I like bicycling alone.
Along the way, I would meet people, either solo or in group bicycling. Some are faster, some are slower, some speed up, some stop to take a break. Mentally, you take note of all of them and most times you subconsciously want to compare yourself to them.
“How can they bike uphill without breaking a sweat?”
“If that person can do it in smaller wheels, there’s no reason I cannot do it in these wheels as well.”
“I should not stop, that person is older and he could keep the pace up.”
“I won’t let her race me”
But then as you pedal on, you realize that you cannot do that. Some people are faster than you perhaps because they are younger, used to do it, do it more regularly than you do. Some people take a break and you cannot look down on them, you don’t know their starting point. Perhaps they go earlier than you and ride miles farther than you.
The point being is, you don’t know their story. So, even in silence, you should not compare yourself to others. The only comparison you need to make is your own miles, from yesterday’s ride to today’s ride.
You are sharing the road and all you riders are fellow travelers with your own story to bear.