Motorcycle stunt show wows residents of The Willows

Stunt rider Anthony Salciccioli performs a wheelie with a peg stand during a motorcycle stunt show for the residents of The Willows assisted living community in Oxford.

Joy Campbell was hoping for an interesting show “with no one getting hurt.”

Campbell, a resident at The Willows, an assisted living community, waited outside in the sunshine Saturday with 20 other people in distanced chairs, while motorcycles revved in the parking lot.

Satisfied with the amount of room they had in which to maneuver, five stunt-motorcyclists took turns parading from one end of the parking lot to the other, performing stand-up wheelies, circle wheelies and leg-spreaders, where the rider leans back and spreads his legs while only the rear wheel is touching the ground.  

Anthony Salciccioli and a few of his motorcycle friends perform the motorcycle stunts often and are sponsored by Stunt Daily, an apparel shop.

The performance at The Willows was arranged by one of the head nurses, whose son is friends with Salciccioli, said Willows Program Supervisor Sue Kowalczyk.

“A friend of our health and wellness director’s son does these amazing stunts on his motorcycle,” she said.

The boisterous sound of accelerating bikes and smoke from the skids of quick stops kept residents rapt attention.

Resident Shirley Shaw had never seen motorcyclists perform like this before, even at her local fair.

“I’m a motorcycle person,” said Shaw, whose family owned Harley dealerships in California. “I love it.”

Whenever he can, Salciccioli performs the stunts in front of crowds, because he knows he’s bringing joy to people in the audience.

“It brings happiness to me, and if I can bring happiness to somebody else by doing what I love, I am more than wiling to do that,” he said.

Besides the performance by the motorcyclists, there were hot dogs and lemonade available, in an event designed to get the residents outside to enjoy the fresh air and abundant sunshine.

The show turned resident Helen Bieber nostalgic with memories of her brother, who rode a Harley. He would sneak behind their mom’s back to offer her a ride once in a while.

“I was a kid,” Bieber said. “Hey, that’s what kids do, right?”

She said her brother would perform stunts like the men with the Stunt Daily crew, but definitely without their mom’s knowledge.

She appreciated the effort that went into the event, and especially liked that is was something different.

“They’re out here doing a great job,” Bieber said. “I’m glad I came, and I’m glad I’m here.”

Despite an occasional wobble from a newly learned stunt, Campbell could relax. The show was completed after 90 minutes with nary an injury.

Staff Writer Julie Butterfield can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5254, or julie.butterfield@thevillagesmedia.com.