Some of you may be wondering…What is Bicycle Day? On April 19, 1943, the Swiss father of psychedelic medicine Albert Hofmann dropped lysergic acid diethylamide (at 4:20pm, is that a coincidence?) and went on a bike ride, becoming the first human to trip on LSD. As the onset of the psychedelic revolution zooms across the globe at breathtaking speed, this unofficial holiday for psychonauts is an opportunity to reflect on the history of psychedelics and the state of them now.
“This day prompts me to think about how different things were when Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered LSD in the ‘40s,” shares DoubleBlind Co-founder Shelby Hartman.” At the time, the psychedelic revolution (and shutdown) had not happened, and he could never have dreamt of it: a Swiss scientist looking for an analeptic, a type of stimulant for treating respiratory and circulatory problems, literally fueled a cultural and political paradigm shift decades later.” The impact was so destabilizing to the status quo that the government shut it down. “It took nearly half a century for institutional science to begin to look at LSD and compounds like it seriously again,” Shelby explains. “And now, they may be our most promising tool yet for disrupting the current mental health epidemic. How far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.”
The only way to keep up with the momentum of the psychedelics movement is to share dispatches from our community. In this way we can pay respect to the hipstory of this day, how it came to be, and to those who have sacrificed the most to make sure the rest of us can celebrate “on our bicycles” with the people we love most. We’re all incredibly blessed to share in these exceptional times, doing this exceptional work. We can never forget all those who have come before us. We are standing on their shoulders, one and all. Be safe out there, everybody.
Asian Americans for Cannabis Education Founder Ophelia Chong’s advocacy is guided by the mission to advocate and offer truthful reflections of the communities that embrace cannabis and psilocybin: “In our own ways, we are broken. Psilocybin, 5-MeO-DMT, MDMA, LSD, all allow you to hold your heart and mind outside of your body to heal, to view your trauma in an out of body experience that separates you from your fear, which creates space for the hidden strength you can no longer hold back or deny.”
California Psychedelic Conference Founder Reggie Harris has created a grassroots gathering designed to showcase the people influencing psychedelic culture and policy, featuring masters of mycology, chemists, medicine workers, underground therapists, policy makers, and psychedelic wellness workers: “There would be no psychedelic community without the legacy community, PERIOD. These people have put their lives on the line and built this culture for us to be a part of. In a day and age when we talk about ‘Land Back’ and Reparations, we have a unique opportunity to structure the psychedelic landscape in a way that will center the people who built this entire thing on their backs, who’ve been to jail and had their families split up. We should be rewarding them for taking those risks.”
Bicycle Day SF Producer Josh Pollack has been curating and producing music and art events nationwide since 2006, ranging from intimate club nights to large multi-day camping festivals that aim to evoke creativity and provide a platform of inspiration: “I’m honored to help carry the torch for the psychedelic community, especially in the Bay Area with the annual Bicycle Day SF celebration. It’s crucial to pay homage and give recognition to the founders of the movement, by providing an event that embodies psychedelic culture, both past and present. The event includes a daytime conference featuring a panel discussion with legends such as Leonard Pickard, Rhoney Stanley, Isaac Abrams, Hamilton Morris, Mountain Girl, Madison Margolin and more, in addition to nighttime festivities which include a full scale art and sensory immersion at The Midway Creative Complex in San Francisco.”
The High-End Affair Founder & Celebrity Chef Nikki Steward is one of the most sought-after culinary entertainment chefs in the country, and a master in the art of cooking and conversation. Nikki is an advocate for safe and equitable spaces across the plant medicine and psychotherapy community: “I believe in creating supportive, community-driven environments when it comes to accessing plant medicine, while also introducing sensible drug policy that allows for treatment, free testing, and access to healing outside of the criminalization frame workings we are so often used to.”
