Just putting this out there: I hate the name of Tucson’s bicycle hash kennel, the Pedalfiles. One, it’s misspelled (although that may be intentional). Two, it repels outsiders (if there’s one thing no one jokes about, it’s sex with children). Three, it has an impact on membership, discouraging recruits who haven’t been exposed to hash humor (I’ve experienced this first hand, talking to bicyclists who see us on trail and ask what we’re doing).
When I tell people about bashing, I avoid telling them the name of our group. I wonder, do other members feel the same way?
Discuss if you wish; comments are open.
Where does “On On” come from? Who knows? The only thing I’m fairly certain of is that it didn’t come from hashing.
A few years ago I got into an argument with another hasher. He insisted it was a hasher who first came up with the “Drinking Club with a Running Problem” motto, sometime in the 1970s. I said I didn’t think so, because if you Google “drinking club with a ______ problem” you’ll find drinking clubs with mountain climbing problems, drinking clubs with bicycling problems, drinking clubs with yachting problems, and so on.
The earliest documented use I’ve found dates back to 1946. “A Drinking Club with a Motorcycle Problem” appears on the patch of an early outlaw motorcycle club, the Boozefighters MC (the bikers who raised hell in Hollister, California in 1947, inspiring the 1953 Marlon Brando movie The Wild One). If you can find a quote from G or Torch Bennett or Horse Thomson where they used the motto in the late 1930s or early 1940s, I’ll reconsider. But as far as I know we never called ourselves a drinking club with a running problem before the 1970s.
The other day, after I wrote about Hash Haven, the online support group for hashers dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts, members there had a long debate about what many of them see as a hurtful, politically incorrect, and exclusionary motto used by some hash kennels: “No Poofters.” That never originated in the hash; it came from the 1970 Monty Python Bruces sketch. In the heyday of Monty Python, a lot of hashers thought the no poofters refrain was funny, and somehow it morphed into an unofficial motto.
How about “Rule Number One Is There Are No Rules”? It’s possible a hasher first said it, but if you Google it you’ll find it’s a widely used phrase. Thomas Edison allegedly said something similar in 1903: “Hell, there are no rules here. We’re trying to accomplish something.”
Okay, back to “On On.” This morning Chippendale sent me some information on the Royal Air Force’s 272 Squadron, which flew anti-submarine patrols from Scotland in WWI and long range shipping escort missions in the Mediterranean during WWII, and whose motto was … well, you’ll never guess:
The plaques and patches I looked up all say On On, but the linked history of the squadron says it was actually On, On! (with an exclamation point, which is how many hashers say it as well). Looking at the symbol of the armored knight, I can’t help wondering if the phrase dates back even farther … possibly even to the Crusades?
There’s no point to any of this, other than to say that the hash knows a good thing when it sees it and isn’t ashamed to borrow when necessary. On, On!
’Twas the night before Hashmas, and all through the land,
Hashers were stirring, the trail would be grand;
Their hash bags were stuffed in the B-Van with care,
In hopes our Grand Master soon would be there.
The harriettes were wrapped all snug in their sweats,
Speaking, as usual, like they all had Tourette’s;
And the wife in her Spandex, and I in my tux,
Were up for a trail, no matter how fucked.
When from the next lot there arose such a clatter,
We ran for the fence to see what was the matter,
Over barbed wire we hopped in a flash,
Ripped our shorts as we did–what the hell, it’s a hash.
The full moon shone down on a ragged tent city,
Inhabited by homeless, on whom we took pity,
When what to our wondering eyes should be there,
But our Grand Master–and dressed as a hare!
With a great big beer belly, and a tankard of lager,
I feared the GM would soon lead us to slaughter;
More rapid than bad news his co-hares they came,
And he guzzled, and belched, and called them by name:
“Now Magic! now, ZiPpY! now, Papoose and The Wolf!
On, Wilma! on, Groper!, on Bus Job and Psycho!
Through the worst of the shiggy, through valley and dale,
Now, hare away, hare away, lay us a trail!”
As after long circles dry heaves we do retch,
The hares sprinted off with nary a stretch,
And into the woods with their flour they flew,
While we sang Father Abraham, and Wanking Day too.
And then of a sudden, headlights loomed in the dark,
The pack watched in silence as an old Yugo did park;
Then from this rust-bucket there sprang with a hail,
Our Religious Advisor–who we thought was in jail.
