I hope I didn't sound too mean and rough in my last posting - it's not all about vanquishing your enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women. But it has to be realised that when you get a few blokes together for anything, things soon get competitive. I do the odd social ride from time to time with some people who are a decade or more older than I am, and even though those rides are very slow and cruisy, there are many times during those meandering rides through the suburbs where anywhere from a few riders to half the pack will put the hammer down and blast off ahead. Then they'll reach an obvious waiting point (like the top of a hill or a major intersection) and stop for everyone else to catch up. We'll cruise again for a while, then a few of the blokes will get edgy and off we go again. It's not racing - it's just the fitter blokes pushing each other out to the edge of their performance envelope.
After all, I cycle because I want to be fit. I'm not going to get fit just ambling around everywhere - you need to be pushing yourself on a regular basis in order to improve your fitness. I prefer riding with people who are a bit fitter than me - not a lot fitter, just a bit fitter. That way, I'm always being pushed, and pushed harder than I'd push myself if I were alone.
That photo of Tony Abbott gives you no context - sure, he was leaving the fat cops for dead. However, for all we know, he might have been blowing out a few cobwebs going up that hill, where he might have stopped and waited for them to catch up.
And that's another thing - everyone has their preferred climbing pace. Some like to drop down through the gears and spin up at a slow pace. I can't stand that - it drives me crackers. I prefer to go up a gear if I can, put the hammer down and power over hills as hard as I can. Sometimes I crack before I get to the top - that's life. But I still enjoy giving it all I've got, and trying to get over whatever is in front of me as rapidly as possible.