Barb Dolch Memorial Bikeway
The Crawford County Cyclist Club was instrumental in the development of the Crawford Park District Bikeways. The CC Cyclist Club was an expansion of a New Washington bicycle club called the Dutchtown Wheelmen. Jeff Hillis was active in a leadership role with the Wheelmen during the 1970s. Once riders from other areas of Crawford County became involved with the Wheelmen, it was time for a more inclusive name: the Crawford County Cyclist Club. According to Don Wilson, of Bucyrus, who was a member of the CC Cyclists, and still rides daily, the Club sponsored an annual tour with three segments. The shortest segment was the 25 mile ride, then it was the Metric Ride (62.5 miles) and finally the 100 mile ride. As interest in organizing that tour waned, Barb Dolch became a leading energizer to jump start the club. Her contributions included assisting in the development of two Crawford Park District Bikeways, the Sandusky River Bikeway and the Colonel Crawford Bikeway. She also organized the Brattie Ride which is held annually during the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival (now called the Best ‘Wurst Ride).
The elements take a toll on bike trail road signs and a winter push of snow that needs cleared from the road can also wipe them out. We lost so many signs on the Sandusky River Bikeway that we couldn’t afford to replace them. An additional nail in that bikeway’s coffin was a lack of interest from citizens. We offered a park sponsored ride from Unger Park to Sears Woods but had no participants.
An upgrade of the Colonel Crawford Bikeway was a long time coming. Signs needed replaced and the railroad crossing on Crawford-Morrow Countyline Rd. was closed by the Railroad. Mark Baker, Crawford County Engineer, assisted with insuring that the new route was usable.
Barb Dolch passed in February of 2016 after a brief battle with cancer. Due to her connection to Park District bikeway development, scheduling the Nature Center as a stop on the annual Brattie Ride and donating her time and artistic talents to the CPD, we have renamed the Colonel Crawford Bikeway as the Barb Dolch Memorial Bikeway.