Citation: R. "The Lunatic Is on the Bike: An Experience with LSD (exp97287)". Erowid.org. Jul 10, 2019. erowid.org/exp/97287
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I found myself clinging to reality in an inflatable inner tube on my driveway, holding on for dear life to any semblance of sanity I could muster. It was dark. The stars grew into criss-crossing constellations of red, yellow, and blue before my eyes.
But let me start from the beginning.
There was that vaguely metallic taste that I’d heard so much about. Kind of gross. But it supposedly signified quality acid, so I was pretty happy about it. The blotter was under my tongue, and I was flying down the sidewalk on my bike, heading for the local park where there was nice bike trail. I didn’t realize that that was not the place I would end up, that I would soon be in another state, an alien state. I’d popped the dose right before I’d left. In retrospect, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
But let me start from the real beginning.
I’d always wanted to try acid. I’d heard things. Wonderful things. And as an individual who’d always enjoyed psychoactive experiences, LSD-25 felt like a fun, interesting substance. So when my opportunity came up, I jumped for it like an excitable little boy. I now realize I was foolish to take it so lightly.
I consider myself an experienced psychoactive user. I have extensive acquaintance with cannabis, alcohol, and DXM. LSD has nothing to do with any of that. It’s in a whole different ball park. A whole different stadium. But I was skeptical. I am aware of the human capacity to aggrandize certain experiences, and I had a hunch that LSD would not be what people like Timothy Leary, Albert Hofmann, and this dude I met at a party one time had made it out to be. “Dude: Acid is fucking crazy man.” Suuuuure, dude. Whatever you say.
Now, what I really hoped for from LSD was the mystical, enlightening aspect I’d read about in books like the Doors of Perception and The Psychedelic Experience. But it all seemed “eastern-religiony.” Enlightenment. Ego-death. First, second, and third “Bardo,” whatever the hell that means. That’s why, when I decided to take one of the five hits I’d bought from a friend a few days before, I was expecting some light visuals at most; maybe a little body high. I had little concern about how I would be able to handle myself in a public park. I mean, I’d been high in public places many, many times before. So, as I said, one beautiful summer evening I dropped a dose, hopped on my bike, and took a short jaunt to the bike trail. Oh man, was I in for a surprise.
Before I even got there, around 7:30, I noticed something. I couldn’t tell you what, exactly, it was. But I knew that something was just different; odd. That metallic taste had flooded my mouth. I took a swig of water, and the great flood washed the blotter down my throat. Kid Cudi was playing on my iPod. The sun was nearing its hiding place behind the trees. A wonderful moment.
A few minutes later, I was sitting on one of the many park benches along the bike trail. It was fairly busy. Bikers and runners passing by. All of them content and sober and in reality. This is when “the drugs began to take hold.”
The visuals came first. The black pavement of the bike trail began wobbling, undulating like water from my seat on the bench. I tilted my now-heavy head to my right. Two trash cans. One blue, one green. I couldn’t tell how far away they were. Oh shit.
I decided to get up. At that point, I thought that those visuals would probably be the extent of my trip, and I wanted to try riding my bike around while feeling them. So I hopped on and rode to the next bench/picnic table area near the restrooms. Ridding the bike felt surreal. I couldn’t feel myself peddling. My head existed, I know, but I didn’t feel or notice much else about “my” body. Oh yeah: this is when I think I touched upon what they call “ego-death.”
Riding up the hill, I was overcome with certain feelings. I felt as though a statement like “I enjoy riding my bike” could not make sense. What I? Who is I? What is the essence of the designation “I”? There was the sensation that experience was not being mediated through what I formerly called my individuality.
There was the sensation that experience was not being mediated through what I formerly called my individuality.
This was not frightening or worrisome because there was no “me’ to be scared or worried. Calmness, serenity overtook… me, I guess. Or what I would have formerly designated “me.” This was the most calm and wonderful portion of the trip. After this, around 8:30, both the sky and my mind grew darker. Things took a decided turn toward the hectic, frightening, and incredible.
All of a sudden, I look up from the picnic table, and massive hexagonal formations literally blanketed the sky. Spinning. Morphing. The most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I listened to the entireity of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon while examining these alien formations. I eventually look down. The bike path was oozing like lava. I look at my arm, and I feel it’s not part of “myself.” I attempt to pull my skin off, but not in a deliberately hard or violent way. It was more of a gentle exploration of my new environment. Re-birth. Everything was new, and as I tugged on my skin, I did feel sensation, yet I still felt that it wasn’t “me.” Me was lost. Feet on the air, head on the ground.
