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Bicycle Day (April 19) | A special day of the year

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Bicycle Day

I was thinking that just from the name, you might think that Bicycle Day is a holiday that celebrates and honors two-wheeled transportation, or the day it was invented in the 19th century.However, if you think so, then you are thinking wrong. This holiday is actually a day that commemorates Dr. Albert Hofmann intentionally taking LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) for the first time after he had discovered it. It’s called Bicycle Day because Dr. Hofmann decided to ride his bicycle home. This holiday is celebrated on April 19th.


History of LSD  

On the afternoon of April 19th, 1943, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann dropped acid, and rode his bike home. Hofmann, who worked in the pharmaceutical department of Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, had first synthesized LSD in 1938 while trying to create a stimulant to treat respiratory and circulatory problems. He had no idea the compound had psychedelic effects, and it yielded no visible results when tested on sedated animals, so he set it aside. Five years later, Hofmann decided to revisit his creation. On April 16th, 1943, he synthesized another batch of 
LSD. This time, he accidentally absorbed a tiny amount into his skin, and sank into “a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination.” He decided to experiment on himself with an intentional dose to confirm the compound’s effects, and at 4:20pm on April 19th, he ingested 250 micrograms of the chemical. He soon realized that the trip was going to be intense, and asked his assistant to help him get home. Wartime restrictions prohibited cars on the streets of Basel, so they had to bike — which is why April 19th is now known around the world as Bicycle Day.

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History of Bicycle Day

Bicycle Day wouldn’t become celebrated as a holiday until April 19th, 1985. This is when Thomas B. Roberts, who was a Professor at Northern Illinois University, decided to celebrate this day in Dekalb, Illinois as Bicycle Day. A few years later, he told his friends and students about it and this began the spread of this holiday throughout the population. He wanted to make April 16th, the day when Hofmann discovered LSD for the first time, as a holiday but since that day fell in the middle of the week, he decided to hold it on April 19th – the day when Hofmann experimented with LSD for the first time.

Although there are some people who decide to take LSD on Bicycle Day, it is not recommended that it be celebrated in this way. And there are a number of reasons for that, the main reason being the fact that it is illegal and it may cause harm if used improperly.

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