RAGBRAI 2019      

Pork Belly Update #8---Rolling Into June!

June 7, 2019

Dear Porkers,


At this writing, our crews are working hard on BRAN, the bike ride across Nebraska, and on BRAG, the Bike Ride Across Georgia. Out at the barn yesterday, we loaded equipment for the MS150 ride in Minnesota, for the Oklahoma Freewheel, and for the Big BAM in Missouri. This weekend, we'll be occupying the laundromat, getting towels washed and dried for the next ride we support. We're meeting ourselves coming and going. It must be June.

ABOVE: Three-time Porker Paul Potvin, at the "Chase the Chaise" photo stop, and BELOW, Paul savoring a beer after finishing 200 miles at Dirty Kanza! Congratulations, Paul!


Speaking of bike rides, a couple other things deserve mentioning here:


  • On June 1, Frank, Steve, Paul, and Pete all participated in Dirty Kanza, a huge gravel race of varying distances that begins and ends in Emporia, Kansas. From some of these pics (keep scrolling), you sure can see why they call it "dirty." Congrats to these guys on their 100- or 200-milers. Whoa! That's a good day's work.

  • On June 2, the RAGBRAI pre-ride stopped at Pork World Headquarters! In an earlier update, we mentioned that this year, our barn out in the country is located on the RAGBRAI route (Sunday's ride), on the west edge of Minden, Iowa. Of course, we'll be too busy during RAGBRAI and all of our crew and equipment will be in Atlantic on July 21. But we were pleased as punch to offer a rest-and-refreshment stop for the pre-riders last Sunday morning. We'll include those pics as well.

ABOVE: George marked the entrance to Pork World Headquarters, so our RAGBRAI pre-riders would know where to find rest and refreshment.


While you will find some fun in this update, there's some important info too. Mind the deadlines. Make some notes on your calendar. And we hope you are beginning to anticipate your July Week in the corn!


BELOW: The RAGBRAI pre-ride began on June 2. Out at the barn, RAGBRAI Director TJ Juskiewicz (right) took a moment to chat with our dad, Jim Phillips, at center. That's mom at the left.

Pork Availability

Our services are all available, but we're being careful with the rental tents. You can't select the rental tent on your application, but write to us if you want one. For the time being, we're controlling the number of tent sign-ups--see below.


Weeklong Support may or may not sell out, but you might be wise to take it now to avoid a wait-list situation later.


All of our shuttles are available.

The Scoop on Our Rental Tents

We're in that period where we're full, but we're getting cancellations. So if you want a rental tent right now, your chances are pretty good. You can sign up for our support and then write to us, requesting a rental tent. At this time, we might even be able to provide it right away, but it's waiting-list season.


We may have a better handle on this when we send our next update.


Every Tent Occupant Needs Weeklong Support

Please know that if you have taken a rental tent, and if you're sharing with a friend, both you and your tent mate must be signed up for the Weeklong Support of Pork Belly Ventures. We have resolved a couple of misunderstanding about this, so we thought it was worth addressing here.

What's Coming from PBV in June


Around June 12th, PBV will post a final reminder of the June 15th cancellation deadline.


June 15th, PBV Cancellation Deadline

If you cancel before June 15, we refund 90%. If you cancel on or after June 15th, we make no refund. Those who took our Cancellation Protection at the time they signed up for PBV services have extended this deadline until July 17th. See below.


At a few points in June--watch your updates, Porkers! We'll be offering some extras for you!


Sometime after June 15th, we'll publish the June Letter--your Pork Belly Travel Guidebook. Many questions will be answered by this letter. If you have an urgent question, please write or call. But remember that your PBV Travel Guidebook is coming!


At time we send the June Letter, we will also activate the June Form. Everybody needs to complete it. We'll tell you how to access it, so that you can give us your six-digit RAGBRAI wristband number, your preferred departure time on PBV shuttles prior to RAGBRAI, and some info about your bike. No need to send this information now. We'll collect it on your June Form.


In late June, we'll publish everybody's favorite update... Our Week in the Corn, chuck-full of good news about campsites, food vendors in camp, dinner menus, live music on stage, swimming pools, Pork Yoga, and more!

What's Coming from PBV

(and Sendmybike.com) in July

On or before July 1, Please Order Bike-Shipping Labelsfrom Sendmybike.com by this date.


July 1, Price of Long-term Parking in Keokuk goes up again. It's $70 now. If you need it, book it.


Late June to July 1, Sendmybike.com Mails Shipping Labels... we will snail-mail your bike-shipping labels to you.


Early July, Pork Belly Ventures will use the information on your June Forms to create bus rosters for all of our pre-RAGBRAI shuttles. We will publish those rosters shuttle-by-shuttle, so that you can feel comfortable with your assignment. Remember: We use the group names on applications to make sure that friends are together on our shuttles. For instance, we may have four full buses departing at 8:00 am. If you want to be assigned to the same bus with your friends, you need a common group name on all applications.


ABOVE RIGHT: Paul Potvin, riding his 200-miles of gravel in Kansas.


On or before July 10, All bike-shippers will ship bikes to Iowa!


July 17th, PBV Refund Deadline for those with Cancellation Protection. You must have taken our protection upon registering for our service--and you must cancel by 10:00 pm on this day, July 17th, to get your 90% refund.

"A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself

than a hundred years of quiet.”

--Patrick Rothfuss

ABOVE: Steve Olsen and Frank Jarman, both of whom will be with us for RAGBRAI, rode a century on gravel during the Dirty Kanza. According to Frank, "Steve crushed the 100 and was my roommate in the dorm. Great roomie. Got me up, helped with my check list." Frank and Steve, we applaud you both!




