" Been riding ?"
Every language and culture has their own unique greeting, " buenos dias", "bonjor", " howya doin", " whatup-G", etc etc.
In the obsessive compulsive world of cycling, the choice of greeting invariably includes the phrase, "been riding ?".
Oh sure, it takes various forms, and occasionally, if the situation warrants it will be preceded by a "nice to see you" or " Hey your shirt is on fire", but those are just some sort of societal obligation...a necessary pleasantry before getting to the meat of the issue...
" Been riding ?"
The response to the "been riding?" question/greeting is perhaps more interesting the the question itself in that the response is always an untruth. Then always followed by the necessary, " how about you?"...and back and forth it goes.
To the uninitiated, it looks something like this...
Frick: Hey nice to see you.....been riding ?
Frack: Riding ? No, not much at all..barely been able to get out. How about you ?
Frick: Nah, not much. I did get out with the guys on Saturday, but that's about it.
Now I have to interrupt the conversation to point out the not so subtle turns that things often take here.
* If in fact one of the parties actually has not been riding ( unlikely) then the conversation will awkwardly fizzle out as one of the guys is only capable about talking about riding, bike, bike riding, the last ride he did and the next ride he's going to do....while the non-riding guy will want to talk about riding about as much as Bruce Willis wants to talk about what a wicked great career that Ashton Kutcher is having.
* If both parties actually have been riding, then game switches from one of mutual denial into a Cold War-esque arms race...
Frack: Oh you went out with those guys on Sat ? Yeah I couldn't make that, but I did get out for a couple hours by myself in the morning.
Frick: Oh cool. Yeah the group did about 3 hours
Frack: Sorry I missed that. But its probably for the better since I ended up sneaking away for 4 hours on Sunday and so 3 hours on Sat would have been too much.
Frick: Wow 4 hours on Sunday, you must be getting in great shape. I only did 3 on Sunday, but I did it later when I was windy.
ad nauseum until ever ride for the last 6 months has been described and accounted for and, of course, there's the necessary trading of scouting reports on all the other riders they both know...who also "have not been riding" and how many miles and how well their " not been riding" is going.
Too often this transpires while Frick and Fracks wives, or girlfriends, or kids stand to the side ignored and glazed over with 1000 mile stare usually reserved for methadone addicts or prisoners of war.
The customary closing is as automatic as " buenos dias" or " peace out".
Frack: So are you going to ride this upcoming weekend ?
Frick: Hmmm, probably not. I mean I've been so busy...I may not get to ride for weeks.
Frack: Yeah I know what you mean. I doubt I'll be able to get out either.
Good night Frick, Good night John Boy.