The Founder and Mismanagement encourage the Hares be creative in setting trails, but have a few guidelines that should be followed:
- Safety First! Sure, we say “Safety Third” a lot, BUT our Packs are usually made up of different size and style bikes, riders of differing ability, and sometimes include cars. PLUS we are sharing the road with a lot of less-than-half-minds. And if you partake in an adult libation, use good judgement and exercise moderation.
- Stay Together! KDH3 trails are not a race, and the Pack should only move as fast as its slowest/least-experienced riders. This is a social group, so the Hounds should always stay together.
- No False Trails. This is pretty much self-explanatory.
- No Hidden Marks. Every mark should be very easy to see, not behind trucks, on the sidewalk, etc. Clues, on the other hand, may be concealed...more about that later on.
- Every Trail is Live. The Hare(s) should either be leading the pack from one stop to the next, or they should be given a head-start (just like a regular Hash) and leave directions/marks/clues along the way.
- Obey Traffic Laws. Nobody needs to be getting tickets or causing accidents. Keep speeds appropriate, use hand signals & blinkers, stop at red lights and stop signs, etc.
Setting the Trail
We are often asked by new members how to set a trail, and how the heck to leave marks? Gaylord figured out early on that throwing dollops of flour from his HD Springer didn’t leave much of a trail, and doing it from his Ducati was even less effective. So here are some ideas that have worked in the past:
1. Flour Marks
“Really? Didn’t I just read that flour doesn’t work when thrown from a moving bike?” Yes, yes you did. BUT, what if instead of throwing flour, the hare stopped to set large flour trail arrows on the right shoulder of the road. Since every mark is a true trail arrow, there are really only 4 marks needed: Straight, Right Turn, Left Turn, and On-In. Of course, a generous hare is encouraged to leave a mark (usually a number) at each stop on the trail so the hounds will know they are at the right place.
“But won’t those trail marks cause the pack to make sudden turns and stops as they rumble down the road at highway speed?” Okay, you got me there. But what if we don’t set flour trail marks on highways, and instead use them on trails that wind through the country or on surface streets. And instead of putting the trail mark AT the intersection, we put a really big arrow a few hundred yards/meters BEFORE the next intersection or turn. That way the Pack can see well in advance what they need to do when the road gives them a few options. If the arrow is on the side of the road, theoretically it won’t be erased by traffic. "But all that seems like a lot of work, and my fancy leather chaps will end up covered in flour;" soooooo...
Prior to starting trail, the Hare(s) identify several places where the Pack can stop before the On-In. They then prepare a set of clues for the Pack, leaving the first one with the Pack at On-Start before they head (who said head?) out to lay the trail. That clue may require the Hounds to use their collective half-minds to figure out where they need to go to get the next clue. For example, if there is well-known Shrine Auditorium in the area, the clue might direct the Pack to “Ride to the big building where the guys with funny hats hang out, and look for your next clue at the big guy’s feet.” The Pack would arrive at the Shrine Auditorium, and find their next clue sealed in an envelope at the base of the Shriner statue out front. This continues until the Hare’s last clue brings the Pack into the On-In. A nice variation is to use clues which direct the Pack to restaurants or watering holes, then leave the next clue with the staff. The Hare(s) might even suggest that the staff make the Pack sing for their clue. This gives the Pack a chance to hydrate and socialize before they move on, and gives the trail a more poker-run feeling. “But even this sounds like a lot of work, and I’m really not that clever…”
3. Group Ride
The simplest and most straightforward way to set a KDH3 trail. The Hare(s) simply decide where to go, and then ride with the Pack to get there. We figured this one out when we started riding to regular hash events in other cities and countries. Not really sure why we didn’t figure it out sooner. And if the Hare(s) are truly lazy, the Group Ride can turn into a relay, where the Hare(s) take the Pack to the first stop, and then hand off haring to someone else in the Pack. The new Hare then has to figure out where to stop next and how to get there. At the next stop, switch Hares again. This sh*t could go on all day.
Snaring The Hare
There is an element of the Honor System here. If the Hare(s) are not riding with the Pack, there is always the chance that the Pack will catch up to them as they are laying marks or dropping clues. If the Pack rides up on the Hare(s), they shouldn’t jump on their bikes and haul ass. Instead, they should consider themselves caught and join the Pack for the remainder of the trail. Likewise, if a Hound is close enough to read the Hare(s) license plate, they will be considered caught when everyone arrives at the On-In and treated appropriately. I won’t address “pants-ing” the Hare(s) on trail, and will leave that to the good judgement of the Pack. At the very least, the caught Hare(s) should buy a round of refreshments at the last stop or On-In.
So there you have it. The best we could come up to answer trail questions we’ve been asked before. If you have a new or different twist on this concept, please let us know so we can share it with our members around the world.