Today is the 7th on-oniversary of the Pedalfiles Bicycle Hash. Our founders, Bimbo by Day and Casual Friday, got things rolling (get it?) in October 2006 and we’ve been bashing every month since then. So, it being an extra special day, I was careful to count the years when I figured out which on-oniversary this was. October 2007 would have been our first on-oniversary, I said to myself, holding out one finger. 2008, I mumbled, holding out a second finger. And so on, all the way to 2013. At which point I was holding out six fingers, so I sent out several messages announcing our 6th on-oniversary bash. When we met this morning Redheaded Woodpecker asked me if I was sure that was right, so I counted out the years on my fingers again. This time I came up with seven.
Well, what the fuck ever, it’s our on-oniversary!
A small pack met this morning at Chauteau Booger for a lovely ride: Redheaded Woodpecker, Illegal Entry, Citizen 69, Her Majesty’s Ho, Yoda, Appendage, Pick’n'Flick, Master Meat Finder, and of course me, the hare du jure. I had planned a trail through some unexplored parts of northeast Tucson, including some primo bike shiggy (i.e. dirt paths). During my earlier trail scounting rides, I had picked out two long checkbacks to slow down the pack, one before the mid-point beer check and one after. And so I laid trail.
I joined H.M. Ho, our beer angel, at the beer check, and we waited for the pack to arrive. And waited. And waited. And when they finally arrived we … or, rather, I … got an earful. Did you forget your chalk? Did you run out of flour? We were so very very lost. It was only by a miracle of G that we finally found trail again. And so on. It turned out they’d ridden past my first checkback into unmarked territory. I was careful to lay extra flour on the second half of the trail, and everyone figured out my second checkback, which was at the very top of a steep hill. Hey, better to have to turn around and backtrack at the top of a hill than the bottom, right?
Today’s trail was 13 miles, 16 if you fell for the checkbacks, probably 18 if you missed a checkback and rode around lost for a while. I think I’m done with checkbacks for now … every time I’ve tried to lay them they’ve caused problems for the pack. When it comes to hashers and bashers, simple is better.
The pack arrived on-in back at Chauteau Booger and we celebrated our on-oniversary by calling our two departed founders, Bimbo by Day in San Diego and Casual Friday in Tampa, and doing telephone down-downs with them. And then we held our own short circle, and grilled some brats, and consumed some mimosas, and ate some birthday cake in honor of our on-oniversary, oh, and also mine. Witness the carnage:
Low-Flying Booger scores
A break in the circle
It was decided that Deep Dish, who stood us up today, will be our hare in November. Whether that decision will stand is up to Deep Dish, I guess, but there will be a next bash, and that next bash will be on Sunday, November 17th, one week before the Tour de Tucson, so to all the bashers who beg off every November using the Tour as their excuse, not this time, bitches!
Happy birthday to us, and on-on!
Not a scheduled Harriers MCH3 mash, but Harriers MCH3ers riding, which doesn’t happen nearly enough and is always worth a short post and a couple of photos.
Two of our Tucson chapter members, Half Hash and Hasidick, can’t make our scheduled monthly mashes on the 4th Sunday, but they were able to ride yesterday so I went with them. We rode back roads up to Apache Junction, east of Phoenix, then north to Lake Roosevelt and Tortilla Flat, where we had lunch at a roadhouse popular with bikers. On the way home we rode through the historic mining towns of Miami, Globe, and Ginkleman (strangely spelled “Winkleman” by the locals).
Flying Booger & Hasidick, Lake Roosevelt
Half Hash & Flying Booger, Lake Roosevelt
Great ride, lovely day, and a good workout for our scooters. Next scheduled Tucson chapter mash is Sunday, Oct 27.
After taking the hot summer months off, Harriers MCH3 (Tucson Chapter) is back on the road.
Flying Booger, Steady Teddy, Wankers Aweigh, Humpin’ One Dalmatian, Hot Legs (seated as befits her highness)
A small pack met at a coffee shop in northeast Tucson for a ride led by Flying Booger. We followed the Old Nogales Highway (parts of which are suddenly not so old, somewhat to our surprise) to Green Valley, then two-lane roads to Amado and on to Arivaca, where we stopped for refreshments. While there we were cautioned by locals to be on the lookout for cows … the road from Amado to Arivaca runs through open range, and four to five motorcyclists a week experience death by bovine … or so we were told. Much chastened, we rode the reverse course back to Amado even faster and lived to tell about it.
