I don’t know about y’all, but I spent a lot of time riding during the pandemic lockdowns. Freedom is a capricious thing, and that no-bueno, feeling-stuck mood usually has me finding ways to create, stay flexible of mind.
So when we heard that the Moto Xtreme Circus started up as a pandemic thing to stave off boredom and keep wonder (and work) in the world, we were intrigued – and not a little impressed.
“Everybody was out of work and a group of friends gathered together and decided we needed to start working,” motorcyclist Johnny Obando said.
“It started out as a drive-in circus. There was a limit of 40 cars that could come and watch from their vehicles.”
Since then, the troupe has exploded into a positive Cirque du Soleil of talent, tricks and tumbles – both on and off the bikes.
“We have motorcycles flying in the air, we have bicycles flying in the air, we have motorcycles in the cages,” Obando continues.
“There’s still some circus acts. There’s jugglers, there’s aerialists. But it’s very different from your traditional circus.”
Think of the Moto Xtreme Circus as a creative extravaganza; a spectacle that features motorcycles, but also happens to include stunts named the Globe of Death, cages with five motorcycles riding around per cage, a pendulum wheel, BMX Freestyle feats of daredevil derring-do, and a series of beautiful – and terrifying – aerial stunts (that one’s apparently got both bicycles and motorcycles, “because it’s easier [for the bicyclists] to whip their motorcycles around than their motorcycles.”)
Obando also tells MuskogeePhoenix that “the motorcycle guys…fly 75-feet gaps and they fly about 45 feet in the air and do back flips and tricks.”
The report states that there will also be activities for the young ones, including bounce houses, face painting, the chance to get their picture taken with Bumblebee the Transformer, and a neat series of power wheel races.
“They bring their own power wheels, then at intermission time they compete against each other,” Obando says simply with a grin.
The performers hail from everywhere, including Colombia and Ukraine – and they ride nearly anything. Even Obando rides, though he sticks to the round cage.
“I’m second generation doing the stunt,” he says. “My dad did it; my cousin did it; my brother does it. It’s something I felt like I needed to do.”
Not convinced yet? General admission for the 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday shows at the Muskogee Civic Center (425 Boston St.) are peanuts; Adults pay a mere $20 online (and at the box office); children, $8 each ($12 at the box office).
Make sure to check out the show’s lineup and get the online tickets at Moto Extreme Circus’s website.