Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

4th Annual Ms. Bikes, Blues & BBQ

Written by  October 31, 2003

On Saturday evening, October 4, 2003, eight vivacious, beautiful women took the stage for the 4th Annual Ms. Bikes, Blues & BBQ finals competition in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Preliminaries had taken place August 23rd through October 3rd at various local clubs, with Powerhouse Seafood hosting the semifinals.

Knight Times Tattoos was the exclusive sponsor of this year's contest, and I also spoke with Nat Bothwell of Arkansas National Bank and one of the judges for the event. Nat stated "We’re sure it will get bigger every year, and I just want to say what an outstanding job the rally directors have done and I’m happy to be involved as a sponsor.”

Contestants ranged in age from 18 to 55. We missed seeing the 55-year-old mother of six and grandmother of ten; compete on Thursday night, but heard from the other contestants that she was 'hot!’ Kari Maxeburger, 38, from Rogers, Arkansas competed Friday evening. She is a widow, has a five-year-old daughter and is a dental hygienist. When I asked how she got involved in the contest, she replied, “A friend and I were having drinks at Chile’s and my friend told me, you are going to enter this contest!” The next thing Kari knew, she was signed up. Kari said she had fun and enjoyed meeting all the other contestants. Several of the girls had previous pageant experience, while for others this was their first time on stage.

David Whitmore of Springdale, Arkansas, a volunteer aide for the directors, said his only interest at the 1st annual contest was the chance to get backstage and see the girls up close. Three years later, he is still backstage, but hardly has time to get a closer look because he is so busy helping wherever he is needed. Thanks to everyone, including Lisa, Quiana, Kevin and David for welcoming us backstage and making us feel like part of the event.

The Parade of Power took place Saturday morning, and the sidewalks along Dickson Street were crowded with onlookers trying to get a closer look at the eight final contestants as they made their way down the parade route. The weather was a beautiful Indian summer day and the girls, directors and volunteers all looked marvelous! While I spoke with several of the girls to see what their plans were for the day, our editor-in-chief, Mike Schweder, was busy getting close up photo shots. Stephanie Anderson went to a movie, Jennifer Word created her stunning black bikini by spending a good portion of her day sewing on sequins, and several other girls decided to just hang out and relax before the big event.

The finals were held on the main stage Saturday evening, with music by The Cates Brothers. The beer garden was filled to capacity and the crowd in front of the stage was packed like the streets of Sturgis. A light sprinkle of rain threatened the sparkle of the night, but only lasted a few minutes, just enough to cool off the hot babes!

As the excitement started to mount, stage manager Liz Lottman, ran a tight ship keeping everyone organized backstage. On Friday evening, Liz had performed on the main stage with her band, Lectric Liz and the Live Wires. The master of ceremonies was local radio mid-day mistress of metal, Anastasia. The contestants were introduced on stage one by one: Susan Blevins, Melanie Conn, Linda Duncan, Brandy Leffler, Bridget Trotter, Stephanie Anderson, Marieka Conn and Jennifer Word. Each danced across the stage to show their talent, stage presence and beautifully sculpted bodies. I was impressed, the contest remained clean, no flashing or down and dirty moves, much to the disappointment of the crowd.

While the judges’ scores were being tallied, Liz Lottman organized the drawing for the Yamaha 2003 Road Star Midnight giveaway, provided by Yamaha of Fayetteville and Arvest Bank. Bill Eddy, owner of Yamaha of Fayetteville, drew the winning ticket and Kristie Fontenot of Fayetteville was the winner. Congratulations Kristie!

As the anticipation grew, it was time to announce the winner of the 4th Annual 2003 Ms. Bike, Blues & BBQ contest! All the contestants were brought back on stage and the top three winners were announced.

2nd Runner Up - Susan Blevins, a student at the University of Arkansas and previous title holder of Miss Branson 2001, received $200.
1st Runner Up - Jennifer Word, an artist and exotic dancer who enjoys having fun, received $300.
The Winner - Stephanie Anderson, a surgical nurse tech who enjoys biking and running, received $700.

When I asked Stephanie how she felt, she said, “This is a blessing! I’m getting married this month and this will pay for the cake and other wedding expenses. I’m so thrilled!”

Directors, Lisa Wilyard and Quiana Kenny did an outstanding job organizing the event, giving the girls moral support and tips for keeping their cool when it became hectic. We at Cycle Connections Magazine congratulate all the contestants, directors, judges and volunteers. You put on a great show and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

Story by Goldie Arnold
Photos by Mike Schweder