Riding a bike for thirty miles uphill and around the city might seem like an overly strenuous activity to most people, but to junior Kenji Yoshimoto, it’s
the highlight of his day. Yoshimoto, 17, is already a sponsored
cyclist who has won multiple races.
After being inspired by his father, Yoshimoto started biking in sixth grade.
Since then, he has kept a strict routine. Excluding Mondays and Fridays, which
he calls “rest days,” Yoshimoto rides for thirty miles, a journey that takes
him only an hour and a half. On Saturdays and Sundays, Yoshimoto races
competitively, and recently placed first in the Men’s Junior Category in the
Red Trolley Classic race in San Diego.
“I like to go fast and take some risks. When I go out for a ride there isn’t
a time where I get bored.” Yoshimoto said.
Yoshimoto was once the co-captain of the DBHS Mountain Biking team, and was
involved with a club team for four years prior to being on the school team.
After the Mountain Biking team disbanded, he sent his resume to Team
Rokform, who evaluated his past races and qualifications. He was then accepted
and began biking in the junior development team. The team is sponsored by over
20 companies, such as Rokform and Specialized, who give products to the team in
exchange for advertising their products during races. Within his first year of
being with Team Rokform, Yoshimoto has received helmets, clothing, lights,
shoes, and even food.
“It’s fun to watch yourself improve through rides and races,” he said. “As you gain
experience, the more time you want to spend getting better to beat your competition and help your team
mates get up to the podium.”
During his weekday 30-mile biking routine, Yoshimoto often rides with his
father, who introduced him to the sport that is now their shared passion. His
father, who still competes, has been racing for years and has won several
“[Cycling] helps keep me focused on what I need to do….when I get home I
have my priorities straight and ready to go,” he said.
Training, competing, and riding takes up the majority of Yoshimoto’s time,
but he has no intention of slowing down. He is determined to continue
cycling, and wants to possibly make it a career. If that does not work out, he
wants to become a mechanical engineer.