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RAGBRAI 2019      

Pork Belly Update #9---Hotel Stays and Waxing Poetic!

June 21, 2019

Dear Porkers,

 

The month of June is always

a perfect curve-ball storm!

We're staying steady at the wheel,

Our ship and sails untorn!

 

This tunnel called "the June Letter"

Begins to show some light, and

We're pleased to offer lodging in

hotels on just two nights...

 

When things get hairy around here, we just compose a little poem about it. Try it, Porkers, because we know you're waging your own epic June battles... Struggling to escape from real life, grasping at logistics, searching airline schedules, ordering bike shipping, keeping up with the plans of your RAGBRAI friends, obsessively reading our updates (right?), and oh yes! Training on your bikes as much as possible to ensure smooth sailing across our state next month.

 

You're the hero of your story, and we promise, it has a happy ending! Persevere! As we always say, it's far easier to ride your bike across Iowa than to prepare to ride your bike across Iowa.

In this Update:

  • Hotel Stays Available, Monday and Wednesday, reply to Sara as we explain below, and please read the details!
  • A (much-needed) Word about the June Letter and June Form
  • A Forecast of Updates to Come
  • Re-Tread, Long-term Parking and More in Keokuk
  • The Tent Waiting List--It's Short.
  • Pork Classified Ads
  • Getting Greener
  • The App! The App! The App!

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HOTEL STAYS:

Monday and Wednesday

 

Pork Belly Ventures offers hotel stays on every night of RAGBRAI, but we've had many early requests this year. Today, we are offering you our remaining rooms on Monday and on Wednesday nights. We have a motor coach and driver with us for the week, in order to transport our riders to and from the hotel. Read first, then reserve!

 

(Please know that if you wait for a day or two, the rooms will be taken. We will maintain waiting lists for both nights.)

 

Monday, Winterset

West Des Moines, Hilton Garden Inn, double queens and king rooms

29 miles from camp

Bar/Restaurant inside the hotel

1 person using room, including transfer:  $191.00


2 people using room, including transfer:  $118.00 per person

3 people using room, including transfer:  $94.00 per person       


 

 

Wednesday, Centerville

Albia, Indian Hills Inn, independent hotel, various room types

25 miles from camp

In-house bar with appetizers, Subway and other fast food nearby

** this is an independent hotel, and it’s more basic or rustic than the other chain hotels we are working with this year. But it's much nicer than a tent.

1 person using room, including transfer:  $207.00


2 people using room, including transfer:  $126.00 per person

3 people using room, including transfer:  $99.00 per person       


 Our Pricing

We don’t slap a flat fee on this service. Our hotel stays include your room fee, tax, and a transfer fee (for riding the motor coach from camp to hotel and back). 

 

A somewhat average hotel might cost more when RAGBRAI is in the vicinity, but we count ourselves lucky to have scored these reservations at all. 

 

If you charge any incidentals to your room, you will pay for them separately.

 

Transfer Times—6:00 Morning and Night

The coach departs camp at 6:00 p.m. and it departs the hotel parking lot the following morning at 6:00 a.m. It’s your responsibility to make the coach. If you arrange another way to the hotel, please inform our Front Desk so we don’t delay the departure unnecessarily. Of course, out of courtesy to your fellow passengers, please be on time for the coach, in your seat and ready to roll by 6:00 pm or 6:00 am.

 

Breakfasts

Your reservation at the Hilton Garden Inn on Monday night will include the hot breakfast buffet beginning at 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The Wednesday night hotel will have coffee ready by 5:30 and a breakfast bag for each of you to take on board the coach Thursday morning (TBD, but likely a muffin, a banana, a yogurt or hard-boiled eggs). 

 

Bikes/Dinners

Bikes are locked in camp and do not go with you to the hotel. If you are entitled to dinner (Weds) or if you bought an optional dinner from PBV (Mon), you can go to the front of the dinner line and the girls will be ready to give you a covered plate to take on the coach. 

 

Evening Festivities in Camp

Our coach leaves for the hotels at 6:00 p.m. Please be aware that we have live music during dinner every night, and unless you arrange your own transfers to and from camp, you will miss this part and maybe other aspects of the PBV experience. It’s the trade-off for hotel comforts.

How to Reserve/

How to Pay

Confer with friends before you write, and include the names of all room occupants, please. You may reserve a room by writing to Sara, sara@pkbelly.com, with your own name and the names of those who will share your room. You can request a room type--and we'll try. At both hotels, we have various room types available now. As rooms are claimed, you might have to be content with air-conditioning and a private bath, and perhaps one bed instead of two.

 

**We need the names of everyone in the room to make sure we can seat everybody on the coach! Be sure of the number in your room when you reserve, please.**

 

Sara will write back--she will put the charges on your PBV application--you can still mail a check to avoid the fee for using your credit card. Do remember that these charges are subject to our cancellation policy. More here on cancellation: PBV Cancellation Policy

ABOVE and RIGHT and BELOW: Pork Crew members ready to spend the week with you during RAGBRAI.

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Here's How You Can

Make The June Letter and The June Form

Come to You Faster!

This is a regular June occurrence, Porkers, so please don't consider it a complaint from us. But if we spend all the hours of the day answering the questions that are answered in the June Letter, we'll never finish the June Letter. So hang onto those questions for just a bit, and we'll make the final push to get your PBV Travel Guidebook to you ASAP!

 

When we publish the June Letter, you'll be invited to record the following information on your June Form...

 

  • your six-digit wristband number from RAGBRAI
  • your departure preference for pre-RAGBRAI shuttles
  • some info about your bike to be transported on our pre-RAGBRAI shuttles

 

Please don't email us with this information. We can't use it in email form. How will we use it? Well, we're glad you asked. It helps us assign you to bus rosters, mentioned below.

