SIDNEY – Quality time with the family for the Fearless Flores means hopping on a dirt bike and riding sideways and upside down in a 14-foot-diameter steel cage called the Globe of Death.
“If Mom and Dad and my older cousins are out there playing around, and that’s what we’re usually doing, we’re playing in the globe, trying to see who can do better tricks,” Cyndel Flores said, “you don’t want to be left out so that’s kind of why the younger kids always end up wanting to do it. I know that’s why I started riding.”
Her 13-year-old cousin Giovanni Flores said he wanted to ride because of Cyndel’s younger brother, Volorian Flores.
“He started riding because of my brother,” 21-year-old Cyndel said. “I have an 8-year-old sister who rides because of me. You just kind of see it and you want to get in on it.”
Giovanni and Cyndel both are third-generation motorcycle daredevils. The family patriarch, 75-year-old Victor Flores, began riding in the Globe of Death 55 years ago and since then has been joined by his children and grandchildren to form the Fearless Flores Family.
The Myakka City, Florida-based family travels nine months a year throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico performing their thrill shows and spends the rest of the year performing in Miami. They split into two groups to perform with Victor, Cyndel and Giovanni spending the week at the Shelby County Fair while other family members perform in Pennsylvania.
“I don’t get to spend a whole lot of time with my cousin and my grandfather because, like I said, we’re split up on different units,” said Cyndel, who most of the time performs with her immediate family members. “So each time performing with different family members is like the best memories.”
Eight years ago Cyndel made the quarterfinals of the sixth season of “America’s Got Talent” along with her parents, Ricardo and Arcelia Flores, and brother.
For their audition, the siblings, then 13 and 8 years old, rode inside the Globe of Death while their father stood in the middle. Their mother rode with them for their second AGT performance.
Along with the Globe of Death, this week in Shelby County the Fearless Flores are performing plate spinning and performing on the aerial sway pole. Cyndel hangs 65 feet above the ground on the sway pole as it sways from side to side.
The family’s other daredevil acts include the human cannonball, the Raceway in the Sky, which includes a motorcycle balanced precariously on a high wire, and the Wheel of Destiny, which is similar to a giant hamster ball that family members perform inside of and on top of high above the ground.
Victor, a native of Mexico, was a circus performer who specialized in high wire and flying trapeze acts before he started performing in the Globe of Death. Six of his nine grandchildren have joined his act, including Cyndel and Giovanni.
“As of right now, from what we can find, he’s the oldest person still riding today,” Cyndel said of her grandfather.
While the family members have dedicated themselves to perfecting their craft, it remains a difficult and dangerous adventure.
“I’ve been riding for 15 years, and I still can’t do everything that there is to do in there,” Cyndel said of the Globe of Death.
Back home the family has a globe set up in their backyard so they can practice. However, the forces exerted on their bodies from spinning at high speeds limits how much time they actually can ride inside the globe.
“You cannot practice so much, maybe 20 minutes a day, because you’ll be dizzy,” Victor said. “But you keep practicing to keep in shape with the motorcycles and your equipment.”
As daredevils, all of the Fearless Flores performers said they’ve suffered serious injuries during their careers.
“If you play soccer, you expect to get kicked,” Cyndel said. “So it comes with the game.
“When my grandpa taught my dad, when my dad taught us, before we got to learn any cool tricks in there, we had to learn how to crash,” Cyndel said. “So we are constantly prepared. We have hand signals, we know each others’ body language, everything in there.”
“We know the sound of it, too,” Giovanni added.
In spite of the danger of the act, the Fearless Flores said they love the lives they’ve built alongside their family members.
“Wouldn’t trade it,” Cyndel said.
More information about the Fearless Flores Family is available at www.ffthrill.com, on The Fearless Flores Family Facebook page and on Instagram at Fearless_Flores_Family. They also can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach this writer at email@example.com or 937-538-4824.