by Ashley Bailey, The Eureka Reporter, 10/6/2007
Winner of the best female tattoo, Tart Horstmann shows off the winning piece Saturday at Bikes by the Bay on the Eureka Waterfront. Joni Schrantz/The Eureka Reporter
It’s not every day that one sees a person with kidneys tattooed on their back, and 20-year-old Sami Geiser of Eureka wanted people to know it.
Geiser got the tattoo four months ago in support of a friend going to medical school and was awarded “most unusual tattoo” during the tattoo contest at the eighth annual Bikes by the Bay on Saturday.
The roar of motorcycles filled Halvorsen Park as the smell of fresh chili dogs wafted through the air.
More than 1,300 bikers and their friends attended the Show and Shine fundraiser event benefiting North Coast Big Brothers Big Sisters.Besides getting unusual tattoos, Geiser said in her spare time she rides the Buell Blast motorcycle she got two years ago.
“It was my mom’s old bike and I said, ‘I’ll take it!’” Geiser said.
In addition to the tattoo award that Geiser won, other tattoo categories included best overall male and female, best black and white, best color and most realistic.
Bikers could enter their motorcycles into 19 judging categories, including American bikes, European bikes, choppers, best paint, people’s choice and participants’ choice.Barry Smith, director of Bikes by the Bay, said he has been riding motorcycles since he was a teenager and owns a Harley-Davidson Lowrider.
“It’s my favorite way to travel; you’re using all of your senses,” Smith said. “Every time you stop for fuel, people want to know where you’ve been.
”Smith is also a member of the California North Coast Harley Owner Group.
He said that for the most part, there aren’t hard feelings between owners of Harley-Davidson bikes and other brands of bikes.
“If you ride, it doesn’t matter what you ride,” Smith said. “We all give each other a hard time.
”Members of United Bikers of California and Bikers Against Child Abuse were also present at the event.
Wayne Palmer of McKinleyville showed crowds at the event motorized bicycles he had built.
“It is a glorified hobby out of my garage,” Palmer said. “They’re a conversation piece.
”Palmer said he has been building engines onto bicycles for five years. He was also selling manufactured motorized bicycles called whizzers.
“They’re a moped with pedals,” he said. “You can still ride it as a bicycle.
”Tomorrow will conclude Bikes by the Bay events and will include a poker run departing from Redwood Harley-Davidson in Eureka at noon. Registration for the poker run will begin at 11 a.m. and the ride will end at Hawg Wild in Orick.
Smith said his favorite part of riding is the freedom of the open road.
“It’s just you, your bike and the pavement,” he said.