My friends don't want to ride with me anymore

Kind of a sad story, but I am looking for advise. Got a nice group of middle aged (cough) … ah … Fun to be around, but not that great in shape, which is ok.

There is a stupid pattern though. If they ride with me (or the other way around) everybody seems to have a chip on ther shoulder and want to prove something, increasingly going faster, trying to see whether I crap out or not. Not a biggy, but after a while they are all expired and the nice social ride falls apart.

The other day a few wanted to go on a ride after I had done 5 hours indoor Z2 (thanx @pav). You probably see where this is going. Instead of having a nice chat, a group of dead MAMILs, who now flat out refuse to ride with me under any circumstances.

Short of “find a new group of friends”, is there any way to tackle this problem.

1 Like

Oh that sounds familiar Thomas!

I had the same scenario with a bunch of chaps. I had trained for triathlon with them for a couple of years but when I dropped running & swimming for cycle specifics they got very odd. They were constantly trying to prove they were faster, bigger power or better bikes. MAMIL point scoring.

Eventually I got involved in my local club who are far more interested in my goals and the things I’m up to. There’s no bravado and I’ve a new bunch to cycle with. As their Sunday ride is normally 3 hours I’ll join them and then carry on. Or start early, do the club ride and ride some more.

What I enjoy most though is when I bump in to my old ‘buddies’ on their TTS. I’ll be on a tourer happily keeping their pace and explaining that I’m out for 6 hours (unlike there 2 hour sets)

Expanding my circuit of fellow riders has really helped. And yes my old crew may well smash me on an Olympic or middle distance triathlon, but I know I’ll leave them way behind when the going gets long and things get interesting.


Sounds like jealousy to me. If I’m right, this might help. If I’m wrong, this is useless.

I do have a bunch of experience dealing with jealousy though. It’s a long story involving a group of people being intensely jealous of my schooling. Some people can deal with it, some can with a bit of help from you, and some never will.

Thing is, while jealousy is not technically your problem- it’s in their heads not yours- you can usually do a few things to prevent it.

For starters, I accept that I have to dial back my effort and skill to their level, while shaking off the idea that I’m doing it on purpose. I’d pick a W/kg as your max and just never go above that. If they want to beat you, let them. If they ask why you’re slow, make an excuse and laugh it off. We know tons of them- I’m off my game, I didn’t sleep well, I’m a bit injured, maybe I’m sick, maybe I didn’t fuel right. It takes real skill to effectively sweep your whole group while making them feel like they’re sweeping you. It takes next-level maturity and calm. You can even think about it as head training.

I also talk up the things other people are better than me at and cheer them on. You’re not a perfect pro human at cycling and everything else. They must be better than you at something. It’s not stroking their ego, that can backfire. It must be genuine admiration for something they do better than you. If you look hard enough, you can (usually) find something.

If I have to downright admit I’m better at something after all of my tricks to deflect fail, I go for self deprecation. Cycling comes at a cost, as does everything. Especially time. Cycling means I don’t lift as much as I’d like. It means for me personally that I haven’t gotten to surf as much as I would like. Etc. It can remind people that while you are actually better than them at one thing, they are choosing not to be as good as you for their own valid reasons.

I think it helps that the point of this for you isn’t training but socializing. If you find value in these people, bending a bit in other ways can make them less jealous and feel respected and validated in their own right. Isn’t that sort of the point of socializing anyways?

1 Like

@Joel this is not about bragging or jealousy. Should be the other way around whem you see the Pinarello Dogma F equipped MAMIL crowd.

The problem is also not me dialing back my efforts, it’s this group dynamic where everybody wants to prove something. Heck, we all follow each others Strava, so we know what W/kg we all should be doing to keep it social.

Stroking the others ego, not a problem either. We are all a nice group of friends, so a lot more things to talk about than just about bikes and such.

1 Like

@DrewyWhite, maybe I’ll pick up on the idea of a club. But I would not know where to start. There is one (I seem to be actually be part of it) which organizes some events around here, lot’s of climbers. But most group rides are on the short side, so not a lot of overlap there. The other clubs are racing focused, again with shorter rides. But perhaps more opportunity to meet folks who could …

What always turns me off about those clubs is the additional ballast … you know the meetings, and mandatory social events … never been a fan of that.

1 Like

The club I am in isn’t like that, no mandatory meeting or social events. We do have social events and had our annual dinner and awards evening the other week. Even with me been a ride leader I still didn’t go. The club is more about social riding as well, no racing element even with some of us racing on Zwift. We do a in week more tempo focused ride for those who want it. Often these rides are more focused on riding technique, like how to hold the wheel and doing through and off to educate on how sharing the work benefits all the group.

You do need to try a few out as another group are less social on rides and certainly the ride back from the cafe stop is a pain train for some and there is less about keeping the group together. Often these days they is a more natural split and those who want to go hard do and those who aren’t bothered just chilling out.


Sounds like its the nature of those guys. I never generally try to get drawn into any ride off when out on the road. Often I just end up pulling away on the climbs, I just choose to ride my ride. If I put in an effort on the flat or hill its for me. I’ll sit at the back and chat and then I might decide to accelerate and catch the few off the front.

Equally you might find me sat on the front breaking the wind for the group behind and the only issue is them calling out if the pace is to rich for them.


This is a great topic and thread. I imagine a lot of people will read this and relate. Thanks to you all for these comments :slight_smile: