Bikes and LSD – What Really Happened on Bicycle Day
Unlike the name Bicycle Day suggests, it was not the bike that is celebrated as a cherished all-around means of transportation on 19 April. It rather is a particular historical event that is the reason for this festivity – the unforgettable bicycle trip by the Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann. We’ll tell you what happened that day in1943 and where you can celebrate this day!
It was not just for Albert Hofmann that his bicycle trip would become a special event. His “trip” was legendary. Bicycle Day namely commemorates the first time that the scientist intentionally took a 250 microgram dose of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). He had only discovered the drug by chance three days before. This amount of white crystalline substance was indeed far smaller than a grain of pepper, but it had a tremendous impact.
Less than an hour later, Hofmann began to feel strange and noticed sudden and intense changes in his perception. He decided to pedal home from his laboratory. His bike ride accompanied by strong hallucinations developed into a real bicycle trip. This is how Hofmann learned about the effects of this substance and, so, had the first LSD trip. He later wrote about his further experiments in his book “My Problem Child”. He called LSD “medicine for the soul” and saw the drug as a powerful psychiatric tool. But Hofmann admitted that the substance would be dangerous in the wrong hands.
Bicycle Day or Bicycle Trip
Unlike what might be expected, the day of the discovery and first use of LSD is celebrated on Bicycle Day. We’ve picked out locations where cyclists get together to commemorate this day with great events: San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
PS: For all art and design fans as well as those who love funky styles, we found this Bicycle Day shirt. The design was created with innovative digital painting techniques by Jake Kobrin and is a tribute to the aesthetics of psychedelia.
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