It’s the 74th Anniversary of Albert Hofmann’s Bicycle Trip

Albert3To celebrate Bicycle Day on April 19th, the date of Albert Hofmann’s—and the world’—first LSD trip in 1943, we are publishing this excerpt from the forthcoming interview with Michael Horowitz—the third installment of the Acid Bodhisattva series, coming soon to

Images: from Lysergic World (April, 1993): Albert Hofmann in 1977 (left), and the route of his famous bicycle ride on LSD through Basel, Switzerland on April 19, 1943, from Sandoz Laboratories to his house (below).

Leary’s archivist Michael Horowitz reminisces about a car ride with Albert Hofmann and Timothy Leary in February 1972.

“Tim and I took the train to Basel where Albert picked us up in his car. He drove, Tim sat in the passenger seat and me in back, trying to manage a super 8mm movie camera with one hand and a tape recorder with the other. Albert told us that we were driving the route of his first LSD trip in 1943, when he bicycled home with his Sandoz lab assistant after testing 250 micrograms. Tim cracked up when I asked Albert if he still had the bicycle. I knew it was gauche of me, but I couldn’t resist. A short time later Albert pulled over.”

Bike Ride2

Here is an excerpt of the conversation between Albert and Tim, after they picked us up at the train station. On the way to Albert’s estate we passed by his 1943 home.

Albert: That house is where we lived at the time. I never thought I would get home that day. My assistant who had ridden with me at my request asked permission to leave. I told her fine, but in fact I was in a panic. My wife and children were away. It was just me. I barely managed to crawl to my bed.

Timothy: It was the first bad trip, too. There was no precedent. You must have thought you’d poisoned yourself.

Albert: But in the end it was good. In the morning it was fantastic.

Timothy: For me, the world changed forever. I would have remained a boring professional psychologist the rest of my life, making money and accomplishing nothing.

Michael: Instead of being the most dangerous man in the world.

Timothy: Right.


  1. Posted April 19, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this Lisa & Michael!


  2. William A Smith
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha! Fantastic mini-clip of a stupendous moment for history. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to capture this. And kudos to Michael for the brilliant and witty quip at the end. Spot on.

  3. Lor
    Posted April 19, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Mike—thanks for this reminder of Hoffman’s dizzy bike ride and the beginning of a great disruption that changed our world. And what a ride its been, old buddy. A resurrection, the evolutionary impulse, an awakening of the world to compassion and love: the Good News: Give Peace a Chance! (Or die trying.) Blessing and gratitude to Albert Hoffman, Tim Leary—and you, dear friend.

  4. Liz Elliot
    Posted April 20, 2017 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Michael & Lisa
    I wonder if you have a copy of Brian Barritt’s ‘The Road of Excess’ about our time with Tim when he was in exile in Algeria and Switzerland? You may remember visiting us in London Michael. I have also written about those times (from a women’s point of view as it were)
    Love LiZ

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *