BMXing twins take off on YouTube
Four-year-old identical Queenstown twins Jake and Theo Riddle have become pint-sized international sensations after their parents posted a video of their BMX skills on YouTube.
The clip went gone viral, registering 330,000 hits by yesterday, and has resulted in approaches from television stations in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia's ABC to buy the footage, as well as a steady stream of offers of sponsorship and free clothing.
It was all a bit overwhelming, dad Steve said.
"It's fantastic. We'll have to make the most of it. It probably won't last."
The three-minute clip used hours of footage shot at bike parks around New Zealand as the family travelled to the Coromandel to visit relations during summer.
Born three months premature, the pair had always been active and quickly developed a liking for bikes, following older brother Sam, 8.
However, it was the "cute and fluffy" twins who were getting all the attention, Riddle said. They started on balance bikes and began dropping into the bowl the first time they visited a bike park. It was decided their first bikes should be proper BMX bikes and were imported from the US. As they developed their repertoire of tricks, watching could be a bit traumatic, he said.
"It was worse when they were younger and didn't know how to fall but it didn't seem to faze them. They'd just get on their bikes and carry on with blood on their chins. We've never pushed them to get back on their bikes. We'd say to go home but they'd be like ‘one more go'. It's definitely something that's just in them."
Hanging out at bike parks had become a regular family activity and was an excellent way to protect the furniture.
"At home they're constantly into stuff and breaking stuff. They're just busy."
They had been picking up biking lingo and tricks, including no-footers with their feet off the pedals, a more advanced version known as Supermans and lots of wheelies and skids.
Mum Emma said the past few days had been a bit crazy and they were up late at night deciding how to manage the various requests. However, the boys were not at all concerned.
"They've just been watching Scooby Doo and going to kindy."
The Southland Times