Good story. That poor cyclist has probably been training all season to ride at 22mph in the hills. And then he passes a nice-looking older couple...and the older guy leaves his wife, and jumps on the cyclist's wheel!
And what's more, has the audacity to pull up even, as if he's urging for more speed! I think you may have done a 'number' on that guy!
But cycling ethics, as I understand them, require the guy in back to take a 'pull' now and then. So you could have passed him, and appropriately moved into the lead while you pushed the assist up to the #3 position, and really blown his mind!
Not interested in blowing anyone's mind. It just seems embarrassing to pass a good cyclist using electric assist. It happened again yesterday. A young woman went past at a good rate of speed, and then I found myself catching up again on an uphill, so I just backed off until she turned off in another direction and I could just do what I wanted with a clear conscience.
I'm planning to give an e-bike a test drive soon. And once I realize the capabilities of an e-bike, perhaps I'll agree with you. And be a bit more humble about my secret 'assist.'
A few years ago, as e-bikes were just getting going, I was doing one of my steepest climbs up to Chesterfield and a young, heavey-set guy went flying past me on a bike with fat tires. Made me feel pretty pathetic – until it hit me that he was must be on an e-bike. When it happens today, it's no big deal, and I know right away whether it's an e-bike or not.
Contrary to Clark, the practice in a fast moving pace line is for the lead rider to take 10, maybe 15, pulls and then ease over for the next rider. The former leader eases back to the last position and tries to hook on before the line blows by. And the process will continue. Watch the TdF team trial or a breakaway for good examples.