Anchorage Dirt Bike Rider Heads South for Worldwide Competition
Chad Yoshitomi will ride his dirt bike more than 1,200 miles in South America
ANCHORAGE - Since graduating from East High in 1982, Chad Yoshitomi has spent many days with his head under the hood.
He’s worked as a mechanic at Fats Automotive Parts on International Airport Road for more than 20 years.
"A lot of people want we to work on motorcycles, but everybody wants me to work on them during the summer when I want to ride, so that's why I work on cars,” said Yoshitomi.
Yoshitomi moved to Anchorage from Seattle in 1974 and says, when he first arrived, development was so minimal that he could ride his dirt bike all through town on the shoulders of the road.
Riding is Yoshitomi's passion -- and it’s one that’s going to take him to the other side of the equator.
Last month, the dual sport motorcycle rider competed in Utah, navigating through tight obstacles as part of the West Coast qualifying event for GS Trophy South America.
The 48-year-old scored himself one of the three spots on Team USA.
“This is a dream come true; I've never been out of the country except for Canada,” said Yoshitomi before practice at Kincaid Park on Thursday.
GS Trophy combines on and off road challenges covering more than 1200 miles starting in Chile in November.
BMW puts on the event for 50 riders from around the world to demonstrate team spirit, fitness, tenacity and riding skills over six days.
In preparation, Yoshitomi just bought a 2013 R1200 GS Adventure.
“Its got 50 miles on it, and today we are going to see if we can get her dirty and not dump it over,” said Yoshitomi at Kincaid.
Yoshitomi says he feels fortunate to be able compete and travel, especially when he's doing the one thing that he enjoys most.