From June 7 to June 13, Bicycling teamed up with Degree to celebrate Bike to Play Weekwhere riders dedicate one day out of the week simply to the joy of biking. It’s easy for serious riders to get caught up in competition whether against a long-time rival or one’s own stats. Here’s how the editors at Bicycling chose to celebrate the day as a chance to let go of the pressure, let loose, and have fun!
Bike to Play, for me, was about making sure to set aside time to get away from work and get out with friends. Work can get pretty chaotic and stressful and really bring down my mood, which is where riding comes in to help. I started my Bike to Play with a slightly extended solo ride that worked as a reset from the workday. Then followed that up with, a few hours, and what some might say was an overly hilly ride, along with a good friend and co-worker Dan Chabanov. It was the kind of ride that when you get back everything just feels good—sore, but good. — Trevor Raab, Photographer
Trevor and I used our Bike to Play time to get out for a ride from the office that we’ve been scheming about ever since the office relocated to Easton, Pennsylvania. It’s essentially a shorter and more condensed version of a semi-famous New Jersey route called Hillier Than Thou. As the name suggests it’s heavy on climbing, and we managed to pack in a bit over 5500 feet of elevation into a 45-mile loop. Turns out our idea of fun is racing each other up stupidly steep hills in New Jersey. — Dan Chabanov, Test Editor
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There’s a road in rural Hunterdon County, New Jersey, aptly named Sweet Hollow. Three tree-covered miles of gradual descent, perfect turns, and a few slightly sketchy one-lane bridges. It’s one of my favorite roads, but too far away for a typical hour-long lunch ride on a weekday. But it was the perfect destination for my Bike to Play ride.
I’m lucky enough to have time at lunch during the work week. Those rides are great, but with set ride times, and a limited number of 20-mile loops to get back to work in time, they’re not always fun. But coasting down Sweet Hollow—ignoring the clock, my average speed, and Wahoo email notifications—that was. And the bagel stop in Milford a few miles later didn’t hurt either. — John Hamilton, Associate Photo Editor
For my Bike to Play week, I spent my Sunday sending it at a women’s Intro to Drops and Jumping mountain bike skills clinic hosted by Cognition Coaching. I had an
14 Vintage-Style Automotive Hats to Celebrate the Start of Summer
Hearst Autos Gear Team
Ah, yes, summertime. The sun’s out, temperatures hover on sizzling, and no, your “base tan” won’t protect you from turning into a lobster. Because of this, hats and summer are synonymous. They protect your head and eyes and hide that wild convertible hair.
And you’re a car fan, right? You don’t want some basic cap—you want to represent your favorite automotive marque. And what better way to do that than sporting a vintage hat, usually of that brand’s glory days. They’re stylish, comfortable, and you’ll earn brownie points with fellow fans.
We dug up some of our favorite vintage-styled automotive hats that you’re bound to like. It might be hard to pick just one.
On the afternoon of April 19th, 1943, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann dropped acid, and rode his bike home. Hofmann, who worked in the pharmaceutical department of Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, had first synthesized LSD in 1938 while trying to create a stimulant to treat respiratory and circulatory problems. He had no idea the compound had psychedelic effects, and it yielded no visible results when tested on sedated animals, so he set it aside.
Five years later, Hofmann decided to revisit his creation. On April 16th, 1943, he synthesized another batch of LSD. This time, he accidentally absorbed a tiny amount into his skin, and sank into “a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination.” He decided to experiment on himself with an intentional dose to confirm the compound’s effects, and at 4:20pm on April 19th, he ingested 250 micrograms of the chemical. He soon realized that the trip was going to be intense, and asked his assistant to help him get home. Wartime restrictions prohibited cars on the streets of Basel, so they had to bike — which is why April 19th is now known around the world as Bicycle Day.
With that infamous trippy ride, Hofmann became the scientist-godfather of psychedelics, a term coined by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond based on the Greek words for “mind-revealing”. Journalist John Horgan wrote for Scientific American that Hofmann believed when properly used, psychedelics could stimulate the “inborn faculty of visionary experience” that we all possess as children, and lose as we grow up.
Hofmann had a complex relationship with the field he helped create, dubbing LSD his “problem child” in the book he wrote about his contributions to psychedelic chemistry. He also studied magic mushrooms, and was the first to isolate, synthesize, and name the psychedelic compounds psilocybin and psilocin. He told Horgan about a psilocybin trip he’d taken during which he ended up in a ghost town deep inside the earth. “Nobody was there,” Hofmann said. “I had the feeling of absolute loneliness, absolute loneliness. A terrible feeling!” When he came back to this plane and found himself with friends again, Hofmann felt ecstatic. He told Horgan, in his heavy Swiss accent, “I had feeling of being reborn! To see now again! And see what wonderful life we have here!”
The quest to feel reborn is especially compelling in the era of COVID-19 and self-isolation. The psychedelics journal DoubleBlind recently published an article on using quarantine as a time for inner exploration and self-renewal. DoubleBlind co-founder Madison Margolin says that, in an alternate COVID-less universe, she’d be observing Bicycle Day at a psychedelic seder. “We were planning to partner with Disco Dining Club to celebrate both Bicycle Day and Passover.” Instead, Margolin says, DoubleBlind is co-hosting a free online festival with SPORE (the Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform, and Education) on April 19th to support coronavirus aid efforts, “celebrating reciprocity and our connection with Earth and each other,” starting at 8:45 a.m. PST.