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Pedalfiles Bash Trash: 8/21/16

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.

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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.

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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!

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Time for Another PSA?

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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.

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Eighth Rule of Cooking Club (On-On Gourmet Hash House Harriers)

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.

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Rubyan Meshwi

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.

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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.

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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.

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Vegetable salad & Arabian flatbread

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Pedalfiles Bash Trash: 7/17/16

My apologies for being late with the trash. NO EXCUSE SIR!

For a hot and humid summer morning, an amazing turnout: The Other White Meat from Sierra Vista, newish members Tonka & Pimento, Arthur Gash & Eff Me, Yoda & Appendage, Citizen 69, Flying Booger, the rarely seen team of Half Hash & Hashidick, and of course our hare Loose Nut.

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That’s us at at the start, the Time Market on University, getting ready to ride a mapped route with the hare. Loose Nut likes to do things a little differently, handing out maps for us to follow. The astute observer will note the map bears a date from a year ago; that’s because Loose Nut believes in recycling!

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Your scribe kept the pack in sight until it turned into the University of Arizona campus on the first southbound leg, then took a break to wait for the other stragglers to catch up. Gash & Eff Me soon left me in the dust as well, but Citizen 69 kept me company for the rest of the route. Apparently Citizen and I missed a short loop because we came on-in before anyone else. Turns out the pack took a short beer break at Bob Dobbs’ on the portion of trail we missed.

Back at the Time Market, I helped Appendage organize a rescue party for Yoda, who managed to get himself lost but tell us something new why don’t you and except for that minor hiccup it was a nice ride through some pretty Tucson neighborhoods. Thanks, Loose Nut!

The wise Pedalfiles basher will hang on to the map for July 2017 … what the hell, let’s make Loose Nut’s map bash an annual event!

What’s up for August? We have a hare, Bumper I think, one of our newer members. We’re still settling on a date, either the second or third Sunday of August, so stand by for the announcement. We still need hares to sign up for September and beyond!

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Hash Swag

13590316_10154273758782346_8746335793582958839_nThis is the ass end of Pick’n'Flick’s new car, now sporting the last hash fish in our inventory. There’s one on the car USAA just totaled (which is why Pick has new wheels), one on my truck, one on the old Lincoln Green Flagger’s driving, and one on the rear fender of my Goldwing. Before that there was one on my old truck, another one on our old T-bird, and one on the Harley I rode before the Goldwing.

If memory serves we bought a dozen hash fish from the hasher who designed them, Six O’Nine, back when he made the first batch. We gave four to other hashers and used the remaining eight on our own vehicles.

I posted this photo on Facebook and joked that since it was our last hash fish we’d never be able to buy another car. Holy shit, did a lot of hashers respond to that! Of course a lot of them had never seen one before, and wanted to know where to get one. Others knew about them and wanted me to know Six O’Nine still sells them. Even Six O’Nine weighed in, and it was good to hear he’s still at it … maybe I will order a few more.

A hasher friend from Oz told me she didn’t get it. Why a fish? She wasn’t in on the joke, how American Christians put Jesus fish on their cars and how other folks glommed onto it and started putting non-religious variations on their cars: Darwin fish, flying spaghetti monster fish, etc. They don’t have fish wars down under? Guess not.

In 2005, on this half-assed blog, I wrote about an encounter with an angry Jesus fish guy:

I’m stopped in a long line of cars, minding my own business, waiting for the green light, and suddenly here’s this elderly man tapping on my side window, having abandoned the Buick waiting behind me. I roll my window down and say “Hello.”

“What does ‘On On’ mean?”

“It’s the motto of my running club, the Hash House Harriers.”

“Your fish looks like it’s drinking a beer.”

“Yes, we sometimes drink beer after our runs.”

And he gives me a disgusted look and walks away.

I want to shout “Hey, I’m a minister!” but the light’s green.

Let the Fish Wars begin!

One thing I’d love to find, speaking of hash swag, is someone selling hash license plate frames. I have some old black ones that say On On in white letters, but the letters have faded. I can’t find any more, or any other kind of hash license plate frames.

When I ran the Half-Mind Catalog I maintained a haberdashery section. When other hashers took over the HMC and I started writing this blog instead, I kept up a haberdashery page for several years. About once every six months I’d check the links on that page to see if the haberdashers I listed were still in business. It got to where most of them weren’t, and I killed that page. It’s just too volatile … haberdashers come and go too fast to keep up with them. Like Six O’Nine, for example: I put in an online order for another batch of hash fish in late 2015, paying with a credit card. Two months went by and then one day I got an auto-reply email saying the money had been credited back to my card and the order cancelled. I assumed Six was out of business, like so many others. But now he’s back.

