Bike Week brings few reported troubles

Area law enforcement agencies were rarely called upon to handle the influx of motorcyclists and visitors during Ohio Bike Week.
Andy Ouriel
Jun 17, 2011


Area law enforcement agencies were rarely called upon to handle the influx of motorcyclists and visitors during Ohio Bike Week.

More than 45 motorcycle-related incidents happened during the 10-day event, according to reports from the Erie County Sheriff, Ohio State Highway Patrol and police in Huron, Perkins and Sandusky.

Bike Week was June 3-12.

There was one death as a result of a motorcycle crash that week: Michael Tracht, 27, of Huron.

Tracht died June 6 after he lost control of his Harley-Davidson at a curve on U.S. 6 near Rye Beach Road. He was thrown from his motorcycle and landed in a ditch.

Considering more than 100,000 people attended the festivities, crime and violence was at a minimum, said Steve Ernst, president of Advantage Entertainment and the organizer of Ohio Bike Week.

"The problems that we had were very minimal," Ernst said. "We had a very self-policing crowd. We didn't have many problems to speak of."

The presence of police and security staff at Ohio Bike Week venues -- such as the Erie County Fairgrounds and downtown Sandusky -- likely played a big role in reducing crime, Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth said.

"Sometimes the uniform presence is enough to keep crime from occurring," Sigsworth said. "These events have been fairly trouble-free."

The Erie County Fair board paid the sheriff's office $3,600 to monitor the fairgrounds, Sigsworth said.

Sandusky police also had 20 officers patrol downtown during the second weekend -- June 10-12 -- which is often the busiest time for Bike Week.

Among Sandusky's officers were nine new reserve officers hired in April. They were stationed at various posts downtown from Thursday to late Saturday.

"Everybody that I saw was very well behaved," Sandusky interim police Chief Jim Lang said. "I just thought it was a pretty calm bunch."

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers responded to at least two motorcycle wrecks involving three suspected drunken drivers.

Both wrecks were in Margaretta Township.

The first was at about 5 p.m. June 10 on U.S. 6 near McCartney Road. Steve Martin, 42, of Twinsburg, was driving a motorcycle that ran into a motorcycle driven by Douglas Rocco, 44, of Sycamore, dispatchers said.

Rocco and Martin were both charged with operating a vehicle under the influence. Martin was also cited for failure to maintain assured clear distance.

The second wreck was just after 8 p.m. Saturday.

Bellevue resident Gregg Pressler, 29, was driving a motorcycle east on Heywood Road when he lost control near Maple Avenue, dispatchers said.

The motorcycle overturned, causing Pressler and his passenger, Julie Eggert, 41, of Huron, to fall off the bike.

Pressler was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and failure to maintain reasonable control. Eggert was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center for treatment, dispatchers said.

The last weekend of Bike Week was busy, but there were no other major crashes, Highway Patrol dispatchers said.


Snapshot of Bike Week incidents

27: Bike Week-related incidents reported to Sandusky police

12: Incidents reported to Perkins police

4: Incidents reported to Erie County Sheriff's deputies

0: Incidents reported to Huron police

6: People charged with disorderly conduct in Sandusky

8: People charged with operating a vehicle under the influence while driving a motorcycle. Five people were also cited for license violations.

3: People in Sandusky charged with possession of marijuana

2: People charged with assault.

Sources: Erie County Sheriff; Ohio State Highway Patrol, police in Sandusky, Perkins, Huron.

Note: Numbers may not be the final tally of motorcycle-related incidents.


Tweety Sees Eve...

I do have a few questions though.


How does this compare to a "Normal" week in our area?

When you have 3 Deputies standing, talking and smoking for an hour in the same spot, how is that work out? How much do each of them make to stand and smoke?  

Who decides how many people attended the event? Steve Ernst always seems to have a huge number, but it surely did not seem to be anywhere near that number it you spent any time involved with the daily events. 

Why do people still look at the Bike riding crowd as "bad?" Those that do come to our area bring plenty of money, just like the tourists. They plan on spending it all in our area. Right before the event, there was a headline on ways to avoid Bike Week. How does that make them feel welcome to Erie County?




surprised they didn't show their boobs to every person in town ..... or did they?

Erie County Resident

Hey frizz, they did for awhile but everybody kept stepping on them so they rolled'em up and put them away.


 You have to have people in town to have trouble. Attendance was waaaaay down this year.


Wait a minute...does that sign on the State Theater actually say "Clean Restrooms $1.00"? (I'm on my iPhone so it's small) If so, that's just sad.

Erie County Resident

Hey Babycakes you have to remember that after paying their $1.00 they most likely pee'd all over everything in sight so it needed to be cleaned again. So the buck is for supplies and to pay the employee.

Ever been to a bar restroom? I rest my case.

Tweety Sees Eve...

Yeah Babycakes, it does. It is quite a racket huh!



Erie County Resident

100,00 people.... ROFLMAO

Boy that Ernst guy must have been REALLY drunk to count that many. But then again being on the floor looking up it might have looked like that many.

Tweety Sees Eve...

I agree 100% ECR.




No chance. I liked the comment in another article about him being the most drunken person in town the whole week! Maybe he was seeing double...then double again!




Dont care for bikes, but have nothing against bike riders.  And besides, how often does Sandusky have 10 thousand plus vistors not on public assistance and spending money.  We should be thankful someone is trying to bring in a little business.

Tweety Sees Eve...

I think that most of us agree and are pleased that the effort is being made. It just seems like a rinky dink operation that could offer so much more for the visitors and the locals if it was done Professionally!



It does say restrooms $1.00.  It also says FULL BAR, do they sell drinks there now?

In the 70's pay toliets of any kind was outlawed in Ohio, I suppose that law was repealed.



Thats not true.  It use to cost a dime to use the restrooms at the old Grants.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained racist or discriminatory remarks. Discussion Guidelines

Wes Poole

Wakeup:  What's your point?  Most serial killers, and child molestors are white.  Behavior is determined by individuals not race.      


 individuals yes. get a group of people together and thats when there true colors show.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained racist or discriminatory remarks. Discussion Guidelines



Well that sure was an ignorant comment.