This adventurous work records Robert Edison Fulton's solo round-the-world tour on a two-cylinder Douglas motorcycle between July, 1932 and December, 1933. First published in 1937.
"For anyone who's thought about riding around the world, but who might've been put off by the thought of inconveniences brought on by war and national rivalries, Fulton's book might just convince you that it's possible, after all. And if the words aren't enough, there are 68 photographs to provide additional inspiration. The world is a very interesting place, indeed, and even more so from the seat of a motorcycle." City Bike Magazine -- City Bike Magazine
"My own favorite kind of read is a good story about someone taking a bike somewhere where the road is difficult, and the county strange. A granddaddy of this genre is One Man Caravan, by Robert Edison Fulton, the superbly told tale of a young Connecticut Yankee circling the globe on a Douglas flat twin back in the early 1930s. That's when having an adventure was having an adventure, and there was no phone system to allow you to contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, let alone call home. . ." -- Rider, February 1998
"One Man Caravan is a 'good read' " -- BMW Owners News, February 1998
"One Man Caravan is a fascinating adventure story which tells of a modern Renaissance man who, with an enormous appetite for life, did not stop at dreams. It's an inspiring read." -- Keystone Motorcycle Press, August 1996
"One Man Caravan will leave readers spellbound by the exploits of Renaissance man Robert Fulton, who explored the world his own way - on two wheels and a prayer." -- CC Motorcycle News Magazine, August 1996
"This is a story without compare...." -- Rpm Magazine
"This is not, strictly speaking, a motorcycle book. . . This is enough of a motorcycle book to entertain anyone interested in motorcycle touring, but it's much more than that. It's a fascinating historical chronicle that can be enjoyed by motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike." -- Motorcyclist, June 1998
"Filled with many photos, maps, and charts, One Man Caravan is written in an uncomplicated style by a man who describes motorcycling as the closest thing to being a cowboy in this mechanized age. It is a classic, and still entertaining more than sixty years later." -- Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, June 1998
A "superbly told tale of a young Connecticut Yankee circling the globe . . . when having an adventure was having an adventure, and there was no phone system to allow you to contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, let alone call home." -- Rider
In 1932, a young man of maybe limited resources, but unlimited resourcefulness and "chutzpah", saddles up his motorcycle and travels around the world in 18 months. En route, he encounters exotic locals and locales, battles bad roads, breakdowns, injuries, officials and wanders into hot zones of civil wars - such as the British fighting some rebels in fictitiously-sounding Baluchistan.
This would be quite typical travel adventure fare, except that it really happened. The author is Robert Fulton (later known to Cold War afficionados as the inventor of CIA/Navy Skyhook recovery system), grandson of steam-ship builder Fulton. In 1996 (re-publication time of the book) he was alive and riding his motorcycle at age of 87.
Well-written and spell-binding, particularly in light of its authenticity.
One vignette. He is out of food in the middle of a desert. An Arab shows up and, as was the custom, shares exactly half of his food. Then he disappears inside of his closeby hut. Looking inside, Robert sees him setting up a homemade backgammon board. The Arab beckons him in and begs with his eyes--do you play?? They played all night and he gets trounced by his new friend.
As I was reading about his trip from Damascus to Baghdad, our troops were attacking Iraq. I thought that this young man's journey simply could not be made today. The world, despite the technological advances in communications and plane travel, is not a safer place for the American adventurer.
Get this book! You will not be able to put it down.