For me, a favorite cycling route needs to include something out of the ordinary: a super hard or long climb, a particularly scenic stretch of road, some unusual or significant sight, etc.
One of my favorite routes goes east to Burton, then south to Hiram, then west and north back home. I did that route today, an unexpected September weather gift. It has 2 of those “unusual or significant” sights.
At Music Street and SR 44 I pass the spot where Miles Coburn was killed in 2008. I ride through here on average once per week.
Maybe 10 miles later, on Rapids Road, I pass the spot where Judge Charles “Chip” Henry was killed this past summer. There’s a little memorial there now, with an all-white bicycle with his name on it — with downtube shifters.
Both of these places are sober reminders that today (which just happens to be the anniversary of my birth) could in a moment be the anniversary of my death.
I like riding on these roads because they remind me not to be complacent. This is not to suggest in any way that either of those 2 riders were complacent or could have prevented their accidents.
But sometimes you can prevent it. I no longer assume that a car’s signal means it will in fact turn, or that the lack of a signal means it won’t. Or that it will stay in its lane, or leave sufficient room when passing.
I also like riding on these roads because they remind me what a gift it is to be healthy and able to ride.
I’m guessing that both of those cyclists would happy to know that others ride by those spots and remember.