He was dressed in hash rags from his head to his crotch,
And his clothes were all stained with drool and scotch,
His mouth it hung open in a great gaping leer,
And all four of his chins did glisten with beer.
A well-worn hash whistle he held tight in his teeth,
And his BO encircled the pack like a wreath;
Our long-missing Hash Shit he did clutch in his hand,
He looked like a refugee from some war-torn land.
His eyes, how bloodshot! His nostrils, how hairy!
His cheeks were all stubbled, like Yassur’s, how very;
His nose was all runny and his stomach did sag,
The way it rolled over his shorts, even Vax Headroom did gag.
He was a homeless camp reject, a man of no status,
Tooth Fairy did laugh while Zippity passed flatus;
And the droop of his eye, and the point of his head,
Soon gave us to know we had reason to dread.
He said not a word, but went straight to the tap,
And filled up his mug, the free-loading sap;
Then putting his thumb up one side of his nose,
Blew a great wad of snot, which he wiped on his clothes.
He took off down the trail, leaving us stunned,
It was hard to believe such a fat fuck could run;
But we heard him exclaim as he faded from sight,
“Happy Hashmas, dear harriers, and to all a good night!”
- Flying Booger dedicates A Visit from St. Gispert to all departed hashers.
Bimbo by Day & Casual Friday
One Sunday in October 2006 founders and Grand Mattresses for Life Bimbo by Day and Casual Friday hared the first bicycle hash in Tucson, Arizona. They decided to make the bash a monthly event with road bike friendly trails so that any hasher with a bicycle could participate. A few bashes later we named our new kennel the Pedalfiles Bicycle Hash House Harriers.
A few years ago Casual Friday moved to Tampa and Bimbo by Day went home to San Diego. Redheaded Woodpecker stepped in as GM in their absence, but then he moved away too, leaving your humble scribe to keep the bash going. Some of our bashes drew huge packs. Some were small. Once or twice, a hare dropped out at the last minute, but we almost always managed to find a last-minute substitute. We chugged along.
Two months ago Bimbo by Day called to remind me it had been almost ten years, and offered to fly back to Tucson to hare the OnOniversary bash in October. She called Casual Friday in Florida and talked her into coming too (it wasn’t hard convincing her). I consulted southern Arizona hash calendars and helped them pick a date, Sunday the 9th of October, and since neither one of them would have much time to practice, offered to scout potential trails ahead of time. Good thing, too, because the day before her flight Bimbo had a family emergency and couldn’t come after all, and I had to take her place. When Casual Friday and I took off Sunday morning, thank G, at least one of us knew the trail!
Flying Booger & Casual Friday scouting trail
A big pack assembled at Shooter’s Steakhouse & Saloon, a favorite Pedalfiles hangout, at 10 AM on Sunday. After Arthur Gash blessed Casual Friday and me and sent us forth to mark trail, the pack rode after us in pursuit. We took them through Winterhaven, then south and west on mostly quiet residential streets and looped them behind the University Medical Center. Casual Friday, doing what she does best, laid a couple of long checkbacks to sow confusion and slow down the fast riders. The beer check was at another favorite hash hangout, the infamous Meet Rack.
The pack arriving at the Meet Rack
The hares with God, proprietor of the Meet Rack
When I scouted trail the door to the Meet Rack was open and I walked inside to ask the owner if he’d mind a bunch of bicycle hashers coming in Sunday morning around 11:30. The owner, a legendary local figure known as God, said bring it on, and I didn’t learn until later that he normally doesn’t open on Sundays until 6 PM. He did us a solid, opening up early for us, so all hail God!
Later that night Burning Bush and Pick’n'Flick told me God gave them a special tour of the Meet Rack’s S&M sex den, which is normally kept locked up. Damn, how’d I miss that? And damn, I’m glad our granddaughter Savvy Navigator on Trail, who came all the way from Las Vegas for the bash, missed it too!
For the on-in leg, Casual and I led the pack back north on 4th Avenue and Mountain Avenue to the Rillito bikeway and another checkback to St. Philip’s Plaza, then back to Shooter’s. Trail was 13 miles long, unless you fell for the checkbacks, in which case it was a good bit longer. At Shooter’s, we grabbed some tables on the patio and settled in for an OnOniversary celebration circle.