We stopped at the old Longhorn Grill in Amado, where a kindly bystander took the photo you see above, then ate lunch at the Cow Palace across the street. From there we took the high-speed route back to Tucson (I-19), where we went our separate ways until next month.
Seriously good riding today. Puffy clouds, not too hot, and enough of a breeze to keep us cool later on when it did get hot. The wind kicked up some dust as we rode south on Old Nogales Highway, but otherwise riding conditions were perfect. The road to Arivaca, as always, is a motorcyclist’s dream … cows excepted (though I will note the only livestock seen today were a tarantula and a rattlesnake … good eyes, Hot Legs).
Harriers MCH3 (Tucson Chapter) rides on the 4th Sunday of every month, usually meeting in the morning at locations around Tucson. Rides are announced on our Facebook page. Rides normally range from 100 to 200 miles. If you’re a hasher and a motorcyclist, you’re welcome to join us.
Reading the hash list this morning I came upon a new wrinkle in hashing. I think it’s interesting enough to share here.
In respect to “hare and hounds” being synonymous with “hashing,” have you noticed these guys from Pensacola? www.easthillhash.com. They say they are a “hash-type club” but intentionally don’t call themselves “Hash House Harriers” to distinguish themselves as “kinder, gentler.” Rather, they are the East Hill Hare & Hounds Running Club. Interesting. I almost wish it were the other way around: East Hill SHOULD use the Hash House Harriers name because their philosophy is not out of line with what hashing used to be (and still is in many parts of the world), and the kennels that are nothing but drunken debauchery should refrain from using it. Really, if your kennel does nothing but walk from bar to bar when not having drink-till-you-puke nekkid campout weekends, then do the rest of us a favor and drop the “Hash House Harriers” and just use “Hare and Hounds” or something.
Here’s a screen cap of the East Hill Hare & Hounds website (click on it to visit the site):
East Hill Hare & Hounds Running Club, Pensacola, Florida
At least in the United States, traditional hashers are increasingly put off by the antics of their boozier brethren. In some parts of the country, media coverage of Hash House Harrier confrontations with law enforcement has given the hash a bad name, and some potential hashers we try to recruit are reluctant to join because of that. At some large interhash-style events I’ve attended, there’s been a very visible split between hashers who are there to enjoy the trails and camaraderie, and those who come to float the keg and engage in extreme behavior … if you want to know what I’m talking about, think vomiting contests and shitting in the circle.
There’s a growing division within the hash between kennels that emphasize trail running and kennels that emphasize drinking. What you see above is one group’s way of dealing with the division: they’re hashers of a kinder and gentler variety, more comfortable using the Hare & Hounds brand than the Hash House Harriers brand, which has so many bad associations today.
I started a kinder/gentler kennel in Tucson several years ago, the Pima Independent Sunday Social Hash House Harriers. As you can see I stayed with the H3 brand; in fact I never considered calling it anything else. But now that I know about this group in Pensacola, I kind of like the idea of calling it a H&H club. I want to ask the hasher who wrote that email why we shouldn’t embrace the Hare & Hounds name in addition to the Hash House Harriers name … aren’t they both the same thing?
Oh, I know, it would be disrespectful to G and the original Kuala Lumpur hashers. But I don’t think G and his friends thought of the name Hash House Harriers as a brand, not in the way we think of the name today … it was merely what they called the running club they started. Seventy-five years on, the H3 name has become a philosophy and way of life for tens of thousands of us around the world, a religion almost, and as with any religion there are internal schisms and breakaway branches. When I started the PISS Hash in Tucson, I was trying to break away from booze-centered A-to-Z hashing. I didn’t do it because the H3 had a bad rep; I did it because I didn’t like the way the established kennel in Tucson put so much emphasis on drinking and the circle. It was a schism, though a small one, and it never occurred to me to call my new kennel anything other than a Hash House Harrier kennel.
But yeah, we were originally Hare & Hounds runners, and there are still a lot of old-style Hare & Hounds running clubs around. Here’s a screen cap of the Cambridge University Hare & Hounds Running Club website (click on it to visit the site):
Cambridge University Hare & Hounds
The first thing you’ll notice is that CUH&H doesn’t mention the Hash House Harriers at all, unlike the East Hills H&H club above. Still, though, that’s where we all started, with cross-country paper chases, and that’s what we all still do today. If you get into the history section of the CUH&H site, though, you’ll discover that from their very first paper chase run in 1880, CUH&H members have been competitive: they score who comes in first. That’s a significant difference between traditional H&H clubs and H3 clubs. Even the most “serious” H3 club is non-competitive, and on that point I have to agree with the guy on the hash list: there’s a gulf between their brand of trail running and ours.