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Updates Coming at You NEXT

 

You've learned by now, Porkers, that we try to dole out information as it's needed, and here's an idea of what's coming to you next...

 

  • If we can finish it, the next one will be Our June Letter.
  • After that... we'll be offering amenities early next week.
  • After that... Our Week in the Corn, the happiest update of the season, will give you all the deets on pretty campsites, vendors of delicious food in camp, daily dinner menus, awesome entertainment on the Pork Stage, breakfast vending beside our coffee trailer (with at least one hot breakfast), Pork Yoga, and some new and cool stuff!
  • Around the first week of July, we will begin our Series of Bus Roster Updates. (We publish rosters for the shuttles prior to RAGBRAI, not the post-RAGBRAI shuttles.) We use your June Form information to assign you to the same bus with your friends. Got a common group name on all applications in your group? If you do, you'll be on the bus with your friends!
  • We're not done yet... we'll publish a few final updates in July, including our Pork Belly Ventures Host Town Maps!

ABOVE: Here's a sample from last year... our Wednesday map of Newton. We'll have eight brand new PBV Host Town Maps for you next month.

 

BELOW: Hang on through the RAGBRAI prep and planning, Porkers! Our friendly front desk girls can't wait to welcome you in Council Bluffs.

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RE-TREAD FROM APRIL

For Those on Our East/West Shuttle...

Long-Term Parking and Other "Keokuk Services"

 

The majority of you who need long-term parking in Keokuk have signed up for it already, but since we published Update #5, some of you have joined us (Thank you!). So if you missed it, here's the update that tells you how to reserve long-term parking, indoor sleeping, and some delicious meals from the ladies at First Christian Church in Keokuk. We are so proud to be partnering with our generous and hospitable host congregation. For the complete info, please click below.

 

Note: Long-term parking went from $60 to $70 on June 1. It will go up again on July 1.

 

 Update #5--Long-term Parking in Keokuk

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TENT

WAITING

LIST

 

We have a short waiting list for the tent service, and if you want to be added, just write to tammy@pkbelly.com.

 

 

 

OTHER

PORK

SERVICES

 

 

At present, our Weeklong Support, Partial-Week Support, and all shuttles are available.

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PORK CLASSIFIED ADS

 

From Lynn:

"If anyone is planning or has an unplanned half-day ride and wants to share a lyft or ride to camp instead of using the sag wag, please let me know. 202-285-1648."

 

From AnneMarie:

"Looking for a ride on to Chicago O’Hare from Quad City? Room in a rental car with a safe & friendly driver for one other person + bike or 3 people with no bikes for cost of shared expenses (anticipated total cost to split: $115). Leaving from Quad City shortly after arrival of final shuttle (expected departure between 6-7pm on Saturday, Jul 27th). Contact AnneMarie amcgraves@gmail.com if interested."

 

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GETTING GREENER

As you veterans know, when we host our outdoor dinners, utensils are normally single-use--something we'd like to change, along with your help! Of course, we must have utensils for everybody who dines with us--no way around that. But here are a couple of options for you that will allow us to put less into the trash!

 

1) Bring your own utensil set or tool. Maybe you have a bamboo set (I got mine in Northern California) or a metal set of utensils. You can rinse them off at the Thingy and use them every evening at dinner to keep the single-use plastic utensils from going into the trash.

 

2) Come to our front desk to purchase this little set of utensils--the green one above. It's plastic, yes. But you can use this set again and again, and rinse it off at the Thingy. By RAGBRAI time, we'll have a stash of souvenir utensil thingys with our name on them.

 

3) Our friend Liz not only brings utensils to RAGBRAI. She brings a metal plate too, and keeps it in her duffel.

 

Join us in this effort, friends. The more folks who implement these ideas, the better!

 

Finally, thanks very much to Liz

for her friendly reminders about this important subject.

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Ode to The Pork Belly App

 

How can you remember what's

in Pork Camp every day?

We write things down and lose them. There

Must be a better way...

 

Would you like a daily notice: "Here's

What's Waiting in Pork Camp"?

That vibration in your pocket is

The App! The App! The APP!

 

Visit your app store for the FREE Pork Belly App, with updates, maps, and much more. Perhaps the most important feature is our daily notifications of what's waiting for you in Pork Camp each day during RAGBRAI! Yep, we'll send you photos of us preparing for your arrival, and let you know What's for lunch, What's for dinner, What time is Pork Yoga, Who's on Stage tonight, and even What's for breakfast tomorrow! The App! It's FREE!

 

Before RAGBRAI, Get the Pork Belly App!

Got a big long list of questions? Hold that thought, Porkers, and your June Letter will be out real soon. And if you're feeling overwhelmed with your preparations, we heartily recommend waxing poetic! Until next time, we remain,

 

Your friends,

 

Tammy and Pete

 

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From the Pork Belly Mailbox...

 

We need a little grace on these photo captions, friends. The mailbox has been real full, and so memory will have to serve. Here we go...

 

BELOW: Donna is an adventurous soul--and so is the love of her life, Bill. I believe this is Donna, wearing her Pork Jersey--about to go up in a hot air balloon? Over the Nile River? Yeah, that sounds like them.

ABOVE: Michael Gach sent us this photo of his morning training ride. We're jealous.

 

BELOW: Chris and Friends, getting ready for RAGBRAI by riding the northern Atlantic Coast. Still jealous.

ABOVE: This is Ray Thomsen, cycling in his Pork Jersey, either in Rome, Italy, or in Rome, Georgia.

 

BELOW: The familiar site of Frank Jarman (right, in Pork Jersey) and his friends, the Caroline Cyclists. These folks love their training and their camaraderie!

See you soon, Friends, and thanks for sending these wonderful pics!