Tag Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Trips
Apr
25

5 Tips for Safe Bicycle Trips

There’s no better way to enjoy a beautiful summer day than with a bike ride with the family. When we think of bikes we think of healthy exercise, but we can sometimes forget that bikes are not just outdoor toys.  Several years ago, I was in a bicycle accident and my head hit the ground so hard.  Had I not been wearing a helmet, I am sure I would have had more than a fractured hip. That is just one safety measure of cycling, but there are many more than can protect you and your family.

Bicycle accidents account for 2% of all traffic fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, over 700 people die from bicycle injuries each year. Bike safety is important for everyone especially our children. 300,000 kids each year are hospitalized for bike injuries.

People most at risk are young kids ages 5-14 and adolescents/young adults ages 15-24. They account for one third of all emergency room visits for bike injuries. Older Americans ages 40+ are also at a higher risk of bike accidents.

There are ways to protect yourself and your family when you are out riding your bikes. Here are five tips to remember to have a safe trip.

Apr
23

This Bicycle Day, Celebrate LSD’s Inward Trips

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. 

Margolin has some

Apr
6

Europe Bicycle Touring: Trips and Advice

Europe Bicycle Touring: Trips and Advice

Europea Bicycle Touring
A non-commercial website.

All rights reserved ©2001-2019

HOME PAGE

by David May

 

A non-commercial site.

This non-commercial site presents much of what I have learned in twenty years of bicycle touring in Europe.

You will find here cycling descriptions and photos for many of Europe’s premiere cycling destinations that I have chosen to ride. You can use these to find a bicycle tour meeting your needs—whether a commercial group tour or a self organized trip. For each destination there are a suggested routes to chose from, and practical details for a trip if you are organizing it yourself..

You will also find here as well my opinions and research on general topics such as budgets for European Bike touring, touring styles, bicycle choices and so on. (Self-organized bike tours are much cheaper!)

Sister Site: www.mayq.com, Cycling into and out of Paris on bike paths and minor roads, including to and from the airports.

Sister site: www.grfive.com, for a month of hiking across the grain of the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Meditteranean.

Email: dmay@europebicycletouring.com
For my background, see this page.

 

The boxes below in this column, and lower down in the next column, link to pages describing each of the bicycle tours I have ridden. If you wish to select one of these recomended tours based on scenery, difficulty, traffic and climate, please study this chart.

The boxes immediately below link to pages covering general topics.

provence field of yellow flowers
Cycling Provence, France
Rape-Seed, Poppies, Lavender, Roman Coliseum, Theaters, Monuments Bath, and Aqueduct,
Fortified Cliffs,Wild Horses,
Charming Hill and Valley Towns, Papal Palace, etc.

Bikers pose along the Danube Bicycle Path with castle in background

Cycling the Danube River, Austria
Baroque Architecture, Easy, Good for Families

Castle of Chambord

Cycling among the Chateaux of the Loire Valley, France
Castles, Gardens, Easy
Cycling, see link below for cycling the length of the Loire and
across Europe

Sign for beginning or end of Eurovelo 6-La Loire a Velo

Eurovelo 6 Part 1:La Loire à Vélo
Cycling along rivers and canals from the Atlantic to Burgundy with links to continuations to Switzerland and the Rhine in Part 2, the German Danube in Part 3, and the Austrian Danube in Part 4 (or click above)

Zeeland beach with kites

Cycling France, Flanders, Zeeland
and Holland
along the North Sea

Coastal and Interior Views, Dikes, Bruges Architecture

Sheep near Dordogne River

Cycling the Dordogne River Valley
Bucolic Scenery, Picturesque Towns, Neolithic Cave Paintings

Line of Cyclists in a Ijsselmeer Polder

Cycling around the Ijsselmeer, Netherlands
Boats, Lake Views, Flat Farmland with Dikes, Amsterdam

Town in North of Alentejo, Portugal

Cycling Alentejo, Portugal
White Hill-Towns, Vineyards, Cork Trees

Road with Alps View, Austria

Cycling Western Austria and Bavaria
Scenic Lakes, Forests, Mountain Views,
Resort Villages,
Salzburg, Munich,
Mad King Ludwig’s Castles

Lindau on Lake Constance

Cycling Around Lake Constance and down the Rhine, Austria, Germany, Switzerland
Lake and River Views, Farms, Gardens, Woods,
Resort Towns, European Niagara Falls

Cycling from Hamburg, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark

Along the dikes of the Elbe River the North Sea in Schleswig Holstein, across central Jutland, and around northern Zealand. Seaviews, farmland, forest, ancient towns, lake district resorts, art colonies, Hamlet castle, Louisiana Museum.

Maps showing other Long-Distance Bike Tours in France, Germany, and
the Netherlands

Pilgrims walking to Estaing

Cycling the Saint James Pilgrimage Route,