I knew I shouldn’t have gone into that god-forsaken forest.
Remember when I said, “this is when the drugs began to take hold”? Fuck that. This is when the drugs became the dry cement holding up the steel girders of my consciousness. Remember that scene from Fight Club where Tyler and Ed Norton are riding in a car, talking about project Mayhem? “Hey! I wanna know certain things! I wanna know what you’re thinking,” Norton cries. “Fuck what you know,” Tyler responds. “You need to forget about what you know, what you think you know about life, friendship, and especially about you and me.”
Tyler is acid, I’m Ed Norton, and yes, we are becoming the same person.
Tyler straps his seatbelt on, puts the pedal to the metal, and lets go of the steering wheel. Soon they are flying into oncoming traffic. I franticly try to grab the steering wheel, and acid’s like “Look at you! You’re fucking pathetic. This is not a weekend retreat. Stop trying to control everything. Just let go.”
It was becoming night. Stars were beginning to twinkle, and I’d managed to find a heavily-forested path shooting away from the bike trail.
“Walk in, man. Go ahead. It’ll be trippy.” Who said that?
It was pitch black inside the forest. I found the end of the trail, meeting a shallow river. I saw little, mostly morphing and moving darkness. I took a piss, which relieved me. “Oh yeah, that’s why I came in here. Time to get the hell out.”
Oh shit. There were robots all over the ground. Little contraptions with six, eight, twelve legs; just laying there, waiting for me to walk over them. Were they trying to trap me? Climb me? Were they benevolent? I tried to run one over with my bike tire. It didn’t budge, and I concluded they were either defunct, didn’t want me, or weren’t robots. Hell if I know.
Somehow, I made it out of the forest and back on to the bike trail. Before this moment, I felt as if I could talk to somebody and maintain a façade of sobriety, albeit a shoddy one. Now two men were walking towards me. Any thought of concealing my condition was far away at that point. I didn’t care if other people knew. Actually, I didn’t feel that other people were really “people” anymore. They were something, and I was something else entirely.
I didn’t feel that other people were really “people” anymore. They were something, and I was something else entirely.
This disconnect with other people fostered what I would call insanity; the most frightening aspect of the trip.
What happened to the men, I do not know. What I did know was that it was time to start heading home.
Now, I did not take that decision lightly. “Are you running, or leaving? Are you scared, or merely ready to move on to the next portion of the trip?” The last thing I wanted was to make a decision out of fear.
I diplomacized with myself by biking up and down the same strip of the bike trail, finally deciding to leave only to turn around and decide to stay.
Around 9:30, I came to the conclusion that, because it was too dark to see, it was okay to go home, and that wasn’t a decision made from fear. Fuck if it mattered. It’s hard to think when the ground is morphing into the sky and trees are uprooting and jumping around like ballerinas.
Here’s where the insanity sets in.
I biked home via sidewalk. Cars were passing me every half minute. I knew people were driving them, but I didn’t understand what people were. I gawked at the passerbys, made insane faces, bobbing my head up and down, biking like a mad man.
Yoda must have been a psychonaut: “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.”
I felt as if I was a stranded space marine, crash-landed on an alien world. I feared people because I did not understand them. This fear led to angst, and this angst led to me losing what was left of my cool.
There was me, and there was the great other; everybody else.
As frightening as this sounds, I was quite happy while biking home. When on LSD, I was very suggestible. I found that whatever song I put on determined my mood and thoughts. I put on some light, poppy tunes. Katy Perry. Kesha. The Beatles.
Imagine this: You’re out for a walk. It’s night. From down the street, you see a young man swerving across the road, jumping up and down off his bike, screaming “YOUR LOVE, YOUR LOVE, YOUR LOVE, IS MY DRUG. YOUR LOVE, YOUR LOVE, YOUR LOVE.”
Good God: they probably thought they were the ones on acid. I was literally dancing on my bike, singing along at the top of my lungs.
I landed at another park. My addled mind was attracted to it because it was dark, secluded, and absent of the strange beings who give me odd stares.
It was wonderful. The beneficent, star-studded sky produced massive constellations for my enjoyment. Octagons, pentagons, and hexagons of every variety. Then my heart leapt into my throat as a car pulled into the empty parking lot. It parked with its bright lights pointing directly at me.
Oh fuck. This is it. I’m captured. I’ll be picked and prodded and probed by their fascist machines!
Fuck it. Let ‘em.
OH FUCK I’M GETTING ARRESTED.
Wow! Look at that star floating across the sky!
