On our local training rides, it has become a matter of tradition that no matter how hard the tempo, or how high the focus level, we always stop for turtles.
I have no idea why turtles garner so much respect. Evolutionarily speaking they have fared very well without much help from humankind.
Nonetheless, turtles in the road are shepherded to the other side. Always.
The first time I witnessed said compassion, I had been recently shredded off the back of the group. Dropped. Initially, it was just a few meters, but the physics of wind resistance engaged, and the gap grew. Looks like I am riding home solo, I thought. Then, mysteriously, the group slows and stops. I was a new guy, and thought, “wow, they sure are a nicer-than-usual bunch of racer dudes.”
But they were not stopping for me, rather it was a hard-shelled reptile in the road. Whatever. I was grateful for the mulligan.
Years later, sometimes when the pace gets high enough to induce black and white vision, I find myself wishing for a turtle.