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Haring a Bash

When I tell hashers about bashing they always want to know two things: how it differs from regular hashing and how much longer the trails are. I tell them it’s basically the same thing, and that trails take about as long to finish as regular trails … you’re still doing a 1½-2-hour trail; on foot you’d be doing 5-6 miles; on a bike you’ll be doing 15-20 miles.

I know people are serious about giving bashing a try when they start asking about haring. Because that’s where most of the real differences happen. If you hare a bash trail well, the pack won’t have any questions … to them it’ll be just like a regular hash.

My haring ride is a mountain bike. Some bashes are all off-road and everyone rides mountain bikes. Some, like my own Pedalfiles Bash, cater to all riders, most of whom have road bikes: we stick pavement and bike trails. Still, it’s good to give the pack a bit of shiggy once in a while … a dirt alleyway or a short section of off-road trail … so I use a bike that can take it.

bike stand_6

My bashing bike and flour bag

How to plan a bash trail?  I say thank G for Google Maps, supplemented by local area bicycle maps (in my case, the Tucson Metro Bike Map).  There’s also a cool thing called the Google Map Pedometer, which gives you exact mileage.  I recommend you ride your planned trail at least twice for practice: one, to keep from getting confused or lost when you’re haring live; two, to figure out the best places to lay checks, bad trails, and checkbacks.

As for the walking-while-chewing-gum aspect of riding a bike while marking trail, it’s not that hard. Put a long strap on your flour bag so that the bag rests against your hip and won’t interfere with your legs as you pedal. Hanging a bag from the handlebars is just asking for trouble … you don’t want the bag anywhere near the wheels, where it can get tangled up in the spokes.  If you’re right-handed, put the strap across your left shoulder and rest the bag against your right hip.  To throw flour while you’re riding, just reach into the bag for a pinch of flour and drop it on the ground.

To make chalk marks … checks, BTs, etc … you’re going to have to stop and dismount.  This slows you down, so if you’re haring live make sure the pack gives you a good head start (our bash gives the hare 20 minutes, and I think you’ll need at least 15).

As for flour marks, space them out a little more than you would on a foot trail, but still close enough so that the pack can see the next mark from the one they’re at.  You’re going to need a lot of flour for a 15-20 mile trail: at least 10 pounds.  Personally, I carry 5 pounds in my hash bag and another 5 pounds in a backpack.  Casual Friday, who co-founded the bike hash I belong to, always carries 20 pounds.

bike stand_4

If you can't stand a dirty bike, get an old beater to hare with!

And speaking of suspicious white powder, this is what your bike is going to look like when you’re done setting trail.  And the bike isn’t the half of it.  I didn’t get a photo of me after yesterday’s bash, but here’s an older photo of Bimbo by Day, the other Pedalfiles co-founder, after haring with the same kind of bag I use.  She’s the one on the left, in case you can’t tell!

hare_flour

The mark of the bash hare!

© 2012, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.


About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


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