Which gives me hope that somewhere out there, some hasher or hash kennel is selling hashy license plate frames, and some alert reader will clue me in!

‘Cause you gotta let your hash flag fly, am I right?

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Pedalfiles Bash Trash: 6/19/16

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Flying Booger at the beer check.

Who knew the Father’s Day Bash was going to fall on the hottest day of the year (so far)? It’s 114°F now; about 90 when I started haring trail from Hi Corbett Field this morning; mid-90s by the time I got to the beer check; 104 when I got back to the start. A good day to stay hydrated.

The bash started at 9 AM: 8 would have been more like it, but it’s hard to find a place to get a beer that early on a Sunday in Tucson. The beer check I had planned was the Time Market on University, where you can buy a beer in a paper bag almost any time.

To get there my trail went north on Treat to Elm, through the nabe behind Tucson Medical Center, cut through a corner of the U of A, then west on University to the beer check. We had a really small pack today … no wonder, with this heat … but it was a good one: Wankers Aweigh, Deep Dish, a new harriette from the jHavelinas, Pick’n'Flick, and our grandson No Name Quentin, son of Nose Candy. NNQ was to have been named today, but here’s what happened instead:

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Today’s trail: 9.5 miles

I got to the beer check and sat in the shade to wait for the pack. My phone rang. It was Pick’n'Flick. About a mile from the beer check, NNQ had taken a spill. He had road rash, and Pick was worried he might be getting heat stroke. My choice was to ride back to the start, get in the truck, and go fetch Pick & NNQ. My other choice was … wait, there was no other choice. Fortunately the entire pack was with Pick’n'Flick & NNQ at the time, so I was able to tell them I had to bail by cell phone. Bail I did, riding back to Hi Corbett field, getting the truck, and picking up the injured party and his grandmother.

In hindsight, NNQ was fine. If it had been me riding with him, we’d have finished trail. Pick probably overreacted, but hey, better safe than sorry. The original trail I scouted three weeks ago was over 12 miles without bad trails or checkbacks. Last weekend I decided to shorten it by two miles. This morning I decided to cut off a little more by making trail as straight a line as possible from the beer check back to the start, and that’s exactly what I wound up doing after Pick’s come-rescue-us call. I think the other three members of the pack rode the same trail, but haven’t heard from the survivors yet.

Planned on-afters were to be at the Wooden Nickel on Country Club. I hope the surviving three members of the pack went. Sadly, we didn’t get to join them, and NNQ is going to have to wait for another hash before he gets his hash name and joins the Booger dynasty.

Next month’s bash is set for Sunday, July 17. Loose Nut is haring as only Loose Nut can. As soon as I pry a start time and location out of him I’ll let everyone know.

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Harriers MCH3 Mash Trash: 5/22/16

Casual Friday’s here for a week. Among other things, she’s a motorcyclist and member of Harriers MCH3. We wanted to work in a putt during her visit, so when our mutual friend Wankers Aweigh proposed a Sunday Harriers MCH3 mash we said hells yes. Two non-hashers, NFN Kirk and NFN Mark, came along. Casual’s bike is in Tampa, so she rode pillion (I do not like that word “bitch”).

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Flying Booger & Casual Friday at the breakfast meetup, photobombed by a server


 
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NFN Kirk, Wankers (hiding), NFN Mark, Casual, Flying Booger

Trail followed AZ Highway 83 south to Sonoita, then AZ Highway 82 west to Patagonia and Nogales. After Nogales, trail led up I-10 back to the on-in in Tucson. Both 83 and 82 are great motorcycle roads with curves, mountains, and rolling hills. I-10 is just a freeway, nothing special, but it’s a quick way home. I led our pod of four motorcycles down 83, normally deserted on Sunday. And it was … until we came around a blind curve at 65 mph and suddenly saw brake lights ahead. I managed to get the Wing stopped in time (thank you, ABS!), but Casual and I could both hear NFN Mark, who had been staggered behind us, skidding. He stopped too, just in the nick of time, but then he and his bike went down.

We’d been going around a curve with a steep canyon wall to our right, blocking our view ahead. We certainly didn’t expect to come upon a solid line of stopped cars and trucks, but that was what awaited us halfway around the curve. Not only did the road curve, it was banked: high on the left, low on the right, dropping away even more steeply at the inside shoulder. What happened to NFN Mark, once he skidded to a stop a foot from the back bumper of the tail-end car in the traffic jam, was that when he put his right foot down there was no road under it. Over he went. His motorcycle didn’t just come to rest on its right side, it wound up partly inverted, the handlebars and saddle lower than the wheels. Wankers and NFN Mark had a heck of a time getting it back upright (Casual and I watched, since I couldn’t find a flat enough spot to put my kickstand down, while NFN Kirk turned around and rode back to flag down traffic approaching the blind curve).

