The Bike Hash history lesion (full of holes)
The New Territories Bike Hash, originally known as the Northern New Territories Bike Hash, was established by Dave Gow in 1993 as a cycling offshoot of the Northern New Territories (running) Hash, with half a dozen riders (Dave Gow, Jon Ford, “Chilly Willy”, Steve Argyles, Dai Williams and a squaddy yet to be named) doing a trail from Tai Po to Sham Tseng via Tai Lam Country Park.
The rides carried on in a sporadic way until around 1997 as the cycling equivalent of fun runs, never on marked “hash” trails, but always referred to as bike hashes. By this time, Peter Stratford and Steve Hardy had become its driving forces and rides were becoming more extreme – and attracting more extreme cyclists. Peter says:
“My bike hash archives have a blank period between 1997 and 2001 – probably due to work, FCH3 (Free China Hash) extreme hashing and other diversions. Suffice to say there were several bike hashes in 1997 with the Swiss/German lads, then it all went quiet until we restarted it in 2001…anyway LSG (Dave Gow) is the culprit for originating the bike hash, as far as I can remember, so try tapping him up for some reminiscences!”
Over to you, Dave.
In 1997, the bike hash was still referred to as the N2TH3 Bike Hash, N2TH3 meaning Northern New Territories Hash House Harriers. However, by the time of the Loco-led bike hash revival in 2001, the name had changed to New Territories Bike Hash. It is not known whether this change was implemented by Loco (Peter Stratford) in 2001 or occurred between 1997 and 2001. It may be that the demographic had changed and the bike hash was no longer the exclusive preserve of N2TH3.
Loco headed several rides, his last one being in November 2006 before his return to Surrey. After that, the record again goes quiet until February 2009, when Steve Reels and Lam Kam-ying led a ride that presaged a second renaissance of bike hashing, one that has continued to this day.
A major development in 2012 was the introduction of marked trails, with the bike hash functioning as a “proper” hash with checks, check-backs, routes of different lengths and so on. The first one was held on 31 March 2012 starting and finishing at Leafy Glade in Lam Tsuen valley. Steve Reels laid the trail. Three riders turned up: Bruce Fox, Becky Holdaway, Guy Shirra – with Dave Gow joining half way through. Despite this inauspicious beginning several more have been held and numbers have grown to around two dozen.
On 9 September 2012, at Kin Keibun’s behest, the New Territories Bike Hash organized the first ever bike hash on an All China Nash Hash (the annual all-China interhash that in 2012 was hosted by Hong Kong). The ride again made use of the Lam Tsuen valley tardis, with Steve Reels and Adrian Brock-Hollinshead laying the trails on a scorchingly hot day.
Despite the “new” direction for the bike hash, the old-style rides retain their popularity, as evidenced by the 24 riders that turned out for an impromptu ride on a rainy Saturday in March 2013.
All known bike hash records (ride reports, notices, videos) are preserved in the Archives.
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