I used PBV last year for my first RAGBRAI and found that although they had a lot of service, they were too big and too far out of the way. Riding this year with the Out-of-Starters. Who know next year I may look for a small self-contained team.
I lost my wallet last year on RAGBRAI and had to ride “against the flow” for about 3 miles. I would never do it again. It was dangerous with all those riders coming at me, especially since many faster riders are all the way to the left. Take it from me – don’t do it.
I think Kicks9 said it right. I am from NW Ohio in a club called the Flatlanders. My biggest hills within 10 miles is the interstate overpass. My training consists mainly of riding into the wind and going back and forth over the interstate. I done bike tours in hillier areas than where this years RAGBRAI is, and this trading worked for me.
This year will be my 2nd RAGBRAI. Last year I used PBV and even though I liked the services felt they were too big. They also camped farther away from the city center due to their size. This year I opted to go with the OOS Charter group just for a smaller group and different experience. I guess it all depends on what you want.