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  #1  
Old 31 Aug 2006
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The first motorbike circumnavigation?

Hi everyone,

In 1951 a family friend of mine, Tim Hamilton-Fletcher, and his friend John Lennox Cook, motorcycled around the world. They covered about 35000 miles and John later wrote a book about the trip called "The World Before Us":

http://www.amazon.com/world-before-John-Lennox-Cook/dp/B0007J73QI/sr=8-1/qid=1157029578/ref=sr_1_1/102-9461989-9490568?ie=UTF8

Tim is now quite old and we were reminiscing about bike trips the other day and he asked if i could find out whether they were the first people to circumnavigate the globe by motorcycle.

If anyone has any information about this trip or knows anyone who could confirm the above, or let me know any resources that would have more information it would be VERY grateful. I'd like, if possible, to show Tim that his trip is still remembered by motorcyclists today - it would make him very happy.

Thanks! Will.
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  #2  
Old 31 Aug 2006
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Hi Will,
An American named Robert Fulton Jr. did a RTW back in 1932 on
a Douglas motorcycle. I've read the book he wrote about it called
"One Man Caravan". No idea if he was the first or not.

The blurbs below say he did 17 countries and a bunch of miles.
Don't know if he actually "circumnavigated" the world or not but its
a pretty good tale anyway, check it out.

I would go to Whitehorse Press and try to get them to re-publish
your friends book. These types of titles seem to do well these days so maybe
the Whitehorse folks could help getting the book back out there?

Hell, I'll buy it!!

See below links for Fulton info.

http://www.motolit.com/onemancariby.html

http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/1884313051


Best,
Patrick
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  #3  
Old 2 Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedge3000
Hi everyone,

In 1951 a family friend of mine, Tim Hamilton-Fletcher, and his friend John Lennox Cook, motorcycled around the world. They covered about 35000 miles and John later wrote a book about the trip called "The World Before Us":

http://www.amazon.com/world-before-John-Lennox-Cook/dp/B0007J73QI/sr=8-1/qid=1157029578/ref=sr_1_1/102-9461989-9490568?ie=UTF8

Tim is now quite old and we were reminiscing about bike trips the other day and he asked if i could find out whether they were the first people to circumnavigate the globe by motorcycle.

If anyone has any information about this trip or knows anyone who could confirm the above, or let me know any resources that would have more information it would be VERY grateful. I'd like, if possible, to show Tim that his trip is still remembered by motorcyclists today - it would make him very happy.

Thanks! Will.
I had found this thread which I posted on HU which your friend might be interested to read and see the photos from the early 50's. The people in the photos rode around the US state of Colorado as opposed to RTW, but its amazing seeing what people could do on old Harleys (and even some old British bikes are shown in the photos). Mollydog had seen the thread elsewhere before I posted it on HU a month or so ago.

By the way, what kind of bikes did Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Cook ride on their trip?

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...consider-22542
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  #4  
Old 3 Sep 2006
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There's a little controversy on who was first, but to the best of my knowledge it was Carl 'Stearns' Clancy - he started the trip with his buddy Walter Storey. They were both on Henderson's. 1913-1914.

Robert Fulton did RTW in 1932-33.

And there have been hundreds, and probably thousands, who have done it since, sorry!

But your friend was certainly an early pioneer - at that time, not very many had done it. And in many ways it was a lot harder then, so my hats off to him!

Too bad his book isn't currently available! I'd love to have a copy myself. With the growing interest in RTW travel, it may be worth while to republish it. Fulton's book is selling well, and Danny Liska's has recently come available again. See our Books pages for those and many more.

And he's welcome to come to one of our Travellers Meetings if there is one close enough, we'd love to have him as a guest.
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  #5  
Old 4 Sep 2006
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Thanks Folks for the comprehensive replies. It's really good to find out a bit more about the history - I’ve on read Ted Simon's and Jim Rogers' books so all the pointers are really interesting and helpful. Tim will be very appreciative also. When we last spoke he mentioned he did the trip on a 500, but I’ve just managed to source the book from a US seconds website so I’ll be able to confirm that once I’ve read it.

I have also received some great info from a chap called Bernt Tesch in Germany who I am sure you folks have heard of. He mentioned he might like to interview Tim for his records which may be a good idea as Tim is getting on a bit now.

I'm amazed at the pictures of the Harley trip through Colorado - those guys must have lost half their body weight in sweat every day! Next Saturday I fly to San Francisco for my first US (and Harley) ride so I’ll probably be even more amazed after that.

Thanks again for the pointers. I've attached some pics of past trips if you're interested. I'm also planning a 4 month trip across South America in late 2007. Once I’ve put the research together for Tim, I’ll post it here as well.

All the best, Will.

http://www.willedge.com/galleries/biking/index.htm
http://www.willedge.com/galleries/norway/index.htm
http://www.willedge.com/galleries/iberia/index.htm
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  #6  
Old 31 Oct 2006
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Not a motorbike but on two wheels.. hope it's forgiveable.. this poster hangs in the city museum within the Peter & Paul Fortress in St Petersburg:

http://static.flickr.com/102/284481173_10c242b102_b.jpg

The blurb beside it, in English rather than Cyrillic, confirms this is

"World record-holder A.P.Pankratov
Anisim Petrovich Pankratov (1889-1916)"
who rode that route RTW in 1911-13.

I've Googled him to no avail. Anyone know anything about him?
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  #7  
Old 3 Nov 2006
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Digressing a little from original thread

Here is a book I read recently about what maybe the first circumnavigation of Australia "Around Australia The Hard Way In 1929" by Jack L. Bowers, First published in 1995 and reprinted in 1996 by Kangaroo Press Pty Ltd Sydney.

It describes how two men in a home built sidecar on an FD Magneto model Harley do the anticlockwise loop, long before there were constructed roads. Seven weeks and 15000km later they completed the journey.

A little about the book
http://www.bevenyoung.com.au/prdt1311.htm

It looks like there was an anniversary ride in '04 http://www.members.optushome.com.au/...lair/index.htm

It's amazing what you can dig up!
Glen
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  #8  
Old 13 Apr 2011
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hi. this is a late response, but possibly of interest. johnny cook was my godfather, so i have a copy of the book. my father, tom cruickshanks, was supposed to go on the trip, but my birth in nov 1951 stopped this plan; and i believe your friend went instead. my father was teaching alongside johnny at a prep school at the time.
my father is now 90 years old and in poor health, but his memory is good.
i dont think he has ever forgiven me for stymying his opportunity to take part in an historic adventure: much more of a feat than we can perhaps appreciate these days. he would not of been my first choice of a companion, for although an outstanding athlete, he has never known one end of a spanner from tother.
i must dig out my copy of thebook
regards gordon
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