On-afters at Shooter’s (and that’s not even all of us, because some left early and some are in the bar)
At the circle, I passed the torch to Arthur Gash, the Pedalfiles’ new GM. We honored Bimbo by Day in her absence and toasted Casual Friday, our guest hare and esteemed founder. We took photos to send to Bimbo, hoping she had wi-fi on her flight back to San Diego and would be able to see them on her cell phone while we were still at Shooter’s (she did, I was later told, and loved that we had such a huge turnout for the 10th OnOniversary). Thanks to everyone who came out for this special bash, especially the visiting bashers from Sierra Vista and Phoenix. We love your support, and hope you keep on visiting us!
Death Pole 2016
Over the Pedalfiles’ first three years, we hurt a few bashers, some severely, all memorably: Kiwi Herman, Plush Toy, Dirty Sanchez, and Deep Dish. All four had to go to the hospital, two of them literally in ambulances. Those were tough times, not just for the injured but for Bimbo by Day and Casual Friday too, who wondered what we were doing wrong and tried to come up with some rules of thumb (yes, I know, there are no rules yadda yadda) to make our trails less dangerous.
They did and the bash got its act together: over the past seven years we haven’t had a single casualty. But on Sunday two bashers went down: Splat and Barbecue Cock. Splat put his foot down but there was no ground beneath it and over he went, no big deal; Barbecue Cock came off somewhat worse. She glanced at some children playing alongside the trail and rode smack into this pole, hurting herself pretty good, but she was game for on-afters (that’s Barbecue Cock in the group photo above, wearing orange & black). You gotta respect that. Well, at least we didn’t have to call 911!
So here’s to the Pedalfiles Bash, we’re true blue, we are bashers, through and through, we are pisspots, so they say, tried to go to heaven but went the other way! Here’s to all our regular bashers, all our once-in-a-while bashers, all our visiting bashers, and all the virgin bashers who have yet to try their first bicycle hash. Here’s to our hares, especially them! Here’s to our sainted founders and GMs for Life Bimbo by Day and Casual Friday! Here’s to our new GM, Arthur Gash! And here’s to another ten years—the countdown’s started for our 20th OnOniversary!
Our scheduled hare, who scouted trail and even set up a special Facebook page for the bash, broke his bike the day before and had to ask Arthur Gash & You Gotta Fuck Me to Find Out to step in and lay trail. They did, using his original start location at Menlo Park on the west side but inventing their own trail. Gash & Fuck Me literally saved the day! Good thing, because bashers came from all over: Tucson, Sierra Vista, and even Phoenix. Here’s part of the pack at the start, just before the hares left:
Start at Menlo Park
After the hares left, at least that many more bashers showed up, including a few virgins. I didn’t get around to taking names … no way I could remember everyone … but there were more than 30 of us on trail!
Trail, starting at the foot Tumamoc as it did, didn’t go straight uphill but was instead flat and easy, and in no time at all we were in a shady alley behind the Dragoon Brewery at what I first thought was an old-school beer check, the kind where you hide a cooler of beer in a ditch and hope no one finds it before the pack gets there. Later I noticed the hares were mingling with the pack at the beer check, so maybe the cooler wasn’t hidden beforehand … but still, the vibe was old school and very very nice:
Beer check # 1
The second leg of the trail took us back south and eventually into downtown Tucson. There was a second beer check, this time behind the train station on the patio of Maynard’s … again, nice and shady. And I mean shady in a good way, with trees overhead. Did I mention it was a lovely cool morning, the first we’ve had since June? Perfect bashing conditions!
The third leg of trail took us back to the start at Menlo Park. Your scribe had to leave for home, so I can’t tell you what happened at on-afters, but I’m sure they were outstanding and that good times were had by all.
Here’s to the hares for pulling one out at the last minute, and here’s to all the bashers who rode Sunday.
Bimbo by Day & Casual Friday, Grand Mattresses
The Pedalfiles Bicycle Hash House Harrier club was founded in October 2006 by Grand Mattresses for Life Bimbo by Day and Casual Friday. Our 10th OnOniversary Bash is 10 AM on Sunday, October the 9th. Bimbo and Casual are flying in from San Diego and Tampa to hare this special bash, which will start at our first-ever bash house, Shooter’s Steakhouse. Details are posted on our Facebook page, and if you’re on our email list you’ll get messages as well.