And what about Harrier clubs? In past posts I’ve pointed out the fact that some of our founders, including G himself, ran with Harrier clubs in Malaya and neighboring countries before being posted to Kuala Lumpur and starting the Hash House Harriers.
If you look into today’s Harrier clubs, though, you won’t see much resemblance to hashing or Hare & Hounds running. H&H clubs still run paper chase trails, just as we do. Harrier clubs, at least from what I learn on their websites, run set cross-country courses as well as traditional track events, and if anything they’re even more competitive that our H&H brothers and sisters. Here’s one such club, the Hutt Valley Harriers in New Zealand (click the graphic to visit their site):
Hutt Valley Harriers, Wellington, New Zealand
Even though there’s not much evidence of it today, I believe Harrier clubs grew out of Hare & Hounds clubs, and that they used to run paper chase trails too. I base this on a comment written by veteran hasher Mike Lyons, who said:
The idea of Harriers chasing paper was not new to Malaya in 1938, as there had been such clubs before in Kuala Lumpur and Johore Bahru, and there were clubs in existence in Malacca and Ipoh (the Kinta Harriers) at the time. “Horse” Thomson (one of the KLH3 founding fathers) recalled being invited on a run, shortly after his arrival in Johore Bahru in 1932, which chased a paper trail and followed basic Hash rules every week but was so magically organized that it had no name. The club flourished in the early 1930?s but is believed to have died out around 1935. The other branch of our ancestry comes from Malacca, where A. S. (‘G’) Gispert was posted in 1937 and joined a club called the Springgit Harriers, who also operated weekly under Hash rules and are believed to have been formed in 1935. Some months later, ‘Torch’ Bennett visited him and came as a guest on a few runs.
He says these earlier Malayan Harrier clubs followed “hash rules,” but as far as I know the name Hash House Harriers … and consequently the use of terms like hash, hashers, and hashing … did not exist before G and friends founded the original H3 club in 1938. Still, Mike Lyons’ meaning is clear: what the Malayan Harrier Clubs of the early 1930s did was the same thing hashers and H&H club members do today: they chased the hare and enjoyed beer and camaraderie afterward.
In my version of hash history, paper chases enjoyed by schoolboys in the early 1800s grew into adult Hare & Hounds clubs, and at least in Malaya in the early 1930s, Harrier clubs as well. The “rules” of these H&H and Harrier clubs were the “rules” of the original Hash House Harriers … and they remain the “rules” of hashing today. That Harrier clubs today are not much like the Harrier clubs of Malaya in 1930 is not all that important in the grand scheme of things. What is important is our own heritage, and how strongly we feel about traditional hashing.
I’m solidly on the side of trail-oriented hashing. Virtually all runners enjoy a beer or two after a good long run. Go to any marathon, half-marathon, or recreational 10K event, you’ll find beer tents at the end. Drinking is not unique to hashing, and I personally hate it when hashers brag about drinking and try to make it seem that’s what hashing’s all about. That’s why I’m so opposed to the “drinking club with a running problem” slogan so many of us parrot without thinking. It’s just not what hashing is about.
Over the past couple of years, when outsiders have asked me about hashing, I’ve found myself describing what we do as a variation of Hare & Hounds running. People know what that means, and it gives them the right idea, not one contaminated by drunken excess. Don’t get me wrong: I’m proud of being a Hash House Harrier, and hope to be one until the day I die, but when I tell someone about the hash I don’t want that person’s first thought to be, “oh, that’s those drunks I read about.”
Sure, having a beer or two after a good trail is part of hashing. It’s just not all of it. In the USA, when you say Hash House Harriers, more and more people are getting the wrong idea. And I’m afraid it’s our own fault. Let’s find something besides excessive drinking and extreme behavior to brag about, shall we?
Woodpecker delivering hare lies to the pack at Himmel Park
Apart from a slight breeze, it couldn’t have been a nicer morning for a bash through downtown Tucson and the University of Arizona. Redheaded Woodpecker was the annointed hare; his worshipful pack consisted of Illegal Entry, Duct Tape Donna, Pick’n'Flick, Flying Booger, Yoda, Appendage, and two no-name virgins, Ken and Martha.
