I’m writing this on April 20, better known to many as 4-20—so we’ve got a day for that. I wondered if we had a day for bikes. Google informed me that there was indeed a Bicycle Day and it was yesterday—April 19. But its inspiration is more along the lines of 4-20 than you might expect. April 19, 1943 was the day Albert Hoffman took history’s first acid trip. A few days earlier he had isolated the active ingredient in LSD and this was the day he decided to try just the tiniest amount. That tiny amount turned out to be several times a standard dose and professor Hoffman’s bike ride home has become the stuff of psychedelic legend—hence Bicycle Day.
Knowing this back story I wanted to find a fitting bike video to commemorate the day. This one is beautiful and appropriately trippy in a way only animation can be. A Bicycle Trip, an Italian short from 2007, has won awards at film festivals around the world. It’s a treat for the senses, and beautifully concise—a four minute acid trip is an appealing idea.
You might skip it with the little kids though. The only real drug reference is innocuous and near the end but Hoffman himself described the experience as “terrifying” and there’s a few moments like that in this short film.