Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Cover Bike & Cover Model Search 2012 at Russo's Pizza - Lee's Summit, Missouri

Written by  July 1, 2012

Our first cover bike & cover model search of the 2012 riding season took place on Sunday, June 10 at Russo’s Pizza in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Lonnie, Donna, Stripe, Danny, Wally, Randall and I arrived early to setup our booth in the parking lot, and the bikes soon began rolling in.

Many of the riders enthusiastically pulled their bikes right into our cover bike search parking area that Jamie Russo and her crew were nice enough to section off for us using bright yellow caution tape. The beer tub was setup in the parking lot next to the deck, and we were ready to a great day of fun in the sun!

Blake with Prodigal Son Coating arrived, and stayed busy talking with prospective powder coating customers and handing out his business cards. Over the past year, Blake has really made a name for himself since opening his powder coating business in Oak Grove, Missouri, and several of my riding buddies have had him do some coatings on their bikes.

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The popular band Jerry Butcher and the Bail Jumpers cranked up the music from the deck, and it wasn’t long before our cover bike search area was filling up. Several beautiful ladies also began showing up to enter our cover model search. From the looks of the bikes and prospective models that were signing up, I knew the judges were going to have their work cut out for them. As the afternoon went on, more and more bikes started rolling in and filling the parking lot, including my cousin Mark, who rode down from St. Joseph, Missouri with a couple friends. Our good friend John Diaz also rode down from Kearney, Missouri to hang out.

Bruce, our studio photographer showed up, and Randall “Sea Hawk” Hauk, our videographer shot video of all the bikes and models for our Cover Bike & Cover Model Search video, so make sure to check out the action!

Our cover bike search area was so full that Lonnie had to expand the area further into the parking lot in order to get everyone’s bikes into the event. Donna and Nichole were busy signing up all the cover model search contestants, and made their way around the parking lot recruiting girls. By the time we shut down our cover bike search registration, we had 22 bikes sign up to compete for our August 2012 cover.

By the time we shut down registration, we had nine beautiful women registered for our cover model search, and as soon as the judges finished judging the bike, it was time to get the cover model search underway. All the girls lined began congregating in front of the Cycle Connections tent while everyone in the parking lot went crazy taking photos and yelling for more. We were planning to have the girls go inside the bar so we could use the band’s PA system to announce them as they came out onto the deck, but since everyone in the entire parking lot was already huddled around the girls, it would have been nearly impossible to have gotten all the girls through the crowd, so we decided to go ahead and do the search right there in the parking lot.

The judges got positioned in front of the tent with their ballot sheets and as I introduced each contestant, they stepped out from the lineup of girls to work the crowd into frenzy. The judges then had the tough job of comparing notes and narrowing the contestants down to the top three. After much deliberation, the judges handed me their choices for the top three cover bike and cover model search entries.

With so many awesome bikes in the contest, the judges spent a lot of time trying to narrow them down to their top three selections. Once all the judges votes were tallied, Bill Clay’s 1971 BSA Thunderbolt took first place, followed closely by Jeff Seaver’s 2004 American Ironhorse Texas Chopper and Darren Parson’s 1996 Custom Harley-Davidson Softail, who were the two runners-up.

And if you thought it was tough selecting the top three bikes, try narrowing things down to only three girls from a lineup of nine beautiful women! After tabulating the judge’s scores, it was time to announce the winners of our cover model search. We had all the girls line back up in front of the Cycle Connections tent one more time to get the crowd all riled up again. As it turns out, the top vote getters of the day were Hailey from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, who took first place, Crystal from Kansas City, Missouri, and Tawnya from Oak Grove, Missouri were voted the runners-up for the day. We’ll be shooting Hailey on Bill Clay’s BSA for our August 2012 cover, so make sure to check out their cover next month!

Lonnie had the owners of the three winning bikes move their motorcycles into the main area of the parking lot so he could take photos of the owners on their bikes. He also shot the three cover model search winners on the three winning bikes. A crowd gathered as Lonnie took photos, and everyone enjoyed the show by pulling out their cameras and camera phones to get a few shots of their own.

The event was a blast, and I want to thank Jamie and the entire crew at Russo’s Pizza for hosting the event again this year, as well as all the guests who attended the event. I would also like to thank all the cover bike & cover model search participants for joining in the fun!

Photos by Doc Lonnie Blum.


Mike Schweder

Editor-in-Chief - Kansas City, MO

Mike is the original founder of Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine and an avid motorcycle enthusiast. He has been riding for over 40 years, belongs to several local and national motorcycle organizations and travels to numerous rallies and events throughout the US each year. Mike has been a writer and editor for many years and has a passion for sharing his motorcycling experiences and stories with you. Contact Mike at mikes@cycleconnections.com