I have to admit that I used to prefer mountain biking to road cycling. Out on my mountain bike I would get immersed in the technical offroad challenges and not too fussed that I was out by myself. Road cycling for me was long, lonely miles.
Now, I appreciate both MTB and Road but I favour road cycling and the long lonely miles constitute training ahead of racing. I ride with a virtual partner either on my Garmin or via Strava, but you can't beat a good chat though, both on the ride and via social networks and I get my fix via membership to cycle clubs.
Last weekend I tagged along with some members of the RCCC and was shown the climbs around Hampstead including Swains Lane. The small group did a few of the climbs interspersed with a lot of chat and I realised one of the group was a celebrity.