Bicycle day 2023
Tracing Back the Footsteps of Albert Hofmann
17. April 2023
On Wednesday April 19th, we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of Bicycle Day, an event in the history of science and psychedelic exploration. This day commemorates the first-ever intentional ingestion of LSD by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1943. On this occasion, let's take a closer look at the life and research of the man who opened the door to a whole new world of perception.
Born in 1906 in Baden, Switzerland, Albert Hofmann initially pursued a career in chemistry. In 1938, while working at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, he synthesized Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) while researching the medicinal potential of ergot alkaloids. The compound's psychedelic properties were discovered only later when Hofmann accidentally absorbed a small amount of LSD. Intrigued by its effects, he decided to explore further.
On April 19, 1943, Hofmann intentionally ingested 250 micrograms of LSD, assuming it to be a threshold dose. Little did he know that this dosage was actually several times more potent than necessary. After consuming the substance, he made his way home on his bicycle. This bike ride turned out to be an intense, transformative experience that led of the anniversary being named "Bicycle Day."
To explore the original route of Albert Hofmann's Bicycle Day journey, take a look at the map from bikemap below, and experience a piece of psychedelic history.
Back to Hofmann's discovery of LSD's properties, this experience was opening the floodgates for psychedelic research. Scientists began investigating the compound's potential for treating mental health disorders, with some positive results. However, the 1960s saw an explosion in recreational use and counterculture associations, ultimately leading to the prohibition of LSD in most countries.
Despite the controversy, Hofmann continued to advocate for the responsible use of LSD. He remained active in the scientific community until his death in 2008 at the age of 102.
This Bicycle Day, as we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Hofmann's discovery, let's take a moment to reflect on the impact of his work on modern science, medicine, and our understanding of the human mind. While the debate surrounding the use of psychedelic substances continues, there is no denying that Albert Hofmann's life and research have left a lasting imprint on the world.
Within the MiHKAL laboratories we strive for the continuation of Albert Hofmann’s research legacy, in order to realize his vision of transforming these compounds into valuable resources for society.