Only took up road riding a few years ago- after 15 years of MTB's. I now ride at my pace and my distance and my rules. I mostly ride on my own but occasionally meet others on the road- but Did notice a group of roadies looking at my Bike last year at a cafe stop. They were quite impressed that a basic 24 speed- Yes I had a triple and 8 speed- took quite so long to catch up the last hill. Mind you- they were more impressed that I was just getting to the end of a 65 miler- they had only done 20 when they caught me.
I wasn't impressed that they had bikes that cost 5 times as much as mine, weighed 6 lbs less, were ridden by lads half my age and took so long to catch me.
Works both ways I am afraid as they did have an influence on me- This was just before the new bike was built- and On the quality of the bike stakes- I have joined them. Still wonder how I used to ride that heavy Giant OCR3 for all those miles and at that speed and that it gave me all that enjoyment.