Photo by Christopher Isherwood (who is NOT the bike messenger below). Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.
A fellow who calls himself Muksi likes to trip on LSD while on the job as a San Francisco bike messenger. He wrote about what it is like on Erowid, an online library of drug information and experiences.
To describe the experience of putting my life in the hands of the San Fransisco Traffic God's while the sky melds together in an amalgous orgasm of blue and magenta and while cars leave such profoundly solid tracers behind them that I can't tell whether they're limousines or not is, essentially, impossible. The experience is just fucking ludicrous. I've been bombing hills at 35 miles an hour before only to have taxi cars open their doors in front of me with only ten feet to brake. I've been within inches of been piledrived by several ton cars in direct oncoming traffic. On one occasion, the quick release on my primary brakes snapped while I hauled ass down one of the steepest streets in the city (which is really saying something, if you've ever been to San Fransisco before), forcing me to simultaneously wedge my foot between my front wheel and my front forks to slow myself down while navigating my bike through two massive four way intersections. I was a half second away from getting anally raped between a bright silver Hummer and a half lime-green/half hot-pink sedan. I suspect that this was not the actual colour of the vehicle.Note: I don't think he should take drugs and ride a bike. Tales of an SF Bike Messenger/Acid Addict (Via DoseNation)
To do what I do, I have to be paying attention 100% of the time. My peripheral vision and reflexes are my best friends. Acid is not a drug that lends itself to fast reflexes, however; it feels like I have ADHD on higher doses of psychedelics. 'Oh boy, look at that beautiful tree! Gee, don't you just love nature? Holy fuck, the sky! Goddamn, that cloud just turned into two ninjas fighting each other! I love you sky, you're so blue and beautiful.' On my early days of trip-cycling, I would occasionally find myself zoning out for short periods of time, too interested in the patterns on the asphalt below me or the height of the skyscrapers above me to remember that I was in a life or death situation. These sorts of distractions usually ended like this: 'Jesus, look at the floral designs on the pavement, doesn't that just look HOOOOOONK SQUEEEEEEAL FUCK FUCK SHIT FUCK A CAR!!'
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.