What were you doing at eight years old? Playing catch-and-kiss? Making mud-pies? Playing with GI Joes? Well there’re two eight-year-old rippers who have gone viral for their antics on bikes, not once, but twice.
Meet Jake and Theo Riddle – twin brothers living in Queenstown who have caught the attention of eight million - yes, MILLION - people and the likes of Travis Pastrana for their ability to shred anything with two wheels and a set of handlebars. We sat down with the two groms (and parents Steve and Emma) to find out a little bit more about them and what they want to be when they grow up.
Thanks for the chat, boys. How old were you when you started riding bikes?
Theo: When we were two.
Jake: We were on strider bikes just riding around the garden.
What do you like about riding?
Jake: It’s fun. I like going really fast and high.
And you’re pretty lucky; you’ve got the Gorge Road jumps in your home town. Do you ride there much?
Jake: Yeah lots of times.
Theo: They’re really cool. The jumps are really smooth and fun. I can jump the first jumps of the five-pack.
Do you try and compete with each other? Who’s the better rider?
Jake: Theo’s the better rider.
Emma (mum): They usually both say “me”! Theo learnt to Backflip first and Jake learnt to 360 first.
Nice one! Where did you learn that, Jake?
Jake: I learnt it on the resy ramp at the GC compound in Australia two years ago. It was awesome. Theo did one too, but I landed it first.
Good stuff. So Theo, you learnt to Backflip recently. How long did it take?
Theo: Only two hours. I learnt it on an air-bag first then wanted to try it to dirt.
Steve (dad): I quietly tried to talk him out of it, but when that didn’t work I wanted to make it as safe as possible. We borrowed a ramp and found a big, soft pile of dirt so that it didn’t hurt too much. It took him six or seven attempts to land it.
Crazy! Have you done any more since?
Theo: Yes. I’ve done five now off the same ramp.
So Jake, when are you going to give it a go?
Jake: Maybe on the weekend.
Steve: Jake hurt his shoulder in a crash at Gorge Rd, so he couldn’t try them at the same time Theo did. We’ve been waiting for his shoulder to come right and he can give it a go now if he wants to.
Did you boys know that more than twice the population of New Zealand has seen your latest video? That’s pretty amazing. Why do you think people like them?
Theo: Because it’s funny and we do big jumps.
Even Travis Pastrana has said he wants you on Nitro one day.
Jake: It was exciting to see that.
What do your school-mates think of you guys and your riding?
Theo: I think they might be jealous. Our teacher showed our videos in class and at assembly.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Jake: A freestyle BMXer. Kelly McGarry was my favourite rider.
Theo: I want to be a mad scientist. You get to explode stuff and I like explosions and destroying things.
Hahaha that’s awesome. Thanks, boys, let’s catch up again soon!