Bicycle Day is an international celebration that commemorates the day when the discoverer of the LSD drug rode the bicycle after using the drug and while experiencing its effects. At first, many people think that Bicycle Day is all about the two-wheeled vehicle that we use in our daily lives. In a way, the day is about the bicycle. But in reality, the essence of the day is the discovery and use of LSD. People all over the world celebrate Bicycle Day every 19th of April each year.
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What is Bicycle Day?
Bicycle Day is an international special day that is conducted to commemorate the day when Dr. Albert Hofmann used LSD or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 and then rode a bicycle from his laboratory to his home in Basel, Switzerland. This happened way back on April 19, 1943.
History of LSD
One of the activities or researches conducted by Dr. Albert Hofmann in the pharmaceutical laboratories of Sandoz is a research on lysergic acid derivatives. He worked on synthesizing various derivatives or ergot which is a fungus found on rye. In 1938, he first synthesized LSD-25 but he was not aware of the psychedelic properties of this substance until April 16, 1943. During that day, he accidentally absorbed the substance in his fingertips. He noticed that he experienced some strange effects – change in perception, dizziness, and increase in respiration. Because of this, he decided to take a closer look at the substance.
Three days later, on April 19, he performed an experiment on himself to determine what could happen to himself if the substance enters his body. He ingested 250 micrograms of LSD. He started to feel strange and asked his laboratory assistant to escort him back home using a bicycle. The choice of using a bicycle was because of the war during that period wherein there is not much vehicles available for public transportation.
During the ride, Dr. Hofmann felt anxious and paranoid. He thought that he poisoned himself. When he arrived at home, he asked a doctor to take a look at him. The doctor found that there was nothing significantly wrong with him apart from his unusually dilated pupils. Dr. Hofmann eventually recovered. He was happy to have discovered a new drug. From this point onwards, the industry of LSD boomed. It was used mainly for psychedelic purposes. However, its side effects made authorities to declare its recreational use as illegal.
History of Bicycle Day
The first person recorded to have celebrated the special day was Professor Thomas B. Roberts from the Northern Illinois University. This happened on April 19, 1985. Several years later, he told his friends as well as his students about the day. Eventually, many people celebrated the day. And now, various people all over the world recognize Bicycle Day and have different ways to celebrate it.
When is Bicycle Day?
Bicycle Day always falls on the 19th of April of each year. This year, Bicycle Day will be conducted on April 19, 2019.
Celebration of Bicycle Day
LSD is not for recreational use in many countries. Those who fail to follow this get sanctioned by the law. Thus, Bicycle Day is not a day where people can use LSD for recreational use. It is all about remembering the day when the LSD was discovered by Dr. Albert Hofmann. In addition, the day has become a time for people to celebrate psychedelic things.
Psychedelic works of art become popular during the day. Authors who became famous for such works include Victor Moscoso, Robert Williams, Laurence Caruana, Pablo Amaringo, Robert Crumb, Grace Slick, Doug Binder, and Lee Conklin.
People also opt to listen to psychedelic songs during the day. some examples include Break on Through by The Doors, The Four Horseman by Aphrodite’s Child, White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane, In a Gadda Da Vida by Iron Butterfly, Strawberry Field Forever by the Beatles, and Are You Experienced by Jimi Hindrix.
Movie watching can also be done during the Bicycle Day by watching psychedelic movies. Some examples include Field in England, A Space Odyssey, The Devils, Easy Rider, Suspiria, Behind the Green Door, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Altered States, and Requiem for a Dream.