29 June 2016

Waffles And Mud

If you are a cyclocross racer living in Belgium, today is your day.

Now, you might be thiking that if I could write that previous sentence, I must have waaay too much time on my hands.  Well, that is a matter of debate, I guess.  But l swear, I wasn't web-surfing when I came up with the information that allowed me to come up with such a statement.

You see, this morning, I turned on a local community-radio station. The host of one of those crazy programs one finds on such stations mentioned that today is International Mud Day.  I didn't catch his name, but I did hear him add, a few minutes later, that today is Waffle Iron Day.

Thus, in writing the opening sentence of this post, I have performed a creative act and a public service.  Just imagine:  If those two bits of information hadn't found my way, perhaps no one ever would have connected them.  The world would be this much (she holds her forefinger and thumb a hair's breadth apart) poorer.

(How's that for grandiosity?)

Anyway, I found out tht neither holiday was created by, well, people with too much time on their hands and possibly-legal (or not) intoxicating substances.  Turns out, Mud Day originated in Nepal, in an attempt to enrich the lives of orphans by getting them to spend more time outdoors. 

It's therapy!  Really!  From Cyclocross magazine

Someone noticed that kids' attitudes and moods improved after spending time wallowing around in the mud.  Like so many things "primitive" people in places like Nepal have observed for centuries, Western science has discovered this fact and confirmed it with empirical data.  Actually, even some beauticians have beaten those scientists to their discovery: Why do you think salons offer mud treatments for the face and other areas of skin?

As for waffle irons:  A while back, I read that waffles evolved, if you will, from the making of communion wafers. In those days, they were made individually by pressing the batter between--you guessed it--two heated irons.  Patterns, and sometimes even images, were engraved into the irons, so the wafers came out embossed with with grid patterns (like most current waffles) or, perhaps, the seal of a particular saint or church.

Wouldn't you love to see this first thing in the morning?

Later, someone got the idea of adding wine, beer and other things with yeast to leaven the batter and make it rise. Then , people discovered that those patterns--especially the grid--trapped air inside, making a treat that's crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside.

Anyway...I'm sure that plenty of cyclo-cross riders have consumed waffles before and after (and during:  they fit well in jersey pockets!) races or training ride. I've carried waffles with me on all sorts of rides--except when I was in Belgium because, there, they could be found in just about any store or stand.

So...Happy Mud Day and Happy Waffle Iron Day.  Belgium and the world should celebrate!


  1. After reading the first three paragraphs, I though you were going to develop a comparison between cyclocross bikes and waffle irons. But then I am admittedly a roady at heart. It just felt natural.

    Cyclocross is big in Belgium, Recall that Roger de Vlaminck. the nemesis of Merckx, was a cyclocross rider.


  2. Leo--A connection between cyclocross bikes and waffle irons? Hmm....Well, I guess there's some semblance between the tire treads and waffle grids.

    When I think of CX, Belgium and England are the first two countries that come to my mind.