Ramos brothers top in the nation and the state
November 17, 2010 - Brothers Dominick and Andrew Ramos pedaled past their competitors and to the end of the track.
Both finished in third place in their respective age group against riders from all over the United States during the National NBL Grand Championship Race, Dominick for 12-year-olds and Andrew for 10-year-olds.
"I was excited," said Andrew, a student at Bailey Lake Elementary. "I got a good placement and it was my first year. I thought I would finish in sixth, seventh or eighth."
Dominick, a Sashabaw Middle School student, felt the same way.
Prior to their big finish the boys had only been racing bicycle motocross (BMX) for less than four months.
They had friends racing and wanted to try it to see if they liked it. They grabbed their bikes and began last May with the National Bicycle League.
"I liked it off the bat," said Andrew.
Dominick was instantly able to pick up on it and enjoyed jumping.
Andrew admitted it was hard to pick up some of the tricks at first. A few he remembered were balancing on the gate and pumping - when he goes over hills and doesn't peddle, but uses his body to make the bike move.
Luckily their friends taught them the tricks they needed to know.
"Their team is great," said mom, Jennifer. "They help each other. Everyone is very nice."
The boys started racing around Michigan and the country when Jennifer and her husband, Nicholas, noticed they were winning all their local races.
When it came to the national race they decided to give it a try during Labor Day weekend.
"It was three regular races," Andrew explained. "Then they take the top four from the races. You race against seven in your age group."
"You ride the fastest you can without falling," added Dominick. "The team told us what to expect - at least one person will beat you."
They finished third at the race at Louisville, Kentucky in front of thousands of fans and professional racers.
"We went for the experience without any exceptions," said Jennifer. "The boys raced for an emotional three straight days."
They continued their success in Michigan and took first place in every race at the Michigan NBL Championship Race in Midland during the last weekend in September.
"It is so extraordinary they did so well in so short of time," said Jennifer. "Some kids have been riding since four- or five-years-old and haven't done as well."
The boys race for J&C Racing Team, a national BMX racing team. They have local sponsors, like Cycle Therapy in Waterford, and national sponsors.
They both race the Michigan NBL #1 plate for their age group in the rookie level. They lead in points for the racing season.
They compete in the National NBL Christmas Classic Race and National NBL President's Cup Race, both in Columbus, Ohio over Christmas break.
They practice during the summer at the BMX track at Waterford Oaks County Park and indoor parks during the summer.
Andrew and Dominick also snowboard to keep active throughout the winter.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.