RIGHT: Porker Steve Olsen on the gravel roads of Kansas



BELOW: Pete and his bike looked a little dusty when he stopped for a photo on the chaise lounge during Dirty Kanza. This is Pete's second Dirty Kanza. He reported that he only bonked three times this year.

Pork Classified Ad

Occasionally, we're asked to publish a Pork Classified ad like the one below. There have been lots of reasons for Pork Classifieds over the years... ride shares, tandem riders looking for a stoker, and even somebody who wanted to pre-sell his bike before he rode it across Iowa! Well, here's someone who's looking for a lift...


"Looking for a ride from Keokuk to Cedar Rapids or Waterloo area on last day of Ragbrai. Will help pay for gas, etc. Need space for road bike and 2x medium sized bags. Contact info - mobile 402.504.2232"

ABOVE: Frank on the chaise, ready to keep on pedaling.

Congrats on a century of gravel, Frank!


BELOW: Pete Phillips of Pork Belly Ventures,

looking fresh on the starting line of Dirty Kanza

Questions that Begin, "When Can I....?"

We're going to take a stab, Porkers, at clarifying when you can sign up for some special services.


When Can I sign up for Friday, 7/19, Extra Night in Rental Tents, in Council Bluffs?

This option will be on your June Form and you can sign up for it then. This option is available to those on our Friday E/W Shuttle or for those who are finding their own way to Council Bluffs.


(On a related topic, the rental tent service is seven nights, Saturday through Friday, 7/20 to 7/26.)


When Can I sign up for my preferred departure on the E/W Shuttle or the Omaha/Council Bluffs shuttle?

You can record your preference on your June Form later this month.


When Can I sign up for massage appointments during RAGBRAI?

Later this month when we publish the June Letter, we will include an email address for our massage coordinator. She will be able to book massage appointments in advance with our 10 therapists. (If you wrote to her last year, please wait for our go-ahead. She needs to coordinate the schedules of all therapists, and she is not ready for RAGBRAI appointments yet.


When Can I sign up for Optional dinners during RAGBRAI or for the Midweek Laundry service of PBV?

We will publish all dinner menus for you in June or early July. You can consider all the variables... what's for supper, who's on stage, how long is the cycling day... and then you can sign up for these options and/or our Midweek Laundry Service in Council Bluffs, when you check in for our support.


And please watch updates for offers of other extras

from Pork Belly Ventures!

A Note on Our Council Bluffs Hotel Stay

In Update #7, we offered rooms in our Council Bluffs campsite at the Springhill Suites hotel. In a day, we sold 50 rooms on Friday night and 70 rooms on Saturday night. We're trying to get more rooms, but we do have a pretty long waiting list. If we get more, we'll reach out to those who are waiting.


Another Quick Trip

I, Tammy, will be out of town with Mom and Dad for a couple days. I'll be working, but please allow a little more time for email replies!

That concludes the business of this update, Porkers, but below, we will include some fun photos from recent and current Pork Events!

It's June, so we will be on your screens again soon. Are you riding that bike?


All our best,


Tammy and Pete






the Pork Crew

on BRAN and BRAG

ABOVE: Our mom and dad came out to Minden to greet the RAGBRAI Pre-Riders on June 2. Mom sews curtains for us, launders towels in huge numbers, and gives us all kinds of support. We're so indebted to Dad, too, for his work over the years. He's an amazing electrician, and he has wired our charging stations, charging trailers, and our PHAT trailers! Love you both!

ABOVE: The younger generation... Gracie, Christian, and Austin Uhlig working BRAN tents!


BELOW: Gracie on BRAN, waiting for riders to show up for showers!

ABOVE: Austin at the showers on BRAN


BELOW: Austin, Dave, and Christian on BRAN, making life in camp great for our Nebraska riders!

BELOW: The Pork Crew in Georgia! Sheri, Dillon, Pam, Mick, Jim, Nolan, and Tom have been setting them up and taking them down! Tents, that is.

BELOW: Our tents on BRAG, last day

ABOVE LEFT: the first RAGBRAI pre-rider to arrive at Pork World Headquarters (PWH)


ABOVE: Mom and Dad at our refreshment table AND my selfie with Jack Stubbey, the road master of RAGBRAI (and a real sweetheart)


LEFT and BELOW: Pre-riders chilling at PWH

ABOVE: I got a pic with Coop (Craig Cooper of Bikes to You), and Andrea Parrott who handles social media, merchandise, and much more for RAGBRAI. Andrea and Coop rode the gravel loop!

ABOVE: Our old friend, Julie Kaftan, who rode Sunday's pre-ride. Also, my selfie with Scott Garner, the assistant RAGBRAI director. He's a life-saver, time after time.


RIGHT: Mark Wyatt of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition with other pre-riders. He does good work for cyclists in our state!


BELOW: The irrepressible Kathy "Murph" Murphy of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition

BELOW: Some of the pre-riders and their support crew

BELOW LEFT: Sam, thanks for stopping by! Great to see you. Sam is a long-time Porker from our part of the world!

BELOW: TJ, getting ready to get back on the bike and (right) Jack, who will soon ring the bell that means, "Saddle up!"

ABOVE: Four of the gravel-loopers. They did some extra up-and-down miles! BELOW: And then, with the clang of Jack's bell, they all rode down our drive and east to finish their day in Atlantic. Thank you, Pre-riders, for making RAGBRAI safer and for spending a little time with us!







LEFT: George often ducks when I start taking pictures, but I caught him at the BRAN Route Announcement Party back in the winter. We're grateful to George for all his preparations at PWH before the pre-ride. Sorry, George. Had to do it.

BELOW: Every once in a while, we drive down to our Council Bluffs campsite. The other night, I didn't even get out of the car. We hope we'll have a pretty sunset like this, Porkers, on the 20th of July.