Thank-You Notes of 2016
We are honored and flattered by the sincere letters and survey responses we received after RAGBRAI 2016, far more than we can publish here.
Please know that we will always keep it real and work toward improving the next version of PBV.
For good reason, our cheerful and energetic crew get much of the praise below.
Oh, how they deserve it.
To everyone who wrote to us after the ride,
We thank you for passing the corn with Pork Belly Ventures.
Hi Tammy, I wanted to voluntarily reduce my refund, and my friend, Mark, suggested a nice idea. I decided to donate approximately half of my refund to Adaptive Sports Iowa in recognition of your wonderful support of special needs riders. My donation is intended “to honor Pork Belly Ventures, and their exemplary commitment to Adaptive Sports Iowa clients!” Thanks for all you do for riders of ALL capability levels. I’m proud to support the RAGBRAI program at ASI and pleased to recognize your commitment to the cause.
—Tom from Iowa
Hi Tammy and Pete, Well done! Just like last year (which was my first RAGBRAI) you really impressed me with your services. I am amazed at how you guys, and your crew, handle such challenging logistics. Having run various visitor events over the past several years - on a MUCH smaller scale - I can appreciate all that goes into keeping things running. No doubt there were plenty of last-minute issues with which you had to deal, and the inevitable emergencies that come along, but from my point of view, everything was flawless. Your communication leading up to the event was great. I read through each of your newsletters a few times, and they were all thorough, informative and to-the-point. Nice work! Your infrastructure continues to impress me, and I appreciate the clever design of the trucks and all the thought that went into them. The charging trailers are always worthy of a photo. I use the original shower thingy at least twice daily - hard to beat an old stand-by.
Other random things that I appreciate include the coffee truck, the people that set up and take down my tent everyday, haul my two bags (including one heavy one) the scouts that begin talks with overnight towns in January, and measure square footage for tent city. I think of the person that has to find a fresh water source and sewer access. The person that helps buy supplies. The people that do our laundry (double special merit!) The one that ties trash liners in random places to make it easy for us to do the right thing. The people that police the grounds for random trash after we all leave out of respect for our hosts. The gal that fills tires in the morning. The guy that fills the generators with gas. The dude that coordinates the E/W shuttles. Etc, etc, etc. I hope you get my point; you guys simply rock. See you next year.
—Jace from Minnesota
Hi Tammy, All bags are here and accounted for. Thanks to you and your wonderful staff for an amazing week. High points were the laundry service, the nightly entertainment, your friendly workers, the showers and cleanliness, and you trusting us to pay on arrival. We'll spread the word about Pork Belly Ventures around Australia. We are now PBV ambassadors! One amazing company! Best regards,
—Maureen from Australia
This was my fifth year riding RAGBRAI and first year traveling with PBV. What you two have created is awesome. I will be using PBV next year if I go. Loved all the updates and knowing where we were at every night. Thank you again for letting me ride along with PBV.
—Katie from Nebraska
It's difficult to boil a week’s worth of wonderful experiences down to a most memorable but simply the fact that you all handle all the logistics so I don't have to think, allowing me to escape the stress of my office and just enjoy riding my bike. Pork Belly does a wonderful job, in all aspects. I get to enjoy being with old friends, make new ones, enjoy a simple life for a week without constant phone calls, emails, upset residents...for this week, you all take care of me.
—Ben from Mississippi
Tammy and Pete, This is just to let you guys know you hit it out of the park again this year. Tammy, I think our chat on Thursday exemplifies it all. You were standing on the back of one of the semis with a serene look on your face. Everything was going smooth and the weather was superb. You said it’s great when everything comes together. Well, just so you know from our perspective every day is like that, because once in camp we have no worries. It is always perfect from our viewpoint. As always your crew was amazing, always upbeat, always willing to do anything. They make the week. Pete, the new charging trailer was a nice addition, and the new bike rack with the air compressor noodles and chucks on it was really convenient. Music and food this year were also spot on.
