RAGBRAI 2019      

Pork Belly Update #12---To All Tent Renters

July 4, 2018



All others can delete this update now.



Dear Tent-Renting Porkers,


This is a seven-day service, from Saturday night in Onawa to Friday night in Iowa City. We won't set up rental tents in Davenport on Friday 7/21 (or on Saturday, 7/28), but if you arrive a day early in Onawa, you can use your rental tent for $40 on the Friday before RAGBRAI. This option can be selected on your June Form.  


If you're using a PBV rental tent, please read this update from start to finish, and check out the little video, too. 



On our application, the tent service is sold out. But we've cleared our waiting list, and we can add a few more tents. Please write to tammy@pkbelly.com.


IT'S NOT TOO LATE YET... Group Names and Tentmates

In the course of our work and phone calls, we've been discovering---quite accidentally---missing group names. These are friends who WANT to be together, but simply don't have a common group name on their applications and therefore would not be together if we hadn't caught it.


In the coming days, we will create the 2018 tent grid, then print the address cards, and create check-in packets with your baggage tags. In other words, we're locking in tent locations on the grid. Do you want to be next to your friends? We've reminded so much that even WE think we sound like a broken record. Got a group? You need a group name in the group-name field of all applications in the group. It has to be the SAME group name. If some friends typed "Riding for Beer," and other typed "Biking for Beer," you won't be next to each other. We promise not to say this again. Until next year.


Got a tent mate? When you selected the tent service on the application, there's a space for your name and the name of your tent mate. Please don't be casual about this. On your address card, we want the names of all occupants and the number of bags that belong in the tent. Please make sure your tent mate is listed as such.


Upon check-in in Onawa, you will learn your location in Tent City.




A few years ago, on a windy day at the barn, Pete and Dave Kennedy made a little video for you, in which they show you your rental tent and talk about taking care of it. Little has changed since then, except the part when Pete says we can have your tent ready by noon. We are promising 1:00 p.m.,better than most motel check-in times!). We'll try to be early. We hope our little video will be helpful to you and to us. 


PBV Video on Tent Rental Service


The video reviews the common-sense rules below, but we list them here for your convenience.




Finding Your Tent

Your position on the tent grid will be the same every day. If you're in tent #151, you'll be in that tent all week.


We'll make it as easy as possible to find your tent each day, and in the majority of our campsites, we'll have wide-open spaces so that breaking the grid probably won't be necessary. From time to time, we have to alter the grid, and it might be slightly different in Onawa and Jefferson.


New this year, we have "feathers," tall flags that will orient you to Tent City and help you locate your part of town. In the afternoon, we will post them at intervals along the edge of Tent City. 


The following few paragraphs are very important, as are the Rules of Tent City below:

We must know who and how many people are using a tent.

Please don't be casual about this. If you have a visitor to your tent, someone with no baggage for us to move, we don't need to know that, of course. But if you have someone who will be staying in your tent with baggage for 1 to 7 nights, we must know about it. If you don't share this information with us, our crew may deal with a completely unnecessary Baggage Alarm, which we try hard to avoid.


If three people are sharing a tent, there is a fee of $100 for moving two additional bags throughout the week. We don't recommend three to a tent (unless one is a child), and we're not aware that anyone is planning on three occupants. 

Baggage Limit

Each tent occupant gets two bags, each of which you should be able to lift above your head, fully packed. Everything you bring must be zipped INSIDE those two bags. Please do not strap furniture, coolers, or small bags to your big duffel and call it all one bag.

No Access to Tents or Bags from 7:00 to 1:00 p.m.

If you arrive in camp at noon, we still need time to complete our morning chores. We hope to be finished by 1:00 or earlier, but even if we run behind schedule, we expect you to wait patiently for the tent grid to be finished and checked.


