Bicycle Day plus 4/20 equal The Holidaze
Few seem to have noticed that, by chance or by fate, the world now has a two-day-long drug holiday.
One day before the weed holiday, 4/20, comes the LSD holiday, Bicycle Day.
Bicycle Day and 4/20 are now a nexus that blurs, for some, into a long druggy bender.
May we propose a name for these two days together?
Four-twenty celebrations have been growing for decades, and now take up whole city blocks.
But, five years ago, LSD events were as scarce as hairs on Dwayne Johnson's head.
But as painters microdose acid and universities get grants to study LSD, acid edges toward the mainstream, and Bicycle Day grows into a real holiday.
In Colorado, there were Bicycle Day gatherings from Denver to Boulder to Gunnison. And from New Orleans to Seattle, Boston to Los Angeles, these were concerts and fundraisers and events for both Bicycle Day and 4/20.
The origins of 4/20 are murky. But Bicycle Day celebrates a definitive event, the world's first full-on acid trip, in 1943, when the daddy of LSD, corporate chemist Albert Hofmann, dosed himself with 200 mics, felt weird and left work early on a bicycle. If you're an acid noob — and everyone was in 1943 — riding a bike on 200 mics is like flying an F-15 wearing mittens.
Hofmann made it home safe. And that bike ride was LSD's miracle moment — its Buddha under the Bodhi tree event, Newton hit on the head with an apple. "LSD is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be," Hofmann wrote.
A skeptic would ask: why are we celebrating drug use? Isn't that taboo? Aren't we supposed to accept drugs as a fact of life, but hope and pray that the scourge of drugs may speedily pass away?
Maybe. But holidays and festivals can be about things that aren't all good. Halloween is about ghosts and murderers, but nobody's really pro-death.
A holiday gives you permission to act in a way that you normally wouldn't, an excuse. And what's wrong with excuses? In the same way, for example, Fourth of July is an excuse to get more patriotic than is normally cool in your effete liberal town, and a wedding is a time to get more sentimental than your strict family usually does, so the Holidaze are a free pass to get fucked up — and what's necessarily wrong with getting fucked up? — especially if there's hope that loosening up on one day lets you hold it together on the others.
Plus, holidays are ways to signal to other people who you are. Whether you go crazy at the gay pride parade or the monster truck rally helps you find others who dig the same music or food or art.
At one Bicycle Day celebration in Boulder, at the Phil Lewis Gallery on Pearl Street, next to swirling, kaleidoscopic paintings, a medical doctor who prescribes psychedelics named Will Van Derveer said that sickness is about disconnection — a cancer cell, like a terrorist cell, is one that's cut off from the rest of the organism.
Holidays brings us together. And to millennials who don't always believe in Jesus or America, but believe in feeling good, the Holidaze could be just the right kind of glue.