There’s a camaraderie, a feeling of connection riding in a group and a feeling of shared experience, of “belonging”, belonging and yet at the same time being on your own.
Check your ego at the door though: there will always be someone faster and someone slower than you; don’t get sucked into riding someone else’s ride, ride your own ride. It’s fantastically easy to get sucked into competition, to measuring yourself by that bike in front whose rider seemingly effortlessly takes corners. What you may not know is the decades of practice spent honing their skill, their detailed knowledge of the road ahead and the not insignificant expenditure in both money and time setting up their bike’s suspension, fuel mapping, geometry and “feel”.
Remember that it’s not a race, you are riding in a group, be courteous with your buddies, those in front get right of way and that there is always another opportunity to overtake. Sure that rider in front may be slow in the corners and fast in the straights but you will get the opportunity to overtake. Ask yourself though “why?”. Do you need to be at the front? Can’t you instead focus on your ride? Sure, don’t end up in a train of bikes all closely following each other but lose the competition, lose the need to get past, lose the need to ride someone else’s ride.