Another post on cycling and languages. Lovely quote from Tim Hilton's wonderful memoirs on the world of cycling, One More Kilometre and We're In the Showers, about how the culture of cycling naturally promotes the desire to learn languages.

"It is a curious fact that maps lose their beauty when framed and hung on the wall. They are beautiful because they want to be books rather than pictures. I wish that magazines could be regenerated as books. Other boxes and black bags, also roughly piled at the bottom of the garden, hold thousands of old cycling magazines, mostly English, many French, some Italian. All too few are the journals of the Flemish: I must get some more next Spring and work at the language. Modern-day cyclists ought to be linguists. Basque magazines would be interesting, though I do find the tongue daunting and am more at home in Belgium than en el Pais Vasco."