I’d become bipolar. Forget the membrane. I was insane to the nucleus, the fucking electrons and protons.
Then I jumped out of my skin – another car was pulling in. It parked right next to the other one.
They both shut off their lights and got out.
This is it. Shit’s about to hit the fan…
And imagine my relief when what emerges from the shadows are not bootstrapped fascists coming to pick my brain, but a young couple holding hands, calmly walking past me. I was ecstatic.
So ecstatic, in fact, that I could not contain my enjoyment. It started as a snicker. Soon it was a rolling guffaw of straight-up bars-in-the-window laughter. The couple, of course, turned and gawked at the lone lunatic having a heyday on the bench. It didn’t bother me, but I did decide it was time to leave.
I got up, collected my things, and said aloud with genuine lunatic enthusiasm, “Hey guys! It’s time to go home!”
Their stares followed me as I hopped on my bike, convulsing and chortling with laughter till they were out of sight and out of mind.
Finally – I was home. It was around 10:30, and to my shock and horror, my family was still awake. The glow of the television shone through the porch curtains.
I can’t go inside. I’m high as all bloody fuck. I’m insane, for Christ’s sake.
I did the only logical thing and laid down on the driveway. I watched the hexagon constellations move like bike gears in the sky. I listened to Pink Floyd’s Echoes. It was wonderful.
The rackety clanking of an opening garage door spooked me, and all of a sudden people were everywhere. A man walking three dogs. My neighbors pulling in their driveway. Oh fuck.
I hid behind my mother’s Suburban till the activity died down. As I got up from my fetal position, a new confidence arose in my thoughts. My ego had been resurrected to some extent, and I could now think in concepts of “the self.” However, this self was schizophrenic, manic, and paranoid. And until then, I feared that. But as I wiped the dirt from my clothes, my thoughts turned toward the political.
Sanity is only a frame of mind. And this society, this Ritalin dosing, Thorazine treating, Prozac prodding society will do anything to “treat” you toward the “right” frame of mind; their frame of mind; the productive, capitalist frame of mind.
Fuck that. I’m insane, and I like it.
I grabbed an inner tube from my garage, plopped it down in the middle of my driveway, and took a long gaze into the abyss.
The visuals began to die down around midnight. I peered around the corner, and the soft glow of the television had ceased. My family had gone to bed, so I walked inside.
Apparently they had been up late, and they were just getting to bed. I scurried to my room and shut the lights off. A deep hunger took hold, and I vied for the moment when I could safely plod my tripped-out semblance of self to the kitchen to gorge myself.
Eventually they went to bed, I got my food, and I came to a rest in the family room, where I turned on the television. I put on a DVR’ed re-run of Conan. None of the jokes made sense. Conan’s face seemed weird. The whole thing seemed strange. Andy Richter – I couldn’t understand half the shit he was saying. The actor who formerly played Joey on friends was a guest. I felt a deep emotional connection to him. He was in pain, I felt. Nervous. Lonely maybe.
Too much for me man. I paused it.
A variety of media passed my eyes over the next few hours – Youtube, television, ipod, internet – none of it made sense. My brain was broke. Things were like this till about 2:30, then things started making sense. Reality returned. My schizophrenic delusions lessened.
I went to bed and shortly fell asleep.
The next day I woke up and felt good, refreshed, like my brain had been recharged. I still feel a bit off. Different. Like I’ve experienced something incredible, like a near-death experience. Maybe this was a “near-life” experience.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I fear my long ramblings on the terror, mania, and paranoia I felt might be misinterpreted with negative light. This is not the case. Make no mistake – I enjoyed my insanity. It was fun, exhilarating; an adrenaline rush like none other.
It was fun, exhilarating; an adrenaline rush like none other.
The reason why I do go into long elaborations about the “crazier” aspects of my experience is because I feel most people would not enjoy the temporary insanity I felt. Some people might consider what I experienced a “bad trip.” I, however, thoroughly enjoyed the experience, insanity and all. And, make no mistake, my journey was filled with incredible OEV’s, ego-loss, and mystic, enlightening sensations. A warning to anyone thinking about trying LSD – this is powerful stuff. I underestimated the possible effects, and sticky situations ensued. Often times I wanted another person there to tell me it was all okay, that I wasn’t the only one who was different. If I’d had a lifeline like that, I don’t think I would’ve gotten as alienated from other people as I did. I recommend a sitter, or at least doing it with a friend.
But, then again, much of me enjoyed my insanity. To each his or her own.
I look forward to dosing again in the near future.
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Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.