November 14, 2022

Dear Friends,

For those of us who don't often use Roman numerals, it can be a challenge to decipher just which anniversary we're celebrating during the best week of the year in July. But not this year. Through wet years and dry years, past cornfields and bean fields, and despite a pandemic postponement, the legacy of the late, great RAGBRAI founders rolls on, stronger than ever! And we who love it are now looking at a significant number. We're about celebrate RAGBRAI L!

Read on for more about Pork Belly Ventures, but if you want to learn more about RAGBRAI's 50th Birthday, check out, the RAGBRAI L Facebook page, or this recent widely-viewed podcast with the ride directors themselves!

JustGoBike Podcast on RAGBRAI L

In This Update:

  • Registration for RAGBRAI L, Opening Tomorrow!
  • Registration for Pork Belly Ventures, Opens with the Route Announcement in late January!
  • The Big Question: PBV Supply/Demand on RAGBRAI L
  • How To Get Into the PBV Loop!
  • At the end of this update--Frequently Asked Questions on Services, Pricing, and More!


Opens Tomorrow, November 15th!

As most of you know, RAGBRAI opens for registration on Tuesday, November 15th. The largest and corniest bike ride in the world will likely be even larger and cornier in 2023.

As of last year, the lottery was gone--so if you register, you're guaranteed a spot on the ride. However, for many good reasons, Ride Director Matt Phippen does have a number in mind at which he would need to cap participation. We don't know any more than anyone else, except that this ride will be the mother of all RAGBRAIs! And in our humble opinion, if you want to be part of it, you'd be wise to jump in sooner rather than later.

ABOVE: Ride Director Matt Phippen took the reins in 2022 with great success, and this year he is deeply into planning the monumental RAGBRAI #50--"One L of a Ride!"

When Can I Sign Up for PBV Services


Pork Belly Ventures does not open up our registration until the new RAGBRAI route has been announced on the evening of Saturday, January 28th.

Signing up with PBV entails going to and setting up a username and password. (For those who already have an account, simply, login). 

On the registration page (not active until late evening on January 28), you can fill in the blanks and select services. You can secure your reservation by making a non-refundable 10% deposit or by paying in full. Full payment is not due until May 15th.

Please keep reading, folks.

The Question of Supply and Demand:

Will I Get a Spot with PBV


Gosh, we hope so, friends. But here are our thoughts and concerns. 

For many years, none of our services would fill up until May or June. We assured riders that our shuttles never sold out. We always encouraged folks to take their time and do their research without fear of missing out. Unfortunately, things have changed.

To our great surprise in 2022, our tent service filled in three days (by Feb 1), and our Weeklong Support filled in three weeks (by Feb 21). Eventually, our E/W Shuttle from end town to start town also filled. We maintained waiting lists for these services all during the 2022 season, but waiting is no fun at all, and we couldn't clear everyone from those lists. 

Naturally, we must restrict the number of riders with our charter in order to protect the quality of the experience we wish to provide.

We imagine that the demand for all RAGBRAI charters, including ours, will increase during this very special anniversary ride.  

But we can tell you this--

On the night of January 28th, we will be excitedly present at the Route Announcement Party in Des Moines. When we hear the names of those eight RAGBRAI L overnight towns, we will immediately huddle up and determine shuttle prices, edit our Invitation Letter, update the PBV RAGBRAI Registration page, and turn it on sometime that night, we guess between midnight and 2:00 AM Central Time.

How Can I Get Into the PBV Loop?

To receive our email updates, you and your friends and teammates can do one of two things or both...

  1. Scroll to the bottom of this email and click on "Update Profile." Follow the prompts to add yourself to our mailing list.  It's easy to unsubscribe if you decide we're not for you.
  2. Go to your App Store for the free Pork Belly Mobile App. Your mobile device will notify you whenever we send an update. The app, which is very robust, includes a tab for all of our updates and messages, and much more.

During the fall, we send one, maybe a couple, updates per month. Expect more in the new year! 

BELOW: Our team is already planning for RAGBRAI L

and our other cycling events of 2023.

(This is a summer photo, but we'll be gathered around this table

again tomorrow morning!)

Please stand by for the full calendar!

For your convenience, we include much more below in the form of Qs and As! We have tried to include those topics and questions we've been hearing over the fall months. Keep scrolling!

For those in warm places, it's never too early to train for RAGBRAI. For those here in the chilly Midwest and others on the verge of winter, we promise to send you an update from time to time to remind you of the best week of the year!

Enjoy the coming holiday, friends, and stand by for more Pork News as it happens. And however you decide to cross our home state in July, we wish you a wonderful time on your bike in Iowa during RAGBRAI L!

All our best,

Tammy and Pete

P.S. Any RAGBRAI first-timers out there need to know about the RAGBRAI Newbies Facebook Page--which you can easily find. We are not members, but folks tell us that it is an incredible resource and community for newcomers!


for some frequently asked questions and answers!

What Is the Cost of PBV's 2023 Services?

We have not yet determined 2023 pricing, but we do anticipate increases for next year. For reference, this list of 2022 prices could be of use to you. With the exception of our Tent Service, these 2022 prices were per person. All shuttles include the transport of a bike and baggage. Shuttle prices are typically based on distance and hard to estimate without the route.

2022 PBV Pricing 

(2023 Pricing has not been determined)

  • Weeklong Support: $449 per person in 2022
  • Rental Tent Service: $515 per tent in 2022 (two can share and split cost)
  • East/West Shuttle from end town to start town: $175 per person in 2022
  • Omaha airport to start town: based on distance, $81 per person in 2022
  • Des Moines airport to start town: based on distance, $160 per person in 2022
  • Post-RAGBRAI shuttle to Omaha: based on distance, $189 per person in 2022
  • Post-RAGBRAI shuttle to Des Moines: based on distance, $170 per person in 2022
  • Post-RAGBRAI shuttle to Quad Cities airport in Moline, IL: based on distance, $140 per person in 2022

What Is Included in the PBV Weeklong Support?

