Leod Escapes is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. We specialize in International tours with “Track Time”. That means sport touring the best curvy roads for week and riding a proper sport bike on a famous race course. Leod Escapes pioneered the concept of “Track & Tour” and each year we seek to add a new destination to keeps things fresh and exciting. Since we are located in the best place for motorcycle sport touring the USA we also do GPS self guided and custom tours in Northern California.
Who comes on a Leod Escapes Tour?
Our tours bring together groups of like minded riders. They have intermediate to advanced track riding skills. On street they are safe and smooth but naturally quicker than your average tour. They are all interested what’s authentic in a destination rather than tourist traps. These riders want good food and comfortable but not overly fancy accommodations. Most important our clients don’t want a pleasant vacation, they want an exhilarating escape with a touch of adventure. As we say proudly “Life as it Should be Ridden”
Why Track Time on a famous Race Track?
If you are a fan of MotoGP or WSBK racing the answer is obvious. Once you have ridden a track yourself, you will never watch a race the same way again. This is a chance to ride where your heroes ride and gives you fresh appreciation for their incredible skill. Track day riders know there’s nothing like riding a race track. It is completely different than riding on the street, yet it makes you a better street rider. There’s another important reason. There’s nothing more authentic than a track day. No matter where you are in the world your track day brothers and sisters are there ready to welcome you as one their own.
How did Leod Escapes begin?
After working for decades in both the motorcycle industry and the travel industry Cat MacLeod wanted to create motorcycle riding experience that more closely resembled the style of organized industry rides rather than standard motorcycle tourism. This means a tour more focused on the route and the authenticity of the experience rather than on touristy type things. You ride where the local riders go, you eat where local riders would take their visiting friends. This creates an experience of waves of exhilaration and joy rather than a safe steady steam of bland pleasantness. It also means you return home with an accurate understanding of the place you’ve visited. You’ve escaped your day to day world, left your mild mannered alter ego at home, and reconnected with the reason we all ride. That’s why the company is not called Leod “Tours” but Leod “Escapes”.
How did the idea of of tours with track time start?
Years ago looking out from a pit wall at a little race track called Groß Dölln in Germany we had a crazy idea. Motorcyclists are the same the world over and there’s nothing more authentic than a track day. What if we combined a motorcycle tour with track time in an international destination. What if we gave riders the opportunity to not only experience the great roads of a place far from home, but then let them ride a proper sport bike on a famous MotoGP or WSBK track. So it all began with a tour to ride the Italian Alps and then track time on Germany’s Sachsening. Founder Cat MacLeod comments ,“That first Track & Tour was the best tour we’ve ever run and the worst tour we’ve ever run. Some things were a complete disaster and we learned a hell of a lot but the clients didn’t care, they absolutely loved it. We still run that tour ever year and it’s still our most intense”
If I come on a tour with track time what is the pace like?
On our track and tour escapes you’ll be riding with fellow track riders. Track riders are much more up for an adventure of thrills and discovery rather than well manicured amusement. Someone who’s been pushing it a little harder in turn 5 back home isn’t going to be intimidated by a menu that isn’t in their native language. Track riders are also experienced riders but that does not mean they are speed demons on the street. Our typical pace on the tour part of a “Track & Tour” is certainly faster than your average motorcycle tour but not reckless. Riders with track experience are typically smoother on the street. Skills levels range from intermediate rider to professional race champion and we make accommodations so that everyone can ride at a pace they are comfortable with. Once we get to the track, riders are grouped to their skill level and often change once they are familiar with the track.
What is Leod Escapes attitude to food?
Food on a trip is important. A bland boring meal in a strange place can make you wish you never left home, while a fantastic meal can make your whole day. Leod Escapes main offices are in the San Francisco bay area, a local famous for being the home of food snobs. Food on your trip is part of the adventure. This is why we often do not include lunches and dinners. We want you to feel free to experience the flavors of the destination rather than be locked into a boring catered meal.
What is Leod Escapes philosophy on hotels?
Leod Escapes wants you to feel happy you left home. Accommodations are selected based on their location and their amenities. Typically these range from 3 and 4 star rooms with a focus on luxuries you can feel rather than fancy decor. We also want you to get a feel for the place you have come to visit. You will be staying in places that a savvy local would recommend rather than boring chain hotels.