Turned out there was no hurry … we were there for fifteen minutes before traffic started to move, and by then we were all back on our bikes, none the worse for wear (if our newbie’s bike was damaged at all, it didn’t show .. he didn’t even break a mirror). We crawled ahead through two or three more twists and then traffic came to another stop. This time we had a good view ahead, all the way to the summit of the Santa Ritas. We were looking at a two-mile line of stopped cars and trucks, and pretty soon a line just as long behind us. At the top was a medevac helicopter, presumably loading an injured crash victim. We turned off our engines, dismounted, and visited with our new neighbors for half an hour or so.

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At last the helicopter flew away and traffic began to move again. It was a long, slow ride to Sonoita, but after a beer check there we had the trail to Patagonia and Nogales pretty much to ourselves. I kept the lead on that leg, averaging about 70, but slowed down after I saw the first cop. He let us ride by and at first I thought, “Whew, got away that time,” but then I began to suspect another cop was somewhere up ahead and that the first cop had radioed him about us. Sure as hell there was a second cop, but luckily for us he was giving a cager a ticket. I pretty much stayed at 55 after that.

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The old train station at Patagonia


 
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AZ 82 between Patagonia & Nogales

After a photo check in Patagonia, NFN Mark took the lead, since he knew of a back road around Nogales (not that going through Nogales is any kind of big deal, but it’s always nice to find roads you didn’t know about, and this one turned out to be pretty). He stayed in front until we cleared the Border Patrol harassment checkpoint on I-19, then took the Amado exit and led us to the Cow Palace for on-afters.

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Border Patrol checkpoint on I-10 south of Amado


 
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On-afters at the Cow Palace in Amado

After on-afters I got back in front of the pack, and once we hit Tucson we split apart to take our separate ways on home. A lovely mash in the country, miraculously unspoiled by what could have been a very nasty crash, or at the bare minimum a costly ticket. Thank you, G!

Next month: Mount Lemmon, anyone?

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Pedalfiles Bash Trash: 5/15/16

Your scribe failed roll call today. Arthur Gash and co-hare Eff Me said they were going to recruit new bashers, and they came through. In addition to the usual suspects … Wankers Aweigh, Subatomic Equipment, Loose Nut, Deep Dish, 3IY, Flying Booger & Pick’n'Flick, and Stella … five jHavelina hashers turned out, and the only name I remember is Just Bret. I’ll do better next time, no0bs, but in the meantime, welcome to the Pedalfiles Bicycle Hash House Harriers.

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Gash and Eff Me took off at 10:15 on a warm morning from the west side of Children’s Memorial Park, near Oracle & River. The pack followed 20 minutes later. I got separated from the other bashers early and spent the next hour looping through the trailer parks and industrial zones of Flowing Wells, mostly on trail but quite often not. It wound up looking like this:

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That’s 16 miles, most of it ridden in temperatures at or near 100°F, searching for minuscule traces of flour, and oh, yes, there was a strong southerly wind to boot, the kind that feels like riding into the open door of a blast furnace. I was the last one into the beer check, which was at Reilly’s Irish Pub on La Cholla (an old Pedalfiles hang but one we haven’t visited for a long time).

Trail from Reilly’s back to the start was mercifully short: a quick jaunt down the bike path alongside the Rillito River (for non-Arizonans, visualize a river of sand, not water) to Children’s Memorial Park. On-afters were at BJ’s Brew Pub on Oracle & Wetmore, not far from the start. Not everyone could stay for adult beverages and food, but most of us went, and we were joined by Eff Me’s sister and her son. Jury’s still out on what they think of this whole hashing thing.

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When I compared my cell phone map of the trail with that of Eff Me’s, they were amazingly different. Actual trail was closer to ten miles and a hell of a lot simpler than the loopy thing I rode. That’ll teach me to get separated from the pack. Wait, I already learned that lesson. Like 28 years ago.

Next month’s Pedalfiles bash will be Sunday, June 19. Flying Booger is the hare, and the start will be in the parking lot of Hi Corbett Field, 700 S Randolph Way, Tucson, AZ 85711. Since summertime temperatures will be fully here by then, start time will be 9 AM. As always, there’s no fee to participate in a Pedalfiles bash … just bring a bike and some money for beer checks and on-afters. Here’s a map to next month’s start:

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