I think it was my third year of riding (I started in my late 40's) that I became a riding buddy of a guy, similar age, who had ridden dirt bikes but had a year less experience than I on road bikes. Our friendship was confined to riding together - but the two of us did that a lot. The cool thing is that we seemed to have the same "risk tolerance," meaning that on lightly travelled backroads we typically were 5-10 mph above the posted limit. We would take turns leading, the following rider always maybe 5-6 seconds back, and when a straight section opened up there was the other rider. Neither of us felt pushed or slowed up by the other, a common problem on even 2-person group rides. So we are down on Hwy 21 in eastern Washington. Beautiful day. Almost no traffic. Very little fear of speed enforcement. And my friend, who is leading, is riding under the speed limit. I follow along until he pulls over. "Got something I have to think about. You go ahead." I do. Ride the ride I wanted to, then pull over to the shoulder for maybe 10 minutes until he appears. Our ride resumes at our usual speeds. Later I learned that it was marital problems which preyed on my friend's mind. I am still impressed that he had the good sense to slow down and then pull over until, for a time, he could dispell these thoughts and again ride competently. Frankly, I think my friend is ALL of us, though we have different thought distractions. (I'm not thinking about playing with the GPS, cell phone in your ear, or radio, though these are other distractions.) I'm talking about the conversations we have in our heads. Maybe we all need to pull over to the side of the road when these conversations over ride the ones we have with ourselves about real riding concerns.