Advice for Hares

Hare's bike

As a hare, your job is to provide riders with an interesting, rideable route over varied terrain. Include as much off-road as possible without turning the ride into a technical mountain-biking challenge. The ride should last two to three hours (less in summer), and you should aim to get the pack to finish fairly close together, say within half an hour of each other.

Aim for trails of no more than 25km in summer (15-20km is fine on very hot days) and 30-40km in winter. To get your trail, you’ll need to “recce” (explore) your chosen area.

Haring takes a lot of effort but it’s very rewarding , and once you’ve done it you’ll appreciate the efforts of previous hares.

Recceing

  • Choose the area for your ride and the bike shop you’ll start from
  • Make sure the bike shop can provide (and reserve) enough bikes for hirers’ needs
  • Get hold of a Countryside Series map of the area, or use the larger-scale maps available from the sales offices of the Lands Department (see Links)
  • Anticipate that you’ll need several recces before you have a complete trail
  • To get started, visit your area, get on your bike and start pedalling (it really is that simple)
  • Ride down concrete paths, trails, single-track and roads (not too many); they’ll lead you to more paths, trails, single-track and roads
  • Don’t expect to have your trail sorted out after your first recce
  • One part of your trail may not link to another part; when this happens, use the dead-end or blind alley as a check-back – you’ll need some of these to slow the faster riders down.
  • As your knowledge of the area increases, it’ll all come together and you’ll have your trail
  • Avoid busy roads as much as possible
  • Avoid checks at road junctions unless on very minor roads
  • Separate the out and in trails if possible
  • Look for suitable rehydration stops (daipaidongs)
  • Check out parking and public transport possibilities near the start
  • Have a nearby restaurant or daipaidong lined up for an on-on (meal) after the hash

Laying Trail

  • You’ll need 8-10 bags of flour, a box of chalk and maybe 1-2 toilet rolls to set the trail
  • Mark trail on the left-hand side only
  • Slow down or stop on the bike to throw flour
  • When marking corners, use 3-4 blobs of flour or big chalk arrows
  • Mark checks with a circle and check-backs with three bold lines across the trail
  • Don’t have too many checks – allow the ride to flow
  • Keep most checks to the first two-thirds of the ride; don’t lay any in the last 1-2km
  • Never put a check at a busy road junction
  • Start laying trail 250-350m from a check depending on terrain/buildings (riders need to hear whistles and calls)
  • Markings should be easily seen. Don’t be crafty and hide them. People are on bikes
  • Include at least one rehydration stop (daipaidong) along the route
  • If it’s dry, consider pre-laying the trail the day before, then riding around it before the hash to freshen up markings
  • Try to be back for the start to give the briefing
  • If you can’t get back in time, never mind; better to finish laying the trail. Make sure you’ve instructed somebody to give the briefing
  • Let riders know beforehand if you’ll provide water at the start or whether they should bring their own
  • Provide enough beer, soft drinks, water and ice at the finish for the circle and general consumption
  • Think about providing food such as sandwiches or bananas at the finish
  • The foundation will bear your expenses

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