Do not enter the grid. Do not lay your bike down near the grid. Until the grid is completely ready, do not open your bags and spread out your stuff and block the rows between tents. We do not expect our crew to work around you or your stuff. So even if your normal arrival time in camp is 11:00 AM, we have put you into Tent City in good faith that you know the rules and are willing to let our crew finish their work before enjoying your rental tent. On shorter cycling days, more of you may be in camp before noon, so please have a seat at a distance and watch the crew finish their work. (Our lunch vendors will be ready for you as early as possible.)


Forgive the repetition, but we need to emphasize the importance of your morning check-out time.


You must be Out of Tent City by 7:00 a.m. More often than you might think, we have been disappointed that some of our tent-renters haven't respected our need for adequate time to complete a tremendous amount of work. This year, we have high hopes for full cooperation.

Our process is ordered and designed for speed. Our crew will be pulling baggage from tents at 7:00 and loading it in order, by row, so that it can be unloaded by row in the next town. If your bags aren't available to us at 7:00, the whole thing slows down.


Before 7:00 a.m., all bikes and occupants must be out and away from the tent grid.  


Of course, you may linger in our site after 7:00, finish your coffee, air up your tires, but by 7:00 a.m. we need every Porker out of the rental tents and away from that area.

Week's End

At the end of the week in Davenport, your bags will be laid out on the grass or sidewalk like everyone else's bags. We will not clip off our tent baggage tags (the ones with your tent numbers on them). Your tent number will be on the bags, to help you find them. It's a good idea to put your own tags on them and/or mark your bags in some unique way that helps you recognize them. People use spray paint, colored tape, bright cloth tied to a handle. For a smooth last day, find a way to make your bags easy to spot.  

How It Works--The Rules of Tent City

On Saturday in Onawa, check in and claim your TWO baggage tags per person at the PBV Front Desk.


If you have fewer bags than your tent address card indicates, tell the front desk crew, please. Otherwise, the crew could be looking for non-existent baggage.

In the morning, do not leave anything unpacked in your tent. Pack both bags with all of your belongings. 


Between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. daily, expect our crew members to move through Tent City, pulling tent stakes quietly.


Be Courteous in your neighborhood. Quiet before 5:30 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. We know many of you are neighboring near friends, but when others are trying to sleep, you must use your lowest whisper or save it for morning. Sound carries much further than you think. 


You MUST vacate your tent by 7:00 a.m. sharp.


When you arrive at your tent each day, you'll find the fly unzipped at one end. When you leave your tent in the morning, please leave the fly unzipped at that end, unless it's raining.


Be sure to leave only your two packed bags in your tent each morning: remove any items from the side pockets, any hanging lights or fans, ALL TRASH, LEAVES, SCRAPS OF PAPER, ETC.


When you leave your tent in the morning, please pull your bags as near the door (the open fly) of the tent as possible to make it easy for our crew to reach them.  You would be surprised at how many people do exactly the opposite, shove them far from the door. Small thing for you, big deal for us. We'll be faster with your help.


On your kybo run at night, as you leave your tent, think about how you'll find it again without disturbing other tenters. Don't shine your flashlight or headlight directly on the tents of others. Shine it on the ground to keep from tripping over stakes, cords, etc. (Tip: some people leave a dim light on inside their tent, to make it easier to spot upon their return.)


Report any damaged tent at the Front Desk. We'll bring our repair kit over immediately and patch things up.


NO BEVERAGES EXCEPT BOTTLED WATER IN OUR TENTS. It's just too easy to spill. No soda, beer, Gatorade. Overnight, use a water bottle with a cap. Obviously no smoking in the rental tents.


NO BIKES IN OUR TENTS. We've had requests from tent-renters that we NOT allow it, because of bike grease in the tents.


In case of a thunderstorm, lay your bike down on the ground. Don't let it fall against a tent.  

Before 7:00 a.m. and after 1:00 each day, 

please enjoy your Rental Tent and Baggage Service 

from Pork Belly Ventures. 

Thank YOU.



Tammy and Pete

and the strong PBV Tent Crew