BICYCLE DAY with Hofmann Quotes
In appreciation for the people and cultures throughout history who have cherished psychedelic experiences, and helped to bring us to where we are able to undertake this kind of serious study, I would like to introduce you to a holiday that has been celebrated in my community for almost 40 years.
In 1984, educational psychology professor Thomas B. Roberts at Northern Illinois University founded the first Bicycle Day, on April 19th. This is the anniversary of the day that Albert Hoffmann first intentionally took LSD in 1943. On the 16th, Dr. Hofmann had accidentally absorbed a bit of LSD, but the 19th was the first intentional experience, when he took what he then considered a minimum effective dose, 250 μg. In LSD, My Problem Child, he records that day:
By now it was already clear to me that LSD had been the cause of the remarkable experience of the previous Friday, for the altered perceptions were of the same type as before, only much more intense. I had to struggle to speak intelligibly.
He asked his laboratory assistant, Susi Ramstein, to bicycle beside him on his ride home and she remained with him during the most intense part of his trip, becoming the first psychedelic guide:
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 we had traveled very rapidly.
As the experience continued, Dr. Hofmann said:
Little by little I began to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux.
Dr. Hofmann believed that, when properly used, psychedelics could stimulate the “inborn faculty of visionary experience” that we all possess as children, and lose as we grow up.
On his 100th birthday in 2006, at an international symposium in Basel, he gave a talk in which he declared, “LSD gave me an inner joy, an open-mindedness, a gratefulness, open eyes and an internal sensitivity for the miracles of creation…. It is a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be.”
As we work to emerge from a dark period of ignorance and superstition about psychedelics, you are blessed with the opportunity to light a candle of hope and reason. To commemorate Dr. Hofmann’s bicycle ride, let's celebrate Bicycle Day with bicycle trips, sending cards with bicycle pictures on them to friends, joyful picnics, and other festive activities.
Remember Bicycle Day and Keep it Holy
By Maria Mangini, with quotations from Albert Hoffman's LSD, My Problem Child, and thanks to Dr. Tom Roberts
It is my great concern to separate psychedelics from the ongoing debates about drugs, and to highlight the potential inherent to these substances for self-awareness, as an adjunct in therapy, and for fundamental research into the human mind.
It is my wish that a modern Eleusis will emerge, in which seeking humans can learn to have transcendent experiences with sacred substances in a safe setting.
I am convinced that these soul-opening, mind-revealing substances will find their appropriate place in our society and our culture.
~ Albert Hofmann, in a letter from April, 2007