by Robert Edison Fulton, Jr.
Whitehorse Press, 1937 and 1996
by Victor Wanchena
There are many reasons why people ride around the world. For some it’s the culmination of a lifetime of planning. For others it’s an escape from the doldrums of everyday life. For Robert Fulton it was because he said too much at a dinner party in London. His 18-month trip through 22 countries became a book, One Man Caravan. Originally published in 1937, One Man Caravan won glowing reviews from the New York Times and went through three editions in only two years. It has now been republished by the Whitehorse Press in paperback.
With a new Douglas twin customized with an extra fuel tank, some luggage, and movie camera with 40,000 feet of film, Robert set off heading east from London. His father’s suggestion to broaden his horizons was still echoing in his head. He was, fortunately, unaware of all that lay ahead of him.
Robert’s tale is a wonderful look at the world of 1932 and his adventures while riding his Douglas twin. He recounts falling off an unfinished bridge in Turkey, encounters with bandits in Waziristan and having to carry his bike over the Afghanistan border. He relates not only the sights, sounds, and mishaps but also the broad spectrum of people he encountered like the usual government officials, a generous old Turk with a great love of backgammon and the 33 motorcyclists who escorted him across Japan. Throughout his writings is a sense Robert’s courage and many varied talents.
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. It is currently available from the Whitehorse Press at 1-800-531-1133.