Retirement on the Road – Biker Style< < Back to
It’s a breakfast of eggs and home fries for Tad Leasure at Bob Evans in Athens.
This is one of countless stops on his motorcycle trek across the lower 48 states.
“I never make a reservation, I just wing it," he said as he gets his morning nourishment.
I'm pulling a tent camper and I stop at state parks and things like that and camp for the evening and I just do my thing.”
This is Leasure’s retirement.
He’s from Independence, Kansas.
He’s 70 now – been riding around the country since 2005.
"I've got eight states to go, all in New England area, everything else I've done at least once. Out west I've done two or three times."
"I've been to California probably three times, I've been to Oregon and Washington up in that area."
"I've done everything in a car, I'm doing it on a motorcycle now. "
He says he covers around 400 miles a day staying mostly on less-traveled roads where possible.
"I come out of Philadelphia and I went through Maryland and out of Vermont."
"I come acorss route 50 since then and I did 439 miles yesterday of the twistiest roads, I don't know if you've ever traveled 50 east , it gets pretty intense."
With more miles on his Honda Gold Wing than many people put on their cars, you’d think he would have some scrapes and bruises – and he has put his bike down, but never at speed.
"Any number of times in parking lots, never on the road; it's a top heavvy bike. When you get my age they're just awful hard to hold up.:
"After you've drive for a week or two and this is the end of the day and you're tired you get weak and I've had several lay downs in the parking lot."
He used to ride with his wife but now she stays home
We met a couple from Florida. I was talking to him and he was pumped up and we had been out here for six week and I've got another four weeks to go and his wife’s over there talking to my wife and 'I wanna go home, I'm tired and I wish I was in my own bed.'"
He said she is probably happy to get rid of him during his long jaunts.
His finishes his breakfast and heads to the parking lot where the bike and trailer rig awaits.
The trailer holds his life while on the road.
A cooler sits near the front for quick refreshment.
He opens a saddlebag where he deposits his hat, dons his helmet and hoists himself onto a worn seat, a seat telling one story of the miles this senior citizen has logged.
He starts the bike but no throaty roar from this machine.
He says he doesn’t like loud bike pipes.
“Told you there wasn't going to be a lot of noise," he shouts from beneath his full-face helmet.
He makes it out of the Bob Evans parking lot without incident.
And he’s off.
He’ll be gone 400 miles when the day is done.