Bicycle Day & It's Psychedelic Significance lead image

Bicycle Day & It's Psychedelic Significance

Hofmann first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938, and then ingested it deliberately for the first time five years later in 1943. Find out why this experience became known as “bicycle day”.
Thursday, April 4, 2024
Bicycle Day
Albert Hofmann

When considering the most brilliant and accomplished pharmacologists who have ever walked this planet, Albert Hofmann's name transcends all others. A progenitor of the notorious LSD, this groundbreaking scientist and chemist has a life tale as sensational as it is enigmatic. Albert Hofmann has firmly embedded himself into societal consciousness as an esteemed figure. His explorations with LSD and psilocybin have brought forward uncharted pathways towards comprehending the mind and awareness.

The Synthesis Of LSD

Albert Hofmann's creation of LSD is considered one of his most impactful contributions. Upon stumbling upon the hallucinogenic properties of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) during his research in 1938, Hofmann became resolute in devising a way to manufacture it on a larger scale—this procedure is referred to as total synthesis. The accomplishment of this process by Hofmann profoundly influenced our contemporary comprehension and utilization of psychedelics and help usher in a psychedelic renaissance so to speak.

Conversely, some detractors hold the view that despite Hofmann's trailblazing efforts that paved the way for psychedelic research, the outcomes may have tipped more towards detriment than benefit.

Misuse of LSD has been chronicled globally, and it's even been associated with certain regrettable incidents like suicides and unintentional fatalities. From this perspective, one might argue that the energy devoted to the creation and synthesis of novel psychedelic substances could have been directed more productively elsewhere.

The Bicycle Adventure

On April 19th, 1943, Albert Hofmann embarked on a trip that would permanently alter his life. This famed bike ride, now popularly known as the 'Bicycle Adventure', arguably marks one of the most crucial days in Hofmann's life and his enduring legacy. During this journey, he intentionally ingested LSD-25 for the second time ever.

He ingested this amount at 4:20pm, and by 5:00pm, he scribbled in his notes: "Initial vertigo, sense of unease, visual abnormalities, symptoms of paralysis, urge to chuckle." But as the complete impact of LSD emerged, Hofmann was rendered incapable of writing. In his book, he elaborated on the subsequent events:

I had to struggle to speak intelligibly. I asked my laboratory assistant, who was informed of the selfexperiment, to escort me home. We went by bicycle, no automobile being available because of wartime
restrictions on their use. On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything
in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of
being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had traveled very

April 19 is known as "Bicycle Day" or to many as the worlds first acid trip and that Hofmann's Bicycle Adventure was an incredibly crucial incident that transformed perceptions about psychoactive substances. Today, almost eight decades later, this event is one of the many cornerstones in the evolution of modern psychedelic culture and psychedelic research.