One of the greatest improvements that we noticed was the new way massages were scheduled. The concierge-style check-in desk made it extremely convenient and welcoming. The two pork crew workers that helped out at the desk kept us entertained. Their efforts created more opportunites for people to get a massage.
Thanks again for making a 420-mile bike ride with some really annoying hills feel like a vacation.
—Shelly and Mike from Wisconsin
Tammy and Pete, Absolutely wonderful job by Pork Belly. On A 10 scale you all get a 9.9999 (nothing is perfect, you know). Your people were, without fail, courteous, helpful, and just plain friendly. It took riding the event to begin to appreciate the logistics you all faced and successfully met. Best part of your support: the showers at the end of the ride. Again, super job by super people. My grateful appreciation to you all.
—Steve from Virginia
Just had to tell you what an awesome time we had!! PBV did an awesome job!! What a an incredible operation. Thanks for making our 1st Ragbrai so memorable! We would highly recommend it! Your crew rocks!!!
—Bev from Minnesota
Hi Tammy, First time Porker here, just dropping you a line to say, thanks for all you and your crew did for us. Some stood out for various reasons, and level of interaction, and I want to mention them. Yourself, of course, Karen, Steve, Brooke, and Emma who endured some good natured ribbing. Here are some pics. Thanks again, and I hope to ride with you all again next year.
—Dale (aka ‘Rusty’) from Pennsylvania
Hi Tammy and Pete, Thanks to you and all of your team for another fantastic RAGBRAI. As always, you folks do a great job making all of the support work occur seamlessly. It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes effort to make it look like that! Enjoy the down time, and see y’all next year. Thanks again!
—Mary from Illinois
Hi Tammy, Thanks for the great experience at Pork Belly Ventures this year! I think I'm getting in better shape, but the land is getting hillier! This year more than ever I've come to appreciate all of the work you and Pete and the whole crew do to make our week more enjoyable. I can't thank you enough. It has occurred to me that if you weren't there doing the heavy lifting, it might be a bunch harder for people like me, to the point that I might just skip it, which is not a good idea. No long lines in the showers. The music was great. The food was great, as usual. The 'hired army' were all great to interact with. Everyone was very nice and helpful. Thanks for adding the second charging trailer. I used put my ipad in one of those big compartments. It fit with room to spare. Keep up the good work, and looking forward to next year.
—Dan from Illinois
RAGBRAI 2016 was my first time doing this event. What an incredible, awesome, exciting thing to be part of! Your organization and set-up and crew were so impressive. I loved the fact that almost everything I might need was right in camp! Other things like bike shipping and airport shuttles could also be conveniently done through PBV. Air-conditioned showers were fantastic. Every campsite had such thick grass, it was the most comfortable sleeping I have ever had in a tent! (I only had a half-inch ensolite pad with me.) Also important, and very impressive, not once did I use a kybo that was dirty or without paper! I don’t know how you did it with all those people.
At 72 years old, I was concerned about riding seven long days in a row, but managed just fine. It’s not about age. It’s about fitness, and I’m so thankful to still be fit enough to do something like this! Saturday morning I was so close to tears thinking this is the last day, it’s almost over, how I’m going to miss the lush green landscape. Sincerely,
—Doris from California
Tammy, It was great going with your organization. I want to do it again already, a new record for me. In the past it took months to want to go back. The crew members were wonderful, showers excellent, charging stations, good food, and on and on. Thanks and I hope you can get a little much-deserved time off. Peace,
—Frank from Florida
Tammy and Pete, I did the ride in 2014, crashed in 2015 and completed the route smiling in 2016. Pork Belly does a terrific job managing the logistics and creating a wonderful home while rolling across Iowa. I think the magic of Pork Belly rises from the staff; I’ve never encountered such a helpful, friendly cadre of support. This is customer service at it’s best, but none of it would be possible without the planning and communications you do, so thank you for another great week in the corn. Thanks for all you do. Loved it all.