From Himmel Park trail looped through some of Tucson’s historic neighborhoods, jogged down Broadway, hooked up with the Aviation Highway bike path, and took us over the Snake Bridge onto 4th Avenue, where we studiously avoided the new streetcar tracks as we headed for the U of A campus. After the U of A we spent some time portaging our bikes up and down stairs at the University Medical Center, then headed for the Arizona Inn. Trail eventually took us to the Red Garter on Speedway where we stopped for a beer check.
Today’s bash had a name: Yoda’s Birthday Bash. And that was because Yoda was born this month 80 or 90 years ago … no one really knows, and he’s forgotten the exact number anyway. But to show we care we arranged for a little adult entertainment at the beer check:
She was supposed to pop out of a cake, and also be naked, but Woodpecker as usual misunderstood the instructions and booked a ballerina instead. Oh well, we had a good time anyway.
From the beer check, trail to the on-in was short and sweet, and we soon found ourselves back at Himmel Park. Illegal, Duct Tape, and our two virgins were so appalled by the beer check shenanigans they took a pass on après, because who knows what additional licentiousness we had lined up for our birthday boy. Actually, we didn’t have anything lined up, having tucked what was left of the bash birthday fund into the waistband of the ballerina’s tutu at the Red Garter. So it was a considerably reduced group … Yoda, Appendage, Woodpecker, Flying Booger, and Pick’n'Flick … at Bob Dobbs’ for après, where thirsts were quenched and comestibles devoured.
A gorgeous morning and a great tour of Tucson, all honor to Woodpecker!
The October Pedalfiles Bash will be Appendage’s & Flying Booger’s Birthday Bash, so I guess it’s only fitting that Flying Booger will hare. Start will be at Casa Booger on Sunday, October 20, at 10 AM. We’ll be grilling afterward, so BYOB and BYOSTG (bring your own something to grill). Details will be announced on our Facebook page. Oh, it’s also the 8th on-oniversary of the Pedalfiles, so be there!
Dropping out of what? The hash calendar business, that’s what.
Himalayan H3, Nepal
I started publishing the Half-Mind Hash Calendar in 1995. It was the first web-based listing of international hash events, and in its day provided a real service to traveling hashers.
I’m retired now, no longer a traveling hasher, and other interests have come to demand my time. In short, I’ve lost interest in keeping the calendar up to date. Since the Half-Mind Hash Calendar is no longer up to date I’ve removed it from this website … IMO an out-of-date calendar is as bad as no calendar at all.
Never fear, road warriors, there are other on-line hash calendars:
Hashers also announce upcoming events on HashSpace and Facebook, although you have to be a member of those sites in order to see the announcements.
If you were a regular user of the Half-Mind Hash Calendar, I apologize and thank you for sticking with me all these years. Although I’m no longer publishing a calendar, I haven’t lost interest in this blog. I still publish hash rants from time to time, as well as hash trash writeups for events I attend. If you check the menu bar across the top of this weblog, you’ll find a ton of archived material I’ve written about hashing. I plan to keep all that stuff here for interested readers and hash historians.
If anyone out there has a website and wants to take on publishing an international H3 calendar, I’ll be happy to share my format and tell you what sources I used to update the calendar every month. Just ask.
Until then, happy hashing, dear friends.
Members of the Pedalfiles H3 met for their monthly bash early this morning at the Doubletree in Tucson, Arizona. How early, you ask? Oh-eight-effing-thirty early, that’s how early. Actually I can’t complain, since last month’s bash started half an hour earlier than that. The pack, composed of Yoda & Appendage, Flying Booger & Pick’n'Flick, and Master Meat Finder (fresh back from riding RAGBRAI in Iowa), barely outnumbered the hares, Illegal Entry & Redheaded Woodpecker. That’s what’ll happen when you schedule a Tucson bash against the annual Bisbee Red Dress Run!
When we arrived at the Doubletree, Illegal was still studying her Tucson City bicycle map. We didn’t know whether that was a good sign or not.
Illegal Entry with her hare homework
As it turned out, her diligence paid off, as she and Woodpecker led us through a series of complicated loops toward the University of Arizona and then north to the beer check.
Pack and hares at the beer check
We were all scratching our heads about the beer check, because we knew it wasn’t Woodpecker’s house, or Illegal’s house either. Turns out the hares picked the place at random, murdered the homeowner, and set up the coolers inside … those wily rascals! Or maybe it was Illegal’s mother’s house, I’m not sure which.