Kat Walsh is the Creator & Host of Trip On This, a psychedelic podcast exploring trippy stories and expansive thinking. Walsh’s latest venture is the launch of her second podcast Life With Kat Walsh, a solo podcast centered around the raw, vulnerable nature of the spiritual awakening journey: “For so long I lived my life just going through the motions, filling time with my eyes trained on the weekend escape from the mundane. Then, psychedelics found me and blessed me with a world of beauty and wonder. From that newfound sense of joy, life took on a new vibrancy that led me down a path of purpose, direction, and fulfillment I never knew possible — including the creation of my psychedelic podcast. It made me realize that miracles are there for the asking. Psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin have the power to change our minds and in a world where so many minds are stuck in despair, what a gift it is to know there is a rainbow light at the end of the tunnel.”
Lulu Tsui, Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer at On The Revel, applies her vast XD and UX expertise across verticals in the cannabis industry while championing ways to normalize and destigmatize cannabis and entheogens: “These psychedelic medicines and healing practices/rituals originated from black, brown, and indigenous communities, but if you look at any psychedelic event, conference, patient waiting room, or psychedelic company’s C-suite or board, there are hardly any included or represented. I hope the psychedelic space can start including more black and brown voices in the growth of this industry. Access to mental health and wellness should be accessible to all people.”
Farechild Events Founders Dave Tran & James Zachodni curate cool events that enable grassroots networking opportunities between the industry’s most influential advocates, brands, and thought leaders for the cannabis industry and beyond. Up next, they are taking their signature experience to Hall of Flowers in Palm Springs on May 4th. The massive hotel takeover High on Life event will connect artisans, retailers, consumers, and everyone in between. Both cannabis and psychedelics have had a huge impact on the way Dave “sees the world and lives life,” and the that he’s “building a legal business around entheogens 30 years later is mind blowing and brings everything full circle.” Once cannabis broke through the public’s consciousness of being something that can help people, James says, “It really opened up the doorway for more people to enjoy other mind altering substances without the social stigma.”
In The Weeds Podcast Host Jordan Wagman is a James Beard Nominated Chef with a goal to change the world one conversation and meal at a time: “In my younger years, specifically leading up to a weekend; the hottest topic was…Which drug should we take? LSD, mushrooms or stick with cannabis? Truth is, we often indulged in it all simultaneously. Back then, psychedelics were about self exploration and releasing my creative mind. Today, I’m thankful for psychedelics and their impact on my mental health. After years struggling with Psoriasis, a debilitating autoimmune disease, I changed my diet, began consuming cannabis, and began microdosing mushrooms, all with the intention of getting healthier. Within 60 days, my change in diet and cannabis consumption led to my Psoriasis improving and losing 30 pounds. Magically, I’ve become a much happier person. My new book follows my journey to health and is entitled WILL- How I Found My Health Through Food, available May 2022.”
Brooke Burgstahler is a Creative, Actress, Founder of Budding Mind, a wellness startup and podcast designed to expand minds and hearts through the exploration of plant medicine, alternative healing, science, and spirituality: “I believe that we will remember Ophelia Chong as one of the great mycelium masters of our time. I just had the great honor of interviewing Ohelia on my podcast, and she reminded me that amidst the rising popularity of psychedelics, the most important thing to come from this emerging industry is, very simply, people healing. Decriminalization would be great, a potential marketplace could be cool, but the real purpose of all this effort in normalizing psychedelics and plant medicines is human beings finding inner peace and returning to self love.”
Jesus Burrola, Chief Executive Officer of POSIBL, a cultivation that leverages a state-of-art system that uses less to do more, brings the best greenhouse technology and expertise from traditional agriculture into cannabis, and pairs it with the best possible genetics to produce the perfect flower: “As we make progress on the stigma of cannabis, the world is opening its eyes to other plant medicines. As with cannabis, entheogens like psilocybin mushrooms are magical with many potential benefits to help those in need, specifically mental health. As many markets struggle with the repercussions of imperfect regulations on cannabis, we should keep those valuable lessons in mind as the psychedelics space potentially evolves into an industry to avoid those same mistakes.”