Most of us cyclists are not racers but lots of us like to play at it, out for a ride with our mates in two’s or three’s or more. We draft, we attack each other, we sprint for a road sign, we have two or three hours of cat and mouse and larking around, each trying to push hard and hurt the other. If you’re lucky you’ve got some fitness and speed and can ride within yourself and in control. These are the good days.
And the bad days? You’re undercooked and you’ve not done the miles; too many late nights; age and overwork catching up; your so called mates are fresh back from a jaunt in the Alps, fit as butcher’s dogs…..there’s no place to hide. In cold Darwinian fashion there’s no mercy for the weak. If it’s your turn to suffer you will be chewed up, spat out and left for dead by these people you call your friends.
And the group knows. Your companions see this happen and think ‘today it’s you, and I feel for you mate….but at least it’s not me’.