DAYTONA BEACH — Music on Main Street, a bike show on the Boardwalk and pedestrians in creatively styled clothing everywhere in between made downtown Daytona a great place to people watch Friday.
Here are a few scene stealers.
‘Not a Fat Boy’
When Dee Dee Palmer pulled up to park her Harley-Davidson at Friday’s Full Throttle Bike Show on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, all eyes were glued to her white ride splashed with pink-and-blue confetti and rhinestone-covered chrome.
“She loves attention,” Palmer said, decked out in a pink jacket and chaps to match. “That’s my sparkle-licious girl.”
Her bike — a 2002 “Fat Girl, not a Fat Boy” — attracts eyes easily with naked, provocatively posed women painted on the fuel tank and fender.
Now retired, Palmer formerly owned Dee Dee’s Dance Studio in DeLand. Now, she’s focused on raising breast cancer awareness as part of the Ribbon Riders, an Orlando-based advocacy group.
When she started riding 10 years ago, she said, “I figured if I was going to be the new girl in the world of bikers, I’d need to be able to catch the eye of a man.”
Now, as more women populate bike rallies, she’s grabbing female attention, too. “What’s so funny is I’ve had more compliments from women than from men,” Palmer said.
Snake on wheels
Raymond “Fangdaddy” Henry popped the locks on his briefcase and pulled out his pet boa constrictor, Kali Ma — “like the bad guy from ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,’” he explained.
“I didn’t want to name him something people would make fun of,” Henry said. “If I named him Freddie, they’d laugh at him, so I gave him a good name with power.”
His scaly friend rides alongside him on his purple trike, secured inside the leather carry-on. But he comes out whenever Henry’s ready to grab attention.
“If (people) want to wear him, (they need to) make a donation and then I’ll put him on them. It’s give and take.” In turn, Henry said, he raises awareness about conservation of “a misunderstood creature.”
He said he wasn’t especially trying to make a dramatic entrance, but when J.J. Contrarez rolled down the Boardwalk, hip hop blaring from the trembling speaker on the back of his Harley-Davidson Road Glide, the crowd lost interest in everything else.
Contrarez expected his bike, with its shiny brass rims and distinct wood-grain body, to be competitive in the “extreme custom” category at Friday’s Full Throttle show.
The motorcycle was fabricated “from scratch” at his buddy’s Power House Custom Cycles shop in Houston, Texas, he said. It took three weeks to come up with a “different paint scheme that nobody has.”
Though Contrarez praised the “beautiful bikes” on display at his first-ever Bike Week experience, he hoped to help Power House take home top honors for the second straight year.
Tattoos tell a tale
Beneath his blue jeans, Chicago native Mel Odette said his legs are covered in “crazy clown” tattoos. His unclothed upper half told a more personal story — mostly.
A spooky face Odette described as a “devil clown” peered out from his belly. But his chest was inked with the faces of his grandkids and a family tree detailed with all his children’s names. Down his arms, the Looney Tunes cartoon characters enjoyed a motorcycle ride.
He’s been coming to Bike Week since 1988, and has been a staple at the March rally as well as Biketoberfest for 13 years running. His body art always serves as a conversation starter, he said.
“It even got me in ‘Easyriders’ magazine a couple years ago,” said Odette. Back home, he once participated in contests. “But I’m retired now, so I’ve cut down on ’em.”