—Phil from Wisconsin
Wow, what a year! This was the hardest ride for me by far. The first few days I was a little miserable, and then it just kept getting better and better. Thank you both for a very wonderful time, and sorry we did not speak much, but in a way that means I am having a lot of fun. Colin had a super time. I started at 5:30 every morning. He started at 6:30 and he passed me everyday around 9:00. Love to you both always. This ride is a very special place where I escape every year.
—Paul from Ontario
Hi Tammy & Pete, Just wanted to say thanks for all of the great services you provided to make my fifth Ragbrai experience with you very enjoyable. Everybody on your staff was very friendly to me for the eight days of my journey this year. The weather was great too, including the double rainbow in Shenandoah on Sunday evening. Thanks also for the prompt answering of my email questions to you this year. I'm truly amazed at the coordination and planning it must take you guys to pull this event off each and every year. Hope I can make it again next year with you.
—Bob from Iowa
Dear Tammy and Pete, I am often asked why I continue to return to Iowa, Ragbrai and PBV. I finally realized that the reason has mostly to do with the wonderful people you encounter, but I also know that it is the escape from what we think is reality. It truly is a bubble of incredible fun, relaxation, achievement and freedom. All this could not happen without someone to take care of our basic needs and provide the environment for such an experience. It is the two of you and your incredible staff that makes it possible for each of us to live this unique dream. You have become masters of thinking this all through, and I hope you never stop dreaming of how to do it even better. Sincerely,
—Gaines from Mississippi
Tammy, I completed your survey but I wanted to write a personal email to compliment you and Pete on such a well-coordinated operation. I am an engineer and I know all about pre-planning and the hard work that goes into preparing for a major operation. It was amazing to watch you and your crew perform flawlessly. Everyone was friendly and helpful. I never saw anyone upset or distressed about anything. Quite amazing. Again, thanks for making RAGBRAI XLIV such a great time and congratulations to your staff.
—Michael from Mississippi
Tammy: I've been meaning to shoot you an email thanking all of you, but especially you for all the assistance that last day on RAGBRAI when my bike buddy had some trouble. Thanks again. You guys do a great job of making a memorable adventure biking through Iowa even more memorable. Pass on my thanks to your whole crew and hope to see you again.
—Mike from Washington
Tammy, it was my first RAGBRAI and it was one of the best weeks of my life. Pork Belly Ventures was one of the primary reasons. You provided a soothing oasis at the end of some long days. Thank you so much. I'm going to mail something to you that I'd like you to pass only to a young woman who worked on your team named Bella. She worked at the front desk and was very helpful. I'll drop a small package in the mail today. Thanks again.
—Rick from Georgia
You guys are the best. Thanks much for a great first year with PBV!
—Dave from Illinois
Tammy, Hard to believe it has already been six weeks since RAGBRAI. Sorry for the delay. This was our first RAGBRAI, and my wife and I had a marvelous time. I can't thank you enough for working with us and helping this to be one of the best vacations we have ever had. The food, the entertainment, the accommodations, and shower trailers were all amazing. Iowa is a beautiful state with great people, and there is no better way to experience it that on two wheels and sleeping in a tent. Thanks again.
—Bill and Michele from Indiana
Hi Tammy, Wendy here. My thoughts still go back to the RAGBRAI adventure and Pork Belly Ventures. I don't think that I expressed my appreciation enough in my response. Having a set place to go with bags in a tent already set up at the end of the day: glorious. And what a nice spirit you and Peter created. Thanks again.
—Wendy from New York
Hi Tammy, Thanks again to you and PBV for a wonderful experience at RAGBRAI 2016. It was great! And special thanks for going above and beyond in helping us sort out our misadventure. Have a great day.
—Glenn from Ontario
Just wanted to let you know I just signed up for RAGBRAI 45. My first year was in 2016 and I had a great time. Your assistance in getting me signed up with PBV and its services was more than generous. PBV services, staff, and crew are the best! Looking forward to 2017 signup’s, hopefully with a few less questions.
—David from Missouri