Your scribe Flying Booger has been part of Pedalfiles mismanagement since the beginning, and has been more or less (mostly less) in charge since the first two GMs, and later GM #3, Redheaded Woodpecker, moved away. At the 10th OnOniversary Bash in October he’ll hand mismanagement over to Arthur Gash and You Gotta Fuck Me, who in his humble opinion and that of our previous GMs, will be perfect for the job.
See you all on October the 9th!
Sunday’s Pedalfiles Bash started outside the Thunder Canyon Brewery at Foothills Mall, hared by Bumper Shaft, Just Jason, and People’s Cunt. Here are a few of us at the start: Flying Booger, Subatomic Equipment, Eff Me, Arthur Gash, Master Meat Finder, Sister Act, Just Darci, and PIMA.
Trail started out with a long downhill, followed by a long & steep uphill, then another uphill slog, but I guess that’s why they call it the Catalina Foothills, so we sucked it up and kept pedaling, all the way to Beer Check #1 at the hares’ house, where Just Jason entertained us with trick bicycle riding on his cool backyard ramp.
The second section of trail led us back downhill to Ina & Oldfather Roads, then into an industrial park for Beer Check #2 at the Catalina Brewing Company, a bicycle-friendly brewery where they let us park our bicycles inside.
Section three was a long slow uphill back to the start on Ina Road, and since People’s Cunt was offering rides back to the start from the brewery, I took her up on it. I was done with hills, but everyone else elected to finish trail on their bikes.
On-afters were at Thunder Canyon, and a good time was had by all. Thanks to the hares for an excellent trail!
Next month’s Pedalfiles will be on Sunday, September 25th, hared by Just Brett. Who knows, perhaps he’ll earn a hash name!
Don’t forget our 10th On-Oniversary, coming up on Sunday, October 9th. Pedalfiles founders and Grand Mattresses for Life Bimbo by Day and Casual Friday are joining us for this grand celebration, so save the date on your calendar!
A hasher named Chef Boy R Dum from Southern Pines H3 in North Carolina wrote up a public service announcement for new hashers, explaining the spirit and “rules” of hashing. Rules in quotes, of course, because Rule One is There Are No Rules. And yet here’s a PSA full of them.
Another hasher, Black Snake Chicken Chugger from the Oklahoma City Wild Wild West H3, made this nice poster out of Chef’s PSA. Don’t worry that it’s too small to read … click on it and you’ll see the large version, easy on the eyes and suitable for framing.
You probably think I’m poking fun, but I’m not. I agree with most everything on the list. Don’t fuck your buddies. Hare once every ten hashes. Treat the opposite sex with respect. Expand your hashing horizon with road trips. Don’t drink and drive.
But really, it’s stuff we all know, even newbies. None of it’s rocket science. So why a PSA?
My informant tells me Chef Boy R Dum wrote it after the American hashing community was rocked by two recent rape attempts. Well, that’s not new either. Last year, after a red dress run, some DC harriettes said someone at the hash put roofies in their beer. Over the past 20 years we’ve heard multiple stories of attempted rapes at hash campouts and on-after parties. Word always spreads throughout the hash community … back in the day on hash-l, today on Facebook and Reddit … and every time it happens we earnestly express our shock and try to explain to newbies that the hash is not a sex club. This PSA isn’t the first: DCH3 mismanagement put out a similar one after the roofie incident.
Here’s another line from the new PSA: “Promiscuity is the rule not the exception.” The author doesn’t just say it once, he says it twice, kind of implying that hashing actually is a sex club, so deal with it. You can argue, and some have, that the attitude toward sex conveyed by this statement testifies to American hashing’s descent into frat boy culture, subject of many a rant I’ve written over the years.
I’m not going to beat that horse again, but here are some additional thoughts:
I still think it’s important to educate outsiders before bringing them to a hash. The first time I heard about hashing, it was presented to me as a healthy activity, a hare & hounds cross-country run with beer and camaraderie afterward. That sounded like fun, so I went. Almost 30 years down the road, that’s how I still think of hashing. That’s how I tried to portray hashing on my original website, the Half-Mind Catalog. That’s how I try to portray it today on this little blog. That’s how I describe it to outsiders, on the rare occasions I try to bring in new blood. I firmly believe that if you give outsiders the message that the hash is a drinking and sex club, you’re going to recruit an element you may later decide is more trouble than it’s worth.
