There is simply nothing worse than getting dropped in cycling. Whether it is in a group ride, a race, or the commute home; getting dropped is the cycling equivalent of being dumped. You are not good enough. You don’t belong.
The more you ride/race, the more you realize that getting dropped is an integral part of cycling. EVERYBODY gets dropped. Failure is a part of life. The good news is that you are likely the only one that really cares, unless you are Andy Schleck and you are starting to make a career out of getting dropped after winning the Tour de France. After over a decade of racing clear that everyone gets dropped at some point. Everyone that races has met their match, been out of shape in the wrong part of the season, or just not had a good day. It is OK. Now that you have been dropped, you can now claim to be a real cyclist. One that isn’t afraid to try. One that isn’t afraid of the challenge.
When you get to that point where you aren’t getting dropped in that same group ride that you used to, well then it is time. Time to find that next challenge that will get you dropped again. Time to seek out the thigh burning, lung piercing experience that only can make you stronger.