The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Pork Belly Ventures – Terrible this year

Do you like camping miles away from restaurants, vendors, activities, and where all your friends are meeting up every night? Do you enjoy riding buses, and waiting around for them to show, just to get to where everybody else walks to have dinner? Do you like being captive to your charter’s food? Do you like your charter telling the onsite vendors that they can’t sell drinks because only pork belly can sell drinks (ie dinky Gatorade for $2)?

Pork belly 2018 was all this and more. I’ll never use them again.

52 Replies

Brady Bisgard, June 20, 2019 at 3:42 pm

PKB isn’t that much further out than regular RAGBRAI campsites sometimes. Two years ago it was about 2 miles down a hill – but you could still bike to the festivities in 10 minutes. I’ve also stayed with normal RAGBRAI and stayed two miles down a hill.

I personally enjoy pulling into camp about 4PM then having a cold beer as I set up my tent in a shaded spot. Then I take a cold or warm private shower (depending on weather) and then dry off with a clean dry towel.

After that I can charge whatever gear I need in their trailer (or wait till overnight) and I can sit in their shaded tents for a few hours till my crew goes downtown on a shuttle (or bikes). I get back to the campsite and crash. Then I get up and theres fresh brewed coffee waiting for me.

Say I have to go to the bathroom during night? No problem there’s plumbing toilets that are lit. Its the best way to RAGBRAI.

This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Brady Bisgard.

#1305992

Blimpy, June 29, 2019 at 12:54 am

If you are looking for a bus team that is a NO DRAMA team then TEAM ROTR is for you. We are out of Rochester Mn and have riders from 18yrs old to 60+ we limit the team at 30 riders and provide full support, 2 meals per day, showers, bus and support crew and more. Let me know if you want more details. We have a ton of fun but yet can mellow it out as well. We do have openings for part-time (non week long riders) and you can join us it is a $65 per day cost and meals, beer, non-beer and all logistics included.

Conatact us at Robinevents1@gmail.com or 507.251.7024 (leave a message or text)

Brett Landon
TEAM ROTR

#1306716

Jessica HIRSCHHORN, August 22, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Brian,

Thank you for your comment. The very idea that they need to be away from the “action” is the MOST appealing to me! The massive crowds/noise/late music are not my cup of tea, but the big big bike ride is!

Even with early emails to Tammy she has been wonderful and responsive.
Regards, Jessica Hirschhorn

#1310932

klkoopman, August 22, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Is it possible for this thread to simply “die”? It was posted over a year ago and, for some unknown reason, was resurrected this summer. I’ve never chartered with Pork Belly but I am sure they do a terrific job. This “Terrible this Year” headline really is unfair to them. If someone would like to express their 2019 impressions, fine, start a new thread.

#1310933

mootsman, August 23, 2019 at 8:33 am

Happy Truths about PBV:

— I’ve walked into town plenty of times on PBV, not an issue. About a 50/50 chance its closer then the team I’ve been with previously. Never bothered with a bus.
— PBV doesn’t force anyone to eat their meals. 3 are included in the cost, 4 are an optional fee.
— Free beer (good beer to boot) and lemonade, who could complain about that?
— Other soft drinks for $1 a piece, also good.
— Tent service is great. I’d recommend it as it also includes luggage delivery & pickup.
— Up to you, in-camp entertainment and food or walk into town. Your choice.
— Showers are 2nd to none.
— Flush toilet trailers or if you prefer lots of kybos.
— Shade tents, some with misters to cool you off.

Maybe not Tom K’s cup of tea but what they do, they do very well.

#1310935

Rob Pennington, August 24, 2019 at 9:27 pm

2019 was my second RAGBRAI and first with a charter service, which was PBV. I can not compare to other charter services, but from my perspective PBV provided excellent service in just about every aspect. Their handling of the logistics of the week was quite impressive and even had a personal feel to it.

#1310948

Francisco Mira Cervera, September 11, 2019 at 3:41 am

I come from Granada (Spain) and this year has been my third consecutive participation in the RAGBRAI, in the three I have used PBV to full satisfaction, the disposition of the whole crew is excellent, with the owners Tammy and Pete in the lead always available and always attentive to the resolution of any incident. I can’t compare because I haven’t used another charter, but I don’t need it either, PBV provides me more than I need for a reasonable price. For me, with a poor knowledge of English, it is priceless not to have to worry about anything other than pedaling, which is what I come to, to participate in the biggest ride in the world. I am delighted with PBV, with its services, its availability and its attention. Next year I will try to return to the RAGBRAI and I do not consider anything else to do with them.

#1311368

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