport, 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 3. For the $65 price, it will ship by Tuesday, July 31.

 

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 price.

 

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 Davenport. 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 19th.

 

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 12th, or Friday, July 13th.

 

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 19th, when it will be claimed and transported to the Pork Belly Ventures campsite in Onawa 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: tammy@pkbelly.com and pete@pkbelly.com. 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 18 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 receive 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 2018 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 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 Onawa 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  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 nine so far, 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 composite wheels or a composite bike, 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 Davenport 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 Onawa. 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

 

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 have over 6200 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 1.5

Android Version 1.02

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 Belly Ventures.

  

Specific Tabs Designed to Assist You Now and During the Ride

 

June 2018 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. 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 RAGBRAI.

 

Ride Maps – These are the official maps from RAGBRAI. We recommend you download to your smartphone/tablet PRIOR to the ride.

 

’18 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 Host Towns.

 

Pork Camp Daily Updates – Updates on food menus, special treats, indoor sleeping, yoga sessions, who’s on stage tonight and more!

  

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 RAGBRAI.

 

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. The link to the app stores  to download the PBV app will be included.

 

Pork Cam – Take photos on the spot and submit them for possible inclusion in our Pork Gallery.

 

Pork Gallery – View photos our riders have submitted to PBV.

 

RAGBRAI News and RSS Feeds – View the up-to-the minute news feed from RAGBRAI.

 

RAGBRAI Training Blog – includes 2018 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

• Pork Courtesy

• Other PBV Supported Events

• Your PBV Account Login

 

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