PBV was founded on the idea that every rider gets the gold card. Regardless of whether you sleep in your own tent or one of our rental tents, this list of amenities is included for those on our Weeklong or Partial-Week Support:

  • Well-appointed campsites and daily transport of baggage
  • Your daily shower on air-conditioned trailers, towel included (76 to 87 stalls in camp), endless hot water, private dressing areas, liquid soap dispensers.
  • Our large, friendly crew at the Front Desk and throughout camp.
  • Contracted porta-toilets and our Restroom Trailer with flushing fixtures, lighting, and ventilation
  • Inexpensive SAG on a luxury motorcoach
  • Phone-Charging Trailers—you can charge securely in locking compartments
  • Shade Canopies with misting fans and chairs, often flanked around our stage
  • Fresh-brewed morning coffee
  • Inexpensive ice-cold beverages
  • Bike Mechanics to assist afternoons/evenings
  • Massage Therapy in camp (additional charge), plus Daily Yoga
  • Catered Dinners (local caterers), 3 included, 3 optional
  • Live Music on Stage, early evening
  • Local food trucks and/or other local vendors for lunch and breakfast
  • Optional midweek laundry service (additional charge)
  • PBV Host-Town Maps for each day of the week
  • Souvenir PBV t-shirt

Our charter is for those who like to have a good time, who go to bed early, and who can roll with it.

NOTE: For RAGBRAI 2022, this service sold out in three weeks. Late in the season, we did clear a large number of folks from our waiting list due to cancellations. For RAGBRAI L, we anticipate a similar scenario--perhaps a faster sell-out.

What's included in Pork Belly Ventures' Tent Rental and Daily Set-up?

Thanks to our wonderful tent crew, PBV can include the rental tent, a ground cloth, a rain fly, and all the labor of set-up, take-down, and moving your baggage to and from the tent each day. We do not include the sleeping pad or air mattress, and tent renters should plan on bringing along everything they intend to use inside the rental tent.

Tent-renters simply pack up their bags in the morning and leave them inside the tent. In the next host town you'll find your tent up with bags inside. You can catch your breath under canopies, grab a bite from one of our food vendors, or head off to the shower.

Our rental tents are 63 square feet (8.5' X 7.5'). With duffels inside, we consider our tent a roomy for one person and cozy for two. You can share it and split the cost, or you can occupy it alone.

We'll set up Tent City on the same grid every day. Address cards will help you locate yours. We're happy to arrange the grid so that friends are next door to each other (but you'll need a common group name on all applications). This service has sold out in the past, so it might be wise to claim your tent early in the season.

NOTE: For RAGBRAI 2022, this service sold out in three days. Late in the season, we did clear a large number of folks from our waiting list due to cancellations. For RAGBRAI L, we anticipate a similar scenario--perhaps a faster sell-out.

Can I Get a PHAT Room for RAGBRAI 2023?

We're sorry to say that there is a very long wait for our PHAT Rooms. If your name is not already high on the list, we cannot be optimistic about your short-term chances. Here's more on this topic:

About the Wait for PBV PHAT Rooms

What About These Particular Needs


We get a lot of questions about the needs listed below, and you can be sure that our invitation letter, coming out in late January, will include more info:

CPAP Machines. You'll find more in our 2023 Invitation--but here's the upshot. If you have a battery for your CPAP machine, you'll have flexibility on where you camp. With the battery, which we can help you charge during the day, you can use our rental tent service.

Without a battery, you will need to set up your own tent near an electrical outlet, which can be available in park shelters or in some of the indoor sleeping venues that we may be able to use. In the absence of these options, you can set up your tent near our charging trailers, which run on a generator all night. You would bring a drop cord to plug in. In short, the battery is the way to go! When you are registered for our services (after the route announcement), we would be happy to discuss this option with you further.

With regard to transporting your CPAP machine, we will have a spot for that, so that your machine is not subjected to the rough-and-tumble of baggage transport.

Medication. For those who need it, PBV can refrigerate meds on one of our trailers. We ask you to make your medicine package as small as possible and label it clearly with your name. Our crew will assist you with claiming it and returning it for further refrigeration during the week. (Don't climb on board the trailer yourself, please.)

E-Bike Battery Charging. There is a place on our PBV registration form for indicating whether or not you will have an E-Bike Battery to charge. On a particular trailer, we have dedicated crew members who assist with charging batteries, and they can also drop a cord down to those whose batteries are not detachable. No worries, E-Bike Riders! We have you covered!

Can I Ride a Partial Week with PBV?

Yes, you can ride any number of consecutive days with PBV by selecting Partial-Week Support on the application form and marking the days you will cycle. In 2022, this service was $75 per day.

We usually offer a way to enter or exit RAGBRAI on Tuesday. These shuttles go from the Des Moines airport to the Tuesday overnight town, and then the coach returns to the Des Moines airport. The price of these shuttles in 2022 was about $110 per person.

Who Is Pork Belly Ventures?

We are an Iowa-based, family-owned business operated by a brother-sister partnership--Pete Phillips and Tammy Pavich. We began riding RAGBRAI in 1984, and we started Pork Belly Ventures in 1994. Our amazing crew of 110 takes pleasure in serving our riders, as do our three bike mechanics and eleven massage therapists. For the past couple of years, PBV has served about 1300 riders during RAGBRAI.

Thank you, friends, for reading!

Pork Belly Ventures LLC 

Tammy: 808-375-8921 c,

Pete: 402-681-2613 c,