Having said that, I think misbehaving newbies are less of a problem than long-time hashers. The attempted rapes I know of? All committed by experienced hashers, and I suspect the roofie incident at the DC RDR (if it actually happened … it was never proven, I’m told) was too. The Tucson jHavelina hasher I helped kick out of the kennel for habitually feeling up and forcing himself on harriettes at on-afters? He wasn’t just a senior hasher, he was the fucking founder of the kennel. The Okinawa hasher who tried to rape a passed out hasher at a drunken off-base post-trail party the week I left Japan for Hawaii? I knew him well. I’d hashed with him for two years. The adulterous couple from the Osan Bulgogi Hash … he a married officer, she a married NCO … who damn near got hashing outlawed by the military in Korea? Seasoned hashers. And not just sex: hashers have been exiled for starting fights at the circle (one of them, right here in my own town, punched a harriette in the face and knocked her down), others for waving pistols around and making threats. Every one of them a named hasher.
And every one of them was drunk at the time. Sex and fighting and all that other shit is a symptom. The underlying problem is drinking too much. So here’s a PSA for you: quit drinking so fucking much and doing stupid things. Quit trying to turn hashing into a frat party.
I realize that as a non-drinker, I’ve lost some hashing cred with you all. But I did drink, and once I started hashing I gradually came to drink even more. Many hashers my age have been down the same path. Some, like me, have stopped drinking entirely. Many others have cut back. They’ve seen how too much drinking, and too much emphasis on drinking, hurts the hash, and they don’t like it any more than I do.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not anti-drinking. Hashing and beer are the two legs we stand on. When I was recruited beer was part of the sales pitch, but what sold me was the idea that hashing is a healthy outdoor activity. So long as the drinking that goes with hashing is seen as a social activity, something you do to unwind after a tough trail, great. That’s how it mostly was at the first hashes I went to. That’s mostly how it still is. But there are an increasing number of exceptions: hashes where circles get more emphasis than trails, hash events where drinking and drinking-related shenanigans are the primary draw, hashers who turn out primarily to drink. I don’t know how to put that cork back in the bottle. I don’t think anyone does.
If your hash is tipping over into frat party territory, what can you do? Simple things, really. Do more A to A trails (so hashers aren’t stuck at the circle, miles from their cars, with nothing to do but drink until the B-van starts giving rides back to the start). Have more food and snacks on hand at the end. Keep the circle short and get the pack moving to on-afters rather than hanging around trying to float the keg. Don’t let the frat boy wannabes … and there are a few in every kennel … take over.
More and more, when I mention I’m a hasher, people give me side-eye. They’ve heard of hashing and they don’t like what they’ve heard. I look around and see beer running clubs popping up everywhere. What’s the pitch? You get together for a nice run with friends (or people who soon will become friends), a good healthy way to unwind after work, and then you visit a pub for a couple of beers and some camaraderie. Hey, I like the sound of that! So, probably, do you. It sounds like hashing, at least how hashing was when I first heard of it. And really, it sounds like what hashing still is to many of us, in spite of the reputation we’ve given ourselves.
Don’t forget to pass everything that’s on the table! That is Rule #8, and it’s a good one.
Last Saturday the On-On Gourmets met at the home of Magret de Canard for an evening of preparing and enjoying Middle Eastern cuisine. The menu consisted of the following dishes: an appetizer of Rubyan Meshwi (Emirati Grilled Prawns), Baba Ganoush, Middle Eastern vegetable salad, a main dish of Lubya Khadra Billahma (lamb w/green string beans), and baclava for dessert.
Apart from the lamb, which Ditalini cooked at home beforehand, we all participated in making the other dishes. Magret was in charge of the vegetable salad (for which I cut up feta cheese and harvested basil from a neighbor’s herb garden); Manzo & Anitra did most of the work on the shrimp and the Baba Ganoush, and our newest member Hermana Gazpacho helped with the dicing and slicing, and brought the baclava.
L to R: Manzo, Ditalini, Hermana, Anitra, Magret
A most excellent mean ensued, except no one got any Baba Ganoush until the plates were cleared, when Magret remembered we were supposed to have had some and the untouched bowl was discovered sitting in front of Ditalini, hence Rule #8, a very important Rule indeed.
Lubya Khadra Billahma with rice
So we had two desserts, the Baba Ganoush and the baclava, and everything was right with the world. After dinner we played a board game while we discussed our next evening together. Because of this, that, and the other we can’t get together until mid-October, when we’ll all prepare recipes from the Pioneer Woman.
Vegetable salad & Arabian flatbread