The Chemical History of LSD Explained in Honor of the Greatest Bicycle Ride Ever Taken By a Scientist

ACS Reactions humorously recounted the fascinating chemical history of how lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) came to be, as well as the origins of Bicycle Day on April 19th. As the story goes, determining that his LSD compound was unhelpful to the research he was doing, Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann decided to revisit his findings by taking a great deal of the drug himself. Ever the scientist Hoffman took copious notes on how he was feeling under influence of LSD before riding his bicycle home, hence the term “Bicycle Day”.

Overcome by the experiment he asked his lab assistant to help him home but with WWII restricting the availability of cars the only way was by bike. Hoffman had the most memorable cruise of his lifetime, and thus Bicycle Day was born. From that powerful experience and onward, Hoffman and his peers continued to chemically experiment with LSD.