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On this page you find information for first time hashers

You can easily download this document in PDF format.
Guide for cycling at a mountain bike hash v1.pdf

A - Guide for cycling at a mountain bike hash
prepared by Dirk Limann in January 2003


The purpose of this guideline is to give information to Newcomers and Hashers, which are not familiar with the Hash rules. What they have to expect at the rides, for what are the paper marks for, what is the meaning of the Hash calls and what to bring along at the ride.


The Two Rides

Due to different levels of capabilities, preferences and expectations of hashers, two rides are normally set.

The Long/Rambo Ride covers approximately 25-30 km, in varied terrain with interesting river or swamp crossings, hills, down hills, single track, speed section, etc. Be also aware that at parts of the track you have to push or even to carry your bike and it can get sometimes very dirty and wet.

Ride time is 2 to 4 hrs. depend on terrain and Hash setting.

The Short/Scenic Ride, covers approximately 15-20 km, ride time is 1-2 hrs. Terrain as above but avoids excessive hill climbs, dangerous descents or carrying of bike. The track is either on a different circuit or largely the same as the long one with short cuts for the Short/Scenic Ride. The branch off is marked or paper of differing shape or colour is used for each ride.


The trail marking

The riding trail is marked with shredded or in shape cut paper. The marking appears regularly every 10 to 20 m. If you can not see any marking for 50 to 100 m, you have run off the track. Ride back to the last paper mark and look for the continuing paper. Mostly the trail has taken a sudden turn, which you have missed.


The Hashing

If there would be a continues track the faster ones will be in the lead and the rest depend on capabilities will lack behind. This will stretch the pack for several kilometres. It will be pure racing and there will be a winner and losers. If you are looking for such a challenge please do not join us.

In order to keep the group together and to solve obstacles in team spirit, the Hashing comes in. The principle is to slow down the fast riders and give opportunities for the slower ones to catch up with the pack.


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The On On call

A carefully plant trail will zick zack or loop around. All riders on paper should call loud “On on”, especially after a change of direction. If the terrain permits try to short cut towards the on on calling riders until you hit paper again. At a long loop e.g. you can save half a kilometre of trek and you are suddenly in front!


The Checks

A check terminates the trail for a while and is marked by dumping a pile of paper. The theory is that the front riders will arrive at a check and start looking for the new route, allowing the slower riders to catch up-thus a complete pack rides away as once the check is broken. Well, not at all really but that’s roughly the idea.

While checking for the trail the call is “Checking”. Normally the faster front riders will do the search. The new paper will start in a radius of 100 to 300 m from the check. It can be also a “Back Check” . The slower ones stay at the check until it is broken with the call “on on”. If you are waiting at the checkpoint firstly transmit the “on on” call to the directions of all the checkers which may be searching half a kilometre away from the caller and can not hear his call. Then take paper from the pile and join the trail from the check to the new trail. This helps those who have not arrived yet (and also the other checkers) to carry on the ride without delay.


False Trail

To prolong the checking time there is also the possibility of a false trail. That means a trail starts after a check but the paper stops after about 100 m. The false trail is terminated by a cross in form of brunches, long leaves or chalk. The call is “False Trail”. In this case return to the check and search again for the real trek. Pick up the joint paper from the false trail around the check and join clearly the correct trail.

Bashers should respond to the call “Are You?” by replying “Checking”, Back Check” or of course “On-On” when they are on the marked trail.



To prevent that you get lost keep to paper and stay in groups. If you are left alone and no calling can be heard, follow the advice given above under “The trail marking”. Do not simply carry on if you ran out of paper for more as 100 m. Go back where you last saw paper. If you are unsuccessful to locate the forwarding trail return back at the old trail to the starting point.

If you search out at checks, memories where the check is, in order to come back to paper in case your search failed. Do not exceed more as 300 m from the check.

The trail sweeper or the rescue team can only find you when you are on the paper marked trail or in calling distance. Call regularly and loud “Are you?”


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What to bring along on the ride

First thing is plenty of water. Take at least a 750-ml bottle, ore two 500-ml bottles or a 1,5-lt. Camel back along with you on the long trail. During the cooler season of December to February you may be carry less. Constant drinking prevents you for sudden performance break down (dehydration) and muscle cramps.

On the short trail one bottle of water will do.

A spare tube and a pump are essential for the long ride. It’s no fun to push your bike back for 15 km if you have a tire puncture halfway the track. Be sure you know how to change a tube and check your tire inside carefully for thorns or nails before inserting the new tube.

Advisable is also to bring along a tool set inclusive a chain cutter. Loos branches can have a devastator’s impact on your gear or breaks.

A brain bucket (bike helmet) and padded cycling gloves prevents you from nasty injuries in case of a fall in rough terrain or extreme down hill tracks.

Last but not least, bring a hand phone along in case you are injured or lost. But be sure you have exchanged your phone no. with the hare or other persons you know before the ride.


Sign in and sign out

When you come to the Bash side get your self-registered. Logically please sign out when your are back. It is not nice for the hare to search for hours in the jungle or elsewhere and after a phone call home it is known that you have left early and just have been holding your afternoon nap!!!

Enjoy your mountain bike hash ride

On On!

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