Trail to the beer check was about ten miles. Trail from the beer check back to the start was only three miles, and that was good planning because it was pretty hot by then. I thank the hares for an excellent urban trail through some very scenic neighborhoods.
I wish I could tell you about the circle and on-afters, but Pick & I missed the party because we had an appointment with the cable guy back at our house. I’m assuming I got the Hashit for coming in first at the beer check. I’m also assuming Yoda and Master Meat Finder liked the trail as much as we did and that the hares were duly honored. I’m also hoping Woodpecker, our illustrious GM, lined up a hare for next month. We’ll make the post-ride activities in September for sure, Pedalfiles!
Update (8//19/13): Here’s the rest of the story, thanks to Redheaded Woodpecker, who was there.
On afters were held at the Pita Jungle. Due to the heat, even with water misters on the patio, too warm to be outside. And a little too upscale to be singing hash songs with folks in their Sunday best at the next table. Therefore no awards were awarded but as HashMaster, I summarily have awarded the following:
Trail trial: Best trail in a long time with out a doubt. No hills, semi-comfortable temperatures, well marked, minimum of decisions and best of all no check backs for which WoodPecker is well known to enjoy. And yet the pack was in a surly mood and certainly would have awarded the hares the Shite award. Did I mention I am the HashMaster? Shite award goes to the pack. Cold beer, water and Gatorade at the beer check at somebody’s air-conditioned house, real chairs, not bar stools. Several pack members used the facilities in said home, not some nasty bar restroom and yet, the whining and bitching continued about the trail. The award was well earned. LOL
Bitch award: See above.
Stud award: Goes to the hashhmaster Illegal suffered a flat tire on the return leg. I offered up my bike and marking trail continued. I remained and changed the tube and then continued to the finish. Truly a studly act.
The hash did find a couple at an adjoining table who were Air Force and had hashed at their last duty station. Hash recruitment is 24×7. We may see them in the future.
Next Pedalfiles hash is Sept. 15. It is declared to be a Birthday Hash for Yoda. Please come prepared to celebrate Yoda’s arrival in this world and bring your favorite Yoda Hash story. I am sure there are a few we would all enjoy and Yoda will drink to all the tales of his exploits. Appendage must have a few.
Yoda indicated he will not be the hare and therefore, I will hare unless somebody else steps up. Start to be announced.
Really folks, Illegal and I appreciate your coming out and riding with us. It was a bit warm after the morning clouds dissipated and yet you all rode the trail start to finish. Honorary Stud Awards to all. Next month promises to be cooler and I hope we can get more of our cyclist hash friends to join us.
Over the years we’ve amassed a large collection of Hash House Harrier event giveaways. We used to have boxes full of hashing t-shirts, but now we’re just hanging on to a few old favorites Pick’n'Flick wants to make into a quilt. We took the others to local hash meets and gave them to new hashers so that they could look like world travelers … and who knows, maybe the shirts will inspire them to start taking hash road trips.
Ditto hats. We kept a few but gave the rest away. And then there are the mugs. Specifically the mugs we keep in the kitchen cupboard along with our regular glasses, tumblers, and coffee mugs, the ones we use when it’s just us. The plastic ones we don’t worry about dropping because they won’t break. The ones covered with hash event logos.
Some of these have become favorites. The two in the thumbnail photo, for example. They’re for beer, but since I quit drinking I use them for juice and iced tea, especially the insulated La Jolla H3 cup on the right. I’ve often wished I had two so that I could use one while the other is in the dishwasher. That’s how much I love it.
Yesterday Pick announced her intention to throw them all away and replace them with “nice glasses.” For a moment there, I was staring into the Abyss. Normally when I look at Pick I see my beloved mate of 47 years, my co-hasher since 1988. This time I saw the uncanny valley separating us. I still shiver when I think about it.
And this from the woman who won’t let me toss her original MS-DOS manual from 1989 or the 5 1/4″ floppies for WordStar 1.0. The woman who routinely sneaks out with a flashlight on garbage day eve to check the bins for things I wasn’t supposed to throw away. The woman who has taken over *my* garage, filling it to the rafters with plastic bins of clothing, shoes, used wrapping paper, and broken pool toys that will no longer fit inside our 2,400 square foot house, the one just two people live in.
All of which is to say I love her, even when she’s in Stepford mode.
p.s. Thought you might enjoy the comment thread that resulted after I posted the hash mug photo to Facebook yesterday: