DARING DUO: Couple to perform extreme stunts at fair

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Juan Pablo Toscano is a fourth generation globe motorcyclist. His fiancée, Sierra Jones, was the first in her family to “run away” and join the circus.

Fate brought them together, but it’s their love for each other and their love of the circus that make their world a perfect place.

Juan, a globe rider from Mexico, and Sierra, an aerialist from Columbus, Ohio, are providing thrills aplenty for the fairgoers at the Pike County Fair that opened last night to a huge crowd. And when Juan climbed on his motorcycle and Sierra climbed the high wire, it seemed as if all the rides stopped and all eyes were on them as they provided thrills for people of all ages.

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Juan’s dad was a globe cyclist until he was 60 years old and Juan has been riding the globe since he was 18 years old – that’s a lot of going up and down and around in circles.

“I started on a bicycle,” he said. “You can’t start on a motorcycle. There’s just too much to learn. The only soft place in the metal globe is your skin. If you have an accident, it’s a bad one.”

Juan said there is no way to know how many hours he spent riding a bicycle around and around inside the globe until he was confident enough to attempt to ride the globe on a motorcycle.

“It’s all about balance,” he said. “You ride and ride until you find your balance. Then, you can gradually increase your speed up to about 45 miles per hour.”

When a globe rider gains the confidence necessary to ride in the globe with another rider, timing is as much of a factor as balance. In a split second, the globe riders could collide and “an accident in the globe is always a bad one.”

“You don’t watch for yourself, you watch his back and he watches yours,” Juan said. “You have to take care of each other.”

Juan admits globe riding is scary.

“I’m always scared,” he said. “But then, there’s the thrill. There’s nothing like the thrill of the ride.”

Watching globe riders is almost like watching a carefully choreographed dance, but it is actually watching daredevil feats and Juan is always ready to ride. At the Pike County Fair, he is globe riding with his friend Johnathan Ybarra, whom he trusts to watch his back.

When Juan is not in the globe, he is there for Sierra, who is as at-home 30 feet up as she is on the ground.

Sierra laughs at the remembrance of the day she told her mom she was going to join the circus.

“I am a gymnast and I was working at a circus gym in Florida,” she said. “The gym got an inquiry from a traveling circus that was looking for an aerialist. I was recommended. I knew joining the circus would completely change how my life was going to be. To me, that was exciting.”

Sierra told her mom, who thought she was crazy, but was excited for her. She told her sister, then packed her bags and joined the circus and her life was forever changed.

The transition from gymnast to aerialist wasn’t easy, but it was not difficult, she said. Sierra, who performs without a net, is comfortable at 30 feet from the ground. However, when she is performing in a tall building and at 40 feet, she hears her mom’s word, “crazy.”

In the circus, Sierra met the young man who will be her life partner. They have no plans of leaving the circus that has been Juan’s life. And joining the circus has been the best thing in the world for Sierra.

“Why would we want to leave what we love?’

They love each other and they love the circus.

Fairgoers can catch both acts on the midway at the Pike County Fair tonight through Saturday. The fair opens nightly at 6 p.m. There is no extra charge for either of the acts.