He was a good 50 yards away as I crept up towards him. I tailed the DF (diamond frame) rider by 8'. On mile 5 I was about to give up, but kept going. I couldn't quit until he did. We both had started approximately the same time and I knew nothing about this guy other than he wouldn't stop riding. Although he'd coast for a a few feet every mile or so, he didn't show much sign of wearing out. I was getting more and more tired but maintained the same gap between the two of us. Quads were burning, but I was determined to continue until he decided to slow or leave.
It was 6.5 miles when he finally slowed to grab a drink. I had been sipping my water bottle every couple miles.
As I rode by, I said to him,
"Keeping up with you isn't easy!"
He just looked at me. No smile. I guess he was way tired and wanted nothing but a few more gulps of water. I rode past and slowed my 17mph to 15mph. He came back up and started chatting. Later I found he had only recently started cycling after a 20 year gap!