LYNN — On a chilly, windy Sunday morning, 100 bicyclists rode in the annual Bike to the Sea Day Ride, taking a brief reprieve from their 20-mile ride at the Lynn Shore and Nahant Beach Reservation.
The ride from Everett, through Malden, Revere, Saugus and Lynn to Nahant Beach and back again is designed to bring attention and support to efforts to complete the trail.
Linda Sullivan, a member of the board of directors for Bike to the Sea, said the ride was also to get the word out about the nonprofit group, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Since 1993, Bike to the Sea has been working to create the Northern Strand Trail, a mostly-paved car-free path from Malden/Everett, through the Saugus marshes, to the beaches in Revere, Lynn, and Nahant.
In February, the state awarded $1.5 million to fund additional design work to improve the current trail and jumpstart the expansion into Lynn. The trail currently ends at the Lynn/Saugus line.
Janet Green, president of Bike to the Sea, said the ride is one of the group’s biggest fundraisers. The plan is also to continue the trail into Boston.
Mayor Thomas M. McGee, who chaired the Joint Committee on Transportation and served as its Senate chair since 2010, is committed to the project. He took part in the ride on Sunday.
“As the process is moving forward, we already have hired a consultant to help us develop a plan for the Saugus line,” McGee said. “It’s really going to the beach, working with the state, consultants, (going to) get a chance to see the whole route from Everett to Lynn, to really understand not only the Lynn piece, but how it connects with all the other communities.
“So, I had a chance to ride it this morning, about 10 miles. It was a great, great ride.”
Gordy Hall, president of The Hall Co. and a director of the Daily Item, another supporter of the project, also took part.
“I just can’t wait to see the bike trail completed through Lynn,” Hall said.
Hall said the connectivity is an economic development and health issue — having access to the bike and walking trails gets people out.
Travis Wojcik, 21, a Peabody resident and North Shore Community College student, said he was looking forward to using the trail as a way to get into Boston.
Although he said the bike ride to Nahant was good, he was looking forward to the ride back, with the wind pushing the bicyclists along, as opposed to slowing them down.