I rolled through the intersection and Steve stopped for a late arriving car. That gave me a choice:
A. Attack the hill with a 30-second gap while Steve waited for the car and maybe, finally beat him to the top.
B. Soft pedal so he could catch up and then climb together until he attacked.
After a few seconds of pedaling, I eased up deciding that if I did actually get the KOM, it’d change the dynamic of the ride from tempo to attacking pace. The worst-case scenario being that he’d catch me with 30 seconds ahead or not.
I explained my decision when we stopped at the top of the climb.
Steve appreciated my wait, as he was tired from all the Bike to Work month mileage he'd already put in this week.