Everyone needs a Bob. Your Bob could be a Dave, a Julie, a Bernard or a Sven, but we all need one. When it's late and dark and I don't feel like training, I wonder if Bob rode today and hop on the trainer. If I'm supposed to do 4-5 hill repeats, I do the 5th because of Bob. It's not that I dislike Bob, on the contrary, we're good friends and often training partners, but when it's time to race . . .
No one likes losing, or even worse than losing not even being competitive against your arch rival, er uh friend. I'm not sure how many extra miles I've logged or hills I've climbed because of Bob, but it's a lot I'm sure. Probably an extra day per week at least.
So if you don't have a Bob, go get one. Lance had Jan, although I doubt they shared training rides or swapped cyclo-cross DVD's. Tom had Jerry, Jerry had Newman, and Newman had . . . well Newman had no one, that's why he was a loser.
If you get better, you can even replace your Bob, although unless he gets hit by a bus I won't be upgrading any time soon. Worst case, you could even downgrade. The point is to have someone else to keep you motivated when the rest of life might get in the way. Motivation can come in the form of bike porn forwards, an e-mail recapping that days training session, smack talk about an upcoming race, or a close finish in a recent race.
When it's all said and done, you may have a front seat to his back seat in the next race or vise versa, but a close win or a close loss are almost equally motivating. This weekend will be the Syracuse Grand Prix. Hopefully it comes down to a sprint.