What is a Bike Hash?
A bike hash, or “bash” as it is sometimes known, is when a group of mountain bikers get together to follow a paper trail that has been previously set by the ‘hare’ (the trail setter for the day). The hare is ultimately responsible for plotting out a new and exciting route. As different people volunteer for the role of the hare, you can expect new trails and take on fresh challenges each and every ride!
It all sounds pretty straight forward, right? Don’t be fooled! There’s a reason you need a sense of humour to take part in a Bike Hash! The hare’s job is also to keep things interesting by laying false trails (falsies) – for no reason other than to spice things up and level the playing field for all levels of riders. Other markers that the hare might leave on the trail include a backtrack, a shortcut, or a turn which will be indicated with paper, chalk, or string.
The trail terrain can be varied including everything from hill-climbs, technical sections, singletrack, roads, pathways and even a bit of more challenging downhill. If the idea of downhill makes you nervous, don’t be, the hare must stick to the rule that everything must be rideable, but you can use it as a chance to push your limits and improve your riding!
Really, all you need is a little bit of pedalling fitness. A hash will generally last 2 hours and cover a distance of roughly 20km. Once you have completed the ride, you can happily relax with a pint (or, if preferred, a non-alcoholic beverage of choice) in hand, crack a few jokes and even join in singing some of the club songs (no one cares if you get the words wrong).
A BRIEF history
Where it all began
Hashing was originally thought up years ago by a group of British expatriates and colonial officers living in Kuala Lumpur just before the start of World War 2. At the time were just looking for a fun way to let off some steam and get some exercise after a long week of work. So, they came up with the idea of running together, following a paper trail across the rubber and palm oil plantations of Selangor, modelled on the traditional British game Hare and Hounds. When they had all completed the trail they would continue the fun with a good old social where the participants could eat, drink and be merry.
The group came up with the name ‘Hash House Harriers’ after the Selangor Club Annex that some of the original members frequented and affectionately nicknamed ‘The Hash House’. Hash, being old British slang for “bad food”. They met every Monday to have a laugh, run their paper marked trail and have a few beers.
Back then, they probably had no idea that it would become so popular, with chapters now appearing all over the world!
Bike Hash Singapore
Eventually the bikers caught on and thus, Bike Hashing was born (much better in our opinion!).
Bike Hashing was originally started right here in Singapore by James Tay, Evan Jones, Victor Esbensen and a couple of other running Hashers with worn out knees. With nothing better to do on a Sunday morning they decided it was a much better idea to ride their bikes around town, rather than run.
And just like hashing, it took off around the world!
20 years bike hash Singapore
30 years bike hash Singapore
Ten years later and the bike hash is prominent on Youtube: