Monday, June 17Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Bicycle Day

What do you think of when you hear ‘Bicycle Day’? If you’re anything like me, you probably thought, as the name suggests, that it is related to the two-wheeled vehicle many of us have used at least once in our lives. However, Bicycle Day is not a celebration of the bicycle, but something entirely different. On the 19th of April 1943, the first recorded LSD trip happened. A guy, named Hofman, ingested a small amount of the psychoactive substance and experienced unusual and profound changes in perception. Worried that he might’ve poisoned himself, Hofman got on his bicycle and rode to his doctor, who could not observe any bodily irregularities, except for dilated pupils, meaning Hofman was experiencing a trip. Hence, on “Bicycle Day” we celebrate the discovery of LSD as a psychedelic. You may ask “Why in god’s name is it called Bicycle Day” then, if the vehicle is not its focus?” Well the name of this special day was generated through Hofman’s trippy bicycle ride to his doctor’s office, funny isn’t it?

We at DNA wanted to celebrate “Bicycle Day” in our own way and no not by having an LSD fueled social. We decided to dedicate a whole day of our upcoming online conference “Transcending Taboo” to this special day. We have assembled three speakers that will give psychedelics-related talks – Alex Aldridge, Dr. David Fawcett and Greg Donaldson. 

Alex Aldridge, a PhD student at our lovely university (for those who do not attend our university, it’s Royal Holloway), primarily investigates sex and drugs. She will be talking about some concerns regarding intoxication and consent. To make her case, she will be drawing from her own research in this field to challenge the general idea that intoxication means a person cannot consent. She wants to bring awareness to this topic while stressing the sensitive and complex nature of having sexual encounters while being intoxicated. The topics covered in Alex Aldridge’s talk are highly important regarding consent policies and especially for students. She might be able to clear up some of the questions you may ask yourself when you want to get with that special someone while on a night out. After this talk, you will be able to make an informed decision if the occasion for some “cuddles” after a night out arises in the future. 

Next, we invited Dr. David Fawcett, a clinical sexologist working mainly in the addiction and mental health field, to speak at our conference. He will delve into the issue of ‘chemsex’, which refers to sexual activity while intoxicated, and which can interfere with the brain’s reward system making recovery from substance addiction more difficult. He will also speak about some risk factors related to substance abuse with a focus on marginalised individuals such as sex workers or people who are HIV positive. If you are interested in sociological or psychological societal issues, especially those related to stigmatised communities, this will definitely be a talk for you!

Lastly, Greg Donaldson, a Transpersonal Psychotherapist working with the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College, will be given the opportunity to speak. His talk will focus on different ways psychedelics could be integrated in our societies and how this integration would help to obtain more knowledge about a psychedelic-related trip. If you would like to know more about psychedelic integration in our society or the importance of gaining more understanding of trips on psychedelics, you should definitely tag along with Greg Donaldson’s intriguing talk. 

If you want to celebrate “Bicycle Day” in an informative and educational way or if you only just found out what “Bicycle Day” is and you’re intrigued, do attend our conference on this extraordinary day and secure your free tickets by clicking the link on our website. I am also going to share a little secret with you; if you register for the conference once, you will be able to access all of the talks. I can guarantee you, they are all fascinating, educational and thought-provoking – and absolutely not a waste of your time. So do check it out, more information can be found on our social media. But if you miss our live event, it will all be recorded so be sure to keep an eye on our website for this! We hope you enjoy the conference ‘Transcending Taboo’, a full week of educational talks about drugs, society and YOU!

Get your free tickets here!